My Tragus Piercings
After a few months of not getting any piercings and having a piercing itch, I decided that for my 21st birthday that I wanted to get tragus piercings done on both ears. I was wary about getting them done originally because my parents aren’t exactly supportive of my piercing habit. So it took me some courage to ask my mother if she would be okay with me having these piercings as I knew there was no way that I would be able to hide them. At the time, she was unaware of all of my piercings with the exception of my navel piercing. She didn’t seem convinced, but she decided that I was an adult, and since I was over 18 that I could do it if I wanted to. After that she started to call me “Swiss cheese” because I had extra holes, but she wasn’t aware at all of just how many.
Anyways, after getting her permission I went back to Iris Piercing to get them done in April of 2011, just before I turned 21. I hadn’t gotten a cartilage piercing before (I don’t count my septum piercing since the piercing isn’t technically through cartilage) and I was a little apprehensive. I had read a lot of stories on BME about hearing a popping noise and the piercing taking awhile to get through the cartilage. I was afraid that if I heard a pop that I would flinch and screw up the piercing since it takes a little longer to get all of the way through. Despite my apprehension, I had to remind myself that nothing could possibly hurt more than my nipple piercings did.
After going into the studio and choosing two 16g Neometal titanium labret studs with black stone ends for the piercings, they were autoclaved and I was taken by Nick to one of the piercing rooms to have them done. In the end it was not nearly as bad as I expected. It did take longer to get the needle through, but I never heard a pop so I didn’t flinch like I feared that I would. I learned later that I don’t hear a pop with cartilage piercings because I have very soft and flexible cartilage. The only part that hurt was when the needle was going through, after that it really didn’t hurt.
Healing went pretty smoothly overall. They both swelled up a lot within the first couple of weeks and stayed swollen for about 2 months, and after that the swelling began to subside. After about 6 months, both piercings developed symmetrical hypertrophic scars that took me a long time to get rid of fully. I have now learned that I am always going to get hypertrophic scarring on my cartilage piercings, but as long as I treat them daily with tea tree oil they go away eventually.
I had these piercings downsized to 18g about 9 months after having them done. It was kind of an accident. I went to get the jewelry downsized because it was getting knocked by my headphones and it would hurt! Even when I went in to get the jewelry downsized, I had knocked my tragus bar with my ear buds and my tragus turned red. They would not change the jewelry until I explained what had happened. I thought that I had told the guy changing my jewelry that they were 16g (which is not the standard size that they do tragus piercings at this studio), but I apparently forgot because he changed it to an 18g and I didn’t find out until later on. It was fine though, I don’t mind them being at 18g at all.
I do recommend labret studs as opposed to captive bead rings for this type of piercing. This piercing swells up a lot, and if you are like me and like to wear headphones of any kind at all, labret studs work a lot better for that. The size of captive bead ring that I would have needed would have been huge and it would have gotten bumped all of the time since I sleep on my sides. I feel like labret studs accommodate the swelling well as long as you have the right length, and they don’t get bumped as easily and are just as easy to clean. Plus, once the piercing has healed, you can get a captive bead ring in any size that you want.
Overall, I do recommend tragus piercings if you want them. I think that they are very classy and subtle piercings, and they don’t give too much trouble in my experience in terms of healing, but be prepared for a lot of swelling and plenty of lymph fluid. Cartilage piercings don’t heal quickly and you have to be really patient with them.
submitted by: gildedangel
on: 12 June 2012
in Tragus Piercing
Studio: Iris Piercing
Location: Salt Lake City, UT