Anti-Tragus Piercing: Pain, Healing Time, Cost, Jewelry, Sizes, Aftercare

Anti-Tragus Piercing: Pain, Healing Time, Cost, Jewelry, Sizes, Aftercare

What Is An Anti-Tragus Piercing? 

The anti-tragus piercing goes through the flap of skin above your earlobe and adjacent to the tragus.

The size and shape of this area depend on the individual, but most people can find their anti-tragus by feeling for the two fin-like pieces of cartilage just outside their ear canal.

The one closest to your face is the tragus, and the one sitting on the top edge of your earlobe is the anti-tragus.

Anti-Tragus Piercing Pain

Does anti-tragus piercing hurt? On a typical 1-10 scale, most people report a pain level of 4-6 for this piercing.

This is because the piercing goes through cartilage tissue, which is thicker and more challenging to pierce than regular skin.

After receiving the piercing, the average level of pain during the healing period is reported to be around 2-3 for the first few days.

Anti-Tragus Healing Time

How long does anti-tragus take to heal? The average healing time is 6-12 months, but it can easily take up to two years due to the location of the piercing itself.

Like many other cartilage piercings, the anti-tragus piercing requires a longer healing period than the typical earlobe piercing.

Its position near your hair and face, along with daily exposure to pillowcases and cell phones, provides countless opportunities for introducing bacteria.

Cartilage is also slower to heal overall. This poses an infection risk that can complicate your recovery.

For best results, make sure to keep your new piercing clean, follow all aftercare instructions, and prioritize your health to support the internal healing process.

Anti-Tragus Piercing Cost

The average cost of an anti-tragus piercing is $30-$100. The actual price you end up paying will depend on a few factors, including your location, your piercer’s experience level, and whether or not jewelry is included.

Note that you will need high-quality jewelry for a fresh piercing, which may seem more expensive compared to everyday jewelry. Experienced and established piercers tend to be more expensive, as well.

For the best possible results, it’s always recommended to seek a knowledgeable professional who has experience performing your desired piercing.

Anti-Tragus Piercing Jewelry: Types

1. Anti Tragus Hoop

Nose ring hoop 6mm 8mm 10 mm simple and minimalist hinged segment clicker $17.9, SHOP NOW.

Wearing ring or hoop-type jewelry in your anti-tragus is a good way to draw attention to the piercing, express your individuality, and add some visual interest and texture to your overall look.

However, hoops can easily become snagged and tug on your ear, so it’s best to wait until your piercing has healed completely before wearing this type of jewelry.

16 gauge captive bead ring implant-grade titanium $18.9, SHOP NOW.

Seamless rings, captive bead rings, and “huggie hoops” are some common examples of hoops that can be worn in the anti-tragus.

2. Anti Tragus Barbell/Bar

Curved barbell piercing ASTM F136 implant-grade titanium internally threaded $16.9, SHOP NOW.

A barbell consists of a post with a bead on each end. This type of jewelry can be found in a variety of sizes, colors, materials, and even alternative bead shapes.

Curved barbells are more popular for the anti-tragus because the curved shape hugs the edge of the ear, which is visually more attractive than a straight barbell.

If you intend to wear hoops in your anti-tragus piercing one day, ask your piercer about getting pierced and fitted with a curved barbell.

3. Anti Tragus Stud

Piercing stud implant-grade titanium with cubic zirconia 16G $18.9, SHOP NOW.

By far, studs are the most popular type of jewelry worn in the anti-tragus piercing. Because the piercing area itself is rather small, many people choose to use their anti-tragus as an accent rather than the main focal point of their ear, making studs perfect for this purpose.

Diamond labret stud flat back stud with a clear crystal 16G implant-grade titanium $16.9, SHOP NOW.

Studs are compact, affordable, and available in a wide variety of styles. For the anti-tragus specifically, a screw-on stud with a flat back is recommended due to the limited space inside the ear.

Anti-Tragus Jewelry Size

1. Anti Tragus Gauge Size: 16 or 18 Gauge

Jewelry gauge refers to the thickness of the post that goes through the piercing itself, with higher numbers corresponding to a thinner post.

With that said, the typical gauge size for the anti-tragus is 16 or 18, depending on the size of the needle used by the piercer.

2. Diameter: 6-8mm

Diameter refers to the length of a hoop or ring, measuring from one side to the other. In the world of body jewelry, this number is expressed in millimeters.

In general, anti-tragus hoops should be large enough to provide a loose, comfortable fit but small enough to avoid getting caught on foreign objects.

The right size depends on your personal anatomy and tastes, but the most popular diameter for anti-tragus jewelry is between 6-8mm.

3.Length: 6-8mm

Like the diameter, the post length for your jewelry should be long enough to be comfortable but short enough to fit inside the limited space behind the anti-tragus.

A length of 6mm-8mm should be adequate for this piercing. This is slightly smaller than a standard earlobe stud, which can measure up to 11mm.

