Conch Piercings

Location:Inside the Central 'Shell' of the Ear
Jewellery:Circular or Straight Barbell, Labret, BCR
Healing:3-9 Months
Age Limit:16 years old (13 years old with parental consent)
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A conch piercing is an alternative way to get your ears pierced that is rapidly becoming a more and more popular choice of piercing!

Conch Piercing 101

The conch piercing goes through the back of the ear in the ‘shell’ area, named after its resemblance to the conch sea creature shell. It is a surface cartilage piercing and is non-invasive. Conch piercings can either be done either in the inner or outer section of the ear, and can be decorated with piercing jewellery such as barbells, labret or BCR.

Conch piercing takes its origins from other cultures, including the Mangebetu Tribe in Africa and a sect of Hindu Yogis from India. These tribes used conch piercings as decorative sites for ivory and religious symbolism. It is nowadays becoming a more popular choice of piercing, as it offers an alternative position of piercing on the ear where more various and interesting designs can be placed.


Getting a conch piercing is a relatively simple procedure, and should always be completed by a professional piercer. There are two options when it comes to this piercing, either needle application or through dermal punching. Every piercing procedure will start with proper sterilisation of the skin area as well as all the relevant equipment. The positioning of the piercing will also be clearly marked once full approved by both yourself and the piercer. If a needle is used, the piercer will use a small tool to support the ear cartilage during the procedure. The jewellery will then be inserted by the piercer.

Dermal punching is also an option when getting your conch pierced, and is generally preferred when have an outer conch piercing done. The dermal punch is also used for larger gauge piercings, although all the jewellery and jewellery size decisions should be made with the recommendations of the piercer in mind.


When it comes to piercing it is difficult to classify the amount of pain, as pain depends on the experience of each individual. The conch piercing is deemed quite painful as the cartilage shell of the ear is being pierced. However, different people experience varying levels of pain so there is no clear way of describing whether or not the piercing procedure will hurt. There may be some soreness after the procedure, although this is to be expected.

If you experience any severe pain during or after the procedure, you should seek medical attention to identify the cause, and the solution to, the pain.


It usually takes 3-9 months for a conch piercing to heal, although this again differs between every individual. The healing process should be taken seriously and the correct aftercare steps should be followed to ensure an infection-free healing process. Hygiene should be of the upmost importance during healing, you can do this by washing the pierced area with saline solution and a cotton bud.

You should always avoid putting the fresh piercing under any stress or pressure. Your ear can sometimes get in the way while dress, doing exercise, or even sleeping, so it is important to be mindful of the piercing and how you can take precautions to avoid knocking it. This should also make you consider whether or not you want a piercing in the first place, as such a piercing can get in the way of day-to-day activities.

Also, you should not remove the new piece of jewellery during the healing process. The jewellery should be kept in at all times, or you could risk the piercing closing over. Removing a piercing from a dermal punch conch piercing is sometimes deemed to not have an effect, but it is also recommended to keep such piercings in during the entire healing process to reduce the risk of uneven healing.


The position of the conch piercing allows for a variety of styles of jewellery, such as:
  • Labret Piercings: A straight bar that goes through the ear, each end can be decorated whether it be a jewelled or studded finish. 
  • BCRs: loops and rings are a possible option as they can loop around the back of the ear to join with both sides of the piercing.
  • Curved, Straight or Circular Barbells: All possible choices that are available in a variety of styles and gauges to suit whatever look you are going for!
All of these jewellery options should be discussed with the professional piercer before being chosen. Each style and especially the gauge of the piercing may not be suited to every ear, or every type of piercing. The knowledge of the piercer should help you determine which piercing fits your needs both physically and aesthetically.

Article Disclaimer: The information contained here within is based on our experience as one of the UK’s largest piercing chains. Please note that each individual’s experiences will be subjective and therefore each person will have a different experience of pain, healing and maintenance. For more information, please view our article guides terms and conditions page.

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