What Size Earrings for a Tragus Piercing?

featured image for tragus piercing

When you’ve made the exciting decision to get a tragus piercing, you may wonder what size to get next. What size earring is standard for the piercing? What size works best for you? It’s absolutely normal to have these questions—and we are here to answer them!

The standard size for a tragus piercing is 16G, which is 1.2mm. You can also get a gauge up or down in size, but 16G is the standard size.

The sizing of your tragus piercing should not be intimidating for you. We will talk about the sizes here in this article, and you will know everything there is to know about tragus sizes!

Styles of Tragus Piercings

The tragus piercing can help with migraines, not to mention, look stylish. When you’ve decided to get your piercing done, you need to pick a gauge size for all of the styles of piercings. Typically, most people go to 16G because it is the standard size.

Diagram of Ear

Studs or Labrets

This is the most typical piercing to begin with because it helps with healing and is easy to put in. These are like your typical stud earrings, except to attach they screw in. The great thing about these is that you can choose from a lot of options!

You can keep it plain metal or have jewels at the end of the earring, which shows to the outside. It’s a great way to start with a classic jewel that matches every outfit. You can’t change your earring until it’s fully healed, so make sure you make the right decision!

Captive Bead Ring

These are the next most popular earrings for a tragus piercing. A captive bead ring is a hoop that is connected with a bead. To remove it, you have to remove the bead in order to take out the earring.

You can choose a captive bead ring in lots of metal colors, with a lot of different style beads! Before you go, you can ask your piercer what type of jewelry options they have—or even go in and look to decide before.


Typically, these are not used for the actual piercing process. A ring is just what it sounds like—a circular earring without a captive bead. They come in many styles and textures but aren’t typically used for the original piercing.

Once your tragus has healed, you can find many ring earrings that will look great on your tragus. They come in all types of metals and colors.


A horseshoe earring resembles—you guessed it—a horseshoe! It typically has two beads on either side to make sure it stays in correctly.

These also come in many shapes and styles but typically are not the initial piercing earring.

Some piercers will use this as the piercing earring if you ask!

Tragus Piercing Procedure

We’ve been talking about the type and size of earrings that can be used for a tragus piercing. Now that you have decided on which type of earring, you may be wondering about the piercing itself. Next, we’ll talk about the procedure itself.

How a Tragus Piercing Done

A reputable piercer will use a needle to go through your cartilage and quickly place your earring in after that is done. If your piercer pulls out a piercing gun, you do not want to get pierced at that location.

A piercing gun should only be used for soft flesh-like earlobes. Using a piercing gun on cartilage can shatter the cartilage. It’s actually illegal to use a piercing gun on the cartilage in some states!

Does a Tragus Piercing Hurt?

The tragus does hurt moderately, depending on your pain level. You can get piercings that are more painful than the tragus. The initial pain is over quickly—and the aftercare will have moderate swelling and irritation, especially if you tend to sleep on that side!

However, all of this is worth it once your piercing has healed!

Aftercare Instructions

The piercer will give you detailed aftercare instructions. Typically, they look something like this:

  • Clean your piercing twice a day at minimum
  • If you develop a bump next to your piercing, call your piercer for instructions
  • Avoid earbuds for a while
  • Avoid holding your phone to your tragus for a while—use the other ear!
  • Avoid sleeping on it if you can

When Can I Change My Earring?

Tragus piercings can take anywhere from three to nine months to heal. If you do not care for it properly, or something goes wrong during healing, it could take longer. Your piercer can change the earring for you as soon as three months.

You shouldn’t change the earring yourself until it’s totally healed.

A tragus piercing is a great choice to express yourself. It also has been known to be used for migraine relief. Before you go, it’s a good idea to know the size and procedure!

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

You May Also Like