Encyclopedia of Body Piercings: Tragus Cartilage Piercing

Encyclopedia of Body Piercings: Tragus Cartilage Piercing

Location: through the small nub-like protrusion that covers the opening of the ear canal

Jewelry: initially, a straight barbell or captive ring will be used ranging from 18 gauge (1mm) to 14 gauge (1.6mm) in thickness with a 3/8" (10mm) diameter and lengths of 5/16" (8mm) to 3/8" (10mm) usually used; other jewelry types used can include labret studs, horseshoe circular barbells, and circular rings

Healing: total healing time can be anywhere from 3 to 9 months; often longer

Aftercare: about twice a day, wash with warm water and antibacterial soap; sea salt solutions and sprays can aid with the process and both are recommended for use in an aftercare routine

This popular cartilage piercing should be placed in the center of your intertragus notch well away from the edge and preferably pierced in the natural crease of the skin if your natural anatomy allows.

Fun Fact: According to BBC News, the popularity of the tragus piercing began to emerge in full force around the year 2005.

With tragus piercings, the structure and thickness of the cartilage can vary from person to person. For this reason, you'll want to visit your local piercing professional to see what their expertise has to offer as far as what size jewelry you should be pierced with and if the tragus piercing is even an option for you and your ear at all!

Are you considering getting your tragus pierced but not sure what the actual process entails? Check out the video above from our YouTube channel that shows our pal Jacqui getting her tragus piercing performed by professional piercer James, from American Skin Art in our hometown of Buffalo, NY. 

You'll want to make sure that your initial jewelry is the right size (especially if you choose to be pierced with a ring) for your tragus so that aftercare and the healing process can go as smoothly as possible. Oh, and make sure you use caution when putting things like q-tips or earbuds in your ear after getting your tragus pierced - both can definitely cause irritation with a new piercing in this location.

General Aftercare Tips for Ear Piercings:

  • Avoid smoking, using public telephones, and sleeping directly on your new piercing. 
  • ALWAYS make sure you wash your hands before touching your piercing/its jewelry. 
  • Resist the urge to change your initial jewelry prematurely - it's worth the wait to do it correctly. 

Additionally, piercings in the cartilage of the ear, which lacks an adequate blood supply, makes it more difficult to heal than locations that receive better circulation such as the lobe.

Want to check out some interesting options for your tragus piercing whether you just got it pierced or have had it for years?!

We've got you covered here at BodyCandy.com with a ton of tragus piercing body jewelry to choose from!


This post is included in the Ear Piercing category of our encyclopedia and is joined by many other blog posts about the other piercings available as options in the ear and surrounding areas.

  1. Standard Ear Lobe Piercing
  2. Upper Ear Lobe Piercing
  3. Standard Helix Cartilage Piercing
  4. Forward Helix Cartilage Piercing
  5. Rook Cartilage Piercing
  6. Conch (Inner) Cartilage Piercing
  7. Flat (Scapha/Outer Conch) Cartilage Piercing
  8. Daith Cartilage Piercing
  9. Snug (Anti-Helix) Cartilage Piercing
  10. Industrial Barbell Cartilage Piercing
  11. Tragus Cartilage Piercing
  12. Anti-Tragus Cartilage Piercing
  13. Surface Tragus Piercing

DISCLAIMER: the styles and locations displayed in the reference images featured in this post won't match perfectly with your ear's shape because each and every person has an anatomy that is uniquely individual and some of the piercings featured in our encyclopedia may not be possible for you to get. To find out what piercings are available for you and your specific anatomy, the best option is to visit your local professional piercer and ask for their expertise in determining what piercings are possible for you and your ear!

Do you have your tragus pierced or have an experience about the tragus piercing to share with those who are curious about it?! Please feel free to do so! Just leave a comment below!