Swollen Tragus Piercing: Treatment and Care Tips

The small cartilage nub that leads from your outer ear toward your ear canal, is called tragus. It has become a noticeable trend among youth to pierce this area as a stylish statement. The actual piercing is done with a curved or straight, hollow, small-gauge sterilized needle. A professional piercer is best when piercing the tragus because of the risk involved. There are times that swelling can occur after tragus piercing.

What Causes Swollen Tragus Piercing?

Infections are generally the root cause of a swollen tragus. Tragus piercing is quite prone to the problem because of its location. Hair tends to fall over this area, getting caught, bringing bacteria and causing problems. Here are some common symptoms of infection:

  • The infected piercing will have swelling and pain for 30 hours after a tragus piercing.
  • The area around the piercing will be very red.
  • There can be bleeding for a considerable time after the piercing.
  • There may be green or yellow discharge and a foul odor with infection.
  • You may feel centralized heat when touching the tragus piercing.
  • Boils, abscesses or pustules may develop around the piercing.

If you suspect your piercing is infected or getting worse, please see your doctor or piercing practitioner to get treatment right away.

What to Do with the Swollen Tragus Piercing

From the above symptoms, you should have an idea if your tragus piercing is infected. If so, the following remedies can be helpful:

1. Rubbing Alcohol

Cleaning the area with rubbing alcohol is one of the first and best ways to treat infected piercings. This swabbing can be done twice a day. This should only be done if the piercing has healed, which generally happens after eight weeks. You can use a Q-tip or cotton ball to clean the area. It is recommended not to use hydrogen peroxide because it can cause the area to dry out and become crusty.

2. Saline Solution

If your infection happens while the tragus piercing is still healing, you should clean it with saline solution. Make a sea salt mixture that uses about a teaspoon of salt and eight ounces of water. As with the alcohol, use a cotton swab to clean the area. Make sure to remove any debris such as pus, dead tissue or foreign material to keep it clean.

3. Chamomile Tea Bags

This is one home remedy for swollen tragus piercing. You can use it any time during the healing process as it will quicken healing while helping to cure swelling. Press the infected area with a chamomile tea bag that has been dipped in warm water. This is also a great way to clean the area.

4. Hot Compresses

Another excellent treatment for infection and swelling, regardless of where you are healing, is hot compress. These will help to increase circulation, aiding in general healing. Apply a warm, clean cloth to the area for about four minutes, two-three times daily.

5. Infected Tragus Piercing Antibiotics

If you aren’t seeing any improvement after you’ve tried the above, it is time to visit your doctors for more help. After they give you an exam, they may recommend oral or topical antibiotics as well as pain killers.

More Care Tips for Infected Tragus Piercing

There are more ways you can care your swollen tragus piercing. Consider trying some of the following:

  • Try to keep your jewelry in even with an infection. Otherwise, the infection may worsen from getting trapped under the skin.
  • Always disinfect and wash your hands before touching your piercing. Use antibacterial soap when you can.
  • Don’t let anything, including your hair touch the area. Avoid using your phone or headphones with the infected ear.
  • Avoid chlorinated water and swimming while you are fighting off the infection. You should also skip any cosmetics on the infected area.
  • If the infected area has a crust, leave it alone. The crust may become itchy, but this means it is healing.
  • Try not to sleep on your infected side. This may cause bleeding and will make your bedding contaminated.
  • Try to wear button up blouses and shirts so you don’t irritate your ear further when getting dressed.
  • Don’t use anything on it that your doctor hasn’t approved. Many over-the-counter creams will suffocate the infected area, causing further problems.
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