Infected Tragus Piercings: Symptoms & Treatment

Tragus Piercing Infections: Symptoms & Treatment

Tragus piercings are often seen as some of the most eye-catching ear piercings of all and have become really popular in recent years. Unfortunately, tragus piercing infections are also a very real possibility if you’re not very careful with your ear-piece.

Infections aside – the tragus is the small flap of cartilage that is located right next to the outside of your ear canal. If your tragus piercing is taken care of, it can be a really attractive, low maintenance piercing that you’ll enjoy having for years to come.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about infected tragus piercings, including how to prevent them, and what to do in the event of an infection setting in.

Tragus Piercing Infection

What is a Tragus Piercing infection?

Unfortunately, infections are a possibility with any type of piercing. Tragus piercings are certainly no exception. A tragus piercing infection takes place in the hours and days after the piercing is completed and can include a variety of symptoms that can be seen and felt.

Read on as we discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment methods for tragus piercing infections.

What Causes Tragus Piercing Infections?

As with all infections, the biggest cause of tragus piercing infections is related to a lack of necessary preventative care. For instance, when people do not clean their piercings properly, infections can easily occur.

In addition, tragus piercing infections sometimes happen when an inexperienced body piercer does the piercing and fails to do it the correct way. The exposure of the tragus only heightens the possibility of infection, since your tragus is hard to cover up and is regularly exposed to dirt, germs, and other contaminants.

Is My Tragus Piercing Infected? – Sign & Symptoms Of Tragus Piercing Infections

Tragus piercing infections are never a positive development, but fortunately, they’re easy to detect and can then be dealt with appropriately. If you end up with a tragus piercing infection, you’ll be able to not only see it, but feel it.

Tragus pain and swelling will nearly always occur when you get a new piercing, but if the pain and swelling persist longer than a few days after your piercing was done, there is likely a problem.

That’s when you should have your piercing checked out, as the continued pain and swelling could be a warning sign of infection.

Visually, you’re likely to notice not only the afore-mentioned swelling, but also other signs, such as redness and inflammation. You may even be able to see sores around your piercing or the discharge of discolored fluids from the area of your piercing.

While continued pain is one sign of a tragus piercing infection, increasing pain is also a telltale sign. Your pain levels shouldn’t increase in the days after your piercing is done. If this happens, get your piercing looked at right away.

How To Treat An Infected Tragus Piercing

This is an important section, because what most people instinctively do is not the right response when you develop an infected tragus piercing. What is this instinctive action? Taking out your jewelry.

It may seem like taking out your jewelry is a good idea when you’ve developed an infected piercing, but if your piercing is fresh, this can allow it to close up.

If your piercing does close up, it will trap the infection inside and be unable to heal properly. Consult with your body piercing professional before taking off your jewelry.

The best course of treatment is the same as your aftercare routine, which includes regular, but not excessive cleaning.

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan-friendly, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.

However, there are also other methods of caring for infected piercings, such as pressing lukewarm chamomile tea bags against the infected area.

6 Important Ear Piercing Aftercare Steps You Must Ensure You Take:

What Happens After A Tragus Piercing Infection?

Make sure that you’ve consulted with your body piercer about what steps to take. Follow the instructions that you’ve been given and don’t do anything such as removing jewelry without being advised to do so.

There are other things that you should also avoid after sustaining a tragus piercing infection. For instance, don’t swim, because chlorinated water will often complicate your infection and make it worse.

Many people with piercings believe that chlorinated water can help keep their piercings clean, but this isn’t the case.

If you wear makeup, be very careful about keeping your makeup away from your piercing. This shouldn’t be a problem with a tragus piercing, (in the way that it might be with facial piercings), but there are other risks associated with ear piercings.

For example, shampoo can collect itself underneath your jewelry, which isn’t going to be helpful at all. Rinse the area well when you shower and continue your aftercare program to keep your infection from recurring.

How To Prevent Tragus Piercing Infections In The Future

Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you may guess to prevent tragus piercing infections. The fundamental point to take away from this is to have your tragus piercing performed by an experienced professional.

True professional body piercers know how to perform the piercing the right way and provide you with the guidance you need for proper aftercare.

Your tragus piercing may cost slightly more when done by an experienced professional, but this small additional charge is definitely worth it in the long run.

The jewelry that you choose will also play a large part in whether you develop an infection or not. It’s important to choose hypoallergenic materials for your jewelry to ensure that you don’t develop an infection.

Select non-corrosive jewelry that fits well, as tight jewelry can cause discomfort and help infections develop.

Finally, your regular cleaning and care regimen is of the utmost importance. If you don’t follow the care guidelines you’ve been given, you put yourself at the unnecessary risk of developing a painful and annoying tragus piercing infection.


In the vast majority of all cases, tragus piercings are very uneventful and don’t lead to any complications.

However, if you don’t follow your aftercare instructions, don’t get your piercing done by an experienced professional, or neglect to respond to an infection right away by following your body piercer’s instructions, you can increase your risk considerably.

Ultimately, it will be up to you to keep up with your regular care for your tragus piercing and keep infections from happening.

If you do everything you’re supposed to, and keep an eye out for any possible signs of a tragus piercing infection, you can usually prevent it from happening relatively well, and take care of it quickly in the event that it does unfortunately arise.