What Is a Tragus Piercing?

A tragus piercing is a piercing on the small flap of cartilage in the ear that extends out in front of the ear canal and is located above the ear lobe. This piercing is typically not very painful due to a lack of nerves but is likely to bleed.

Many kinds of jewelry can be worn in tragus piercings, including studs, rings and barbells. Tragus jewelry is typically of a size 18 gauge. Larger sizes and heavy jewelry may result in piercing migration and are generally avoided. Rejection is also possible with this piercing, especially since the location makes the piercing prone to infection. Migration is where the jewelry moves from its original position, and with rejection, the jewelry may fall out after some time.

A tragus piercing requires a needle to pierce the spot, after which the actual jewelry is inserted. Thorough cleaning is necessary to prevent infection, and the ear canal is usually blocked to reduce the risk of damage. It can take up to eight weeks for a tragus piercing to heal, but different skin types may heal more quickly. Saline solutions, salt water soaks and disinfectants all offer possible ways of keeping the new piercing clean.