Inner vs Outer Conch

conch-piercingA Conch Piercing is one of the more unusual ear piercing types, even though it’s popular with some people. It is one of the cartilage piercings, which makes it a bit trickier to perform than earlobe piercings. Cartilage piercings also tend to be more painful. However, this is not a reason to give up if you really desire to have a Conch Piercing.

There is a certain confusion about Conch Piercings. Namely, there are two distinctive types of Conch Piercings: Inner and Outer Conch. People sometimes confuse the two and are unsure about their similarities and differences. If you wish to get one of those (or both!) you need to know which is which and what their main differences are.

Inner Conch Piercing

Inner Conch is by far the more popular variant. If no closer distinction is mentioned, chances are that “Conch” will refer to Inner Conch piercing. Inner Conch is done on the specific part of the cartilage in the center of the ear, adjacent to the ear canal. There is a small cup-shaped area that is pierced.

This specific placement is characteristic of Inner Conch. All Inner Conch piercings are done on this cup-shaped cartilage area, or else the piercing in question cannot even be considered “Inner Conch”.

If the area is large enough, it is possible to have a large gauge Inner Conch piercing. However, the only way to achieve this is with a dermal punch. Cartilage piercings are almost impossible to stretch properly, so if you want to have a larger Inner Conch piercing it’s best to go with a dermal punch.

Outer Conch Piercing

Outer Conch piercing is a more unusual placement. It is performed on the flat part of the ear cartilage, ideally between the helix and the antihelix of the ear. The placement itself is tricky, because it has to be done on this specific spot to “count” as an Outer Conch piercing, or else it would be a simple Helix or Antihelix piercing.

In fact, these spots on the cartilage are located near each other so there is often some confusion whether the piercing in question is Outer Conch or not. Ideally, an Outer Conch piercing should be done on the cartilage but away from the rim/edge, unless you are going for a Helix piercing.

However, those who do not care about the names and simply want a piercing on this particular spot have nothing to worry about – you can simply tell your chosen piercer the exact spot where you wish to be pierced. You don’t need to know the name of the piercing or stress about getting it right.

Another way to perform an Outer Conch piercing is through dermal punching. This way, it is relatively easy to have a large gauge piercing in the cartilage, which would otherwise be very difficult (or impossible) to achieve.

Inner vs Outer Conch: The Verdict

As you can see, Inner and Outer Conch Piercings are very similar (hence the name), so it’s easy to confuse one for the other. Both are cartilage piercings done on the inner side of the ear, though Inner Conch is more so (as the name implies).

The main difference is the placement: Inner Conch has a very specific placement on the cup-shaped area near the ear canal. Outer Conch doesn’t have a special placement so there is more freedom when performing this piercing type.

Another potential difference is jewelry. Typically, Outer Conch allows for more space and freedom when choosing jewelry (for example, Captive Bead Rings), while the Inner Conch typically uses simple studs. However, this is not set in stone and there is always room for some experimentation.

The Top 5 Easy to Hide Piercings

Easy to Hide PiercingsAre you looking for some easy to hide piercings and piercing options? There may be many different reasons to hide your piercings, such as job, education and other factors.

Of course, the easiest way to go is to choose a piercing that is normally covered by clothes, such as a navel or a nipple piercing. Also, genital piercings are very easy to hide in everyday situations.

What about piercings located on the face and head, however? They are more difficult to hide. If you really wish to have some discreet facial and oral piercings, here is the list of the top 5 piercings that are easy to hide:

  1. Tongue Web

Tongue web piercings are performed on the thin piece of skin under the tongue. This tissue is also known as tongue frenulum. This is not the most popular piercing out there, mainly because it is hardly visible, unless the person truly wants to show off the piercing. However, the fact this is a difficult to see piercing also helps it with hiding. In other words, this is probably the easiest piercing to hide, if you do not count piercings that are normally covered by clothes.

  1. Smiley

Smiley is another unique oral piercing that is also easy to hide. It is performed on the thin web of skin that connects the upper lip with gums. This tissue is very thin and easy to piece, so it’s considered one of the easiest piercing types out there. The main downside to this piercing is the fact that it’s not really visible – in fact, the only way to see it is if the person smiles widely (hence the name). However, this downside can work to your advantage if you with to have a piercing that is easy to hide. Smiley can be worn without a problem and chances are that nobody will notice it.

