A conch piercing (spoken “konk”) is an ear piercing on the cartilage of the middle section of the ear. Called conch because of this part of the ear's resemblance to the spiral shaped sea shell of the same name, these piercings are on the inner middle portion of your ear or outer rim of your ear. The higher middle ear piercings favor stud jewelry, while the lower rim ear piercings favor hoop and dangling jewelry.
Compared to a more traditional lobe ear piercing, the conch piercing is more painful. In some cases, if piercing where there is less cartilage, this style of piercing can cause extreme discomfort--especially during the initial pinch. For those who've experienced a helix or tragus piercing, the pain is comparable.
In general, a conch ear piercing requires a longer period of time to heal, with gentle care required for between six and nine months to heal fully. It's also a good idea to keep close observation of your skin in the weeks following your conch piercing. Though redness, minor swelling and clear fluids are indications the bodies adjusting acceptance while your piercing is still fresh, be careful to respond quickly to more severe symptoms of infection like intense pain, lumps, bleeding, major swelling, and fever, as these are indications your body is rejecting the piercing. In these rare cases, schedule a doctor's visit immediately.
Aftercare for a conch ear piercing starts with keeping your piercing clean with gentle non-scented soap or salt water two to three times per day. Also, while you're going through your day, avoid touching the conch of your ear because this introduces bacteria to the area of the piercing and is very prone to infection.