The chances are that you have heard about conch piercing, probably even seen celebrities flaunting barbells on their ear cartilages. If you are thinking about getting one too, you have landed on the right page. In this post, we will discuss everything from its procedure to recovery and aftercare.
To start off, conch is the shell of the ear, the outer part. This is another kind of piercing on the cartilage of ear, and is done in a similar way. It’s a relatively simple process, so it’s most likely that you’ll get it without any glitch if you visit a professional. The keyword here is professional because no one likes a nasty infection.
How is Conch Piercing done?
In a similar fashion that a simple ear piercing is done is the answer. Any professional piercing artist, not necessarily the one with a fancy tattoo shop, can get it done for you. Don’t try it yourself because they are multiple things that can go wrong.
Conch piercing is non-invasive. There are two types of conch piercings – inner and outer, so decide upon what you want early on. The first thing that the artist will do is clean the whole ear area with a disinfectant to avoid infections. He will then mark the area with the pen and use a tool to support the cartilage. Either using a needle or gun (needle being preferable), he will carry out the perforation and wipe off the blood that oozes out. Then next would be obviously to insert jewelry of your choice inside the newly made hole and cover it using gauze.
Also note that dermal punching option is also available to you, in case you want a larger gauge piercing. Dermal punch, compared to a paper hole puncher, is usually preferred for outer conch piercing since that area is flat and hence, easier to pierce. Don’t opt for anything larger than 14 gauge unless it’s a dermal punch – and let the professional decide that after looking at your ear and its anatomy.
Never take any chance when you’re working with needles. Ensure that the artist wears rubber gloves while carrying out the procedure and he uses sterilized needles. When you’re choosing jewelry for your ear, keep it simple, without edges and light-weight – it would come in handy during the healing period.
Conch Piercing Kit
In general, a conch piercing kit would include the following:
- Conch jewelry
- Sterilized 14 g needle and disinfectant
- Medical tape
Conch Piercing Location
Depending on the location of conch piercing, there are two types: inner and outer. Inner conch piercing is done at the center of the cartilage while the outer conch piercing is done on the flat surface on the outer ear.
Conch Piercing Pain
The truth is that any kind of alteration to your body hurts; piercing is no different. However, it depends on your threshold for pain. Not to discourage you but it does hurt – most people swear that it’s painful to get inner conch pierced and they also experience soreness. On the other hand, it is believed that dermal punch hurts just as much, if not less, than other cartilage piercings, which is quite bearable; so it’s a fairly good option.
Conch Piercing Bleeding
It is normal for a conch piercing to bleed a little. The piercing artist will take care of it, so this isn’t the part where you worry.
Conch Piercing Infection
Any piercing can get infected due to a variety of reasons. The risks of conch piercing getting infected are more, since a number of layers are punctured. You should also know that the infection can spread through the cartilage and damage it irreparably, causing cartilage collapse. They can’t be replaced either. Luckily, there are preventions you can take to avoid an infection; some of them are discussed below.
Conch Piercing Jewelry
There is a gamut of choices as far as jewelry is concerned. Captive bead rings, circular barbells, labret studs are a few of your options. Your first jewelry piece should be picked carefully as it is a long road of healing once you get a piercing done. It needs to be simple and light-weight and also should allow room to clean the area. Safe to say that a professional can help you understand what will work the best for you, so before deciding on anything, talk to the piercing artist, let him know what you desire and what fits your style but also take into account his suggestions as he knows better.
Conch Piercing Migration and Rejection
It is unlikely for conch piercing to get migrated or rejected. However, it is still very important that you take all the necessary precautions and keep it safe. It is body’s natural defense mechanism to discourage foreign elements from entering, so do as the professional advises in terms of aftercare. Nevertheless, if you still notice excessive soreness, swelling or discharge of green puss, go to a doctor without wasting a minute.
How to prevent complications?
No shady piercing parlors on the remote corners of the city which promise cheap piercing. And also say no to doing it at home after watching a video or letting your friend try their hand at it. Cheap piercings come at a cost; and sometimes that cost is too much to pay. The parlor doesn’t need to be the best in town but it should be at least hygienic and the piercing artist needs to be experienced. There is a lot that can go wrong, and it just might if you’re not careful. So moral of the story is that you need to choose the place on the basis of references. That’s right, ask your friends and acquaintances where they got the piercings done and go there. Give Internet a break!
The next thing is to ensure that everything is sterilized, that the artist wears gloves and that he is careful with you. It goes without saying that the job is not done once you get your ear pierced, quite the opposite in fact. You have to conscious about the piercing at all times. Don’t let it get tangled with your clothes or hair and take extra precautions while sleeping. The aftercare is much like any other cartilage piercing – you need to cleanse the area twice a day with salt water to catalyze the healing process. However, don’t use alcohol or any ointment, unless otherwise specified, as they have the opposite effect and actually slow the whole process. Don’t go out swimming for at least two weeks and don’t let any irritants get into contact with the area. Don’t touch the piercing with dirty hands; sleep in supine position and be extra careful while putting on or removing clothes. It is also not a good option to dye your hair while it’s still healing or stretch or ear or play with the piercing. Basically, leave it alone for a while. Also, you have to stick to the jewelry piece you chose for at least eight weeks.
A dermal punch is generally large enough to sustain on its own, without any jewelry but then you run the risk of uneven healing. If you don’t wear jewelry, chances are that the hole might not stay as large as you’d hoped, or even stay circular.
The rule of thumb is to follow the instructions of the profession. He will tell you exactly what to do and how to do it. In case you notice any swelling or suspect an infection, don’t hesitate to go the doctor. If everything goes well, the piercing will heal fully in a year and a half.
How long does Conch Piercing last?
Much like a cartilage piercing, it can close overnight or stay as is for years. It is hard to determine the actual time, for each body is different. If you have had the piercing for a long time, it might never close.
Conch Piercing Cost
This one is a little tricky to answer because the cost varies significantly from place to place. Expect to pay to pay something from $45 to $75, and it can go higher too. It is worth the price if you get what you want without any infection scare. Hope this article helped you decide whether or not you want a conch piercing and prepared you for what’s coming, in case you do.