my painful anti-tragus
There's only so long you can go for without wanted to get a new piercing its totally addictive and I was having this all to familiar feeling a couple of weeks ago. To feed my piercing habit I decided I would get something on my right ear pierced (due to the fact that I was beginning to feel a little lopsided as I have a 0ga flesh tunnel, 3 lobe, 2 helix and my tragus pierced in my left ear and only 2 lobe piercings in the right), so I decided to search the BME site for inspiration. I narrowed it down to getting a double rook, my anti-tragus or conch pierced. Originally I was dead set on getting the double rook because I have never seen anyone in real life with it done and I like to be a little bit original. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, I was unable to get the two rook piercings and so decided that the anti-tragus piercing would be cool as I have my left tragus pierced.
I was going on holiday a few days after I had made this decision and desperately wanted to get pierced before heading to Scotland, so organised with a friend to get it done that Thursday. I went to my local piercing studio where I also got my tragus done, which had healed quickly without too much irritation, so I knew I trusted the piercer. I went into the back room and sat on the table. The piercer took a look at my anti-tragus and looked somewhat puzzled. He called in one of the tattooists who also had experience with piercings to take a look and he also had a look of confusion. It turns out that I have two anti-tragus's one pointing into my ear and one pointing away. As far as the piercing was concerned, this basically meant that my anti-tragus was incredibly thick and so obviously it would be more painful, but as pain doesn't particularly phase me, I decided to go ahead anyway.
The piercer had two possible needle he would use. I'm not sure what sizes and decided the smaller needle would be best as it would be less painful and would prevent it from bleeding, which I was all for. I lay down on the table and he numbed my ear. He pushed the needle through in two stages, presumably because it was so thick, and although this was relatively painful (worse than the tragus), it was nothing I couldn't handle. The first problem arose when he tried to put the bar in. Because of the size of my 'double anti-tragus' and because it swelled up a bit, the jewellery wouldn't fit (which didn't help the pain either) so he decided it was best to re-pierce it with the larger needle. I didn't particularly warm to this idea but agreed anyway. This re-piercing hurt even more than the first, so by this time my teeth were firmly gritted. He put another piece of jewellery into the hole, which again was quite painful, and screwed the ball in. This still led to problems though, because my anti-tragus had swollen quite badly by this point, probably due to the amount of prodding going on, so the jewellery fit a little too snugly for my liking, but I didn't want my new hole to be prodded anymore, so paid and left. He kindly gave me a free larger bar incase the swelling didn't go down in around four days, in which case he could change it for me if I didn't want to myself.
The rest of that day my right ear was extremely painful and would not stop throbbing, but I gingerly washed it with hot water, savlon spray and a saline solution soak. I couldn't move it in the slightest because of the intense pain and it was impossible to sleep on, which was annoying because that's the side I tend to sleep on.
I spent the next week in Scotland in a lot of pain, but couldn't do much about it. I didn't want to change it myself incase I couldn't get it in and would have to let it close up after all the trouble I went though to get it pierced, so I just cleaned it meticulously every day, waiting for the day I could return to England and get it changed. Each day it seemed to get more and more painful and I couldn't work out why I was doing everything right! Then I noticed that the ball at the back was rubbing against the inside of my ear, gradually wearing it away, which understandably hurt a lot.
I finally got back to England and went straight to the piercing studio to get it changed. The piercer changed the jewellery to a curved barbell rather than straight to stop it from rubbing and put one in that was way to big, but would allow lots of movement, aiding the healing process. When the swelling has gone down and it has healed more, I will change it to a smaller bar but will make sure it's curved!
My anti-tragus already feels better, and I can even lie on it! To anyone who is considering this piercing, I say do it. It's a beautiful little piercing, and although in my case I went through more pain that most, this is only because I have a weird anti-tragus. I doubt it really hurts much more than the tragus (which I didn't find very painful at all) and at the end of the day its only pain, so don't let that stop you.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 Aug. 2004
in Anti-Tragus Piercing