  1. Septum

Septum piercing is probably the easiest facial piercing to hide. You may think it’s a very obvious piercing, since it’s placed in the middle of your face, but the placement itself allows for easy hiding. All you really need is an appropriate jewelry. See, the easiest way to hide a septum piercing is to simply turn the jewelry up your nose. Just turn it up so the ends of the jewelry sit inside your nostrils. When done this way, septum jewelry is almost invisible, so this is definitely a good piercing to choose if you need something that is easy to hide. However, make sure to wear a jewelry piece with open ends, such as a circular barbell. Fully closed jewelry pieces, such as Captive Bead Rings, are not good for this purpose.

  1. Tragus

Tragus is probably the easiest ear piercing to hide. It is done on the part of cartilage just in front of the ear opening. There is a little flap that can accommodate small jewelry. It makes tragus piercing very discreet, especially if you wear jewelry that is not too flashy or ornamented. Also, tragus piercing is easy to hide with hair. All you need to do is to cover it with a bit of hair, and the best thing is that it’s so small it can be covered even if your hair is in a ponytail. It makes it a very convenient ear piercing to hide.

  1. Tongue

You may think of a tongue piercing as a very prominent one, but it’s actually pretty well-hidden. It does not really show much when you talk, so it’s easy to miss, especially if you don’t wear large or colorful jewelry. In fact, the main reason this type of piercing is spotted is because people have a slight lisp during the healing time (especially in the first few days). So it’s actually the lisp and not the piercing itself that might give it away. The tongue piercing itself, however, is relatively easy to hide, so this is definitely one of the more popular piercings you might want to get if you need a piercing you can hide easily.

How Old Should You Be to Get Pierced?

Older Man PiercingsMany people are interested about the best age to get your first piercing. It’s important to note that there is no one, universal good answer to this question.

Everybody has their own, individual life path and maturity, so what’s good for one person might not be good for the other.

There are, however, some legal and ethical issues to take into account. As a rule, there is no such a thing as being too old for your first piercing – but there is such a thing as being too young.

Legal Aspects

Before you decide to get your first piercing, you need to make sure it’s legal. There are numerous rules and regulations when it comes to clients’ minimum age to get pierced. These rules vary from state to state (and country to country), so they are not universal and not the same everywhere. If in doubt, make sure to check local rules and regulations in your area.

Generally speaking, minors cannot get pierced without parental consent. Usually, the youngest age to get pierced is 16, but you need to have your parents’ consent. Typically, it’s possible to get pierced without parental consent once you’re 18 (though in some places it can be 21 – this is why you need to check).

These general regulations, however, differ when it comes to certain types of piercings, such as genital piercings or nipple piercings (in some areas). Generally speaking, you need to be 18 years old in order to request this type of piercing.

There are some controversies about parents allowing their minor children to get pierced. Basic earlobe piercings are very popular even with young demographic, so it’s usually the first piercing a person will get. Some parents want their children, even babies, get earlobe piercings.

Different piercing studios have different ideas about this. There are some ethnical issues about performing piercings at such young children, even with parental consent. What can a baby or an infant know about piercings and aftercare? Will they like to be pierced or is this just their parents’ wish? These are just some of the questions about piercing and minors.

All in all, it’s important to know that there is such a thing as being too young for your first piercing. Sometimes, this age is regulated through laws and rules, while sometimes it’s a grey area and it’s more related to ethnical issues and individual piercer’s decision.

If you are a teenager who wish to get pierced it’s important to know that you’ll probably need your parents’ consent. If they are unwilling to provide one, it’s important to wait until you get their consent or you’re old enough to get a piercing without parental consent.

Under no circumstances should you agree to get pierced by a friend or do it alone: piercings are a serious matter and they should be done by professionals. Never endanger your health for this! It’s much better to be patient and stay healthy than risk a traumatic and dangerous experience.

Am I Too Old?

On the other hand, you may feel you’re too old to get your first piercing. There are, after all, many people in their 40s, 50s or 60s without any piercings. You may think you’re past the age when piercings are cool.

If you are intrigued about piercings, fear not. There is actually no such a thing as being “too old” to get you first piercing, provided that your health allows it. Piercings are always cool if you like them, so there is no reason to get your first one in your 40s, 50s, 60s or even later!

5 Surprisingly Painless Piercings

1729pThere are some piercings that are known to be relatively painless.

Earlobe, for example, is known as probably the least painful piercings of them all.

However, there are some other piercings that are relatively painless or definitely much less painful than they look.

