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Conch Piercings - Guide to Conch Piercings

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Captive Conches
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Definition: Conch piercings are among the most risky of ear cartilage piercings, but is relatively simple to an experienced piercer with the proper tools. The conch is a popular location for large plugs (jewelry), and damage to the cartilage and subsequent infection are the most common risks, especially if it's done by an amateur. Large conch piercings should be done with a dermal punch, since it's less damaging to the tissue. You can't stretch cartilage, so if you want to wear plugs,the hole has to be carved/cut out.

Another tricky aspect to conch piercings is getting matching conches even if you decide to pierce both ears. The good thing about them, though, is that because of the secure location near the center of the outer ear, conch piercings pose little to no chance of rejection or migration.

A conch is usually worn one of two different ways: with a ring that encircles the outer rim of the ear, or with a stud that rests inside the ear only. Depending on the style you choose, you'll need an appropriately sized CBR or labret stud. For safety's sake, needle piercings should be no larger than 14 gauge. Anything larger should be done with a dermal punch*. Actual jewelry dimensions will be determined by your piercer based on your anatomy.

Cartilage piercings are slow healers and almost always encounter some problems along the way. Expect it to take no less than 6 months to heal completely and be prepared to have a setback or two.

*If you decide to go with a larger conch piercing, which will require a dermal punch, you should be aware that it will produce a lot of blood.

Conch Orbital - The conch orbital piercing runs perpendicular to the standard conch piercing, and actually requires 2 holes to be pierced instead of just one. This allows the ring to "orbit" the ear's cartilage. Recommended jewelry is usually a CBR - again, gauge and size should be determined by your piercer.

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