Conch Piercing: Should You Get One?

Conch piercings have become very popular for their versatility and stylish look. If you want a piercing that can portray subtlety and finesse, or one that can be transformed into a statement piece, then this could be the piercing for you.

What is a Conch Piercing?

A conch piercing is a type of ear piercing that goes through the concha, which is a large area on the auricle that’s made of cartilage. It can be done using a number of different jewelry styles, including rings, bars, and captive bead rings. The most popular style is the ring, which is inserted through the piercings and then threaded on the outside of your ear.

The conch piercing is a popular choice for those looking for a more unique ear piercing. However, since it’s a cartilage piercing, it can be a bit more challenging to heal than other ear piercings and will need extra care.

What You Need to Know About Conch Piercings

The concha is a relatively thick piece of cartilage, so the piercing process can be a bit more challenging than other ear piercings. It can be more painful and can take more time to heal. It’s very important to go to a reputable piercer who has experience with this type of piercing.

There are actually two types of conch piercings namely the inner conch and the outer conch.

The inner conch is the traditional and more popular one. This is located near the center of the ear. The outer conch piercing also called the lower helix, is located above the ear. It’s that you communicate with your piercer and clearly state what kind of conch piercing you want.

The Piercing Process

Ear piercing
A professional will make sure that your conch piercing is done properly, minimizing risks of infections.

The procedure for conch piercing can vary depending on the piercer and the person getting pierced, but it typically involves using a needle to pierce through the concha and then inserting a jewelry piece into the hole. In some cases, a punch may be used instead of a needle to make the hole.

Healing Time

Black and white photo of ear piercing
Piercings on the cartilage, like the rook and conch piercings, will take more time to heal

Like the rook piercing, conch piercings will take more time to heal compared to piercings done near the earlobe. 

Healing time for a conch piercing can take from 3 to 8 months, so it’s important to be patient and follow your piercer’s aftercare instructions closely. During this time, you’ll need to keep the area clean and free of bacteria.


Aftercare is very important when it comes to piercings because these procedures are prone to infections.

Avoid touching your piercing as much as possible and refrain from putting pressure on your piercings while you sleep. This means that you should avoid twisting or turning while lying on your bed and make sure that you clean them with alcohol or saline solution two times a day.

Make sure that you have all the basic necessities in your medicine cabinet so that you can easily access them when needed. If you experience any pain, swelling, or redness, be sure to see your piercer right away. 

With proper care, a conch piercing will look cool and stylish but neglecting aftercare can cause it to scar from infections.

Risks That Come with a Conch Piercing

Like any other type of piercing, there are risks associated with getting a conch piercing. These include:

Infection. Anytime you get a piercing, there is a risk of infection. This is especially true if the area isn’t kept clean and free of bacteria.

Bleeding. Piercing can cause some bleeding, especially in the early stages of healing.

Scarring. Piercings can leave scars, especially if they are not cared for properly.

Keloid Formation. Some people are more prone to keloid formation, which is a type of scar that is raised and thick.

Allergic Reaction. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the metal used in the piercing jewelry. This can cause inflammation and irritation.

Dislodgement. The jewelry can become dislodged from the piercing, which can lead to infection and other complications.

Pain. Conch piercings can be quite painful, especially in the early stages of healing.

If you’re considering getting a conch piercing, it is important to weigh the risks and benefits carefully. Make sure you discuss the procedure with your piercer and ask any questions you may have. 

Added Tips When Getting a Conch Piercing

Avoid rings

Avoid wearing rings in the first few months of getting your conch piercing. Yes, rings do look beautiful on a conch piercing, but you should wait for your wound to heal before going for it. A ring on a freshly pierced ear can cause infections as they’re harder to clean.

Start with a stud

Choose a stud that has a longer stem so that you get a little extra space as it’s easier to clean that way. It will also allow for faster healing.

Don’t sleep on your freshly pierced ear

Never sleep on your conch piercing while they’re still healing as the piercing can become uneven. The earring should go through the piercing in a straight manner, however, sleeping on it could widen and slant the hole which will make your earring look wonky.

Visit your piercer once or twice while your piercing is undergoing the healing process. A good would usually be in the first month and in the second month just so you can make sure that the piercing is healing properly.

Is a Conch Piercing Painful?

Expect it to be more painful than the standard lobe piercing. The piercing process won’t be that painful, however, different people have different levels of pain tolerance so some people could experience no pain while others could experience a bit of pain. 

The uncomfortable part of the process is when you put the jewelry in. Since it is a fresh wound, it will hurt whenever you put pressure on it.

Is Conch the Most Painful Piercing?

Conch falls under the moderately painful category. Since the cartilage in that area is much thicker, it is more painful than the helix piercing or the standard lobe. The most painful ear piercings belong to rook piercing, industrial piercing, and anti-tragus.

How Much are Conch Piercings?

Prices range from $40 to $100. Note that the professionalism and experience of the piercer are more important than the price of the piercing. Cartilage piercings are more complicated and more prone to scarring so you want to make sure that you’re in good hands. 

Can I Wear Earbuds with a Conch Piercing?

A woman with wireless earphones
refrain from wearing earbuds after piercing your ears

No, you shouldn’t wear earphones, headphones, or earbuds during the healing process. However, you can normally wear them after your conch piercing heals.

Should You Get a Conch Piercing?

All cartilage piercings need meticulous aftercare. If you’re not sure if you could care for the wound for at least 6 months, then you should stay away from conch piercings as it can take up to 9 months to heal.

If you’re prone to scarring, then you should also stay away from a conch piercing or any kind of cartilage piercings. These kinds of piercings are highly susceptible to hypertrophic scarring or scars that are thick and raised. 

However, if you can take care of the wound and sanitize it properly for 6 months or more and you’re not likely to suffer from scars or keloids, then this could be the piercing for you.

If you decide to go ahead with the piercing, be sure to follow all of the aftercare instructions to ensure a safe and healthy healing process.

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