But let’s start with the easiest one:

Earlobe Piercing

Everyone knows this one is relatively easy to go through. Earlobe tissue is soft and not particularly thick, so it’s easy for a needle to go through. However, it’s always important to use a proper piercing needle for this procedure.

Never agree to be pierced with a gun! Guns are dangerous, unsanitary and can make the whole procedure much painful than what it’s supposed to be. Plus, no knowledgeable professional will want to use a piercing gun so if your piercer uses it, there is a good chance they are not a reliable professional. Find a studio and a good piercer who will perform this piercing properly.

Septum Piercing

When done right, nose septum piercing does not hurt much. It’s because the piercing itself doesn’t go through nose cartilage at all. Instead, the piercing is done on the thin skin just in front of the cartilage. If you pinch your nose on this spot you will feel how thin the tissue actually is.

For a septum piercing to be positioned correctly, your piercer has to go through that tissue alone. If done correctly, it doesn’t bring much pain. It is actually one of the least painful piercings out there.

However, many people say that they experienced significant pain during the procedure. The reasons is that some piercers are not experienced or knowledgeable enough to hit the right spot. If the needle goes through the cartilage or if the piercing is positioned too low, it might end up being painful. To avoid this problem, always seek an experienced piercer who knows how to perform septum piercings correctly. Chances are that it will be one of the least painful piercings you’ll get!

Tongue Piercing

It may surprise many people, but classic tongue piercings are not particularly painful. They may seem painful because tongue is thick and there is a lot of tissue for needle to go through, but fear not: it is actually one of the least painful places you can get pierced.

However, please note that this is only true for a typical central tongue piercing. Other tongue piercing types may prove to be more painful. Also, it’s important to find a knowledgeable piercer who is experienced with tongue piercings to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Bridge Piercing

Surprisingly enough, but piercing the bridge of your nose is not particularly painful. Bridge piercing, also known as Erl piercing, is not as popular as some other piercing types, but there are many people who choose to get it.

It may seem like a sensitive spot, but bridge piercings are relatively quick to perform and they don’t hurt much. They definitely look more painful than they actually are, so if you are thinking about getting this piercing, there is no need to fear pain.

Prince Albert

Now, this one is a bit different. PA is a genital piercing and as such, it is more painful than some other piercing types. At the same time, Prince Albert is surprisingly painless compared to most other piercings. It is one of the least painful genital piercings for sure, but it’s also less painful than many “regular” piercings.

The thing is that only a little bit of a very thin tissue is pierced during this procedure. Most of the piercing uses the natural hole – urethra, so all the piercer needs to perform is a slight cut on the underside of the penis. The skin on that spot is thin and the procedure is done quickly. Most men describe the pain as a pinch and claim that PA piercing was much less painful than some “ordinary” piercings, such as ear cartilage piercings or nose piercings.

In other words, if you want to have a genital piercing but you’re scared of the pain, Prince Albert may be the perfect solution for you!

Two Piercings Connected by a Single Jewelry

i7un5cnwThere are certain piercing types that require more than one hole to be made. Or, to put it more precisely, those piercing types are created by joining two different piercing holes with a single jewelry piece.

While, in theory, one can connect any random pair of piercings with a single jewelry piece if it’s physically possible to achieve, there are certain piercing types specially made of different holes connected by the single jewelry piece.

Two Piercings, One Jewelry Piece

The most popular among those is Industrial piercing. However, there are many other examples of piercings connected with a single jewelry piece. Industrial piercing consists of two holes done on the ear cartilage. The holes (piercings) can have different placements, but they are always located on the opposing sides of the ear. The placement should be carefully done so the holes can be connected with a single jewelry piece, typically a long straight barbell. This sort of placement can be done on other body parts as well, so any time you connect two piercings with a barbell you will get some form of an Industrial piercing (though this name is typically reserved for the ear piercing).

Orbital piercings are two piercings connected by a single ring. These piercings are often done on the ear but can work anywhere on the body (including genital piercings). As long as you connect two holes with a single ring you will have an orbital piercing.

There are also some popular piercings done in pairs but rarely, if ever, connected with a single jewelry piece. A good examples are lip “bites” piercings (such as Angel bites, Dolphin bites, Vampire bites, Snake bites and others). These are lip piercings done in pairs or fours, but they are typically not connected by a single jewelry piece.

