By Cassie, from Tazmania.
I decided to get my Tragus pierced after seeing a girl with a beautiful diamond stud in hers at a pub one night. It looked gorgeous!
I had never noticed anyone with one before – I thought it looked fantastic. After that, I did notice a few around but not many. So at 26, I made an appointment!
I went to the clinic that had pierced my belly button 12 months earlier. That grew out in the end, sometimes they just don’t work and that’s that! They told me that Tragus piercings generally heal pretty well unless something unpleasant happens like a blow to the ear or if you keep fiddling with it. My appointment was not for another 2 days, so I continued to research it to see what kind of experience I was in for. Most of what I read by people who had had it done said it was no big deal – but then I found the internet videos of people actually having it done – big mistake! Most people were screaming in pain as it was done (some before the needle had even came near them…) and thrashig around in the chairs… “Oh dear…” I thought. I thought about when I had had my ears pierced, and the top cartilage in my right ear, and my belly button (twice), and couldn’t remember it being all that bad… but I couldn’t get those screaming little girls out of my head! I came to the conclusion that most videos of piercings wouldn’t make it to the net if they weren’t action packed full of drama and screaming.
Then some mates told me of people they knew who had thrown up and passed out while getting it done… yay… I decided that although I thought I would be alright, I better call in some back-up to come with me in case I had a “funny turn”. Luckily, my boyfriend wasn’t working that day, so he became by backup driver.
My piercer was lovely. She explained it all to me before I went in, and as she had her own Tragus pierced I guessed she should know what she was talking about. She told me to sit down on the bed while she put my backup driver to work…
He had a very important job to do, he had to hold the wooden paddle stick behind my ear so the needle didn’t pop out the other side and go further than it had to. She explained that while she would usually do this herself, it gave the guests something useful to do and stop them fidgeting and putting the patient off! She had all the equipment ready to go, the only thing that was not packed in sterile wrapping was the 16 x 10 surgical stainless steel bar which would be my first piece of jewelry. This she had removed from the cabinet and cleaned while we were waiting to go in. She cleaned, marked and clamped the Tragus and made sure my man was holding the wooden paddle tightly and in the right place, and pierced it with a plastic needle.
To me, I guess it hurt a bit, but nothing to serious… it seemed no different to my belly button had apart from the loud squishing noise of the needle going though (amplified because it was close to my ear). When the plastic needle was though, the back of the bar was inserted into the neede and pulled into position. The ball was screwed on, and the process was complete! My man was so proud of the job that he did holding the wooden paddle, he wanted to keep the stick and take it home! He nearly got it through the door before I spotted it and told him to throw it away – I am the first to admit that I like keepsakes, but that was just ridiculous!
My ear felt hot for a couple of hours afterwards, and occasionally gets itchy inside the ear (I suspect that it may be run-off cleaning solution causing this – if I tilt my head when I clean it so the solution runs out, my ear doesn’t itch). My piercer told me to clean it twice a day with Ear Care solution. After 8 weeks I am able to change the jewelry, although it may hurt to lay on it for up to a year. I remember when I got my ear cartilage done 10 years ago it took close to a year to sleep comfortably on that side, so I am prepared for that. I am also told that wearing bud headphones is a no no until it has healed properly – !
old school hollowed out headphones it is then!
If the piercing continues to go well with just the Ear Care solution, I will stick to that. If it changes, I will investigate soaking it in sea salt. I think that I never quite got the salt mix right when attempting to heal my belly button, it often itched quite a bit after soaking it and would feel quite dry… So unless I have to I will just stick with what my piercer told me.
After my belly button ring growing out I have learnt my lesson on buying heaps of jewelry before I am sure the piercing will heal properly. I bought lots of pretty belly bars from all over the internet which are now useless. I will allow myself to buy one sparkly tragus stud though. I have seen some really nice ones on the internet… I like my shiny things!