A conch piercing occurs when the cartilage of the ear is perforated with the purpose of wearing jewelry. The piercing can occur either on the inner ear or the outer ear. The name of the piercing comes from the resemblance the ear bears to the shell of the conch.
Types of conch piercings
The inner conch piercing will be done at the center of the ear in the area adjacent to the canal that appears to be cup-shaped. The outer conch piercing will be done in the area of the ear between the rim or edge, which is the helix, and the anti-helix. Both of these piercings are completed using the same method as any other piercing located in the cartilage of the ear.
A hollow, hypodermic needle is used to make the perforation in the ear. Normally, a 14g needle is used; but a slightly larger needle may be used as well. No smaller than a 16g needle should be used to make any type of piercing if it is to be healthy.
The amount of conch piercing pain that most individuals feel is quite significant, especially with the inner piercing. There has also been a considerable amount of soreness associated with getting these piercings.
Conch piercing jewelry is typically straight barbells, curved barbells, or captive bead rings. These are the suggested pieces of jewelry to wear during the healing process so that the ear is not facing extra damage because of the jewelry.
The conch piercing healing process is similar to the process of other piercings. It is recommended that a sea salt soak is used at least twice a day to thoroughly clean the jewelry and piercing area.
Sea salt also helps to soften dried lymph, reduce soreness, sterilize the area that was pierced, reduce swelling, and increase blood flow to the area. An increase in blood flow will allow the healing process to complete sooner.
It is important not to over-wash the area or to use alcohol or peroxide when washing the piercing as this will cause the healing process to drastically slow down. It should be noted that jewelry should not be changed for a period of eight weeks until the area is healed.