Earrings today are an everyday occurrence. But there are places for piercing, which can be considered more daring and attracting attention, for example, conch ear piercings.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this kind of piercing.
What is a conch piercing
Well, it is kind of the shell piercing – when the cartilage of the middle part of the ear is pierced. This is the biggest area of ear cartilage.
There are two types – the inner conch piercing (in the lower part) and the outer conch piercing (in the upper part).
If you’re interested where the name came from, a conch is a term for a big shell, and because this ear site is similar to it, the name has been redesigned for conch cartilage piercing.
There are two pronunciation variants of the word “conch” – do you know this? It can be pronounced as “konk” and “kontsch”. Odds are good that a piercer prefers whichever one you won’t say and probably sound a trifle dismissive if they “correct” you.
How the piercing procedure is performed
The piercing point is located parallel to the point on the lobe. The choice of the place plays an important role, since there is a high risk of damage to large vessels. An experienced master shines through the shell to reveal the vascular plexuses. The auricle is the concentration of the reflex zones. That is, by touching on an important point, you can disrupt the work of this or that body.
Many clients ask masters about local anaesthesia. In this case, ointments for tattooing and piercing are used. A gel or aerosol that has a local anaesthetic effect is more convenient to use. The most common and effective agents contain lidocaine, such as these:
Ubernumb (2oz) 5% Lidocaine , Pain Relief Cream
Ultranumb 10g Anesthetic Skin Numbing Cream
Hush Anesthetic – Tattoo Numbing Gel
During the helix and conch piercing, loud squeaking sounds can be heard, since this part of the ear is in close relationship with the eardrum.
Main piercings procedure steps:
- The master conducts sterilization of tools and earrings.
- The skin from the inside and the outside is disinfected with an antiseptic or medical alcohol.
- A piercer marks the piercing area with a pen or a special surgical marker. This will help make the placement as accurate as possible. Even shifting a few inches can change the look of your piercing
- A needle with a diameter of 10-16 Ga pierces through the cartilage.
- A piece of the jewelry is inserted in the hollow part of the needle and is passed into the hole and fastened.
- The auricle is re-treated with an antiseptic.
Before you leave the piercing studio, make sure that you are told about your instructions for caring for your lower or upper conch piercing. Perhaps it would be better if they printed you a sheet with the aftercare instructions on it if you feel dazed and embarrassed by the fact that your piercing is done. Some people feel good after this, while others still feel a little nervous.
Conch piercing jewelry
This variant of piercing does not differ in gender. The conch piercing with hoop or stud looks beautiful in both male and female ear. The jewelry is miniature, modest, does not strike the eye and does not look like a challenge to society (If of course, this is not your goal – then choose a massive and bold double inner conch piercing).
There are two versions of earrings for piercing: primary and for healed holes. For the normal and rapid healing of cartilage, the primary form of jewelry should be made of non-torn off hypoallergenic material. The best compatibility with the skin is titanium, silicone, and platinum.
In the healed conch piercing, you can insert products made of gold, silver, or surgical steel.
The optimal choice for piercing is a ring (conch orbital piercing) with a ball or smooth cone clasp, a barbell or a conch piercing stud. These variants of earrings perfectly fit into this part of the ear and protect surrounding tissues, channel holes from injuries. After healing, you can replace your jewelry for a more elegant and interesting one.
Speaking about more interesting options, you know, not just the ordinary conch piercing hoop, we recommend to have a look at the double conch piercing or even triple conch piercing – they look really cool and outstanding! What you need to stand out from the crowd.
Small conch piercing hoop or stud with a small diamond or semiprecious stone also show to advantage.
We provide you with some examples of conch piercing jewelry. Be inspired and do not be afraid of experiments
Criss Cross X Ear Cuff
Bodyjewellery 4pcs 16g Curved Barbell Cartilage Eyebrow
Bodyjewellery 4pcs 14g Labret Studs Lip Ring
Pierced Art Trends 16g Sparkling Cubic
Bodyjewellery 2pcs 16g Horseshoe Circular
Bodyjewellery 8pcs 16g Curved Barbell
Sampson Jewelry Ear Cuff – Fake Piercing
If the piece of jewelry is incorrectly selected, inflammation and rejection can begin. Earring with a small length of the rod exerts pressure on the wound. Too large one will move within the channel, injure it and interfere with healing. Pick up the diameter and length of the decoration will help the master after studying the anatomical structure of the ear.
