Signs That Indicate the Tragus Infection

Consult a dermatologist when you feel any of the following symptoms beyond 3 days.

  • Continued bleeding
  • soreness around the piercing site
  • Jaw pain after tragus piercing
  • yellow or green discharge
  • swelling
  • swollen tragus piercing
  • foul smell emerging from the pierced area

Do not panic, if you suspect that your piercing is infected.. Stay calm and fix an appointment with dermatologist. Never remove the Jewelry by yourself. It may make your infection even worse.

Tragus Piercing Aftercare

Tragus piercing has higher rates of infection. But it is possible to avoid the infection with proper care. Sometimes even the extreme care will worsen the infection. Follow your piercing studio’s advice and stick to it thoroughly. With proper care, your tragus piercing would heal without any issues.

Clean the piercing site and the surrounding area twice a day with the saline solution. Use 3 to 4 Qtips or cotton balls to clean the piercing. You can also use sea salt water solution for cleaning. (Mix 1/4 tea spoon of sea salt with 1 cup of water).Never remove or change the Jewelry by yourself until the piercing heals completely. It may trap infection to other body parts.
Wash your hands using antibacterial solution or antiseptic soap before and after cleaning (touching) the piercing site.Do not use alcohol or any other dehydrating solutions to clean the piercing.
Tie your hair up and make sure your hair or any other products does not come in contact with the pierced site.Never touch the pierced area with your bare hands even if there is any irritation.
Change your pillow covers every day until few weeks.Avoid sleeping on the same side until the piercing heals.
Use separate personal belongings like comb, towel etc.Do not answer the phone call or hold the headset in the pierced ear. Use your other ear to carry out these tasks.

When to See A Doctor?

Though experiencing the above symptoms are completely normal after piercing, if it continues beyond 3 days and it does not respond well to your home remedies, fix an appointment with a dermatologist immediately. You can also contact your piercing studio. They will help you to get a speedy recovery.

How to prevent a tragus piercing becoming infected

The tragus is a small pointed area of cartilage on the inner side of the external ear. Situated in front of the entrance to the ear, it partly covers the passage to the organs of hearing.

The tragus is a favorite place to get an ear piercing, and while it can look great, this type of piercing can easily become infected if it is not cared for properly.

Tragus is also the name of the hair that grows in the ears.

Fast facts on infected tragus piercings:

  • When a person gets a piercing, they essentially have an open wound.
  • Infections develop when viruses, bacteria, fungi, or other microbes enter a person’s body.
  • Treatment options vary according to the severity of the infection.

What are the symptoms?


Pain or discomfort, as well as redness, may indicate an infection.

A person who has had their tragus pierced should keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of an infection so that it can be treated and managed. To identify an infection, a person needs to know what to expect after a tragus piercing.

For around 2 weeks, it is typical to experience:

  • throbbing and discomfort around the area
  • redness
  • heat radiating from the area
  • clear or light yellow seepage from the wound

These are all typical symptoms of the body beginning to heal the wound. Although it can sometimes take around 8 weeks for the wound to fully heal, these symptoms should not last more than 2 weeks.

Infection may be present if a person experiences:

  • swelling that does not go down after 48 hours
  • heat or warmth that does not go away or gets more intense
  • inflammation and redness that does not disappear after 2 weeks
  • intense pain
  • excessive bleeding
  • yellow or dark pus seeping from the wound, particularly pus that gives off an unpleasant door
  • a bump which can appear either at the front or back of the piercing site

If anyone suspects that they may have an infection, they should talk to a healthcare professional.

What are the treatment options?

Some infections may require a prescription from a doctor. Common treatment options are:

  • oral antibiotics
  • topical antibiotics
  • topical steroids

Once treated, piercings typically heal fully.

How to avoid an infected tragus

Choose wisely

Make sure that the piercing studio is reputable, licensed and follows good hygiene practices.

Avoid touching the piercing

Only touch your piercing when necessary after thoroughly washing hands with antibacterial soap. Do not remove or change the jewelry until the piercing has fully healed.

Clean the piercing

Clean the piercing regularly using a saline solution. Most piercers will provide information on how to properly clean the piercing after they have done it.

Avoid products that may irritate the wound

Avoiding irritating products and chemicals, such as rubbing alcohol, may help to prevent infection.

Products that may irritate the piercing wound include:

  • some ear care solutions
  • rubbing alcohol
  • hydrogen peroxide

Also, avoid the following ointments, which can create a barrier over the wound site, preventing proper air circulation:

  • Hibiclens
  • Bacitracin
  • Neosporin

Apply a warm compress

A warm compress can be very soothing on a new piercing and can help reduce redness and swelling and encourage the wound to heal faster. A clean towel soaked in warm water can be helpful.

Alternatively, making a warm compress from chamomile tea bags can be very effective.

Use an antibacterial cream

Applying a mild antibacterial cream can help kill off the bacteria that cause infection.

Keep sheets clean

Make sure to change bed sheets regularly. This will reduce the number of bacteria that can come into contact with the ear while sleeping. Try to sleep on the side that is not pierced, so the wound does not press into sheets and pillows.

Do not aggravate the wound site

Keep hair tied back so it cannot get caught in the piercing and be careful when dressing or brushing hair.

Avoid water

Baths, swimming pools, and even long showers can all increase the risk of infection.

Stay healthy

While the wound is healing it is best to avoid drugs, alcohol and smoking all of which can increase the healing time. Paying close attention to personal hygiene and following good hygiene practices will also minimize the risk of infection and help the piercing to heal faster.

Are there any risks?

Most ear piercing infections can be treated if caught early and properly managed. However, if left untreated, it is possible for an infection to become severe and enter the bloodstream. Infections near the head and brain can be particularly dangerous.

Sepsis is a potentially deadly condition that must be treated quickly.

Symptoms of sepsis and septic shock include:

  • a high temperature or low body temperature
  • chills and shivering
  • an unusually fast heartbeat
  • breathlessness or very fast breathing
  • feeling dizzy or faint
  • confusion or disorientation
  • diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • slurred speech
  • extreme muscle pain
  • unusually low urine production
  • cold, clammy, and pale or mottled skin
  • loss of consciousness

If any of the above symptoms occur after having a tragus piercing, seek medical attention immediately.

Editor in Chief

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