How Much Does a Tragus Piercing Cost?

Written by: Staff

A tragus piercing is done on the small flap of cartilage located at the opening of the ear canal.  It began to rise in popularity in 2005 and has become more widespread in the last decade.

BCR in Tragus by Spider.Dog, on Flickr
BCR in Tragus” (CC BY 2.0) by  Spider.Dog

How much does a tragus piercing cost?

On average, the cost of a tragus piercing without jewelry is going be about $25 to $55; however, this price will include a simple inexpensive piece of jewelry.  This price will depend on where the piercing takes place and where you live.  Keep in mind that if you choose to upgrade your jewelry, the costs could increase substantially depending on your jewelry choice.

At Body Manipulations in San Francisco, California, an outer ear cartilage piercing can cost $25 or $40 a pair. The jewelry is sold separately.

23rd Street Body Piercing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, offers tragus piercings for $25, plus the cost of the jewelry.  Rings start at $10 and barbells start at $20. says the average cost of a tragus piercing can range from $30 up to $50, depending on which rings you choose and where you go.

Tragus piercing overview

Tragus piercing is a different process when compared to other ear piercing methods.  It is usually done using a sterilized small 18-gauge needle that’s hollow and either straight or curved.  The piercer inserts a small cork inside the ear canal to ensure the tragus is kept in place during the piercing process and is also a way to prevent passing any foreign matter into the ear canal.  He or she then cleans the tragus to prevent infections.  Afterward, the piercer puts on their gloves, pierces the area and inserts the jewelry of choice.

The healing time can be anywhere from two to four months, with some people noting it took more than six months.  The length of the healing period depends on the type of jewelry used, how you took care of it and your skin sensitivity.

What are the extra costs?

Jewelry, most of the time, won’t be included in the price.  The most common types of tragus piercing jewelry include captive bead rings, rings, studs, labret studs, hoops, micro dermal, and barbells. Typical starter jewelry chosen by most is often a curved barbell or a 14 or 16 gauge CBR.  Tragus piercing jewelry can cost anywhere from as little as $2 for a sterling silver stud to more than $300+ for a genuine three-millimeter diamond stud.  Popular tragus jewelry on, for instance, retails for $7 to $20.

If the cleaning solution is not included or isn’t included in the quote, then you will need to budget for these products to ensure the healing process goes according to plan.  A mild fragrance-free liquid soap with anti-microbial properties will often be recommended for use after the piercing, and a good cleaning solution won’t cost more than $10.  You will also be asked to avoid touching the new piercing and change your pillow covers every day for the next month or so.  It’s also recommended you avoid using that ear for the next few weeks such as laying on it or using a cell phone.

Tips to know:

Bleeding is very common after the procedure due to the location of the blood vessels, but this can vary from one person to another.  The same can be said about slight pain and swelling during the first week as the piercing attempts to naturally heal.  As long as you’re diligent with the cleaning, the healing process should go as expected.

Signs of an infected tragus piercing may include a persistent swelling that lasts more than a few days, small bumps filled with pus near the piercing site, a smelly discharge and/or excessive bleeding.  Crusting is part of the healing process and isn’t considered to be an infection.  If you feel your piercing site is infected, remove the jewelry and clean with an antiseptic solution a few times a day.  If severe, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

Is it painful? Since there are no nerve endings in the tragus, the piercing, when compared to most, won’t cause a lot of pain; however, as the piercer applies pressure, it may become uncomfortable for up to 30 seconds, but this is only temporary.

Avoid experimenting with different pieces of jewelry until your piercing has healed since this can lead to unwanted infections.

How can I save money?

If you live in a populated area, call a few piercers in your area to see what they would charge.  Most will be happy to offer you a quote over the phone.

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