The thickness of the primary jewelry is most often 14 Ga and 12 Ga, rarely 16 Ga and 10 Ga are used. The size is 1/2 to 5/8 inches, usually large enough for a puncture placed at an average distance from the edge of the ear; the length can be 5/16 inches for thin cartilage and up to 7/16 inch for the thick one.
How to take out a conch piercing
If you want to remove the piercing yourself, you should follow several rules:
1. Disinfection. Disinfect the piercing site with an antiseptic. This will help remove the bacteria. You can use for example this lotion:
Provon Medicated Lotion Soap With Chloroxylenol
2. Removing the crust. To gently remove the crust formed around the healing piercing, you can use a cotton swab dipped in an antibacterial solution, for example, these ones:
Dr. Piercing Aftercare Product
X-pression Extra Strength Liquid Swabs: 24 Swabs
3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap (we recommend this one and rinse with clean water to get rid of dirt on your fingers and hands. After that, lather the fingertips and clean the skin around the piercing. Dry your hands with a paper towel.
Antifungal Soap With Tea Tree Oil & Active Ingredients
- Fix the earring. Hold the jewelry in one position. No need to squeeze it too much, just hold it in place while removing the earring.
- Unscrew the tip of the earring. Using your thumb and index finger, unscrew the ball on the outside of the piercing. Scroll the ball, loosening the thread until you can remove it.
- Remove the conch piercing. With your thumb and index finger, take hold of the earring and get the jewelry from the piercing place. During this procedure, never turn the piercing until it is in your skin.
- Clean the site of the remote piercing. Disinfect the piercing place one more time. Be sure to carefully clean the piercing with antibacterial soap and water.
- We recommend storing a piercing earring in a small bag after cleaning and drying with a paper towel. So it will not be contaminated from the environment.
- If you can’t remove jewelry, use oil (for example this as a lubricant. Do not use petroleum jelly for this purpose, because is accumulates bacteria, which cause the infection.
Pure Tea Tree Oil Natural Essential Oil With Antifungal
- Wait for the piercing site to heal completely before attempting to remove the earring. The healing process can take about 10 weeks.
- If the puncture site is inflamed, you can use an ice cube or take ibuprofen.
Does the conch piercing hurt?
First of all, if you decided to pierce your ear cartilage, we should warn you that this procedure is more complicated compared to the lobe piercing, which means that the conch piercing pain also will be higher. So, yes. Getting the conch piercing is hurt, but not fatally. You can watch different videos with the other people experiences of getting conch piercing in order to prepare yourself.
Don’t be afraid! The procedure lasts from half a minute – you just won’t have time to feel the pain! Compared with for example, the nipple piercing, this one is more comfortable and painless of course.
However, if your pain tolerance is extremely low, it would be wise to use some anaesthetic sprays. All in all, your piercer will 100% tell you all these things and will do everything to reduce pain, so don’t panic and do it!
The ear can ache after the orbital conch piercing for some days – as a rule, in a week painful afterwards disappear (and if this does not happen or if the pain has suddenly returned again after some time – it is an occasion for alarm).
Conch piercing healing time
Taking into account the cartilage tissue specificity, the healing and formation of the tunnel take longer than during the earlobe piercing – usually, it takes a month, but, depending on the individual characteristics, the piercing healing time can last for 2-3 months. During this period, you shouldn’t remove the jewelry, but it must be periodically scrolled and moved in the channel.
If you won’t properly the instructions for the conch piercing aftercare and eventually get infected, the healing time may be longer.
You can shorten the healing period by performing simple things to strengthen your immune system. If you sleep enough, eat well and make sure that you get all the necessary nutrients and vitamins, the recovery period will be shorter.
Herewith, keeping back from illicit drugs, booze and tobacco will help your immune system continue to work in the tip-top form.
During your recovery time, you should not change your jewelry. It may be tempting to replace it with something else so that you can refresh your look, but you should keep it, at least during the first couple of months. Also, probably you will need to keep it much longer. Your piercer will inform you know when you can change your jewelry.
Anti-conch piercing guide
Like any violation of the body integrity, the conch piercing has its contraindications, if ignored, it can become a real health problem. So, it is impossible to have a conch piercing in such conditions:
- Skin diseases localized in the area of the auricle, acute or chronic;
- inflammatory diseases of the ear;
- allergic reaction in the active phase;
- mental disorders of all kinds;
- fever, elevated body temperature;
- the presence of uninhabited craniocerebral injuries.
