Last year, on the 17th of December, I believe, I went to Dublin for my Christmas shopping and came home with the shopping and a fresh piercing.
I got my Conch pierced. I won't beat around the bush, the piercing hurt being done, I yelped a bit when the needle went through. It is the thickest part of your ear so I should have expected it. When I came home, I cleaned it and it was throbbing but it wasn't painful any-more. My ear was red and angry for a few days but nothing I wasn't expecting, after all, I had just paid a lovely lady to push a 1.6mm tri-bevel hollow needle through my ear. It was mad at me. I understand! It was agony to sleep on for 3 months or more, so I learned to sleep on my left side, which I still do even though my piercing is fully healed and doesn't hurt at all as I type this.
A few months on (April) and I was growing weary of the little stainless steel ball in the hollow of my ear so I took myself off to Wildcat and picked up a black acrylic ball with white stars on it. I just wanted to have a nice top ball and the piercer said it wouldn't impede healing so I was happy as a clam. It hurt to sleep on for a bit but it was nowhere near as uncomfortable as the tiny ball was.
In July, I got my Arrow barbell and I adored it. I maintain my status as an archer, no matter what, I will go down swinging!! What better for an archer with an arrow tattoo to have a tiny silver arrow in her ear?! It was fabulous, until I wanted to change it. It wouldn't unscrew. For a few weeks it didn't bother me, but I knew something was up so once again, I took myself back to Wildcat to have them see what was up. Basically, I wound up having to have the whole thing pulled from my ear in two different directions and it SUCKED ASS SO HARD!!! I sobbed like a child, but the piercer was so cool she didn't judge at all, in fact she was amazing!! Back to a stainless steel barbell I went, replacement bar in tow in case I wanted to put the arrow back in a few weeks later. I didn't. I'll stick to my tattoo thanks!
Last month, I went to Baz Black (based in Dundalk), who would technically be my Boyfriends local piercing place, if Chris was pierced. I got Baz to switch out the bar, replacing it with a blue adonized Captive Bead Ring at 12mm diameter and 1.6mm in gauge. Having him change to the hoop - no bother at all, not a flinch or a twinge within a 10ft radius. Sleeping on it sucked for a fortnight and to be honest I thought about taking myself back up to Dundalk and getting Baz to swap it back again but I persevered and now it's perfect. The site of the piercing needed time to adjust to the curve, and now its absolutely perfect and it looks so bad-ass!
Healing was a bit of a pain at times... It's had a pretty angry keloid on the back of my ear, which I drew out with Disprin pastes, and now its absolutely perfect, and healed really well after all the issues with the keloid. I cleaned it twice daily for 3 months, once a day for 3 months, and then every other day for 3 months, as well as applying tea tree oil with a cotton wool bud twice a week for the entire duration. I try not to touch it but the ring especially is easy to fiddle with. I still occasionally apply tea tree oil to the piercing and spray the whole thing with anti-bacterial spray by Easy Piercing just to be kind to it.
So 12 months on, and what's the verdict?
I wouldn't get the other Conch pierced, and probably will never venture into cartilage land whatsoever, but I would not change this conch ring for the world. I love it just as much as my tattoos, sometimes more. I'm all about tattoos, piercings are a longer more intricate commitment in terms of healing. You really have to be on the ball when you heal a piercing, there is a lot of scope for infections and rejection. I think I've learned enough about tattoos to know I'm happier healing fresh ink than a piercing.
As cheezy as this is, I wanna say a big thank you to anyone who gave me advice or helped in any way when I was healing this bad boy! Sorcha at Wildcat Ink in Stephens Green, my lovely piercer, Dani in Dublin Ink for telling me about Disprin Pastes, Baz at Baz Black Piercing Dundalk for swapping out the bar for the CBR and various pierced friends for being dead sound when I had questions!
Hope this post was helpful,