A tragus piercing is located in the small, rounded piece of cartilage just in front of the ear canal. Some people run into complications with tragus piercings such as doctors or nurses who regularly have to use stethoscopes. The ear pieces of a stethoscope may be difficult to put in and cause discomfort when pressed against the piercing. A tragus piercing may not be the best option for nurses or doctors for this reason, but the problem can typically be avoided on a healed piercing.
Things You'll Need
Wash your hands with soap and hot water, then rinse them clean. Your hands must always be clean when you touch a piercing whether it’s new or completely healed.
Remove the jewelry. If it’s a captive bead ring, grasp the captive bead and push it outward until it breaks free from the ring, then take out the ring and reassemble the jewelry. If it’s a barbell, unscrew one of the balls and pull the barbell out. Always be cautious when you remove barbells as the threads may rip the skin on the inside of the piercing.
Insert a nostril screw in the tragus piercing. Stick the tip of the jewelry through the piercing, then rotate it with the curve of the post, usually in a clockwise motion. This jewelry sits snug against the back side of the tragus which allows adequate room for the stethoscope ear pieces.
Insert the stethoscope ear piece carefully. Depending on the length of the nostril screw, it may be helpful to pull on the front of the jewelry to ensure the backside is as close to the ear as possible.
Change the jewelry again after you no longer have to use the stethoscope.
If you only have to use the stethoscope for a couple minutes, it may make more sense to leave the jewelry out of the ear until you’re finished using it.
Do not put the stethoscope near your tragus piercing unless the ear pieces are clean. This is especially important for an unhealed piercing.
References and ResourcesUniversity of Pittsburgh; Piercing Care and Precautions; Carol J. Mulvihill; et al.; May 1997
The University of Hawaii: Piercing Brochure