If a woman who has a baby wants to get such a procedure, then she must first consult with a doctor. The child is pierced only by a pistol, in the older age it is permissible to use a medical needle for these purposes.
The conch piercing is not recommended in such circumstances:
- alcoholic intoxication;
- taking blood-thinning medications;
Don’t do piercing, if you are sick, it can affect the healing process of the wound. Having received the desired piercing and a beautiful jewelry, don’t forget that now you must be especially careful, since only the first stage is completed.
Be careful and do not take any action yourself if in a few days you have a swollen conch piercing place. In this case, immediately contact a specialist who conducted this procedure for you.
If you notice some white, yellow or transparent puss or discharge, don’t worry, it’s ok. But if it acquires a green color – that is definitely the infection symptom.
Those who have long hair should be especially careful: the earrings will touch your curls. Don’t immediately put in your ears massive jewelry, because the pain will be much more palpable.
Is the conch piercing dangerous and what can the consequences be?
Despite the fact that the ear piercing seems to be an absolutely harmless procedure, it can turn into a serious problem. Specialists describe a whole list of possible complications arising as a consequence of this procedure:
- Infection and inflammatory process (it develops due to non-observance of rules of sterility of tools and improper care after a piercing procedure);
- bleeding may occur with impaired blood clotting function;
- an allergic reaction to the material from which the earring is made. Low-quality alloys begin to produce poisonous compounds almost immediately upon contact with a biological material;
- Deformation of the auricle after its damage during the puncture procedure.
In rare cases, a keloid appears. A connective tissue proliferates for several months, at some point the appearance of the tumor can be seen. Keloid growth can last for months, up to the formation of a very large cone on the cartilage. A risk group includes people from 11 years old who have dark skin or relatives with the same tumor.
Sometimes there is a serious complication on the background of infection or other factors – Bell’s palsy. The face can become asymmetrical, there can be numbness and heaviness of the facial tissues, there are failures of salivation and lacrimation. When paralysis of the facial nerve not only listed symptoms are present, but also a very strong pain after the piercing.
Hearing loss after piercing. It is dangerous to be pierced by unprepared people since there is a significant risk of injury to the acoustic system. Improper puncture technique is harmful not only because it hurts the ear after it, but also because a complex irreversible hearing loss can develop. In most cases, the problem is irreversible. Hearing disorders can also be associated with changes in the parameters of the auricle or the overlapping of the acoustic path with a large jewelry.
Tumor on the cartilage. Any oddities in the piercing area are an excuse to immediately go to the master or a doctor. Unfortunately, sometimes instead of an aesthetic hole with an attractive jewelry people get a benign tumor. It grows quickly enough on the basis of the improper creation of the piercing channel or in case of infection. The sizes of a tumor in each case are different; the most voluminous provoke a hearing disorder. Surgical intervention is required to remove the tumor.
But the devil is not so black as it is painted! All this does not mean that you need to give up conch piercings.
To minimize the described risks, it is extremely important that the procedure is carried out taking into account such conditions:
- compliance with the rules of antiseptics;
- use of disposable tools and gloves;
- hypoallergenic alloy of the earring itself;
- absence of contraindications.
Don’t agree to conduct the procedure at home, especially without special education of a piercer. In the medical center, piercing studio or tattoo parlor they will do everything right, without bad consequences. Entrust specialist the choice of jewelry as well.
Conch piercing aftercare
The healing time will last at least a month or even more. The ear in this time is poorly supplied with blood, therefore the risk of inflammation is high. Proper regular piercing aftercare care will help reduce the development of complications.
The main rule here is to use special antiseptic preparations for treatment.
Treat your piercing place twice a day, scrolling the jewelry, so that the product falls into the channel itself. What to use to treat the piercing?
The usual sea salt is a good way to clean your auricle. The solution of the salt water is really easy to do. All you need to do is take one glass of really hot water and add a half of a teaspoon of sea salt. Then you mix it until the salt dissolves. When the salted water is cool enough that you can touch it without scalding, take a swab and soak it in the solution. Then hold the swab up to the conch piercing. Replace the swab with a new one in five minutes.
