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Inner Conch Dermal Punches—2g

The first time I can remember seeing a large-gauge inner conch piercing was on the piercer who did my lobes about four months ago. It was a red glass plug, probably 4g, and my only thought was that it must have hurt to get a piercing right there. My lobes were my first piercings, so the conches were to be my second.

Fast forward to two days ago: I arrive at the piercing parlor with a trusty friend, who was nice enough to drive us two hours to get there since no local shop did dermal punching. Alex was the only person working, and I told him I'm the one who emailed him a while back, and I'd like my inner conches dermal punched today. He asked what size, and I said I was hoping for 2g. I was a little intimidated by his attitude, and I almost got the impression that he didn't want to do the procedure. After surveying my ears, he asked if I had done my research, I told him yes. He asked, do I realize that the holes will be permanent? I say yes. He asked, how long have I been considering getting this done, and I told him about two months. Maybe longer.

At this point, he gives me a sterile pair of 2g stainless steel tunnels and goes into the back piercing room while I stay in front and fill out the bit of paperwork. I was fairly nervous and uncomfortable at this point. After a couple minutes, Alex comes back out and motions the two of us into the piercing room. The room itself looked as nice and clean as a doctor's office, and all the punching supplies were at the ready.

I'm not sure if my perception changed or what, but Alex seemed perfectly friendly from this point on. He showed me that all of the equipment being used was sterilized, and began marking my ears where the holes would be punched. When I checked in the mirror, I asked if they could possibly be moved a little up and out, and he thoroughly explained why not, and that this was the best position for them to be in. I wasn't too concerned to begin with, but I was happy to hear his reasoning. In hindsight, I realized he didn't check my ears with a flashlight for any obstructive veins or major blood vessels. He said he'll punch at a 4g and instantly stretch it (with the jewelry) to a 2g. Apparently this minimizes bleeding in the long run. I thought it sounded awfully painful but I trusted his judgment.

As he was cleaning my ears like crazy, he warned me that the procedure was going to be a little intense. I said that I expected that. When he was done, I laid down on my back, ready for the punches. He didn't use a sheet over my head with a hole for my ear, like I've heard they often do. I turned my head to one side and he put the cork behind my ear (apparently it was a cork, but it felt really soft and comfortable). I felt him position the dermal punch lightly on the spot, and he told me to breath in a deep breath, then out: and on the breath out he was going to do it. I took a huge breath in, held it, then let all of my breath out as the punch crunched, squeaked, and twisted through my ear and out the other side. It hurt. A lot. There was less blood than I expected, and when it leaked out it felt cool against my hot ear. He sort of had to manhandle my ear to get the grommet onto the back of the jewelry, but the discomfort was absolutely nothing compared to what my ear had j ust gone through. He asked if I was ready for the second one, or if I wanted a break. I've read beautiful experience stories where the client gets a little cup of juice between ears, but not this guy. I hesitated for a second, then decided that I'd like to get this over with. Onto the second ear.

I expected the second ear to be less painful than the first, what with the rush of endorphins provided by the first punch. On the contrary, and again, maybe it was perception, but the second ear hurt five times worst than the first. After I thought it was over, it felt like he had to punch it again, with more force and more blood. I found it much more difficult to maintain steady breathing, but once I had it under control, I think it really helped. Then it was over before I knew it.

I sat up slowly, expecting to get lightheaded, but I felt perfectly fine. I felt pretty happy. Alex let us look at the cartilage chunks, which seemed to be a lot smaller than what it felt like was taken out during the procedure. He went over aftercare with me in great detail, and gave me a bag of complimentary antimicrobial soap, sea salt, and a Blow Pop. After paying, my friend and I left quite satisfied. It was a cold and rainy day, and after a few seconds of being outside, the wind caused the steel tunnels to get cold which made my ears ache. I was already in a fragile state, and was amazed by how much it hurt. For the rest of the day though, they didn't bother me much. There were a few bouts of dull aching, but nothing terrible.

It's only been a couple days, but so far, the healing is going quite well. It was hard to fall asleep on my back, but I found clever ways to sleep on my side without putting pressure on either ear. There is a fair amount of swelling, and a little discoloration on the backside of my ear—everything I was told to expect. The new holes look fantastic, and I'm very, very pleased.

I took a quick picture on the first night. If you want, copy & paste the link!

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b114/garrick543/piercing.jpg

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 19 Oct. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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Artist: Alex+Levine
Studio: Axis+Body+Modification
Location: Minneapolis%2C+MN

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