Also, it’s important to note that some people like to connect close piercings with a single jewelry piece, even temporarily. It’s often done on ears, usually for ear cartilage piercings. These piercings connected by a single jewelry do not typically have a special name.

Initial Jewelry

It’s very important to choose the right initial jewelry for these piercings. Since they are done in pairs, there are two fresh piercings to take care of, which makes aftercare more complex. Jewelry can make this process easier or more complicated, depending on the circumstances.

The first thing that needs to be ensured is proper placement of both piercings. It’s important that they work as a pair if you wish to use a single jewelry piece through both of them. It means your piercer has to angle both piercings accordingly. This is why it’s always best to do both at the same time to ensure proper placement.

When it comes to initial jewelry, there are two choices: to use a single jewelry piece straight away, or to use two separate jewelry pieces during the healing time. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. When two pieces are used, those are typically Captive Bead Rings, though some piercers choose to use other jewelry types.

The advantage of using two jewelry pieces is that it makes aftercare easier. You can clean your piercings separately and give each a proper attention. Also, piercings will use different jewelry so they will not pull each other or irritate each other during healing. Another advantage is that it’s easier to measure the proper length for final jewelry (orbital ring or Industrial barbell) once piercings are healed. However, a downside to this method is that sometimes, piercings will move slightly during the piercing time so they might not be perfectly aligned once they are healed.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a single jewelry piece are the opposite than what’s listed above. A good thing about using a single jewelry piece straight away is that jewelry will keep piercings connected and perfectly aligned. The downside is that it makes aftercare trickier and there is a possibility of irritating both piercings through the pressure from the jewelry.

At the end of the day, the choice will be made by your piercer. There are good reasoning for both of these methods, so it will all depend on your piercer’s opinion and your individual case. This is yet another reason why it’s always important to choose a knowledgeable, experienced piercer and a reliable piercing studio.

Are Ear Piercings Painful?

Ear Piercings PainfulEar piercings are generally considered to be the least painful of them all. Everybody knows about earlobe piercing. This is such a popular type of a piercing and fully socially accepted that it’s often not even considered a “real” piercing. It is also considered to be relatively pain-free. Even people who otherwise dislike piercings often have pierced earlobes.

The fact that earlobe piercing is done relatively easily and pain-free makes people believe that ear piercings are not painful in general. The truth is, there is a huge difference between a simple earlobe piercing and other ear piercing types. Some of ear piercings are actually more complex and painful. Cartilage piercings are known to be very sensitive. This is why it’s important to get informed about a particular piercing type you wish to get, to learn about the pain levels and other facts about this piercing.

Cartilage Piercings

As stated above, cartilage piercings tend to be more painful than the others. While each person is an individual and while there are no hard and fast rules on this, cartilage piercings do tend to be more painful than one might expect. They are certainly more painful than earlobe piercings, so one should not assume these piercing types are similar at all. They are both done on the ear, true, but they are very different types of piercings.

Also, cartilage piercings are sometimes known to be painful than other body piercings. For example, tongue piercing may look very painful but in reality, the pain level is lover than with many other piercings. Similarly, ear cartilage piercings tend to be more painful than people think.

That not to say that ear cartilage piercings are excruciating. The procedure is done relatively quickly and the pain is short. It is definitely possible to go through this procedure without trauma, and it’s definitely true that ear cartilage piercings are not the most painful of them all. That being said, it’s also vital to know that they tend to be a bit more painful than they look. As such, they might not be recommended to people who are very scared of pain or who wish to get their first piercing. It’s better to get more experience and then try ear cartilage piercings.

Also, it’s vital to get informed. Read as much as you can about this type of piercing to learn about the procedure and other aspects of these piercings. Also, consult your chosen piercer. A good piercer will be able to walk you through all the steps of the piercing process and explain everything you need to know. With this information at hand, getting an ear cartilage piercing is easy.

Stretched Ear Piercings

Another type of ear piercing you may wonder about are stretched piercings. Most commonly, this involves stretched earlobes, but some other piercing types can be stretched as well. With cartilage piercings, however, it gets tricky – these are very difficult to stretch.

What about stretched earlobes, then? Are they painful? The good news is that they start out as any other earlobe piercing. The hole is then gradually stretched to a larger gauge. This process has to be gradual in order to allow the ear time to heal and become stronger before the next stretching stage. It means that you need to go slowly and gradually. This process should not be painful. It may cause minor discomfort but it should never tear or damage the tissue, and it should not cause pain.