You can also use special lotions and sprays. Their using even simplifies a problem, because you don’t need to bother about the solution preparing – everything is already done for you! In addition, sprays are much more convenient to use and can even be taken with you if needed. We recommend these ones:
H2ocean 4oz Piercing Aftercare Spray
Berberex Antimicrobial Wound Cleanser for Cuts
These are proven agents, in the effectiveness of which you can be sure.
We also recommend you to avoid alcohol, peroxide, harsh chemicals, fatty lotions, creams, and ointments during healing the period, especially in the first days. Why? All these things can really irritate the tender skin in the piercing place, causing it to turn red and form an accumulation of dry crust which can be painful. Fatty creams and ointments can irritate your skin as well. They’ll keep the conch piercing moist, which will lead to malfunctions of the bacteria, leading to infection.
Repeat this procedure at least twice a day. It is best to do this once in the morning and once at night.
Swimming in public pools and ponds is completely prohibited in the first week, as well as bathing. After taking a shower at home, you need to arrange an additional treatment procedure.
Always wash your hands before doing something with your piercings. Clean hands are a necessity, since they significantly reduce your chances of infection. When you do not clean your conch piercing, you should not touch it in order not to pollute the area.
A few other important tips:
- The headphones should be discarded for the entire recovery period.
- Do not sleep on the side where the conch piercing was made.
- Every two days, change the pillowcase on the pillow so as not to provoke the growth of germs and bacteria.
- Do not remove the jewelry until it is completely healed.
- Do not forget to remove crusts around the piercing channel with soft movements.
- You should check your conch piercing in the morning so that your loose hair does not get tangled around the jewelry.
- If you have long hair, you’d better tie it to reduce contact with the piercing. Thus you’ll avoid getting the infection from the hair. It is advisable to wear a hairstyle, which even in the case of loose hair does not reach the conch piercing.
- Do not change the position of the jewelry! Do not change the jewelry until complete healing, it can infect the piercing site.
- It is forbidden to use primary jewelry of silver and gold.
- Do not use antiseptic products with the irritating effect!
- It’s better to do piercing in spring or in summer, because wearing hats in the cold season can lead to infection.
- Do not use the mobile phone from the piercing side until it is completely healed.
Why does an infection occur?
Infection and subsequent inflammation of the conch piercing occur not only because of non-observance of the rules of sterility or aftercare manipulations. Complications can also occur on piercings that have long healed.
There are several reasons for inflaming an old piercing:
- injury to the hole due to inaccurate treatment;
- infection due to swimming in a polluted pound;
- non-compliance with disinfection conditions when replacing jewelry;
- due to the decrease in immunity, the infection that has been entered earlier develops;
- an allergic reaction to the metal of the new jewelry.
The signs and symptoms of inflammation are the following:
- redness and the appearance of a vascular pattern around the conch piercing;
- acute pain syndrome with a touch;
- dull, rarely – throbbing pain of a constant nature;
- swelling of the pierced area;
- discharge of an unpleasant smell with blood and pus;
- the appearance of a cone around or near the hole.
When the ear swelled after a conch piercing, ignoring the initial symptoms of the infection, a person may have a febrile state. With it, there may be an increase in temperature, up to 39 ° C, as well as concomitant symptoms such as chills, body aches, increased sweating and decreased performance.
What to do if the ear is inflamed after the conch piercing
When the cartilage is inflamed at the piercing site, it is necessary to consult a doctor. But if you don’t have such an opportunity, it is possible to try to negate the negative symptoms, by using:
- antibiotic ointments – for example this one
Neosporin Original Ointment for 24-hour Infection Protection
- antiviral drugs;
- healing remedies – for example, zinc ointment;
Zinc Oxide Ointment by Rugby
- It is possible to apply a mashed sheet of aloe, baked onions, apply tea tree oil.
Nevertheless, it’s better to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
The conch piercing is a medical manipulation that can have serious consequences if the master is not skilled enough or if the aftercare is not proper. Keep in mind that the care for the conch piercing should be not only during the healing period but also the entire subsequent period.
Well, we hope that you’ve given much thought to the decision to have the conch piercing and considered all the pros and cons. We’ve tried to make this text as informative as possible, in order to make it easier for you to make the choice.
Such a piercing is perfect refresh the look both for girls and for guys. The conch piercing is very neat and looks great at any person. Moreover, it’s very cool and stylish nowadays.
You know what you need to do and what you should avoid, how to care for the conch piercings and what remedies to use. Just follow our recommendations and your piercing will heal very quickly and without problems.