A Conch piercing is pierced hole through the middle portion of the ear cartilage. The conch has two parts: the inner and outer conch. The inner conch is the cup-shaped area near the ear canal at the center of part of the ear. The outer conch is on the flat portion of the ear, between the edge or helix and the ridge that characterizes the antihelix portion of the ear.
A conch piercing is possible in both of the aforementioned areas and the procedure is fairly similar to other ear cartilage piercings.
Fun fact: the area gets its name because of its resemblance to a conch shell and has the largest area of the ear cartilage. Neat huh?
Do you have any questions about conch piercings? Want to know more before proceeding with your very own conch piercing? The team at Chronic Ink Tattoo has put together this guide to help you learn about everything you need to know before getting pierced, from preparation and what to expect, to piercing aftercare.
Let’s dive in…
How Much Does a Conch Piercing Hurt?
These piercings are usually performed with a hollow 14G needle (or larger should you request it). Once the area has been pierced, a threadless stud is used for healing, a straight or curved barbell, may also be used.
Pain is a very subjective thing. Some might say that they experienced a significant amount of pain and soreness, but it should not be any more than the pain one would feel from other cartilage piercings. While it might hurt more than a lobe piercing, this type of piercing is on the same pain scale as most other common piercings and is over in an instant, with only soreness afterwards being the most common complaint.
Should you want a larger piercing, a needle bigger than the standard 14G needle will be necessary and may cause additional discomfort. It is recommended to opt for a dermal punch. A dermal punch is a device that resembles a paper hole puncher. The circular blade functions by protruding and removing a circular disk of cartilage from the ear, making the procedure slightly more invasive than just a simple piercing. Dermal punch is often used more often with outer conch piercings due to the flatness, something that the cup-shape inner conch doesn’t share.
In terms of pain, some think that it is just like a normal cartilage piercing, while others believe that they actually felt less pain with a dermal punch. Before choosing to go for a larger gauge piercing, remember that it will require surgery should you decide you want to get rid of the piercing. This is in contrast to small cartilage piercings that heal on their own (but can still be difficult to heal).
What Type of Healing and Aftercare is Necessary?
The cartilage of our ears has less blood flow as compared to other types of tissue. As such, healing times can be different from other piercings you might have received before.
Here are some tips to better care for your piercing:
- Wear the proper jewelry on your ears
- The type of ear jewelry worn can affect the healing process and time. With your newly pierced conch, try to avoid wearing rings in the conch since they usually slow down the process of healing. Why? Your hair strands or clothing will have the tendency to get stuck in the wring while you dress or when bathing.
- Putting things on your ears (a big NO)>
- Apart from hair strands, headphones, hats, and other jewelry that come in to contact with your ear, many many other objects can also increase the risk of infection on your piercing by exposing it to more bacteria. It is important to avoid any foreign objects from touching the piercing during the first few days of the new piercing. Disruption by hats, hair, or headphones might further irritate your piercing.
- Avoid jewelry pressure and movement
- Constantly moving the jewelry on the piercing or sleeping on the side with the jewelry will cause trauma to the skin around the piercing. Such trauma can eventually lead to scarring or bumps on the piercing. If you want to get both ears pierced, it’s highly suggested that you don’t do them at the same time so that you can still sleep on the other side without the jewelry and avoid putting more pressure than needed.
- Maintain cleaning and drying of piercing
- Because cartilage piercings are more likely to develop trauma or complications during healing, it is necessary to keep your piercing and ear clean. Be sure that the pierced area does not have any ear wax or dead skin. Saltwater is a good solution that you can use to clean your piercing and for it to heal faster.
The solution can be made by simply adding about one-fourth of salt to a cup of hot water and stir until the salt has dissolved. You should clean your piercing once or twice a day for the first 6-12 weeks before reducing it to once every two days then once a week.
In short, keep up with your aftercare methods!
- Avoid blood thinners
- It’s normal for one to experience occasional bleeding while your piercing is healing. As a consequence, it’s important to avoid any blood-thinning substances like alcohol, caffeine, and aspirin at first.
- Avoid bacteria-contact and communal water
- Apart from jewelry that might cause infections to your piercing, it would also be safer to avoid other people from touching your piercing. This does not exclude yourself because it’s important that your hands are clean or you wear gloves before touching and or cleaning the pierced site.
As much as you can, try to avoid using communal water, such as swimming pools or hot tubs, to avoid potential infection.
- Avoid frequently changing your jewelry
- While you’re able to change your earrings 8-10 weeks later after you get your ears pierced, it takes about 6-12 months before you can change your conch piercing to ensure that it has fully healed.
Our Favourite Piercing Aftercare Products
NeilMed Neilcleanse Piercing Aftercare
NeilMed Neilcleanse Piercing Aftercare saline spray helps in healing piercings. It is an isotonic, drug-free, preservative-free solution for cleaning your piercing during the healing period with no burning or stinging to irritate the pierced area. The sterile saline solution can be used as part of your healing process with any fresh piercing, including ear piercings, nostril piercings and belly button piercings. Neilcleanse sprays in any direction for easy use without touching your piercing.
PurSan Aftercare is a specially formulated Vegan skin cleanser used to clean and moisturize as part of an aftercare regimen for fresh tattoos and piercings. It revitalizes, refreshes and purifies skin without drying it out. Gentle yet effective, PurSan contains no parabens, fragrances, colourants or alcohol. Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses without burning or irritating the skin. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Hypromellose) is an ultra-high grade lubricant ideal for sensitive skin.
What Kind of Conch Jewelry Should You Wear?
While the type of jewelry you choose is completely up to you, many wear a cartilage stud with their inner conch piercing. For the outer conch, it’s pretty common to see people with a large hoop on their piercing. There is a variety of selection for conch earrings or jewelry—from cute and dainty threadless studs to Maria Tash’s high-end jewelry.
Ready to Explore Getting your Own Conch Piercing?
If you live in or around the Toronto & Markham area and are considering getting a conch piercing, or have more questions, reach out to our talented team today. We would love to learn more about how we can help and answer any questions that you have. From professional piercing artists to affordable and stylish jewelry, we’ve got you covered.
Ready to Get Your Next Piercing?
At Chronic Ink Tattoo, our talented artists are ready to help you explore piercings. If you’re in the Toronto or Markham area drop by our shop and check us out for yourself.