Rare Ear Piercings: Ragnar

ragnarThe Ragnar piercing is a special version of the snug piercing. It’s also known as “deep snug” and it’s considered a special placement and a modification of the more popular snug piercing type. As such, it’s not as popular as its more common counterpart.

However, this is a very interesting piercing variation so it’s definitely something to try if you’re looking for a reliable but unique ear piercing.

What Makes Ragnar Piercing Different?

Ragnar is a special, rare piercing performed on the ear cartilage. For a piercing to be called “Ragnar”, it has to be performed on a specific place, on the point where the earlobe blends into the helix. However, unlike the regular snug piercing this one is made to extend and go all the way through the outer rim of the ear. This way, the cartilage is deeply pierced and the jewelry exits on the other side of the ear.

This is a very effective piercing type, and while it’s considered a variation of a snug piercing, it’s vital to keep in mind that it should be treated as a unique piercing, especially when it comes to procedure and aftercare. Ragnar passes through so much tissue, which make it more complex than many other ear piercings. While this is not a fully complex piercing, it’s undoubtedly more sensitive and complicated to perform than a regular snug. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital to choose a piercer who is experienced with Ragnar piercings and who knows how to perform them right. You do not wish to end up with a scar tissue, infection or another problem. While this piercing type is not problematic on its own, the fact it’s rare makes it necessary to be careful.

Ragnar is a type of a horizontal piercing, which is always unique to see on an ear. Horizontal ear piercings are very effective and they add a special visual effect, so they are made to attract attention. What makes Ragnar special is that it creates a very unique look, since it’s made to look like the jewelry has one ball inside the ear rim while the other one is on the outside edge of the ear.

Pay Special Attention

If you wish to have a Ragnar piercing, there are some things you need to think about. Like it’s said above, it’s absolutely crucial to find a piercer who is experienced with this piercing type. In addition to this, pay close attention to:

  • Ragnar passes through a large amount of tissue, which makes aftercare more complex. Cartilage is sensitive so it has to be touched with care. Since this piercing goes through major points in the ear cartilage it makes the piercing not only sensitive but fragile. The piercing takes months to heal (often close to a year to fully heal), so it’s important to be careful with the aftercare. In addition to regular aftercare measures (cleaning your piercing with saline solution), you need to make sure not to hurt your ear in any way. Avoid any harsh chemicals near your ear, including shampoos and skin products. Do not sleep on your ear for at least several weeks (perhaps even more). Keep your hair away from your ear. Be very careful when dressing up or taking your clothes off. It’s absolutely vital not to touch or hurt your piercing. It goes without saying: you should not twist or turn jewelry in any way. It’s important to let your new Ragnar piercing heal.
  • The most common jewelry type for a Ragnar piercing is a simple straight barbell. While this piercing is a relatively long for an ear cartilage piercing, it’s still shorter than Industrial piercings, so no special barbells are needed. In other words, a regular barbell will do – you don’t need one that’s super-long. Keep in mind: Industrial piercings are actually two piercings at one and while the jewelry is long the actual pierced area is smaller than that of Ragnar. Ragnar pierces more tissue. For this reason, some people opt for barbells made of flexible material rather than metal barbells. Flexible barbells but less strain on the tissue, which minimizes risk of migration, rejection and other problems. Also, flexible jewelry is more likely to adjust to the ear’s natural curves. On the other hand, metal jewelry is generally more reliable, so you may consider it for your Ragnar piercing once it’s fully healed. Some people use metal barbells as initial jewelry and they don’t have any problems, so it depends on the case.
  • Knowledgeable piercer? Finding a good piercer for a Ragnar piercing might not be easy. Even some highly experienced piercers are unfamiliar with this piercing type. Of course, the more experienced a piercer is, the more chances they will know how to handle a Ragnar. That being said, always try to go for someone who’s actually performed this piercing in the past. Ask for photos and credentials before you decide on a piercer.
  • Since Ragnar passes through a lot of cartilage tissue, it is bound to be painful. As you probably know, all ear cartilage piercings are painful to some degree. Since this one is particularly long, you can expect some degree of pain. However, there are certainly piercings that are more painful than Ragnar. People with Ragnar tend to agree that it’s worth a pain, so this should not prevent you from getting a Ragnar piercing if you want. That being said, this is definitely not a piercing for beginners or those who hate pain.

LITHA Aftercare Approach

Aftercare ApproachMany piercing enthusiasts know about the LITHA strategy for aftercare. What is LITHA and how to perform it?