Recommended Materials for Anti Tragus Piercing Jewelry

1. Titanium: About $20-$40

Titanium has a reputation for being the best metal for piercings for many reasons. It is lightweight, hypoallergenic, durable, nickel-free, non-corrosive, and won’t tarnish.

Its non-porous nature reduces places bacteria can hide, promoting healing.

Titanium is also hypoallergenic, meaning it is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Titanium is nickel-free.

Its high density-to-strength ratio means your jewelry is very durable.

A lower density also makes Titanium lightweight, a big plus in many user's eyes. Finally, the metal comes in many colors because you can anodize it.

The only real downside to titanium jewelry is that you will pay more for all those positive traits. Shop for implant-grade titanium with designations like ASTM F-136, ASTM F-67, or ISO 5832-3.

2. Surgical Steel: About $5-$30

Although surgical steel is nonreactive, it can contain nickel. Choose a different option if you are concerned about irritation or a nickel allergy.

Steel combines iron and carbon, improving its strength and ability to resist fracturing. 

However, this silver alloy can contain other elements, including nickel. Make sure to buy surgical-grade steel jewelry. These will have ratings: ASTM F-138, ISO 5832-1, ISO 10993-6, ISO 10993-10, or ISO 10993-11.

One of the pros most people cite for steel jewelry pieces is the lower price point. Steel is also a durable option. These pieces are low maintenance because the steel does not corrode, rust, or tarnish.

Weight is the top complaint for those using steel jewelry pieces. Steel can be less comfortable if worn in piercings for long periods. 

3. Solid Gold: About $40-$200

This metal will not rust or tarnish. It is also easy to decorate and shape. The added alloys in 18k, and especially 14k, make them more durable than 24k gold pieces.

One downside to gold jewelry is the price tag, which is expensive. Another concern will be that the metal is soft, making it susceptible to bends, breaks, and gouges. Gold can also be heavy, especially with more pure karat ratings.

4. Niobium: About $20-$60

Niobium is a light grey metal known for its hardness that is like titanium. The metal resists corrosion and tarnishing like others on the list, creating minimal maintenance for you.

It might be the best metal for a piercing if you want titanium-like durability with more malleability. That extra pliability makes it easier for jewelers to shape pieces. Niobium can come in various colors as it is something that you can anodize.

The only real downsides are that it weighs a bit more than titanium and you will likely pay a bit more due to the process involved in manufacturing this metal.


Anti Tragus Swelling

Swelling is the body’s natural response to trauma and a good sign that the body’s healing process is working. The initial swelling should eventually go down as long as you clean your piercing and follow any other aftercare instructions provided by your piercer.

Taking an NSAID, like ibuprofen, can also be helpful by soothing inflammation and supporting fluid drainage.

Anti Tragus Infection

Unfortunately, infections are very common for cartilage piercings, and the anti-tragus piercing is no exception.

Symptoms include prolonged swelling, pain, heat, and excess redness. You’ll probably experience some of these symptoms if your piercing is fresh, but any symptoms that get worse or don’t resolve with time are indicative of an infection.

If an infection is suspected, it’s possible to reverse it in its early stages by paying more attention to daily cleansing and personal hygiene.

Anti Tragus Bump

If your piercing is new, you may develop a hard bump on or near your piercing site. This is a collection of white blood cells that may form as part of the recovery process. Some people are more prone to developing these bumps than others, but they should go away with some supportive care.

Meanwhile, a bump that doesn’t go away or is accompanied by pain and itchiness may be a sign of an infection.

How to Clean Anti Tragus Piercing?

You should start cleaning your piercing the same day you receive it. Be sure to take the following steps to keep it clean and reduce potential risks:

  1. Wash your hand before touching the piercing.
  2. Clean the area 2 times daily using a sterile saline solution, warm sea salt water, a piercing aftercare spray, or a wound wash.
  3. Soak a clean paper towel in whichever solution you choose and hold it against your piercing for 2-5 minutes.
  4. When you shower, allow the water to flow over your piercing for about 30 seconds. This process can also wipe away any crust that appears.
  5. Do not use moisturizers, as they can clog up pores near the piercing and cause infection.

Anti Tragus Piercing Aftercare

Adhering to appropriate aftercare techniques is essential, regardless of the type of piercing. By following these tips, you increase your chances of a smoother healing process:

  • Avoid sleeping on the ear you had pierced.
  • Do not touch the piercing to avoid irritation and risk of infection.
  • Use safe metals like K gold and implant-grade titanium that you aren’t allergic to.
  • Clean the area 2 times daily using a sterile saline solution, warm sea salt water, a piercing aftercare spray, or a wound wash.
  • Do not use harsh chemicals to clean the piercing such as hydrogen peroxide.
  • Do not use a swimming pool, sauna, or hot tub while your piercing is healing.
  • Wait until your piercing heals before changing out your jewelry.
  • Watch for potential signs of infection and consult your piercer or doctor if it becomes infected.  
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