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Tragus Piercing Pain: How Much Do They Hurt?

Tragus Piercing Pain: Trendy ear-piercing variants are the most popular in almost every piercing studio. However, not all ear piercings are as low on the pain scale as the popular flap piercing.

Fortunately, I have some information to help you understand all there is to know about tragus-piercing pain and what to do to overcome it successfully.

Will a tragus piercing definitely hurt?

Simply put, yes. All piercings hurt. However, everyone has pain differently, and if you tend to tolerate pain well, a tragus piercing probably won’t be a big deal for you.

Just because you don’t tolerate pain particularly well doesn’t mean a tragus piercing is unbearable. The initial pain is over pretty quickly and you will completely forget about it once you have an amazing fully healed tragus piercing.

Tragus Piercing Pain
Tragus Piercing Pain

How bad will the pain be?

What you should know about tragus piercings is that they go through cartilage in your ear. Although, as you can see by looking at or touching your ear, the cartilage is thicker in some places than in others. In general, the thicker or harder the cartilage, the more painful a piercing in this area.

The cartilage in your tragus (the little lobe on the front of your ear) is extremely flexible, making it one of the less painful areas to have to be pierced.

You can expect a stinging sensation when the needle goes into the skin along with some pressure, but it should go through quickly and easily and make the pain fleeting.

It is generally accepted that the tragus area has fewer nerve endings than other parts of the body, which limits the pain felt in that area and the needle used during the procedure is thin and sharp. The sharper and thinner a needle, the less painful it will feel.

You can even hear what sounds like a crunch or a pop, but don’t be alarmed. It’s just that the tragus is extremely close to your ear canal so you’re more likely to hear the sounds of the needle going through the cartilage, which is pretty hard and gross.

Infected Industrial Piercing

Tragus Piercing Pain

How long does a tragus piercing hurt?

Although the initial pain from the needle is brief and only lasts a few seconds, you will feel some pain during the healing process. Usually the tenderness and swelling go away in less than a week. If it takes longer, you should return to your piercer to make sure the jewelry isn’t too tight or you don’t have an infection.

What Factors Can Affect Tragus Piercing Pain?

Aside from your personal pain tolerance, here are a few things that can affect how much your tragus piercing will hurt.

How rested you are

I always advise people to get their piercings done after a full night’s sleep the night before. That goes for every piercing. Your body just tolerates pain better when you’ve allowed it to rest and recharge.

How well you take care of yourself in general

Anything damaging your health is stressful for your body, and if your body is already stressed it will not be able to handle the added stress of a piercing well.

Make sure you eat healthily and avoid smoking or drinking too much before you get pierced. It will really make a difference.

Use of a numbing product

Some people like to use a topical anesthetic to relieve sharp pain. It can help, but it doesn’t work for every single person.

However, don’t use the type of products you spray on to freeze the area. They can increase the damage to the pierced tissue and extend healing times.

One of the most effective piercing numbing products out there is Numb 520 cream. The feedback hundreds of customers have left on this product is nothing short of brilliant.

Just follow the directions on the tub, apply just before your piercing process begins, and look forward to a less painful experience.

Piercer experience and technique

Just as each individual’s pain tolerance varies, so does each piercer’s technique. Some are rougher and others know how to keep the pain as low as possible. The only way to know is by asking others who have used that particular piercer.

In general, a piercer who has been performing tragus piercings for several years will give you a better experience than someone who has just started. So if you are concerned about pain, ask for someone with more experience.

mental state

Yes, as you think, it can make a huge difference in how you experience pain. If you freak out that it’s going to be awful, you won’t have as good an experience as taking a few calming breaths and reminding yourself how quickly it will be over.

Tragus Piercing Pain

Ways To Deal With Tragic Piercing Pain

The pain will pretty much be what it is. So what can you do to cope better with it? Here are my suggestions:

Distract yourself

You can’t actually listen to headphones while having your tragus pierced, but you can stick an earbud in the ear that is not pierced. Listening to music has been shown to reduce pain in a variety of settings. You can also try talking to your piercer or bringing in a friend to talk to during the piercing.

Think about the results

Instead of thinking about the painful process of piercing, think about the great piercing you will have when it is done. Thinking about results really puts this into perspective as the initial prick only takes a few seconds, but you should be able to keep and enjoy your tragus piercing for many years to come.

Feel comfortable

On the day of your piercing appointment, wear comfortable clothing so you can feel relaxed during the process. You would be surprised how much extra tension you are holding in your body when clothes are tightening. If you have any illness, postponing your tragus piercing when you feel better.

Eat before you go to the store

Having something to eat will make sure your blood sugar is not low when you pierce your tragus. Low blood levels can make the pain feel sharper and make you pass out. That’s because the trauma of piercing can lower your blood sugar.

Educate yourself

After reading articles like this one, you’ll know what to expect when getting a piercing. It will also help you know the right steps to avoid pain during the piercing process and later while practicing piercing aftercare.

Knowing what to expect can put off some of the fears you may have experienced when your tragus gets pierced. Remember, the pain we normally experience is nowhere near as bad as we imagine.

Tragus Piercing Pain


Tragus piercing pain can be a worrying thought ahead of your appointment, but keep in mind that it really is one of the less painful types of piercings. As with any cartilage piercing, all you need to do is follow good aftercare and keep your hands off the piercing for it to heal quickly and overcome the pain.

The tragus can feel tender for the first week after the procedure, especially since part of your ear moves when you speak or chew.

If you want to make sure your piercing is healing as well as possible, it is important to follow your piercer’s aftercare recommendations closely and invest in a quality aftercare solution to aid recovery.

The best piercing aftercare product that I have been able to use so far is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. It is not only vegan-friendly, but also completely free of alcohol and additives. The solution is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and comes in a generous spray bottle for easy application.

When used from the beginning, the spray will shorten healing times and aim to relieve persistent aches or pains.

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