Good news: it’s actually very easy to follow this aftercare approach. Not to mention this is the best way to ensure that your new piercing heals properly and without problems.

What is LITHA?

LITHA stands for: “Leave It The Hell Alone”. A simple concept, isn’t it? This approach basically says that the best way for your piercing to heal is to manipulate is as little as possible. It means that you should not touch it, twist the jewelry or rub it in any way. However, it also means you should not use a lot of cleaning products on it.

Of course, you SHOULD clean it twice per day (or more, depending on the piercing type and your piercer’s instructions), but that should basically be it. When cleaning, use only non-invasive cleaning mixture that is approved for new piercings. Absolutely the best is to use plain saline solution.

Avoid strong chemicals and invasive cleaners on your new piercing. They can do more harm than good. You may use anti-microbial soap or a specialized cleaner made for new piercings, such as H2Ocean cleaner, but make sure that whatever you use is suitable for new piercings.

Other than that, follow LITHA. Leave your piercing. Do not touch it, do not manipulate it in any way. Do not even clean it more times than necessary, or a using a stronger saline solution than recommended. All these things can compromise the healing process and increase the risk of infections and other problems.

The idea behind the LITHA approach is that, as long as you keep your new piercing clean, your body will heal it perfectly on its own. No additional cleaning agents and products are needed. Nor is needed for you to touch or manipulate your new piercing in any way, except when you clean it (and even then the contact must be minimal).

What Not to Do

Here are some things you should avoid during the aftercare:

  • Twisting and turning your jewelry. This is not necessary and can compromise the healing process.
  • Strong products and chemicals. A new piercing is best cleaned with a saline solution. Never use invasive products on your new piercing. Also, make sure that the saline solution you use is not too strong for your piercing.
  • Overcleaning. You should not clean your piercing more than several times per day. It will only irritate it.
  • Rub it on clothes. This is tricky, because you need to be careful at all times. Do not let the jewelry on your new piercing get caught on clothes. Also, make sure not to rub it during sleep. In case of an ear or facial piercing, remove the hair away from it.
  • Change jewelry too soon. You should wait before you change your initial jewelry, unless a new jewelry piece is needed after the first swelling is gone. In this case, go to your piercer to change the jewelry for you. Never attempt to do it by yourself.

All in all, keep in mind that”less is more” is a good strategy during the healing time. In case you notice something wrong (such as prolonged pain, redness, swelling and other signs of infection) you should consult your doctor. In case everything looks and feels fine it’s best to manipulate your piercing as little as possible.

Ear Cartilage Piercing Problems and Solutions

Ear Cartilage PiercingWhen deciding on a cartilage piercing you wish to get, it’s important to take both positive and negative aspects of this piercing type. While ear cartilage piercings are very beautiful and rewarding, it’s important to know how to take a proper care of them.

What to Consider

Ear cartilage is very sensitive and can be damaged easily. For this reason, all cartilage piercings should be performed with caution. Choosing the right piercer is essential. You want someone who is familiar with this type of piercing and someone who will know how to perform the procedure in a correct manner. Needless to say, you will need to choose a good, reliable piercing studio to get your ear cartilage piercing.

Keep in mind that while they don’t seem complex, ear cartilage piercings are trickier than they may look. While they are not among the most complicated piercings, they require someone who is familiar with this exact type of piercing. They are a bit more complex than they seem, so it’s something to keep in mind.

It all comes from the fact ear cartilage is extremely sensitive and can break easily. If done incorrectly, ear cartilage piercing can lead to numerous health problems. The cartilage may break and “melt” – meaning, you can lose part of your ear. In the more extreme cases, reconstructive surgery has to be performed to save the ear.

If this sounds too scary, don’t worry. Ear cartilage piercing is not dangerous if done by a knowledgeable, experienced professional and if you follow all recommended aftercare instructions. In these cases, chances are that your ear cartilage piercing will heal nicely and that you will enjoy it for years to come.

