Woman with conch piercing. | Source: Getty Images
Woman with conch piercing. | Source: Getty Images

Can You Wear Earbuds with a Conch Piercing? The Rules & Nuances of Aftercare

Manuela Cardiga
Apr 25, 2023
08:45 P.M.
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Do you have to give up listening to your favorite music on earbuds after having a conch piercing? Learn all the dos and don'ts of conch piercing aftercare.


Ear piercings are by far the most popular piercings, and conch piercings are gaining traction. But like all interventions, a conch piercing needs special care and places limitations on lifestyle, at least until it heals.

Many's primary concern is whether they can continue to listen to their music on earbuds. We will address conch piercings and another issue in our article.

Woman with a conch piercing. | Source: Getty Images

Woman with a conch piercing. | Source: Getty Images

Like the Tragus, Helix, and Rook, the conch piercing is placed on the cartilage. The shell-shaped area of the ear is pierced, hence the name "conch." Because it transverses the thickest part of your ear cartilage, a conch piercing can be painful.

Depending on specific anatomy, the ear's inner or/and outer conch can be pierced. There are two accepted methods for piercing the conch, which should be discussed with the piercer.

The most common is to use a piercing needle. The piercer will disinfect the conch and mark the insertion point on both sides of the ear before inserting the needle and the jewelry.

The second procedure is to use a dermal punch. The dermal punch is advisable if the person having the piercing wants to use large jewelry. In this procedure, the piercer literally punches out a small circle of skin and cartilage.

Woman having a helix piercing. | Source: Getty Images

Woman having a helix piercing. | Source: Getty Images

Are Earbuds and Conch Piercings Compatible?

One of the main queries about conch piercings, curiously, has nothing to do with the pain level or aftercare. People want to know if they can continue using earbuds to listen to music.


The answer to that is "No," at least not until their piercing heals completely, as the insertion of earbuds in the area can lead to inflammation and infection.

That means that for the 6 to 9 months the piercing takes to heal, the sensible choice is to use over-ear headphones and use earbuds later.

Woman having her piercings cleaned. | Source: Getty Images

Woman having her piercings cleaned. | Source: Getty Images

How and Why Do You Need to Take Care of Your Conch Piercing?

Following the conch piercing, aftercare is imperative. The piercing should be cleaned two to three times a day with saline solution and clean gauze.

Harsh disinfectants and alcohol should not be used, as these can damage the tissue. Before cleaning the piercing, the hands should be washed thoroughly to prevent bacterial transfer to the open wound.


Surgical stainless steel is the most economical choice and well tolerated by most people, except those with a nickel allergy.

Once a day, dip the pierced ear into a warm saline bath prepared in a shallow bowl for 3 to 5 minutes. The piercing should never be rotated or the jewelry removed until it is fully healed.


A doctor should be contacted immediately at the slightest sign of infection, for example, swelling, discoloration, bruising, and pain. There is also the possibility of the formation of keloid scar tissue.

For the first weeks after the piercing, it is best that saunas, baths, and swimming be avoided to prevent infection of the piercing and that you do not sleep on your piercing.


What Kind of Jewelry Would Be Advisable for a Conch Piercing?

The choice of jewelry for the piercing is critical. The initial piercing is usually done with a stud or a bar, and the material of the jewelry should be chosen with care.

Surgical stainless steel is the most economical choice and well tolerated by most people, except those with a nickel allergy. Alternatives to surgical steel are titanium, niobium, platinum, and 14- or 16-karat gold.

Make sure the gold jewelry is solid and not plated. Gold plating can flake off and expose the core alloys to a grave risk of an allergic reaction.

As for the decoration of conch jewelry, the choice is endless, exciting, and available for every trend and taste. Enjoy your conch piercing safely and in style.

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