Roughly three months ago I decided to finally get my tragus on my left ear pierced. I first noticed the piercing years ago at bars and clubs, mostly on girls, and I found it very attractive but always regarded it as more of a feminine look. At the time I wasn't much into piercings; I'd had my left lobe done when I was around 9 or 10 at the mall but after about a year of my mom treating it all the wrong ways (getting it done with a gun, using conventional jewelry, cleaning with alcohol, etc) I got tired of dealing with it. As soon as it would heal it would act up again and being so young I gave up on it. When I first became aware of tragus piercings I had just gotten interested in that hole again and surprisingly I could put my then-wife's conventional earrings in. I believe I had gotten to a 16 or 14 by this time.
As I got more into piercing in general, I began noticing the tragus on more guys and it began to look less like a "girl's only" piercing to me. A part of me started to want one, but I was far too scared to really look into it. A few more years passed and I got more piercings and began stretching them some, but so far everything had just gone through the lobe. I was terrified of getting cartilage pierced because I believe I had some cartilage nicked during one of my lobe piercings and it was extremely painful and it took months for it to ever really get comfortable. I did start reading about tragus piercings and it was suggested that it was much less painful than other cartilage piercings due to a relative lack of nerve endings and it would heal much faster than other cartilage because it recieved much more blood flow. Armed with this knowledge I began to consider the idea more seriously. My life was beginning to take a downward turn, and I decided a piercing just might be the spark that I needed as well as a marker of tough times.
And one day about three months ago, I resolved to have it done. I made my way to Rock n Roll Tattoo in Raleigh, NC, and I even had my five year old son with me. The staff was very friendly and the shop looked immaculate and smelled fresh and clean. After the paper work I went in the piercing room and the piercer was cool about me having such a young child with me. A few seconds later he was ready and asked if I was as well. The needle went in and truthfully it hurt much worse than I expected, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. My threshold for pain is fairly low, however, and it felt like a spike was being jammed into my head. More than anything it was just an intense and extremely uncomfortable pressure rather than the slight burning/stinging sensation I associated with lobe piercings. A small 16g CBR was put in and in no time it was over.
For the first 30 to 45 minutes I didn't really feel anything more than the area being hot and swollen. After that it throbbed for about an hour and settled into a dull ache by later in the night. Sleeping on that side was out of the question and the dull ache persisted for another day. It was extremely sore for the next 2 to 3 days, and I didn't realize how easy it was to bump that area doing simple things such as reaching up high for something or tucking my hair behind my ears. The skin also moves a lot with one's face, so any laughing or sudden movements with my mouth tugged on the skin enough to let me know it was most definitely still there. After those first 2 or 3 days it felt much better. It was still very red and swollen, and I still couldn't quite comfortably sleep on it. The swelling also caused the ring to remain more or less horizontal which made it look a little strange. By two weeks it was still slightly sore but I could sleep on it and the ring began to move more freely in the hole. By the time it was a month old I barely noticed it. Six weeks afterwards and it stopped oozing and I was able to play with it without any soreness at all. It still took it another 2 weeks after that before I could really feel the CBR swinging around in that area.
So three months into it and everything is fine. No more lymphatic fluid, and no specific treatment for the area aside from the shower and periodic cleaning with liquid soap as I do all my piercings to keep the ear funk at bay. I had read more than one account of people having a persistent knot near the piercing that remained for some time but nothing like that happened to me. The first few days were the worst but even so it was just a matter of being careful. Afterwards it was a bit of an annoyance with sleeping but overall it has healed up quickly with very little done on my part except LITHA.
It looks great and was exactly what I wanted. I've still got the CBR in that I got when it was pierced, but I would like to have a seamless ring depending on how difficult it is to open and close it on my own. While it hurt more than I was prepared for, it did give me more confidence in persuing other cartilage piercings and I have in fact had my helix pierced since (which I think actually hurt less).
A fun, subtle piercing even if it is becoming rather trendy. I'm certainly happy with the results, healing and aftercare was a breeze, so for anyone weary of getting that very thick piece of cartilage pierced, I say go for it.
submitted by: Funeral
on: 18 July 2012
in Tragus Piercing