Conch Piercings - The Ultimate Guide

What is a conch piercing?

Conch piercings are a type of ear cartilage piercing, getting it’s name from the ear’s resemblance to a conch shell. The conch is located in the large centre part of the ear on the thick part of the cartilage leading into the ear canal. If you’ve been researching ear piercing ideas, you’ve probably seen influencers and celebrities alike wearing a hoop or stud worn in the conch, it is the new ‘it girl’ piercing trend.

Arrow pointing to the location of a conch piercing on the ear

Do conch piercings hurt?

While conch piercings are extremely popular and beautiful, it can be an intimidating piercing to get, as the area of cartilage is quite thick when compared to other popular cartilage piercings such as the helix, flat or tragus. It is difficult to say how painful conch piercings are, because everyone has different pain tolerances. The good news is the piercing happens very quickly, and the pain of a conch piercing isn’t too dissimilar from other cartilage areas such as the tragus, daith or helix, however a conch piercing will be more painful than a lobe piercing (it’s nothing you can’t handle though!).

Conch piercing healing time

Your healing time may vary depending on a number of factors including how well you follow the piercing aftercare instructions you’re given and your general health. Generally, conch piercings will take 6-12 months or sometimes longer to have healed enough to change the jewellery.

Conch piercing aftercare

At Essential Beauty, your piercing will be performed under sterile conditions with a single use needle and autoclave sterilised jewellery and tools. As a piercing is an open wound in the body, there is a risk of infection after you leave your appointment. Dirt, bacteria and germs can enter your piercing from your hands, hair and pillowcase so it is important that you are meticulous in cleaning your piercing by using a saline spray such as Sterilear and by keeping pillowcases clean, hair out of the way and hands off!

Avoid sleeping on the side of the piercing until it has fully healed as pressure on the piercing can cause problems with healing, there is also a risk of piercing migration and piercing bumps (sometimes incorrectly referred to as keloids) forming. Touching, playing with, rotating or picking at the piercing and jewellery is the most common reason that clients either get an infected piercing or prolonged healing problems.

Woman's ear with a conch piercing and first and second lobe piercings with gold jewellery.

The best jewellery for conch piercings

The first time you want to change your jewellery, return to the piercer who did your piercing in the first place. This will ensure that your piercing has actually healed enough to be changed and your piercer will help you choose the correct size, gauge and style jewellery for your piercing. Generally, Essential Beauty pierce the conch with 16 gauge (1.2mm thickness) jewellery, so when choosing new jewellery opt for 16 gauge or lower, 18 gauge if you prefer a more dainty look. Bear in mind that if you choose thinner gauge jewellery like 18 or 20 gauge the piercing hole will shrink and you may not be able to fit 16 gauge in your piercing again.

Conch hoops: Sometimes called orbitals, hinged rings or hoops are another popular choice for conch piercings, it is usually recommended however that you get your conch pierced with a flat back labret initially and then change to a hoop once healed. Ensure you tell your piercer your future plans for jewellery as they will find the best placement for your piercing, the great news is, all Essential Beauty salons have a huge range of flatback attachment designs to choose from. Click here to shop conch rings.

Conch studs and bars: Flat back labret jewellery is great for conch piercings as they will sit flat against the back of the ear making them a super comfy choice for your conch piercing. With so many fun jewellery designs to choose from, just switch out the labret attachment for a new look (you don’t even have to remove the bar!).

Curated ear piercing with a conch stud, firsts, seconds and thirds lobe piercings with 18K gold jewellery.

Can you wear earbuds with a conch piercing?

You should avoid wearing earbud headphones while your conch piercing is healing, as inserting and removing headphones will continuously knock the piercing and can cause irritation, prolonged healing time or infection. Make sure to tell your piercer if you wear earbuds as they will pick the best placement for your conch piercing ensuring it’s out of the way of your headphones!

Ready to book in for your conch piercing? Book online today or visit one of our salons to chat about getting a conch piercing!

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