Tragus piercings and anti-tragus piercings are becoming increasingly popular - in fact, tragus piercings are now one of the most common ear piercings around.
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Does A Tragus Piercing Hurt? Plus,
Everything Else You Need To Know Before
You Add That Extra Earring
Tragus piercings and anti-tragus piercings are becoming increasingly popular - in fact, tragus
piercings are now one of the most common ear piercings around. Ear piercings are the most
familiar form of Body piercings and the tragus and anti-tragus are fresh expressions of the
mundane ear lobe piercings.
The tragus is a thick little piece of
cartilage that juts out from the ear
canal. To get an understanding of
the exact location of the tragus,
place a finger by the outer corner
of your eye. From this point, trace
the finger back, in a straight line,
until you touch your ear. The first
piece of your ear you will feel is
your tragus. You should be able to
grasp this little nub between your
fingers - this is where the piercing
will go through.
There are all sorts of
misconceptions about the tragus. Some people may try to tell you that piercing your tragus will
affect your balance - that is simply not true. Your balance is affected by fluids in your ear drums,
which are located deep within your ears, and are far away from any pierce-able surface. The
tragus does not have anything to do with your balance, so don't be fooled by uneducated people
who might try and tell you otherwise. In fact, the only purpose a tragus has is to hold your
headphones (such as the standard iPod headphones) securely in your ears; and once pierced,
there are thousands of headphones to choose from which will not irritate your piercing.
Honestly, the tragus has nothing to do with your ear, your hearing, or your balance. It is just a
flap of cartilage - perhaps if humans developed sonar and echo-location the tragus would be
useful (super developed traguses help bats use sonar, for example) - but alas, on our species,
it's just a surface begging to get pierced!
The tragus is recommended to be pierced with a captive bead ring, but a barbell will suffice. The
reason rings are almost always preferred for the initial piercing as opposed to barbells is
because rings tend to heal quicker, better, and more securely. Once healed, you can use any
type of jewelry, even typical jewelry normally reserved for ear lobes. Your piercer will help you
choose which gage is right for you (and by the way, expanding the tragus is not unheard of, but
rare), mark the location on your ear, and push the needle right through. Some piercers may put
a cork behind the tragus to "catch" the needle, some piercers just use clamps to aid the needle
through, and yet others just use their hands. Each piercer is different, so they will pierce
according to their style. Clamps are the most common method, and many people report that the
actually clamping to secure the skin hurts more than the piercing! The tragus piercing should be
painless - there aren't a lot of nerves there - but some people do feel slight and temporary pain.
Because it is so close to the ear, some people even say they hear a little "pop!" sound as the
needle pushes through. Should you hear a little noise, it's nothing to be concerned about. Once
the needle is in, the jewelry is slid into place and secured, and you are done! The whole
process, from prep to finish, shouldn't take more than five minutes.
The tragus does take a while to heal - sometimes up to a year to be fully and completely healed.
Many people irritate their new piercing by placing their dirty cell phones up to their ear or by
sleeping on the ear with the piercing. I suggest NOT doing either of these for at least the first six
months. If your piercing does become infected (and it shouldn't with proper aftercare), soak it in
warm salt water, don't touch it with your hands, and perhaps (using a q-tip) rub some diluted tea
tree oil around the piercing. Never use any sort of rubbing alcohol, for this will irritate and scar
your piercing. Your piercer will give you a complete rundown of what to expect and how to
handle your new piercing though, so pay attention to their advice.
The Anti-Tragus is very similar to the tragus. It is pierced the same way, the aftercare is the
same, and the healing time is the same too. To locate your anti-tragus, place a finger on your
earlobe (generally where someone's first ear piercing would be) and with your finger, draw a
straight line up. The flap of cartilage you come to before the empty space is your anti-tragus.
Your tragus and anti-tragus are located very close to each other, and the anti-tragus is just
opposite of the tragus. Just like the other piercing, this piercing does not affect your hearing or
balance. The anti-tragus is rarer than the tragus, mostly because many people don't think they
can get this area pierced, but it can be pierced and it does look great when healed. Curved
Barbells and captive ring beads are used most frequently in these piercings.
If you are considering an anti-tragus or tragus piercings, be sure to use a licensed professional.
Once it is fully healed, the way your ornament or decorate the piercing is completely up to you,
and the jewelry possibilities are endless!