Everything You Should Know About Conch Piercing

Our ear resembles a conch shell, and the conch is the inner cup part of our ear. So, the name originated from the same shell. But when it is time to pierce the ear, there is no doubt that you can penetrate the ear’s outer and inner parts or even both. Two types of conch are present in the ear that is inner and outer. Inner conch is the area of the ear that is higher up, i.e., parallel to daith, the fold of Cartilage and above the ear canal; however, the outer conch is at the lower part and very close to the antihelix, the first ridge out of two making the contours at the outer side of the ear.

When you have decided to pierce your conch, the needle goes via the rigid plate of Cartilage. You can also feel your ear and move it around. This part of the ear is the thickest and more complicated compared to other parts of the ear. So, it means that piercing that area will be very difficult compared to other regions due to immense pain while passing the needle. Before you move ahead to the place for sticking to deal with the pain, there are some things that you ought to know about conch piercing.

Is conch piercing painful?

The pain level varies from person to person, so it is tough to say anything about the pain one must tolerate. But it will hurt ho. Howevert will be less hurtful for some and more for others. You will also have an idea about the pain of piercing if this will not be your first-time conch piercing. As we all know, cartilage piercing is more painful than earlobe piercing. Apart from the lobes, if you do not have any piercing, conch one is the best swoop into the world of more advanced pierce. During the entire process, sharp pain and pressure are expected when the needle goes through the ticker area of the ear. As the hours and days go, the pain will become more hot and throbbing as well. The pain gets worse when you clean the piercing or when you are sleeping. In the starting, you will not be able to sleep as if you sleep on any side; then, the pain is intense.


The time you need to stay with the pain is not defined yet as it depends on several factors, such as the methods used for piercing and your tolerance level. But tenderness can be expected for a few weeks. To heel completely, the needle-piercing takes around three to nine months and even more to overcome the pain. During these months, it is also evident that your ear gets infected or is at risk of infection, increasing pain. Thus the pain depends.

If the small-gauge dermal punch is used to pierce the conch, then more pain is expected as the ear’s energy is a kind of hole punch. This device takes around two minutes for piercing, but after the pain is immense. At the point where the hole is created by dermal punch, a small part of Cartilage is removed through the same process. After doing conch piercing with the help of a dermal point, you will face trouble sleeping on one side for a couple of months and even more. The pain, as well as tenderness, loiters for a year or more. Apart from the piercing conch you select, the pain will naturally decrease after months and weeks.

What methods are used for Conch piercing?

Regardless of what methods you opt for, there are two different conch piercing methods for the inner and outer piercing of the ear. Regular needle piercing is a widespread method that is widely used. During these methods, the piercer cleans part of the ear properly, marks the area where the piercing will be done on both sides accurately, and then push the needle and jewelry. It takes a few minutes only.

On the other side, the method used for piercing is a dermal conch. But the piercer can use this method only if you request for the same. The plus point of using a dermal punch is that you can get the ability to wear heavy and more oversized jewelry. Not similar to that of earlobes, stretching can’t be done in Cartilage. If you want to wear more significant and more prominent pieces of jewelry, then you need a big hole too. This hole does not close up naturally like other piercing holes and ought to be considered permanent.

Chronic pain with a conch piercing

Do you ever hear that some ear piercing can help to minimize the pain? But this is true as Daith piercing is one out of them, and it is also suitable for migraine patients as it provides relief. Both chronic, as well as acute pain has been attached with the Conch piercing. There is scientific evidence of this practice as some acupuncture points in the ear reduce the pain. To exemplify, a study in 2017 showed that people with spinal cord injuries get relief from the association of ear acupuncture and neuropathic pain relief. On the contrary, a pain relief protocol is followed by battlefield acupuncture that targets five different acupuncture points in both ears, but only one comes closer to conch piercing.

Conch piercing takes time and needs care.

