The tragus is the cartilage in front of the opening of the ear. Like other parts of the ear, the tragus can be pierced and adorned with jewelry.
Unlike piercings of the ear lobe, a pierced tragus can take up to a year to heal. During that time, you’ll want to take extra care to make sure the piercing doesn’t get infected.
Aftercare is a matter of keeping the piercing clean and dry. That means keeping soapy water away from your piercing when washing your hair and wiping away sweat immediately.
As a part of the ear, the tragus is susceptible to heavy bleeding if torn, so it’s a good idea to stay away from body contact sports while your piercing heals. If you can plan ahead, you might want to get your tragus piercing after basketball, football and hockey seasons.
While your tragus piercing heals, wear jewelry made of titanium, tantalum, zirconium, pure refined gold, platinum or niobium, as there is a large body of evidence showing the human body tolerates these metals well.
Avoid any form of steel (even surgical or implant steel) because steel contains nickel. Long-term contact of skin to nickel is known to cause discoloration, soft tissue damage, nerve damage, micro-circulation damage and excess scar tissue. One in ten people also have an allergic reaction to steel containing nickel.
Nickel is such a problem that, once your piercing heals, you should only wear steel jewelry for 24 hours or less.
Avoid wearing acrylic jewelry, as it contains chemicals known to cause cancer. Acrylic cannot be properly sterilized. It melts in an autoclave, and it bonds with chemical cleaners, which are then released as a poison when the jewelry is worn.