Do you have a swollen tragus piercing? Does it hurt? Are the signs similar to any infections of an ear piercing? Can tragus can get infected after it is pierced and it has healed. In this article, we shall set a stage to enable you to have a good idea and be able to spot infection signs, such as bumps and how to treat and take proper care of your pierced tragus.
Ear piercing has become fashionably popular these days and has hit the beauty industry by storm. Interestingly, nowadays it is not a body modification majorly for the females. Men have also unsurprisingly joined ear piercing race.
The other main purpose besides cosmetics and beauty is to have a jewelry to bring out its meaning of beauty. Before you go for this body modification, find out more about your skin by visiting a dermatologist. This will help you in selecting the best jewelry including earrings, studs, etc. That is not what this post will focus on. We are going to dwell mainly on infected ones
Let us start by looking at signs of infection.
Signs and symptoms
Does infected tragus piercing hurt? Is your pierced ear tragus really infected? To tell, you need to know some of the symptoms in case of an infection. Some of these symptoms are just visible indicators to alarm you that it may be infected or something has gone wrong with your piercing. The following are signs of infection common to most cartilaginous piercing.
Swelling and pain
This is a common sign of an infection. For you to know that a swollen is really an infection sign, it normally causes other symptoms like warmness around the tragus. The swelling will last for as long as 48 hours – which is not typical of normal swelling that may occur after you have just had your piercing.
Redness around the pierced site
The area around the site may turn red or undergo a skin color change. If it gets inflamed or has signs of tragus inflammation, there is a likely problem with tragus ear piercing jewelry that you are wearing, but that should not give you a leeway to remove or change it. Simply go back to your piercer and complain about it.
A sign of infection in this ear piercing is exhibited by excessive bleeding by itself even without touching the studs or earrings. This bleeding might be mixed with pus. However, bleeding could also be a sign of injury on it.
This is another sign as well as a symptom that will help you know if your tragus ear piercing or any other has become infected. Bumps may appear behind or in front of the side. We shall look at it later with more details.
Pus or drainage
Drainage may even occur in absence of formation of bumps. However, there are many complains of pus from bumps from ladies and gentlemen who have badly infected tragus ear piercings.
Why is my tragus piercing infected causes
I think my piercing has an infection? What causes it to get infected? The following are reasons to explain why your pierced tragus is most probably infected.
Unsterilized piercing equipment
The number one cause of infection is due to using contaminated tools during the process. This is most evident if you get your piercing from untrained and unqualified piercer or people who are training in salons.
Also, remember that if your piercer has poor handling, infections can be transmitted to equipment through touching. Symptoms usually appear after 2 to 3 days from the time of piercing.
Unprofessional or poor piercing
When you say your piercing has an infection, the question that should come to mind is “where did your tragus pierced”? Poor process could be a result of using both inappropriate equipment and method. One of this equipment is the piercing gun which is not appropriate for the tragus. Additionally, this makes it to hurt.
Poor personal hygiene
Whether it is during the healing process or after properly healing, poor hygiene at individual level can lead to infections after a year. The main problem however is that when your hygiene is poor you get frequent infections after weeks or months. And this slows down healing while increasing the expected timeline.
If you will ignore or fail to follow the correct aftercare procedures be sure to suffer the consequences one of which is infections. Touching with dirty hands or letting others touch it can lead to recurring infections.
Any physical injury to your it can make it be more vulnerable to an infection. In essence, it is not the injury itself that is the immediate cause of an infection but rather the resulting effects such as wounds that may be left exposed to things like germs.
For instance, if jewelry hoop gets entangled or caught by hooks can cause a serious injury and trauma. Moreover, “inserting jewelry at wrong angles can also cause injuries or even tragus piercing bleeding.” [healcure.org].
Ensure that you only place a correct size of jewelry (bar, stud) after piercing, during healing and after completely healing. Otherwise placement of too tight jewelry can lead to formation of bumps or bubbles round the piercing.
After you get your tragus pierced, your piercer should give you detailed instructions on how to take good care of the piercing. In order to promote and enhance healing, ensure that you have followed all the aftercare procedures. These involve various DOs and DON’Ts to keep ‘pierce wound’ safe from risks of getting damaged or being infected.
Some people take this area for granted and tend to ignore it. Failure to adhere to these aftercare tips may result to developing other health complications as we shall see. First though, find out what these aftercare routine entails.
1. How to clean an infected tragus piercing
First of all is keeping area tidy and clean if you are to dream of ever having a proper, quicker and easier healing time without tragus getting infections. How should I do cleaning and what should I use to clean?
These are some of the cleaning solutions, agents and substances to use. Most importantly, consider your piercer’s instruction as first hand and reliable way of doing it. Some of the popular substances used include:
- Sea salt soak,
- Antibacterial solutions such as Dial antibacterial soap,
- Tea tree oil which can also be used to treat tragus piercing bumps.
- Rubbing alcohol,
- Saline solutions,
Clean gently at least twice each day using cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol or saline solutions, or sea salt soak.
If you feel that rubbing alcohol triggers tragus inflammation after cleaning you should suspend its use. This may happen in some few individuals and not others.
CAUTION: DO NOT use hydrogen peroxide and harsh (chemical containing) soaps to clean a fresh piercing because alcohol contains irritants that may lead to dryness in skin (tragus inflammation).
2. Avoid touching your piercing
Secondly, unless you are cleaning avoid touching your pierced tragus or jewelry using your hands or some other tools. Touching is one of the easiest ways of transferring germs and infection-causing bacteria, fungi or even virus. Besides it being a risk to infections, touching your earring or studs too often (especially soon after piercing) can cause unnecessary bleeding.
