I think the last time I did a piercing post was maybe 5 years ago?
Wow, I didn't realize I had had it for that long!
Anyway, I got a conch piercing a few months ago and thought I'll share my experience. This is going to be a long post, so if you don't want to read it, skip down to the bottom.LOCATION:
Lucky 13 Tattoo
I got mine done at my local piercing/tattoo palor Lucky 13 Tattoo on Friday, November 13th since there was a promotion going on.
It was definitely a YOLO moment. I didn't decide to get a conch piercing until my cousin was filling out the form. My worry was the earring they use for the piercing. I have metal allergies so from all my life until that point, I thought I could only wear 14k gold earring. (I can wear other earrings that are not 14k gold, but only for a short period of time before it becomes irritating.) I knew that the healing process would take a few months from prior experience from my cartilage piercing, so I thought it had to be an earring made with 14k gold so I won't risk an infection from the healing process. Luckily, a very nice girl explained that they use surgical steel which is often used in surgical operations (duh) and most people are not allergic to it. So from that comment, I filled out the form and waited for my turn for the piercing.
The staff was really chill and the environment looked clean and sanitized. I was quite nervous due to the anticipation which is normal. The actual piercing went by somewhat quickly. He used a needle to pierce my ear so I felt it going through the layers of cartilage (I have no idea if cartilage is by layers but that's what it sounded like when the needle went through). Once the needle was in, he poked the earring through which I also felt. Yes, it did hurt - BOTH TIMES. I had never gotten my ears pierced with an actual needle - only by a needle gun at Claire's so this whole process was new to me. Also, this is all based on what I heard because I couldn't really see the process. The piercer used a rod-like earring which was interesting since I never had an earring like this.
The piercer told me to clean my piercing with saline or salt solution three times a day and to not touch it. Also, to make sure hair doesn't get caught on it and try to not get hair products or things of that sort on it. After 8-10 weeks, I can switch the earring if I wanted to. Right after the piercing, the area around the piercing was red and it hurt when I accidentally put pressure on it. It did feel like it was throbbing, but not painful enough for me to take painkillers. I would rate it a 5/10 at that point.
Fast forward to two weeks after the day I got the piercing, the piercing area became red and swollen.
It first started out being really itchy for a day or two, and then the area around the piercing was swollen the next day. It was then I did research to see if it was infected or just part of the healing process. I was told from a friend of a friend that the reason the earring for the conch was rod-like was because it was going to swell. I am still unsure if I had an infection or not, but regardless of that, I just cleaned the area as often as I could. I am aware that one can over-clean the area, but it was my best bet to just clean it whenever it felt itchy. It did get to the point where it became painful enough for me to take painkillers. I only took it once because it didn't hurt as much the day after that, and I noticed the swelling going down.
Pictured above is when it it started to swell down. It was a lot redder than what is pictured.
Around week 8-10 there were some scabbing around the piercing at the back of my ear, but I honestly think it was because I accidentally moved it too hard when I was cleaning the area with a Q-tip. It bled and then later on I found the scab/build up of dry blood around the piercing. I am still unable to lay comfortably on the that side of the piercing. I have stopped cleaning it 3 times a day; currently, I only clean it once or twice a day. I mainly clean it when it feels itchy. I can actually change the earring to something else, but I think I'm just going to keep it for now until I can get my hands on a 14k white gold ring earring or a stainless steel ring earring.
Three month update: The piercing is doing well. I still clean it with a Qtip about once or twice a day. The main thing I do is try to get rid of the crusties. I have yet to go into any bodies of water (pool, hot tub, lake, etc.). I don't plan on going into any bodies of water until after six months since that's when it will fully heal. I don't want to risk any infections or get the piercing rejected. I am still unable to be completely comfortable when I lay on the side with the piercing; however, I am able to lay for a few minutes before it gets to uncomfortable so the progress is improving.
- Conch piercing is similar to cartilage piercing
- Full healing process takes about 6 months
- Can change earring around 8-10 weeks
- Clean at least 2-3 times a day
- Use saline solution/salt solution (only used salt without iodine) You can buy it at the place your got your piercing. I also found that Claire's and Hot Topic sell saline solutions, too.
- Avoid touching it aside from cleaning the piercing
- Wash hands thoroughly with anit-bacterial soap before cleaning piercing
- Avoid pools of water (pools, hot tubs, lakes, etc.) because it might cause an infection
- Avoid any hair products or lotions on the area
- Slight swelling, redness, and white or yellowish fluid from piercing is normal
- Be sure to get rid of crusties with cotton swab soaked in saline solution (avoid using fingers if possible, but if you really have to, be sure your hands are clean)
I hope this brings in a little insight of what's it like to have a conch piercing. I really love it and cannot wait until it's fully healed! I also can't wait until I find the perfect ring earring to switch it out because I really like that look.
This is definitely not the last piercing I'm planning on getting so stay tuned for the next one!