Conch Piercing or Middle Cartilage Piercing

What is Conch Ear Piercing?

The cartilage of the ear resembles a sea creature called conch. Therefore, the perforation on this cartilage for the purpose of wearing jewelry is called conch piercing. It is midway on the ear cartilage therefore can be referred as Middle Cartilage Piercing. It is of two types:

  • Inner conch piercing: Done at the center of the cartilage
  • Outer conch piercing: Done on the flat surface of the outer ear


  • The piercing parlor must be clean and hygienic. They must offer the services of a professional or trained piercing artist.
  • People are advised not to do the piercing on their own or after watching videos on the internet. They may not be able to conduct the process in the correct manner and it may lead to further complications.
  • Make sure that the equipment used is sterilized and the professional who is going to make the piercing wear sterilized gloves.
  • Demand that the professional to open the sterilized equipment in front of you in order to make sure that the process is safe and the chances of an infection are relatively less.

Conch Piercing Ideas

Conch Piercing Images | Conch Piercing Pictures

Conch Piercing Method

  1. To begin with, the piercing artist will use a disinfectant to clean the ear.
  2. After that, the artist will mark the spot where the perforation is to be made on the basis of where the customer wants the piercing.
  3. It is followed by a perforation made by using either a gun or a sterilized needle, although a sterilized needle is preferred.
  4. Lastly, the artist puts in the jewelry into the piercing and cleans the area.

It can also be done using a dermal punch if you want a larger gauge piercing. A dermal punch is preferred in case of an outer conch piercing due to the flat surface of the ear. However, the decision of how large a piercing can be made is also left to the discretion of the piercing artist, depending on the anatomy of the person’s ear. Further, a piercing larger than 14 gauge is not advisable.

Conch Piercing Earrings

Conch Piercing

Conch Piercing Pain

With regards to pain, the conch shell piercing also hurts as any other alteration to the body. Pain differs from person to person as people have varying degrees of pain that they can bear. People have observed that the inner conch piercing is quite painful and they may also experience soreness. Also, according to people, the dermal punch causes as much pain as any other cartilage piercing, hence the pain too is supposed to be bearable.

Conch Piercing Jewelry

Conch Piercing Jewelry

Conch Piercing Risks

In the case of a conch piercing, the location of the piercing is positioned where there are multiple layers of cartilage. In case proper case is not taken, it leads to an infection. Infection between the layers of cartilage may cause the cartilage to rot. Infected conch piercing discharges a yellow fluid and causes you pain. Further, the infestation may lead to the collapsing of the ear because the cartilage provides support to the ear and the body cannot grow cartilage again.

Inner and outer Conch Piercing

Inner Conch Piercing | Outer Conch Piercing


Conch Piercing Healing time

Blood flow is necessary for healing. The cartilage is not a very vascular organ, therefore blood supply to it is limited. Thus, it takes a longer time to heal as compared to the other ear lobe piercings. The usual time to heal ranges from 6-12 months.

How to avoid infections?

                                  DOs                               DON’Ts
  • Lightly rinse the piercing. Clean the area with liquid soap which is ph-neutral, hypoallergenic & unscented.
  • Make sure that the piercing is tight enough
  • Use waterproof bandages to cover the piercing temporarily in case the person is in a wet environment.
  • Loose strands of hair must be kept away from the wound as they may be carrying bacteria
  • Care must be taken while bathing or wearing and taking off clothes
  • Change bed sheets as much as possible
  • Don’t touch the area with unwashed hands
  • Don’t try to rotate or take off the jewelry.
  • Use medications that are prescribed to avoid allergic reactions
  • Do not keep the wound covered all the time with a bandage
  • Do not go swimming as the water may be contaminated.
  • Avoid situations where you can come in contact with body fluids of others in the form of sweat or saliva.
  • Do not use baby oil, tea tree oil, betadine, sun block etc.
  • Don’t use common towels

How do you know if you have an infection?

A symptom such as pain, redness and swelling is normal in case of a conch piercing. But these symptoms must not persist for a long time.

The following conditions might indicate an infection:

  • Skin around the piercing radiates heat
  • There is odd smelling discharge
  • Severe redness & swelling
  • Symptoms of flu such as nausea, dizziness & headaches

What to do in case of an infection?

A course of antibiotics is needed in case of an infection. A doctor must be consulted before using any product or taking any medicines. Keep the area clean with an anti-bacterial solution and avoid touching the infected area with anything that may carry bacteria.

Conch Piercing Jewelry

It is advisable to put a lot of thought into what kind of jewelry one wants to wear in case of a conch piercing. The jewelry has to be worn throughout the healing period and cannot be taken off or changed. Hence, it is imperative that the individual is comfortable with the kind of jewelry he/she chooses.

People who want a conch piercing can choose from a variety of options like:

  1. Horseshoe Barbell
  2. Straight barbell
  3. Labret stud
  4. Cuff or a ball closure ring

Selecting the Jewelry

The jewelry should be made of high-quality materials like gold, silver, titanium, and Bioflex/bioplast. Except for those who are allergic to nickel, stainless steel can also be used because it may contain a certain quantity of nickel.

Lastly, it is imperative that the jewelry that is to be worn must be light and must be a gauge size smaller than the needle used to make the piercing. This is done top ensure that the jewelry allows room for swelling of the piercing.

Conch Piercing Hoop

Conch Piercing Hoop

Cost for Getting A Conch Piercing

The cost of the conch piercing differs on the basis of the parlor or the professional hired for the piercing. Also, the jewelry chosen affects the cost. Usually, the cost for a conch piercing can be anywhere between $45-75.

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