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Tragus Ear Piercing: Everything You Need to Know
The tragus is the small projection of cartilage immediately in front of the ear canal. Piercing it involves perforating the cartilage with a small-guage, hollow needle and inserting jewelry, either a ring or a stud.
The tragus is vulnerable to infection, so take care to find a professional piercer who follows proper procedures. It is also true, however, that tragus piercing is not that painful, as there are very few nerve endings around the area.
Getting Your Tragus Pierced
Tragus piercing is a relatively recent fashion. Before you get yours pierced, make sure you are confident about the piercer. An experienced piercer will use a hollow, low-gauge needle. It should be inserted either straight into the tragus or a curved direction.
Pain will be the trongest during the actual piercing. There will continue to be some discomfort over the following few days, but with a good aftercare regimen, the entire process is completely bearable.
Important Guidelines to Avoid Infection
Clean the tragus with saline solution immediately before and after piercing. This will significantly minimize pain. There are different concentrations of saline solution. Ask your piercer which might be best for you.
Don't touch the pierced area and jewelry. Even if there is irritation, leave the tragus untouched for at least 5-7 days.
Clean your hands with antibacterial solution before changing earrings.
Don't let anyone else touch the area.
Clean the area at least twice or three times a day after piercing. This will help reduce pain over the next few days.
Don't change earrings until six weeks after piercing.
Make sure to use a cotton ball that has been soaked in disinfectant, such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
Don't sleep on the same side as your piercing for a few weeks.
Proper Aftercare of a Pierced Tragus
Aftercare is vital. In addition to the steps listed above, follow these steps to avoid infection and speed healing.
- Clean the area with a saline solution and a cotton ball at least twice every day. While doing so, make sure to also clean the area behind the tragus. This will ensure that the solution reaches deep inside the hole. While cleaning, rotate the jewelry slowly and gently but avoid touching the skin directly with your fingers.
- Don't touch the area at all.
- Avoid using the pierced ear to answer the phone. Try to sleep on the opposite side.
- Change your pillowcase every day and keep your hands clean.
Making Your Own Saline Solution
It's easy to make saline solution at home. A typical solution is .9% saline, about the same as human tears.
Here is what you'll need:
- 1 cup of water
- a clean glass bottle or jar with lid
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- a pot with lid
Combine the water and salt in the pot. Cover and boil for 15 minutes. Set pot aside until cool. Carefully pour into jar or bottle and cover. Use within 24 hours, as bacteria can grow in saline solution.
If Your Tragus Becomes Infected
There is a possibility of infection with any kind of piercing, but the only reasons this would happen is if proper aftercare is not followed or the piercer is not experienced.
During piercing, the tragus will bleed and may continue to bleed for a few hours. Afterwards, it is common to experience pain and swelling for a few days. There is no need to worry as long as they subside within seven days.
Consult a doctor if you notice any of the following after seven days:
- soreness around piercing
- continued bleeding
- yellow or green discharge
- foul smell coming out of the pierced area
Even if you notice any of these symptoms, don’t panic. Do not remove the jewelry yourself, as this may cause the hole to close and trap infection within. Consult a specialist.