The conch is part of your ear’s cartilage in the shell of the ear which looks amazing with some jewelry through it.
What makes the conch piercing so interesting is the slightly unusual placement. Technically, it is a cartilage piercing, although it is placed on a different part of the ear to the common helix piercing (top of the ear).
There are two different types of conch piercing – the inner conch and outer conch.
The inner conch is positioned in the center part of the ear, directly opposite the opening to your ear canal. The outer conch is located on the flat bit of cartilage between the edge of the ear (the helix) and the ridge of the anti-helix.
What Are the Risks of the Conch Piercing?
As with all piercings, if you do this piercing yourself and then proceed to not take proper care of it, you increase the chance of something going wrong with your new piercing. So make sure your piercer is reputable and also make sure you follow a conch piercing aftercare routine.
The biggest risk you face when you get a conch piercing is the chance of getting a nasty infection.
An infected conch piercing can present serious complications. Due to the multiple layers of cartilage where the piercing is positioned, there is a risk of infection forming between the layers of cartilage and spreading. This could result in the cartilage of your ear being eaten away. Since the body cannot grow new cartilage, this could result in parts of your ear collapsing as they lack the necessary support. This would be irreversible!
Take my word, you really don’t want this to happen to you. I would suggest you do everything in your power to prevent you nice new piercing from getting infected.
Keep reading to learn how to prevent anything bad from happening to your beautiful new conch piercing.
Conch Piercing Aftercare
The top way to prevent the previously mentioned disasters from happening to you is by caring for your piercing properly.
Cleanse your piercing twice a day for the initial stage of the healing period, which can last from 2 to 6 months. Wash your hands before touching your piercing
There are a couple of ways of doing this:
Piercing Aftercare Solution
Of course, one of the best ways of looking after your piercing and preventing infection is by using a professional piercing aftercare solution. There is a whole variety of different products available, all serving slightly different purposes.
The best product I have ever used (and still use to this day) is the EasyPiercing Aftercare Kit. The reason I am so fond of this kit is the fact that you get 3 different bottles of solution, one for any situation your piercing may call for.
With this kit you get a bottle of saline solution, anti-bacterial solution and gel cleanser. With three three solutions in your arsenal, you are fully armed to care for any piercing you may get!
If you have read any of my other articles, you will know by now that I am a massive fan of using saline solution for piercing aftercare.
The great thing about saline soak is the fact that you can throw it together in a minute or two at home. All you need to do it mix a quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt into a cup of luke warm water (preferably distilled).
No all you need to do it apply it to your piercing using a cotton pad (don’t use a cotton ball, the fibres could get caught in the jewelry).
Jewelry for the Conch Piercing
When you get your conch piercing done you should put some real thought into what type of jewelry you will wear throughout the healing period. You will not be able to change your jewelry until your piercing is fully healed, so you will want to make sure that you are happy with the way it looks and feels in your ear.
You can choose between a Ball Closure Ring, a horseshoe barbell, a cuff, a straight barbell or a labret stud.
The jewelry you choose should be made of a high quality material such as titanium, silver, gold or BioFlex/BioPlast. Stainless steel is fine for most people, except for those of you who have a sensitivity to nickel, as steel (even surgical grade) has been found to contain trace amounts of nickel – enough to trigger a reaction and irritate your piercing.
Your jewelry should be lightweight and long enough to allow for swelling. Your jewelry should be one gauge size smaller than the needle you were pierced with (14G needle = 16G jewelry) this way it will fit snug in your ear.
A Quick Word on Infection
As I said, the biggest threat with this piercing is the risk of infection – which can become quite serious if left untreated.
How to Spot an Infection
Whilst your piercing is healing, you should be keeping a very close eye on it at all times. It is perfectly normal to experience some pain, redness and swelling at first but if these symptoms worsen or persist, you know something is not quite right.
The symptoms you need to watch out for are as follows:
- Severe redness or swelling
- Overwhelming pain
- Foul swelling odd coloured discharge
- Skin around the piercing radiating heat
- Dizziness, headaches, nausea, fever/flu like symptoms (this is a sign the infection is getting more serious, get help!)
If you notice any of these symptoms, go and consult your doctor immediately, you may need a course of antibiotics.
In the mean time, take special care of your piercing. Keep cleansing twice or three times daily. You may want to use a mild alcohol free anti-bacterial soap.
If you are here because you intend on getting a conch piercing soon, I would like to say once more to get this piercing done by a professional. Don’t try and do it yourself or get one of your mates to do it. You will regret it!
Take good care of your piercing while it heals. Cleanse twice daily for the first 2 months then once daily up until the 6 month mark (minimum). Wear the right jewelry and look after your health by eating healthy and exercising andd you will heal up perfectly.
This piercing is great fun and looks awesome with other ear piercings or on it’s own.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it to be of use.
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