Table of Contents Hide
- This is All You Need to Know About Getting a Conch Piercing
- Possible Advantages of Getting Your Conch Pierced
- Does the Conch Piercing Hurt a Lot?
- How’s it done?
- The Procedure
- Side Effects of Piercing
- How Should You Initiate the Aftercare Process?
- Can you give me an estimate of the recovery time?
- Average Cost of a Conch Piercing
- Trends in Conch Piercing Jewelry
- What Jewelry Material Is Used for Conch Piercing?
- In conclusion
The conch piercing (pronounced “konk”), which is placed in the middle of the ear cartilage, is one of the most popular and versatile piercings. Its name comes from the fact that the cartilage in that location looks like a conch shell.
We’ve seen a lot of piercing trends come and go, but by far the most desirable is the conch piercing. The fact that they can be worn alone or with other accessories makes them versatile accessories.
Ears take on a huge spiral shape, hence the piercing style known as a “conch” is named for this. Both the location (inner or outer) and the jewelry chosen for a conch piercing can be customized to the wearer’s preferences (stud or hoop).
Even for people who are passionate about getting piercings, the idea of getting a conch piercing might be daunting. We consulted Rhianna Jones, head piercer at The Circle in London, England, and Dr. Susan Bard, a board-certified dermatologist from Vive Dermatology, to get the lowdown on the procedure’s pain, cost, aftercare, and whatnot.
This is All You Need to Know About Getting a Conch Piercing
Possible Advantages of Getting Your Conch Pierced
Although the American Migraine Foundation acknowledges anecdotal stories of conch piercings relieving migraine symptoms, it stresses the lack of scientific data to support such claims. While there is no evidence between piercings and anxiety relief, there is a connection between acupuncture and acupressure (i.e., applying pressure to certain places on the body) and anxiety relief.
Does the Conch Piercing Hurt a Lot?
Similar to other cartilage piercings, the conch piercing causes no discomfort. It’s true that the conch piercing is only slightly more painful than the average cartilage piercing. There will be greater pain than with an ear piercing, but it shouldn’t be too much for most individuals to bear.
A 14G needle is the standard for piercing the conch. If you need to go bigger than that, you can always use a dermal punch instead of a needle. The dermal punch is the more intrusive option since it removes cartilage in addition to piercing the skin to get the larger gauge. It is not advised to get a dermal punch piercing because the wound won’t close on its own and many jurisdictions have regulations prohibiting the use of dermal punches for piercing purposes.
A larger gauge can be achieved by stretching the cartilage if the dermal punch is too scary. Think about the fact that lower gauge cartilage piercings are hard to heal, and that removing a conch piercing with a larger gauge will require surgery. You should give this piercing a lot of thought before going to the piercer, as it will be permanent.
How’s it done?
Whether you want an outer or an inner conch piercing, there are two distinct approaches:
- Injecting Needle: An average conch piercing will look like this. After sterilizing the target area, your piercer will draw a line on both sides to serve as a reference point before inserting the needle and jewelry. The time commitment for the entire procedure is minimal.
- Dermatological Punch: Your piercer may suggest a dermal punch if you want to wear larger jewelry. By means of a small instrument, a circular piece of cartilage is removed (kind of like a small cookie cutter).
- Cleaning: In order to avoid infection, your piercer will clean your ear.
- Marking: The piercer will mark the spot where the piercing will be made. At this stage, you should be given the opportunity to verify the spot. Don’t be shy about asking to peek if you’re not.
- Piercing: Your piercing will be made with a needle or dermal punch after you and the piercer have agreed on the location.
- Setting Jewellery: The jewelry you selected will be inserted into the piercing by your piercer.
- Applying pressure: To stop the bleeding, they may apply pressure to the wound for a few minutes.
- Cleanup (Again): Once they’re done, they’ll clean the area thoroughly to get rid of any remaining blood and germs.
Side Effects of Piercing
- Microbes and Inflammation: There is always a chance of infection with any piercing, but there are a few more considerations to make with this particular design. Infection after a conch piercing is more likely to occur in people who regularly use earbuds, as pointed out by Bard (side note: you should not use earbuds while the piercing is healing). Furthermore, she advises against getting a cartilage piercing if you have had problems with them in the past or if you work in a polluted environment that can make the ear more susceptible to infection.
- Keloid: If you have a family history of keloids, you may want to think twice before getting pierced. Keloids are a type of excessive scar tissue that can grow after a piercing. Following your aftercare instructions to the letter will help reduce your risk of infection and scars.
How Should You Initiate the Aftercare Process?
Infection can be avoided during the lengthy healing process with proper aftercare. If you want your piercing to heal properly, you must do what the piercer tells you to do after the procedure is over.
In most cases, this guidance will look like this:
- For at least three months, you should clean your piercing twice daily.
- If you want to clean your piercing without touching it, you should wash your hands beforehand.
- Obtain a saline solution from a pharmacy, or mix 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of non-ionized sea salt into a cup of distilled or bottled water.
- Once daily, give your piercing a warm saline bath by filling a mug or shallow dish with saline and tilting your head to submerge your ear in the fluid for three to five minutes.
- Clean gauze or saline-soaked paper towels should be used to gently wipe the area around the wound.
- Whether you’re cleaning or not, you should never rotate your piercing.
- Keep your jewelry in place until the piercing has healed or per your piercer’s instructions.
- Do not wear headphones, headbands, or caps that could cover the piercing.
Can you give me an estimate of the recovery time?
Because cartilage lacks blood vessels, it bleeds easily if it is punctured. Cartilage can take longer to recover than other tissues after injury because it receives a poor blood supply.
Needle conch piercings usually heal in 6-9 months, but dermal punch piercings can take a year or more to properly heal.
Average Cost of a Conch Piercing
The price of a conch piercing is highly variable, from around $10 to over $100, depending on the location and the item is chosen. For instance, in New York City, a cartilage piercing at Maria Tash begins at $35, but the full price, including jewelry, can easily exceed $80.
Trends in Conch Piercing Jewelry
When it comes to conch piercing jewelry, you have a few options:
- Bars: Many piercers suggest trying a barbell or stud as the first piece of jewelry. Similar to (very) tiny dumbbells, these longer posts feature smaller balls at either end. For the first piercing, bars are recommended because they are simple to clean and allow for some swelling. You can choose between a straight and curved barbell, all of which are appropriate for use in the piercing, depending on the region.
- Studs: Unlike studs for earlobes, which often have a curved back, conch studs are flat on the back. This is helpful whether using a phone or lying on your side, as the stud’s end won’t accidentally poke into your head. They are not very forgiving of swelling, though, so they may cause some discomfort in the beginning stages of recovery.
- Hoops: Although small hoops are an excellent option for conch piercings on the outside, they shouldn’t be used for the first piercing because their flexibility can interfere with the healing process.
What Jewelry Material Is Used for Conch Piercing?
- Stainless Steel: Since it is hypoallergenic and formed in a way that prevents it from causing irritation to the piercing site, this metal is one of the best options for a new piercing. It’s best to steer clear of cheap materials that could trigger an allergic reaction.
- Titanium: It’s another metal suitable for implant use. Titanium may not be ideal if you’re really nickel-sensitive because of its trace levels of nickel.
- Gold and Platinum With a Low Karat Value: Gold and platinum, two of the most precious metals, are also a rather secure investment option. Avoid cheap gold or gold plating, which can flake off and cause illness, as it is worth it to pay extra for quality.
Although the pain of a conch piercing may be greater than that of other piercings, a healthy recovery is possible with the right aftercare.
Make sure you find a trustworthy piercer that is licensed to perform the process and does their homework first.