Conch Piercing: Placement, Pain, Healing, Cost, Jewelry, Aftercare, Pros and Cons
Ear piercings are extremely popular and offer a fun way to decorate your body and express yourself. One type of ear piercing is a conch piercing. The name comes from its location in the middle portion of your ear, which looks like a conch.
If you’re considering a conch piercing, learn more about variations, pain, healing, cost, jewelry, and more.
What Is a Conch Piercing?
Conch piercings are located at the conch or “concha” portion of your ear, which is the inner middle portion of the ear that looks similar to a conch shell. They go through the ear’s cartilage, which is more hard and dense than the ear lobe.
Conch piercings can stand alone or they can be paired with other piercings for a more complex look.
Image: Lucy Simmons.
Types of Conch Piercings
There are a few different variations of conch piercings, including inner conch, outer conch, double conch, and orbital conch piercings. They differ based on their placement and how many piercings there are.
Learn about all of the potential conch piercing types to ensure you get the one that best suits your style and preferences.
Inner Conch Piercing
Just like they sound, inner conch piercings are located at the center part of your ear. A hole is punctured right in the center to make way for a stud. So, it looks like the jewelry is in the center of your ear.
Outer Conch Piercing
Unlike inner conch piercings, outer conch piercings are located at the outer portion of your ear, closer to the edge. This allows for a hoop or a ring that circles the outer edge of your ear.
Keep in mind: Actual placement will vary based on the anatomy and shape of your ear.
Double Conch Piercing
While single conch piercings involve a single puncture, double conch piercings involve two punctures. This gives you the opportunity to have two conch piercings right next to one another.
You can use the same type of jewelry in each piercing or mix and match.
Orbital Conch Piercing
An orbital conch piercing blends aspects of the outer conch and double conch. There are two piercing holes but just one piece of jewelry.
Two holes are pierced at the outer portion of your ear with a single cartilage hoop passing through them both. It gives the idea of an orbit, circling your ear.
Conch Piercing Pain
You may be wondering, does a conch piercing hurt? On a scale from one to ten, conch piercings can rate around a 7 or an 8. However, the actual pain level will depend on the individual and their pain tolerance.
Conch piercings typically hurt more than an ear lob piercing because they go through the cartilage, which is harder to pierce through.
Conch Piercing Healing Time
Another essential question to consider is, how long does a conch piercing take to heal? Conch piercings can take from 6 to 9 months to heal.
There aren’t as many blood vessels in this area of the ear as there are in the ear lobe, lengthening the healing time. It could take even longer if you don’t take proper care of the piercing or change the jewelry too fast.
How Much Is a Conch Piercing?
A single conch piercing will likely cost around $35, not including jewelry. With jewelry, you can expect to pay around $85.
However, the cost can vary greatly based on the piercer you go to and the type of jewelry you select. Generally speaking, the higher the quality of jewelry you choose, the higher the cost.
Conch Piercing Jewelry
When getting a conch piercing, you’ll need to choose your jewelry. It’s typically best to opt for a safe, high-quality material for your initial jewelry. Once your piercing is fully healed, you can explore other jewelry materials and designs to figure out what works best for you.
1. Types of Conch Jewelry
It’s important to select the correct jewelry for your conch piercing to support its healing and ensure a comfortable fit.
Conch Stud Piercing
Piercing stud implant-grade titanium with cubic zirconia 16G $18.9, SHOP NOW.
For an inner conch piercing, you’ll want to select a conch stud. This will go right through the center of your ear and can be adorned with a metal ball, diamond, shape, or arrangement of gemstones.
Conch Piercing Hoop
Gold hoop with a chain and CZ titanium 16G $21.9, SHOP NOW.
For an outer conch piercing or an orbital conch piercing, you’ll likely be selecting a hoop. Hoops come in different materials and styles that you can change out once your piercing is fully healed.
2. Conch Jewelry Materials
Some of the most popular materials for conch earrings include:
- Implant-grade titanium: Conch piercing jewelry made of implant-grade titanium is a great option because titanium is lightweight, nickel-free, and won’t tarnish. It may help you avoid an allergic reaction and the need to frequently change out the jewelry. This metal is also used in the medical field for things like joint replacements and bone pins.
- 14K gold: Gold offers an elegant look and is a durable material, though yellow gold is often more hypoallergenic, and white gold can be more durable because it has nickel and other metal alloys.
- Implant-grade stainless steel: A hypoallergenic option that’s often safe for those with sensitive skin.
- Bioplastic: Soft, flexible plastic that may be recommended if you undergo surgery, X-rays, or other procedures that require you to remove metals from your body.
3. Conch Jewelry Size
When selecting conch earrings, you’ll notice there are various gauge options. For hoops, you’ll also have to choose a diameter, and for studs, you’ll have to choose length.
- Gauge: Conch jewelry is typically 14 gauge (1.6mm) or 16 gauge (1.2mm).
- Length: Conch studs typically range from 5mm to 12mm long depending on the thickness of your ear.
- Diameter: Conch hoops can range from 6mm to 12mm, depending on the size and anatomy of your ear.
Infected Conch Piercing
Any type of piercing can get infected, but conch piercings are more susceptible than lobe piercings. Look out for signs of an infected piercing so you can get it treated right away. Conch infection symptoms may include:
- Hot to the touch
- Oozing or bleeding
- Foul odor
- Pain and discomfort
- A large bump by the piercing
While some symptoms, like redness and swelling, can be normal right after you get the piercing, they should go away. If these issues linger or get worse, you should contact your piercer and a health professional.
For immediate relief and help with swelling, pain, and redness, consider using an ice pack or cold compress.
When Can I Change My Conch Piercing?
Most piercers recommend waiting to change your conch piercing jewelry until it’s fully healed, usually in 6 to 9 months. Removing your jewelry too soon could contribute to an infection or could cause your piercing to close shut.
How to Clean a Conch Piercing?
Conch piercings are more susceptible to complications than ear lob piercings, so they require special attention and care. Clean your piercing at least twice a day, following these steps:
1. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap.
2. Make a saline solution with ¼ teaspoon sea salt and one cup of warm water.
3. Saturate a cotton swap or something else that is gentle and sterile with the solution.
4. Soak the piercing thoroughly on the front and the back.
5. Rotate the piercing gently to allow the solution to enter the hole.
Be sure to avoid touching or playing with the piercing. Try not to sleep on that side and be careful of fabrics that could snag the jewelry.
Conch Piercing Pros and Cons
Conch piercings have both pros and cons that will vary from person to person.
Potential pros of conch piercings include:
- There are many different jewelry options.
- You can coordinate the piercing with other ear piercings.
- There are different variations to make the piercing your own.
- They are located in your ear, which is a common choice.
- They allow you to express yourself.
Potential cons of conch piercings include:
- They can be painful.
- They require strict aftercare.
- They are susceptible to infection and other risks like keloids.
- They require a skilled piercer who can pierce through cartilage.
- They take longer to heal.
Should You Get a Conch Piercing?
If you’re looking to get a new piercing, a conch piercing could be great for you. Consider how it will look and narrow down what type of conch is your favorite. Then, make sure you’re willing to complete the right aftercare.
Once you’re ready, seek out a reputable piercer who will use sterile materials and who offers high-quality jewelry to choose from. This will help ensure a smooth process that makes you confident about getting your conch pierced.