How to Clean Your New (Conch) Ear Piercing

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Captive bead rings are common conch piercing jewelry.
Captive bead rings are common conch piercing jewelry. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

A conch piercing is an ear piercing that goes through the curved cartilage inside the ear, just above the earlobe. The jewelry worn in a conch piercing can range from a simple 14-gauge captive bead ring to a large-gauge metal or glass plug. Your piercer may pierce your conch with a sterile, beveled cannula piercing needle or cut out a larger circle of cartilage using a dermal punch scalpel. Regardless of the piercing method, the aftercare for conch piercings is the same.

Soak your ear in warm saline solution twice a day. To make your own saline soak solution, measure 1/8 tsp. of iodine-free sea salt into a clean coffee mug. Fill the mug to the top with bottled water and microwave it for 30 seconds or until the water is warm. Lean your head sideways and rest your entire ear in the cup for 10 minutes to loosen any crusty blood or plasma.

Wash your hands with antimicrobial soap and rinse them with warm water. Lather another pea-sized amount of antimicrobial soap in your hands and gently massage the lather all around your conch piercing, on both sides.

Rinse the soap off your ear by splashing it with warm water.

Pat your conch piercing dry with a fresh paper towel. Do not use a cloth towel, as they can hold bacteria.

Keep your conch piercing clean at night by changing your pillowcases frequently. You will probably need to change your pillowcase every night for the first week or two of healing.

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