The thicker avascular tissue of the ear is Cartilage, and it does not take it easy to puncture wounds or put a needle or any other devices for holes. It does have too much good supply of blood and takes too long to heal. It is necessary to take proper care during the healing time as it may lead to infection if care is not provided correctly. A Piercer has given various aftercare directions to eliminate and protect the ear from disease. Here are some of the protections that are mentioned below:

  • Cleaning of the ear is a must at least twice a day for three months.
  • Hands must be washed properly before touching or cleaning ear piercing.
  • Buy a saline solution and mix the same into 1/8 or ¼ teaspoon of non-ionized sea salt into a cup of bottled or distilled water as you prefer.
  • With the help of clean gauze or a paper towel, gently wipe the ear area with a saturated saline solution.
  • Avoid rotating your piercing during cleaning or at any other time too.
  • A sea salt bath must be provided to the part of the ear once per day by putting the saline solution into a mug or bowl and moving your head to dip into your ear in the solution for at least three to five minutes.
  • Do not remove the jewelry before the piercer says so.

Best-possible precautions and side effects

Whenever you meet with some injuries on your body, then complications are already attached to the same. Similarly happens with a conch piercing. Here are some of them.

Infected conch piercing:

A lot of infections are attached with the conch piercing. In a study of five-hundred women conch piercing, it is observed that thirty-two percent of women got infections due to such piercing. The piercing is painful and needs more antibiotics, and the disease makes it more complicated and hurtful. If you notice any condition, do not remove the jewelry before taking advice from the piercer. Removing the jewelry may also cause infection with an accumulation of pus in it that can increase.

Here are some signs of infection:

  • The skin gets swollen as well as red around the piercing area.
  • Extreme pain and tenderness.
  • Discharge is a yellow or green color from piercing.
  • Fever, chills, or nausea.
  • Red streaks.
  • Symptoms last longer than one week.
  1. Swelling: The body’s natural response towards trauma is known as swelling or medically known as inflammation. The ear turns to be red and puffy. It takes a few weeks to go down the swelling.
  2. Piercing Bumps: The conch piercing is also affected by different bumps, which are given as below:
  • Keloid scars (painless formation of collagen, looks like scar tissue).
  • An abscess (infection full of pus).
  • A piercing pimple that has a small amount of pus next to the hole.
  • Contact dermatitis (a kind of metal allergy infected by jewelry).

When do you need to visit a doctor?

If you have any signs and symptoms of infection, you have to see your healthcare provider check it out. Here are some of the warning signs of serious diseases, which are as follows:

  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Red streaks coming out of the piercing
  • Pain gets worse over time

How much does it cost?

The piercer and the choice of jewelry decide the cost of conch piercing. It may lie between $40 to $100, so keep the budget in mind before going for a conch piercing. The idea of the new piercing may ruin your budget, too, if you do not consider the associated cost.

Can you wear earbuds while healing conch piercing?

What s excellent question! But not a great answer as you can’t wear earbuds during the healing time with a conch piercing. Instead of using earbuds, you need to replace them with over-the-ear headphones. Give some time to piercing for healing so that you can avoid snags, irritation, or pain.

Is conch piercing worth it?

There is no particular reason to avoid conch piercing, but if you are passionate about decorating your conch area of the ear with some beautiful studs and hoop earrings, then you should go for it. Once you have done with the healing process, there is much more to do with piercing. However, it would help if you cleaned the conch piercing two to three times a day with the saline solution during the healing time.

Styles of Conch Jewelry

As mentioned earlier, the conch piercing is composed of the inner conch and the outer conch. The location of the conch depends on the cartilage anatomy; you are also required to make decisions about the jewelry style before choosing the site of the conch. In the outer conch, the large hoops are widely popular. The location of the outer conch is on the upper conch cartilage and closer to that of the rim of the ear. You can pick up a hoop style or clicker hoops. However, a cartilage stud is a good choice for an inner conch when you have decided to go for an inner conch.

Bottom Line

Overall, you can go for inner and outer conch piercing as you would like to opt for. Pain, tenderness, and irritation are associated with conch piercing for a few months. Still, the main thing is to avoid infections by following the entire cleanup procedure and care of conch piercing with the help of the saline solution. Last but not least, follow all the guidelines provided by the piercer to stay away from unnecessary pain and infections. You have to keep in mind these things while going for any conch piercing (pronounced as “konk”), as it is necessary to know everything before proceeding.

Joshua K. Lopez

As a health blogger, my goal is to educate people on healthy living and wellness trends. Through my writing, I hope to promote positive mental and physical health and provide people with tips, tricks, and recipes to lead a healthier lifestyle. My work has been featured in The Huffington Post, LiveStrong, FitSugar, and more. I’ve even appeared on national television, including The Doctors.