Conch Piercing: A Detailed Guide (Process, Cost, and Care Tips)

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Are you contemplating getting a new bold and unique ear piercing? The conch piercing, perhaps? Then this guide is for you. We’re breaking down everything you need to know before getting this piercing, including the types of conch piercings, the pain level, cost, aftercare tips, and much more. 

What is a conch piercing?

Conch piercing - Conch Piercing: A Detailed Guide (About, Cost, Care Tips)


The conch is the inner cup part of your ear, which gets its name from the ear’s resemblance to a conch shell. A conch piercing is a cartilage piercing on that inner cup-like section in your ear outside of the ear canal. There are two types of conch piercings; inner and outer piercing.

The inner conch piercing is higher up and parallel to the daith (the ridge of cartilage above your ear canal). The outer conch piercing is lower and closer to the outer edge of the cartilage and the antihelix piercing. You can wear a hoop in the outer conch piercing because it is closer to the edge of the ear.

A piercer can perform a conch piercing in two ways. The first is by using a piercing needle; the piercer will clean the area, mark a point on both sides and then insert the needle and jewelry. The second method is using a dermal punch; this is preferable if you’re interested in wearing larger jewelry. It involves using a small dermal punch to remove a small circle of cartilage.

What does a conch piercing symbolize?

A conch piercing symbolizes mystery. It’s located in a hidden part of the ear, so it’s believed that the wearer is mysterious and doesn’t want much attention. 

This ear piercing is also believed to target acupuncture points that help with muscle relaxation and combating chronic pain.

How do you pronounce “conch” piercing?

You pronounce the word “conch” as “konk.”

What’s a double conch piercing?

Double conch - Conch Piercing: A Detailed Guide (About, Cost, Care Tips)


A double conch piercing is two piercings done in the conch part of your ear. Each piercing has its own piece of jewelry.

What’s an orbital conch piercing?

orbital conch


An orbital conch piercing goes through the ear at two points with one piece of jewelry. The piercer makes two perforations in the conch and places the jewelry through both. 

Getting a conch piercing

Before getting this trendy ear piercing, you need essential information such as the cost, the pain level, and suitable jewelry types. 

Is the conch piercing painful?

Yes, it’s painful as the needle pierces a thick cartilage chunk. It’s more painful than the standard earlobe piercing, ranking at a six on the pain scale from 1-10. However, pain is subjective, as some people have a higher pain tolerance than others. 

What earring do they pierce a conch with?

Piercers use studs with flat backs for conch piercings. The flat backs prevent the stud end from poking the side of your head, especially when lying on your side or using the phone.

What piercing compliments a conch?

Here are the best piercings to compliment your conch piercing.

Triple lobe + conch piercing

triple lobe +conch piercing


This combination is a bit mysterious as onlookers will wonder if you have a fourth lobe piercing or if they even saw the conch piercing at all.

Flat helix + conch piercing

flat helix + conch piercing


If you like to keep your piercings concealed, we recommend the conch and flat helix combination. We like this duo because it’s all about coordinating them to work off one another. 

Conch + double helix + double lobe

Conch + double helix+ double lop piercing


If you love hoops, this would be a perfect combination with the right jewelry.

How much do conch piercings cost?

The average cost of a conch piercing is around $35, excluding the jewelry cost. However, some piercing studios may charge a bit more or a bit less. 

Conch piercing healing

After getting the conch piercing, the healing period is critical. Your diligence with aftercare will aid recovery and prevent infections.

How long does a conch piercing take to heal?

Conch piercings done with a needle take six to nine months to heal, while those done by a dermal punch can take a year or more to heal completely. This is because cartilage is thick avascular tissue that doesn’t respond well to puncture wounds. Since the blood supply in cartilage is minimal, a punch wound will take longer to heal.

How long until you can sleep on a conch piercing?

You can comfortably sleep on a conch piercing after six to seven months. 

Can you wear AirPods with a conch piercing?

Yes, you can wear AirPods with a conch piercing after it has completely healed. However, the type of jewelry you wear will determine whether or not the device sits properly in your ear. You still have to be careful and clean your AirPods before putting them in your ear, so you don’t have to worry about an ear infection. 

💡 Warning: While the conch piercing is still healing, avoid AirPods and headphones to aid healing and prevent infections.

Does a conch heal better with a stud or hoop?

A conch piercing heals better with a stud because it’s more comfortable and stable. Hoops are more likely to tug on bedding, clothing, or hair, which pulls the ear and causes irritation, and  delays the healing process.

Can you sleep with a conch piercing?

You can, but avoid lying on the side with the piercing until it’s completely healed. Sleeping on the piercing can irritate and delay the healing process.

💡 Tip: Avoid getting this piercing on both ears simultaneously so that you can sleep on one side until the other side is healed.  

What can you not do with a conch piercing?

During the healing period, to aid healing and avoid irritation and infections, avoid:

  • Cleaning the piercing with harsh products such as alcohol, iodine, and hydrogen peroxide
  • Exposing the piercing to unclean water, such as swimming pools, hot tubs, and lakes
  • Wearing heavy or hanging jewelry until the piercing is completely healed
  • Applying cosmetic products such as lotions and fragrances near the piercing
  • Overcleaning the piercing site, which could delay healing by irritating the piercing
  • Constantly touching the piercing with unwashed hands
  • Twisting and turning the piercing before it’s healed
  • Removing or changing your jewelry while it’s still healing
  • Wearing hats, headbands, and headphones

Caring for your conch piercing

It’s crucial to know how to care for your conch piercing to avoid infections and other complications. Follow the guidelines below to clean and care for your conch piercing.

How to clean a conch piercing

To prevent a conch piercing from getting infected, you must clean it correctly. Here’s how to do that:

  1. First, wash your hands with antimicrobial soap.
  2. Pour warm saline water into a shallow bowl. Then tilt your head to soak your ear in the solution for three to five minutes. Do this twice a day. 
  3. Gently wipe the area with clean gauze saturated with the saline solution.
  4. Avoid rotating your piercing during cleaning.
  5. Dry off the area using a clean paper towel.

💡 Take Note: It’s advisable to clean your conch piercing no more than twice daily. Over-cleaning may cause irritation. 

How do you clean the back of a conch piercing?

Cleaning the back of a conch piercing might seem tricky, so here’s how to do it:

  1. Wash your hands with antimicrobial soap and rinse them with warm water.
  2. Spray the back of the piercing with warm, saline water.
  3. Wipe the area with a clean gauze saturated with saline water.
  4. Lather a small amount of antimicrobial soap in your hands and gently massage the lather around your conch, piercing on the front and back sides.
  5. Rinse the ear with clean distilled water.
  6. Dry it off with a paper towel. 

How do you change a conch piercing?

When your piercing heal, your piercer will delicately remove the jewelry and put in the new jewelry that you want. 

If you must change the piercing yourself, here’s how to do it:

  1. To remove flat back earrings, firmly grasp both ends of the earring.
  2. Hold the flatback post (the back of the earring) and gently unscrew the front piece from the post. 
  3. When the front piece is loose, gently pull it away from the post. 
  4. Then remove the post from the ear piercing.
  5. Wipe any dirt or residue with a paper towel soaked in a saline solution.

💡 Take Note: Prematurely changing your piercing can cause irritation and delay healing. If you must change a fresh piercing, we recommend returning to your professional piercer.

The bold yet subtle piercing

Now that you know all about the conch piercing, make an appointment with your professional piercer. Remember that a conch piercing can take up to a year to heal fully, so be patient and diligent with the aftercare tips. Before you know it, you’ll be wearing glamorous studs and hoops in your mysterious piercing.

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