The Anti-Tragus Piercing: Everything You Need to Know

The anti-tragus is located opposite the tragus, directly above your earlobe. If you pinch your earlobe, you'll likely feel a triangular-shaped piece of cartilage sticking out above it. That’s the anti-tragus.

The anti-tragus is perfect for those wanting to add a bit of variety to their cartilage party, those who want to add some flair to their ear lobe piercings, or for anyone looking for a piercing that’s a bit off the beaten path.

Since the anti-tragus is typically teeny tiny, it can be a difficult piercing, and some people aren’t right for it. However, since it’s located above the versatile lobe, you can still get a similar look without piercing the actual anti-tragus.

Here’s everything that you need to know about the anti-tragus piercing.

How much does the anti-tragus piercing hurt?

The anti-tragus piercing is considered one of the more painful piercings. Many say that it’s more painful than other cartilage piercings that they’ve gotten in the past. Pain levels depend upon the person getting pierced, but if you know that you have a lower pain tolerance, then the anti-tragus is not the best beginner piercing.

Of course, the experience level of your piercer will contribute to the level of pain that you feel. Piercers with experience will quickly and confidently conduct the procedure, limiting the time that you feel pain. They’ll also know when to tell you to breathe and how to keep you calm for a more pleasant procedure.

Anti-tragus piercing healing process

You can expect healing times of six months up to one year. As with any piercing, the anti-tragus will heal externally first, so it may appear fully healed even when it’s not. Talk to your piercer before stopping aftercare practices or changing your jewelry.

Aftercare rules

The anti-tragus is incredibly easy to access during aftercare, so it tends to be easier than other cartilage piercings that are more tucked away, like the rook or daith. However, its location also makes it susceptible to bumps and snags that can snare the jewelry and damage the piercing site.

Here are some things to keep in mind while healing the anti-tragus.

Be careful with your headphones and earbuds. The location of the anti-tragus means that you will have a difficult time listening to music with any sort of head gear. Earbuds will press against the back of the jewelry while headphones will press against the front. It would be best to either refrain from headphones during healing or find larger headphones that will go over the entire ear and won’t touch your healing piercing.

Keep foreign objects away. Headphones aren’t the only items that you need to worry about. Hair, clothing, and other objects can get snared in the jewelry or bring harmful bacteria around the healing piercing. Keep hair back and away from the piercing as it heals. Make sure that any hats or scarves stay well away from the piercing. Be careful as you change clothes so that you don’t rip the jewelry from its piercing and cause damage.

Don’t move the jewelry. Cartilage piercings tend to develop scars and cartilage bumps during healing. This happens when the skin around the jewelry sees trauma. Do your piercing a favor and leave the jewelry alone so that the skin can heal happily.

Anti-tragus jewelry styles

You’d think that, with such a small canvas, you’d be limited in your jewelry styles. However, since the anti-tragus shares an area with the lobe, there’s more versatility than you might think.

Cartilage studs with a flat disc back seem to be the most popular jewelry for the anti-tragus piercing. You can get a simple bead or gemstone or choose an adorable charm that adds subtle flair to any cartilage cluster.

You can also choose small curved or circular barbells. These will make your anti-tragus piercing stand out with the double bead ends, creating a bolder look.

Some choose small seamless hoops or captive bead rings as well. Paired with other hoops, this creates a cohesive cartilage cluster, or on its own, it helps the anti-tragus take a bold stance.

Why shouldn’t I get an anti-tragus piercing?

Some people’s anti-tragus is too small for piercing. If this is the case, you can opt for an upper lobe piercing instead for a similar look.

The anti-tragus is quite painful to pierce. If you have a low pain tolerance, you should choose something a little easier.

How much will it cost?

The anti-tragus piercing will cost between $30 and $100.

You should opt for a quality piercer, who will most likely charge a little more. Cartilage can be easily damaged, so you must choose someone who knows what they’re doing. You should also choose starter jewelry with high quality metal to avoid complications from skin sensitivities or jewelry rejection.