The inner cup portion of your ear is called the conch and receives its name because it resembles a conch shell.
You have the option of piercing either your inner or outer conch or both:
The inner conch is elevated and runs parallel to the fold of cartilage above your ear canal.
Your antihelix, the first of the two ridges that make up the outer outlines of your ear, is lower and closer to the outer conch.
There are a few more facts about conch piercings that you should be aware of before visiting the piercing studio.
✅ In comparison to other piercings, a conch piercing could hurt a little more.
✅ With the right aftercare, you should recover without any issues.
✅ Just make sure you conduct some research in advance and get the process done by a professional, licensed piercer.
How does it work?
Regardless of whether you choose to pierce your outer or inner conch, there are two distinct techniques:
- A puncture needle. This method of conch piercing is the most popular. After cleaning the area and making a point on both sides, your piercer will insert the needle and jewelry. The entire process simply requires a few minutes.
- Punching the skin. Your piercer might advise getting a dermal punch if you want to wear larger jewelry. In order to do this, a tiny gadget must be used to cut out a pinpoint of cartilage (kind of like a small cookie cutter).
Whichever approach you go with, the process should generally consist of the following steps:
- Cleaning. In order to avoid infection, your piercer will clean your ear.
- Marking. The piercer will mark the area where they want to do the piercing with a marker. At this stage, you ought to be given the opportunity to confirm the location once more. Do not be afraid to ask to take a look if you are not.
- Piercing. They’ll pierce you with a needle or a dermal punch after consulting with you about the placement.
- Putting on jewelry Your piercer will insert the jewelry you predetermined inside the piercing.
- Applying pressure. can stop the bleeding if apply a little bit of pressure to the area for a while.
- Recleaning (again). In order to get rid of any remaining blood and lessen your risk of infection, they will then clean the area once more.
Is it particularly painful?
It’s challenging to predict how painful getting your conch pierced will be because pain is subjective. It will hurt, but some people will be hurt more than others. The needle has to pass through a tough cartilage plate to penetrate your conch.
Move your ear around by feeling it. It is obvious that the conch’s cartilage is thicker and harder than the majority of the other portions of your ear. This indicates that the piercing will hurt more than those in most other places, including your earlobe.
A closer look at the discomfort caused by conch piercings is shown below:
- During the operation. Sharp pressure and pain are to be expected, but they should pass quickly.
- Immediately afterward. You’ll probably experience a scorching, throbbing pain after receiving a conch piercing. The duration of this could be many hours or perhaps several days.
- As it recovers. For several months, you’ll probably still experience some discomfort, especially when cleaning the piercing. When they unintentionally roll onto their side while sleeping with the piercing, some people say the discomfort wakes them up, especially in the first few weeks. If you choose a dermal punch, this pain may occasionally continue for a year or longer.
You should contact your piercer or a medical practitioner right away to check for symptoms of infection if the pain suddenly worsens while the piercing is healing.
Can it lessen the pain?
Although conch piercings can hurt, some people obtain them to treat acute or ongoing pain. The same fundamental principle underlies both acupuncture and acupressure. It is believed that activating specific body spots, many of which are located on the ears, can offer relief. For instance, the daith piercing might provide some migraine relief.
There is no evidence to support the claims that receiving a conch piercing will relieve several types of pain, including migraine and chronic pain. But research on ear acupuncture for pain alleviation can provide some insight.
According to a 2017 analysis, auricular acupuncture, which focuses on the ear, may provide some pain relief when utilized within 48 hours after the onset of the discomfort. But the authors pointed out that a lot more study is required. Furthermore, it’s difficult to schedule a consultation with a competent piercer within the allotted 48 hours.
Another study examined a technique known as “battlefield acupuncture,” which involves focusing on five distinct sites in each ear. Even while some people may experience pain alleviation, none of the targeted locations are close to the conch, so these results are probably not applicable to conch piercings.
What jewelry options do I have?
