Want to Get Pierced in an Odd Place? Here's What to Expect

Tragus piercing experienceI'm not exactly sure what possessed me last week, but I decided that I wanted to get my tragus pierced (the part of your ear closest to your cheek). I have a bunch of tattoos and I've had my ear lobes and belly button pierced, so I thought I was pretty familiar with the process.

But after watching a bunch of tragus-piercing videos on YouTube, I started to get a little nervous. Lucky for me, I had a great experience, and it's healing up fine.

So if you've wanted to get your own tragus or other unusual body part pierced -- or think you might in the future -- I've got all the gory (or really, not so gory) details for you ...


So first, I checked Yelp reviews for a reputable piercing studio in Atlanta where I live, and found The Piercing Experience, which is pretty serious about sterilization and quality materials. When I arrived, I liked that it was actually more like a studio and less like a tattoo parlor with piercing on the side.

I spoke with the piercer, Christina, about my past allergic reactions to metals. In fact, that's why I took out my naval ring and earrings. She told me that many people have reactions to nickel in the metal, and that anyone getting a piercing would want to make sure that they are getting high-quality titanium at minimum (which is nickel-free). I chose a small 14-gauge diamond titanium stud for my tragus piercing.

Also, you want to be sure that the studio does not use jewelry with external threads, which can actually tear and damage your body part. Internal threads are much safer!

Once I was ready, I headed back to a room that looked like a doctor's office, completely white, sterile, and very quiet. She told me everything that she was doing, like measuring the spot on my ear, figuring out where to put the hole, and preparing it with iodine.

Then she told me to breathe in and let it all out while she pierced me. And wow, I barely felt anything but a mild pinch. A few twists to put in the jewelry and I was completely done. Easy!

My piercer was very firm about aftercare instructions, particularly that I should not get my piercing wet if possible and no shampoo or soap. She said treat it like an eyeball; anything you wouldn't want in your eye you wouldn't want in your piercing. And she told me to avoid sleeping on that side if I could.

It's been about a week now and I've had no issues whatsoever. It was definitely sore after the piercing, but nothing unbearable. And I love the way it looks. The only problem: I'm completely addicted and want to get another piercing! Next up, my helix.

Do you have any unusual body piercings?

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