Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Tragus Piercings

From how much it costs to how much it hurts and healing time, here's everything you need to know.


by Renee Washington |
Updated on

Thinking of getting a tragus piercing? With celebrities like Rihanna, Zoë Kravitz, and Chloë Moretz sporting tragus piercings, it's popular option. However, as with any ear piercing - whether it’s chic stackable ear piercings or trendy on-trend nose piercings - it’s crucial to do some thorough research before you take the plunge.

To understand the ins and outs of tragus piercings, we consulted Ara Hall, Expert Piercer at Astrid & Miyu. Keep scrolling to discover more about getting a tragus piercing, including information on pain levels, healing times, and costs. Whether you’re a seasoned piercing enthusiast or considering your first, we’ve got you covered with expert advice.

Tragus Piercings At A Glance:

Where is it?: The external ear, in front of the ear canal

Price: £20-£80

Pain Level: 4/10

Healing Time: 3-6 months (but can be known to stretch to a year)

Best Jewellery: Titanium and Solid Gold (14ct and up)

Aftercare: Saline solution

What is a tragus piercing? How is it done?

First things first, your tragus (and any cartilage piercing) should always be done with a 'single use needle, this can either be done with tools such as a clamp or free hand depending on the piercers preference', says Ara Hall.

As for the actual process, it's pretty quick. They sterilise the area first, then mark where the piercing will be made and as mentioned before, they might clamp the tragus (so it doesn't move) and insert the needle. There are videos on YouTube if you want to know exactly how it’s done, like this one below.

How much does a tragus piercing cost?

This will vary from place to place and depending on the jewellery you choose, but on average it will cost around £30.

Does a tragus piercing hurt? Will I get tragus piercing pain?

The tragus doesn’t hold many nerve endings which means that, compared to other piercings, it’s not very painful. That said, it’s obviously subjective because everyone has a different pain threshold. Ara Hall says, 'I would personally say the pain rate is usually around a 4.' Don't fret, you might experience a slight ‘popping’ sound when the needle goes through which is normal – it is cartilage after all. Afterwards, you’ll more than likely have some swelling and soreness for around three to five days.

What about the tragus piercing aftercare?

Like with any piercing, it’s important to look after it, as any open wound is prone to infection. Astrid & Miyu's Ara Hall says, 'for aftercare we recommend a sterile saline solution spray which you can spray directly on to the piercing front and back, twice a day so usually morning and night while ensuring to thoroughly dry the area afterwards.' Ara says this can either be done with a hairdryer on a cool setting or a paper towel, she doesn't recommend any cotton wool due to the fibres.

Other things to avoid are playing with it (especially if your hands might be dirty) and wearing headphones which could also irritate it. If you think your piercing might be infected, try diluting tea tree oil and using that to disinfect the area, but if this doesn’t help it’s best to return to where you got it pierced to seek professional advice.

What jewellery is best for a tragus?

Hall advised the best metals for any new piercing would either be implant grade titanium or solid gold with the lowest karat being 14.

Initially: Small, low-profile stud or barbell for healing and minimal irritation.

Once healed: Options include hoop earrings, captive bead rings, and decorative studs

Are there any side effects?

'The only real side effects you can have from a piercing will be irritation bumps, an infection or migration. These cases are super rare if you go to a reputable piercer and follow the correct aftercare advice', says Hall.

Irritation bumps: Small raised bumps from irritation, caused by rough handling or poor jewellery quality.

Infection: Small raised bumps from irritation, caused by rough handling or poor jewellery quality.

Migration: Piercing movement away from its original spot, often due to improper technique or rejection by the body.

When can I change my tragus piercing and will it close over?

You should only do this once you’re absolutely sure the piercing has totally healed – it shouldn’t be sore, weeping or crusty. It’s best to be over caution because changing it too soon could lead to infection. Make sure the new jewellery is sterilised too and your hands are clean before changing it. Hall says, 'placement of a tragus this piercing can be super fiddly/tricky to change by yourself so we would always recommend to go back to your piercer!' If you do take it out, be careful not to leave it out for too long as it could close over.

SHOP: The Best Tragus Earrings

Astrid & Miyu is a great place to get your tragus piercing done and they have an amazing selection of jewellery you can be pierced with.

A beautiful lotus flower design cut from 9k solid yellow gold.

Claire's Silver 16G Cubic Zirconia Arrow Tragus Stud Earring
Price: £2.40 (was £8)

A trendy arrow cubic zirconia stud perfect in a ear party.

A designer splurge piece these are gorgeous lab created diamonds.

This 14K gold barbell is a staple piece that everyone needs in their collection.

A pretty sun-inspired emerald piercing stud to add to a fun ear stack.

Tragus FAQ

What is a anti tragus piercing?

Unlike the widely popular tragus piercing, this piercing explores the uncharted territory opposite the tragus, along the outer edge of the ear. It’s a bold choice that offers a distinctive and stylish look. Picture a small, sleek stud or barbell nestled within the delicate fold of cartilage.

Can I wear airpods with my tragus piercing?

This a common question asked when it comes to the tragusm, due to where the piercing sits. Ara Hall, Expert Piercer at Astrid & Miyu says, 'due to the placement of a tragus we wouldn’t recommend wearing any sort of earphones until the piercing is fully healed as these can cause irritation and swelling.'

Can I sleep on the side of my tragus piercing?

Hall advised against sleeping on any cartilage piercing as this can cause pressure to wound and the angle of the piercing which can lead to a delayed healing time and irritation bumps. She adds, 'If you’re struggling to sleep with your new tragus piercing you can use either purchase a piercing pillow or travel pillow.'

Renee Washington, Grazia's Digital Fashion and Beauty Assistant, lives online. With a penchant for wispy lashes and streetwear, she writes about the worlds of fashion and beauty from the viewpoint of the modern fashion girlie.

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