When it comes to jewelry for your conch piercing, you have a few options:
- Bars. Many piercers advise beginning with some sort of bar jewelry. These lengthier posts resemble (very) little dumbbells because they have small balls at either end. For the first piercing, bars are a wonderful choice because they allow for some swelling and are simple to maintain. You can choose a straight or curved barbell depending on where the piercing is.
- Studs. The usual backings on studs used in your ear lobes are typically absent from those used for a conch piercing. In particular, when you use a phone or lie on your side, this stops the end of the stud from sticking into the side of your skull. Early in the healing process, they can be unpleasant because they don’t allow for much swelling.
- Hoops. Small hoops are a wonderful option for piercings in the outer conch, but you should avoid them for the initial piercing because they permit too much movement and may interfere with the healing process.
Whatever jewelry you select, you should pay particular attention to the jewelry’s material. Choose one of the following options to prevent irritation or any complications:
- Stainless surgical steel. For most people, choosing this is secure. It does, however, contain a minor quantity of nickel. Even those who are sensitive to nickel can tolerate this small dose. But you might want to pass on this one if you have a serious nickel allergy.
- Titanium. Due to its total hypo allergenicity, titanium is a wonderful material for extremely sensitive skin. The sole negative is the price, which is more than that of surgical stainless steel.
- Gold. Just be cautious that it isn’t gold-plated, which can flake and expose you to nickel and other alloys used behind the plating.
- Niobium. Another risk-free choice is this elemental metal, even for people with extremely sensitive skin. Additionally, it is cheaper than titanium.
If you’re unsure of what you want, don’t be afraid to approach your piercer for advice. A professional piercer will help you choose jewelry that’s best suited for your specific piercing.
When will it be fully recovered?
Since cartilage is a dense, avascular tissue, wounds from punctures do not heal well. It may take longer for the cartilage to mend because it does not have a strong blood supply.
Conch piercings performed with a needle usually take 6 to 9 months to fully heal, whereas those performed with a dermal punch may take up to a year.
How is the aftercare?
During the prolonged healing process, aftercare is crucial to preventing infection. Always adhere to the aftercare instructions provided by your piercer.
Typically, this will include the following guidance:
- For at least three months, clean your piercing at least twice a day.
- Prior to cleaning or touching your piercing, carefully wash your hands.
- Purchase a saline solution from the market or mix 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of non-ionized sea salt with 1 cup of distilled or bottled water.
- Put warm saline in a mug or shallow dish and angle your head to immerse your ear in the solution for 3 to 5 minutes once a day to give your piercing a sea salt bath.
- Gently cleanse the surrounding area with saline-drenched paper towels or clean gauze.
- Neither when cleaning it nor at any other time, avoid rotating your piercing.
- Wait until the piercing is totally healed or until your piercer gives the all-clear before taking off your jewelry.
- Refrain from wearing anything over the piercing, such as caps, headbands, or in-ear headphones.
Are there any potential risks?
Conch piercings can result in issues, just like any other piercing.
According to a reliable source, ear lobe piercings have a lower risk of infection than cartilage piercings. Antibiotics may be needed for an infected ear, which can be excruciatingly painful.
Red and swollen skin surrounding the piercing, pain or soreness, yellow or green discharge coming from the piercing, fever, chills, nausea, red streaks, and symptoms that get worse or continue longer than a week are all indicators of infection.
Unless a medical practitioner instructs you to remove your jewelry, do not do so if you suspect an infection. You run the risk of spreading infection when you take off your jewelry.
The body’s natural reaction to damage is swelling, often known as inflammation. Your ear may appear swollen and red. Within a couple of days, swelling ought to decrease.
Bumps from the piercing
The conch may develop a variety of bumps, including keloid scars, which are painless clumps of collagen that resemble scar tissue; abscesses, which may be filled with pus; piercing pimples, which are tiny pustules next to the hole; and contact dermatitis brought on by an allergy to the metal in your jewelry.
When should I go and visit a doctor?
If you notice any infection-related symptoms, consult a medical practitioner.
If you detect any of these warning symptoms of a dangerous infection, you should seek emergency medical attention:
- red streaks emerging from the piercing