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Tragus piercings

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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!