Problems and Solutions

Here are some common ear cartilage piercing problems and how to solve them:

  • Complicated procedure. While the procedure itself is not so complex, it should be done with great consideration. Piercing cartilage is not the same as tissue piercing. All reputable piercers are aware of this. Solution to this problem is easy: always get pierced at a reliable piercing studio and by a knowledgeable professional.
  • Pain. Ear cartilage piercings are surprisingly painful. While they are not as painful as certain types of male and female genital piercings or nipple piercings, they do hurt more than what people expect. The solution? Be informed. While ear cartilage piercings tend to be painful, the pain is not unbearable. Also, the procedure itself is not so painful – it’s that your ear becomes very sensitive afterwards.
  • Infections. Infections are dangerous for all new piercings, but with ear cartilage piercing it gets even trickier, because an infection can spread very quickly and damage your ear. The solution to this problem is to get pierced by a reliable piercer and to follow all the recommended aftercare instructions. Don’t forget to clean your piercing regularly with a saline solution or a specialized piercing cleaning product.
  • Discomfort. Ear cartilage piercings tend to cause discomfort during the initial stages of healing. This is normal. You may use some painkiller if your ear is too sensitive after the procedure. However, if the pain and discomfort persist, you should consult your doctor to make sure there’s no infection underway.
  • Soft bump on the back of the ear. These soft bumps sometimes form around cartilage piercings. They are not so dangerous, provided that they disappear quickly. The bumps usually form when you change your jewelry. To minimize this problem and risks associated with it, always use only well-crafted ear jewelry made from body-friendly materials. Never buy cheap jewelry at a mall – it’s a recipe for a disaster!
  • Long healing time. Ear cartilage piercing takes a long time to heal. There is no way around this. You need to give it that time and to perform cleaning routine every day. While your piercing may look fine after a few weeks, keep in mind that cartilage piercing takes between 3 and 6 months to fully heal. Don’t stop your cleaning routine just because your ear is not sore few weeks after getting the piercing done. Just keep the aftercare routine and your cartilage piercing will heal nicely!

Additional Tips

  • Observe your piercing to notice early signs of infection, migration or rejection.
  • During the healing time don’t wear large headphones and try not to sleep on the side where the new piercing is located.
  • Be careful: ear cartilage jewelry can easily be caught on clothes or hair. Be careful when changing clothes and keep your hair away from your ear during the initial healing time.
  • Since special care has to be made during the healing process, it’s advisable to only get one cartilage piercing at a time.
  • Stay away from cheap jewelry made of unsafe materials. Many cheap gold jewelry pieces are made with nickel, which can cause serious allergies. Always buy your jewelry from a reputable store and made of body-friendly materials.

Conch Piercing

Conch PiercingA conch piercing is a stylish ear piercing made on the specific parts of the ear cartilage. The name of this piercing comes from the fact that this part of the ear resembles a conch shell. Conches are beautiful sea creatures known for their elegant shells.

There are two main types of conch piercings: inner and outer conch. Both are very popular among many piercing enthusiasts and are among the most common ear piercings, even though they are not as popular as earlobe piercings or the Industrial piercings.

The Inner and Outer Conch Piercings

The Inner conch piercing is positioned at the cup-shaped area of the ear cartilage in the center of the ear. This area is located adjacent to the ear canal.

The outer conch piercing is positioned on the flat part between the helix and the antihelix.

Both inner and outer conch piercings are considered cartilage piercings and are often worn in pairs, though many people opt to have them only on one ear.

Important Things to Remember

It’s important to note that conch piercings tend to be tricky because they can lead to infections. However, they don’t pose any problem for an experienced pierced. The most important is to take a good care of your new piercing and listen to your body. Proper aftercare is important and you must prevent infection and inflammation at all costs.

Typically, the piercing is done with a 14 gauge needle. In case you want a larger gauge to be pierced with and to have a larger conch piercing, you need to have it done with a dermal punch. Dermal punches are less damaging. Keep in mind that cartilage can’t be stretched, so in order to be able to wear plugs and other large gauge jewelry pieces, the hole has to be cut out with a dermal punch.

Conch piercings are located near the center of the ear, which makes them relatively secure against migration and rejection.

Matching of the conch piercings is not always easy. They are relatively tricky to position to align properly, so it’s another thing to keep in mind if you decide to have conch piercings on both of your ears.

Conch piercings take about 6 months to fully heal.

Jewelry

There are many beautiful jewelry pieces you can wear in your conch piercing. The most common jewelry types are studs and rings. The studs are usually small and discreet. They are made to rest inside the ear.

Thee rings are typically Captive Bead Rings made to encircle the outer rim of the ear. Some people also opt to wear barbells.

There is also another option: conch orbital. Those are actually two piercings (two holes need to be made) connected by the ring. This way, the ring “orbits” around the ear cartilage, giving it a very unique, striking looks.