• 93,721 / 1,383,215
  • 20 / 10,332
  • 9,295 / 54,914

And back up to 25 we go

Just as background, I am a 19 year old, sophomore in college, who now has 25 piercings. These piercings include paired high nostrils, a retired standard nostril, a standard navel, a retired inverse navel, and various ear piercings (lobes, snug, daith, industrial, helices, retired tragus, anti-tragus, and rook). I never thought that I would get a conch piercing: I actually thought that after I got my anti-tragus pierced that I had finished with my ears. But I realized that the inner part of my right ear looked bare compared to my left, and I needed something to even them out.

For awhile after retiring my standard tragus, I had had my heart set on getting my left tragus pierced vertically.  I called my studio of choice while I'm in Boston for school, Sting Ray.  I spoke with the piercer, Kristina (who had previously pierced my rook, as well as my double navel), who said that that vertical tragi are tricky piercings, I'd need to come in and see whether my tragus was more suited for a true vertical, or for a surface piercing in front of it. 

This past Saturday, December 5, was my 6 month anniversary with my boyfriend.  His present to me was to go to Sting ray to get the next piercing on my list.  My preference was a true vertical tragus, but if only a surface was possible next in line was a conch in my right ear.  It was snowing when we headed out to the studio, and by the time we got there they were preparing to close, but luckily they were able to squeeze me in. 

Kristina checked out my ear, and told me that unfortunately I was not suited for a true vertical tragus.  I was unhappy, but decided to go with my next choice, my conch.  I was scared, because I've heard that inner conch piercings are painful, that is a thick pierce of cartilage, after all.  But I've gotten lots of cartilage piercings before, so I knew I could do it. 

I filled out the paper work and handed over my ID while Kristina prepared the piercing room.  When she called me, I headed back and sat down.  First she replaced the lower ball on my rook for me, then marked my conch using violet ink and a toothpick.  The first placement was a little low, so I requested a re-mark, and the second one was spot on.  (I have all my piercings planned out, so I know exactly want I want them to look like.)  She asked what my gauge preference was, most of my piercings are 18g and 16g, but I know that conchs tend to do better at larger gauges, so we went with 14.  I also chose a straight barbell over a CBR, because I've heard that the extra movement with CBRs can cause hypertropic scarring, and boils (which I'm prone to).   

I called my boyfriend back to hold my hand.  Kristina asked what my preferred piercing method was: the 1-2-3, the breathe in-out-pierce, or the surprise.  I've been pierced with them all and really have no preference, so she went with surprise.  I felt her place the needle on the dot she marked, then maybe a second later she pushed it through.  She announced that it was through, and that she would be following through with my barbell.  After she screwed the back ball on, and cleaned me up with a Q-tip dipped in some saline, I was done. 

As far as pain goes, this was honestly one of the least painful piercings I've ever gotten.  I think it might be related to the fact that I was outside in a snow storm immediately before getting pierced, so my ears were fairly numb, but the pain level was about equal to that of a regular lobe piercing.  It didn't even hurt at all that night.  The first time it hurt was when I accidentally knocked against it while tucking my hair behind my ear. 

It's now Wednesday, so my conch is 4 days old.  I've been cleaning it with saline solution to wipe off crusties in the morning, and just making sure to wash over it with warm water in the shower.  I'm careful to make sure that I don't get any shampoo or conditioner in it, and also to keep my hair away from it.

I can now say with some certainty that I am done with my right ear. I am still hoping that I will be able to get a vertical tragus in my left ear, perhaps another piercer who is more familiar with the piercing would be able to help me. I also want to get a forward helix in my right ear, as well as getting my high nostrils re-pierced, clavicle microdermals, and a sub-navel microdermal to replace my inverse navel. Knowing that my conch was done without much pain, I know that I'll be able to get the rest of my piercings without much trouble.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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Artist: Kristina+Kelley
Studio: Stingray+Body+Art
Location: Allston%2C+MA

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