3. Avoid ear devices
Avoid all kind of earphones immediately after getting a bew piercing and during the whole healing time. You are also advised to minimize direct contact with communicating devices such as mobile phones or receiver handles found at public booths.
4. Do not scrape the crust
It is expected that your area around piercing hole will form a crust after week or so. At times it may become slightly itchy. Do NOT try to scrape it off. Instead use treatments or apply appropriate remedies. It may cause your tragus to start bleeding hence increasing chances of an infection. This is considered as part of healing.
5. Avoid changing jewelry
Trying to remove or changing your initial jewelry is like suicidal attempts. This is prohibited and in fact your healthcare provider must have explained to you particularly in the first few weeks. Removing your jewelry might result to the piercing closing or could worsen an infection if it already occurred.
6. Avoid swimming
Another thing to forget for a while is swimming in pools with chlorinated water because chlorine can lead to inflammation. Again, if the water is not sufficiently replenished, it could be a source of infection to your pierced tragus.
7. Good personal hygiene
Finally, ensure that your hair is always clean and dry at all times to minimize chances of germ buildup on your head. It is also prudent to hold your hair with a bun or plait to prevent it from coming into contact with the ear. Above all, keep your body always clean after working or exercises.
In that respect, do a regular washing of your pillows, sheets or sleeping caps. While sleeping, avoid the side of head with piercing (especially in the first two to three weeks of healing) because it could interfere with the studs or cause bleeding.
How do they look like
Before looking at treating and healing methods take a look at these tragus pierce pictures. Are they similar to those signs causing the suffering that you are going through?
Are the above pictures making you nervous or suspicious of having infection symptoms? Do not panic. You can deal with that by learning the right methods of treatment and what to do as far as healing an it is anyone’s target.
Saline solutions can be used as a treatment for infected piercing and also for cleaning. In case you have noticed the infection symptoms, disinfect your hands, dip a clean cotton bud in saline solution then apply to the area.
To heal one that drains pus or debris you need to seek medication from a medical doctor. This is important because you may need an examination so as to determine the seriousness of the infection.
After you have been examined, your doctor will recommend or prescribe topical oral antibiotics, creams or ointments. Most importantly, do not use any antibiotic medications without advice from health personnel.
If the infection symptoms are accompanied with pain and inflammation, you should see your piercer so that you get the correct forms of treatment to relieve of pain and discomfort caused by inflammation. If the pain is mild you can apply a cold compress or use crushed aspirin provided that you have no reactions to it.
Besides is a completely healed tragus hoop piercing picture.
With bumps or bubbles
Formation or presence of bumps behind or in front of yor tragus is one of the infection signs that we looked at.
“Tragus pierce bumps are often caused by wearing too lose or tight jewelry, allergic jewelry materials, using a piercing gun,” [helpfulguides.com] though physical injuries or trauma can have a great influence of getting bumps after piercing.
You should be careful on the behavior of tragus piercing bumps because they may be something else like keloid scar tissues that are initial stages of development. To clarify on that, “keloids are raised overgrowths of scar tissue that occur at the site of a skin injury.” [drugs.com] which includes body piercings that are not done properly.
Bumps – treatment
Apart from treatments we have looked at, here are more tips to help in treating bumps which show as sign of infected tragus piercing.
- Crush aspirin tablets and add few drops of water then apply directly on the bumps,
- Clean with warm water and chamomile tea to help curb infections form increasing.
- Apply cold compress to relive of pain, aching and warmth.
- Another way of treating it is by applying tea tree oil.
Risks and complications of this piercing
There are a number of things you are supposed to be aware of in case you are planning to get a piercing on your tragus. Following is a discussion on risks and complications you may have.
One of the piercing risks is an allergic reaction. The main cause of this problem is the type of material or element of jewelry which comprises earrings, barbell, and studs. It has been reported that a good number of clients have allergic reactions (contact) to Nickel or Brass. For instance symptoms of Nickel include “itching, redness, rash, dry patches, and swelling of the skin.” [webmd.com]
For that matter, the best thing to do is to avoid any jewelry which is a potentially source of allergic reactions.
Although it may not be the likely thing during piercing, sometimes the tools used may have small amounts of nickel. So, think carefully where you get your tragus pierced and who actually does it.
If adequate sterilization is not catered for, more serious complications involving transmission of infections such as hepatitis B and C, tetanus or even HIV could be possible.
Jewelry migration and rejection
Beware of the behavior of your piercing and jewelry by observing the following:
- Shifting positions from their initial ones during the piercing time.
- Increasing in size of placement holes aka “ear piercing rejection”.
- Tarnishing, etc.
Keloid scar tissue
Formation of keloid scars is a rare but dangerous complication that one can have after piercing ear. How do you know if you are getting a keloid on your ear? Take note of its symptoms in courtesy of Healthline.
- A lumpy or raised area that continues to grow larger with scar tissue over time,
- An itchy patch of skin,
- A localized area that is flesh-colored, pink, or red in color.
Other risks include scarring and tragus ear piercing bump formation.
Where to get the piercing done safely
Is the procedure painful and where can I get my tragus pierced? Well, anyone wishes to get anybody piercing with little possible, less pain other discomforts during the procedure. Although this depends on a few factors, it is highly recommended to get (any kind of) piercing from a well-trained piercer.
Before you decide it is your task to dig out enough information. Ask relevant people that you get to know where quality ear piercing or body modification services are provided regardless of costs. For instance in if you are in Manchester (the UK or England), you can get your tragus pierced at Holier than Thou situated in Northern Manchester.