DIY Tragus Experience
If you don't like DIY stories please read no further.
As with most DIY stories I'll start with saying don't do this, it's not safe and there are serious risks. That being said you are reading this because your contemplating a DIY project. All I can say is make sure you are prepared, start with googling steril protocol, order or purchase steril supplies and try to make your project as safe as possible.
On with the story. I'm old enough to handle myself and my body, I'm in my mid thirties, aware of steril protocol due to my college major and not willing to take overly outrageous risks. I started with ordering steril supplies, 13g piercing needle, mini sponge clamps and presterilized 14g curved titanium barbell. I chose a curved because I wanted to wear a cbr in my Tragus once it had fully healed and the pros recommended not piercing with a cbr to begin with. I figured the curved would remain nicely stable, allow enough space to drain and clean and start me off with a curved fistula inside.
Into my bathroom I go, I bleach the counter top, sink and anything else I might come into contact with. Leaving the door shut I left everything to dry and air out for a couple of hours. Once I was certain all the bleach had evaporated and killed off any bacteria, I go back into my bathroom slap on some gloves and lay down new paper towels across the countertop to the right, about three layers thick. I then wash my hands with antibacterial soap, pull on a new pair of gloves and go about setting everything out, a big glob of antibacterial ointment to be used as lube, clamps, needle and jewelry. I open all of the steril pouches except for the needle and set everything where I can easily get to it while peering awkwardly into the mirror. I then scrub the front and back of my Tragus with antibacterial soap on a new q-tip rinse and then scrub again, taking my time to be sure to remove all the excess soap. It took a while using q-tips but this is a part I did not want to scrimp on. I let the area dry and then again with q-tips I apply rubbing alcohol to the front and back of my Tragus. I let the alcohol completely dry and then swabbed the front and back once more. Once the second layer of alcohol dried about twenty minutes had past since I began, so as you can see this process is not quick and should not be rushed.
I change gloves again and open the new needle, careful not to touch anything but the furthest end, I drag it through the antibacterial ointment coating nearly the entire thing, I leave the coated needle on the reminder of the steril pouch and take up the sponge clamps. I chose not to mark a spot because my Tragus really would not allow a piercing anywhere but in one spot. I fiddle with the clamps on my left tragus a number of times getting placement exactly as I want it, but finally get it right and lock them in place.
I take up the 13g coated piercing needle and bring it up in front of my Tragus. Using the clamps I lever my Tragus forward so that it now rests against the needle tip, so this way I will not stab the needle into anything I don't want pierced. It was a bit uncomfortable, the skin felt tight but it was not painful or bruising. I took a deep breath and hesitated for a moment, questioning myself I guess, but then my determination followed through and I steadily pushed the needle forward. A slight sting sparked from the piercing site as the needle cuts through the skin layer and then it becomes harder to follow through, but none the less with steady even pressure I move the needle evenly through the cartilage until I hear a strange sound. Not a pop or a crack but a ting sound and I thought I'd accidentally hit the clamps with the needle but I hadn't. The sound was the needle breaking through the back side of my Tragus, I guess the skin was tight and so the sound of the needle passing through so close to my ear had a strange sound to it.
The instant I knew the needle was through I felt a great accomplishment a rush of happiness flooded through me but I as not out of the woods yet. I had only gotten the tip of the bevel through the back side of my Tragus, I would need to push the entire needle through before I could even attempt to insert jewelry. Getting the needle past the bevel was difficult, I didn't want to push too hard and accidentally shove the needle all the way through or worse into another part of my ear. Carefully I applied steady pressure with the tip of my thumb and very very slowly I made progress. I felt the moment the bevel cleared and from there it was much easier to ease the rest of the needle through.
It was very awkward to finish the piercing as the needle was quite long and threatened to pierce random things as I repositioned. Until at last the needle was set up to receive the barbell. My last hurdle was before me and the part I was dreading most, jewelry insertion. For me it was actually easier then I had expected. I lined up the end of the barbell with the end of the 13g needle and very very slowly but steadily pushed forward, with what I guess is mostly luck, the barbell followed right through and the needle fell out with a little tiny noise. I was so surprised and happy it had gone so smoothly I found myself smiling a little, when once again it dawned on me the adventure wasn't over yet, there was still the dreaded ball screwing on part.
I had chosen a long length curved barbell and I think that's what saved me here. I unclamped my Tragus and Just in case they had gotten sweaty or greasy from the ointment I changed gloves one more time (btw I had a little freak out that I didn't unclamp until this point, I had forgotten to right after piercing but luckily the balls of my barbell fit easily through the clamp slots). I took the tiny ball inbetween my finger tips and did my best to align the internal pin in an outward direction. Gently I hooked my finger under the barbell shaft inside my ear gently levered it upwards, it took quite a while but finally the pin found the hole in the barbell and I screwed it tightly into place. Phew! It was done.
I took a few moments to calm down and examin my Tragus. There were two or maybe three drops of blood at most, the skin around the piercing looked just fine and there was no pain what so ever. The piercing was also to my eye perfectly placed and straight through front to back. Using q-tips I cleaned around the piercing inside and out, the inside was a little sore but nothing major. Because I was now becoming nervous about what I'd just done I flushed the piercing site with sea salt water. It actually felt great after the flushing and so I finally allowed myself to get all excited and happy.
The first thing I did after my piercing was down some ibuprofen and eat a snack. The first few days have been great, there is no pain, no blood, nothing is irritated or angry looking in the slightest. Though I will say the muscles around my jaw on the side of my Tragus are a little sore, but I have TMJ and no doubt the clamps irritated that. I have done twice daily salt soaks for fifteen minutes each and one shower continuing to take ibuprofen to keep swelling away. I love my Tragus piercing, it looks great and is a source of enjoyment for me, a sign of my determination and will power. I look forward to many more years of enjoyment and finally a snazzy cbr once it's healed! Hope you enjoyed my story and if you consider anything like this for yourself, be prepared, use proper equipment and know your risks. Other then that have a great day!
submitted by: Demekinfishie
on: 01 Feb. 2013
in Tragus Piercing