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Conch Punch Piercing/Body Modification: Everything You Need to Know

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Want the appearance of a gauged conch without spending the time to stretch your piercing? The conch punch body modification might be for you! A conch punch looks exactly like a stretched conch piercing, but the “stretching” happens all at once and it doesn’t even take too long to heal! While most people wear see-through jewelry in their conch punches, it is becoming more popular to instead wear O-rings and wear rings in the punch, the way a conch with a ring would look. Conch punches are a type of dermal punch (sometimes referred to as piercing punch or biopsies).

What is a Conch Punch Piercing/Mod?

The conch punch gets its name from the appearance: it looks as if someone literally took a hole punch to the inside of your ear and punched out some tissue. Conch punches are typically used for people who want to stretch their conch piercings, but don’t want to take the time to slowly stretch them out. Punches can be done at many different gauges and you can even continue to stretch to a bigger gauge if you decide to.

The Conch Punch Modification Procedure Explained

When you get a piercing punch, the body artist will use a circular tool called a dermal punch instead of a needle. You can think of it like a cookie cutter. It’s very sharp and will remove the desired section of tissue with a bit of force. During this step, you can expect a fair amount of pain. Instead of the typical sharp pain you might feel during a piercing, it will likely feel more like a (sometimes overwhelming) throbbing pain.

You will also bleed a good amount. To help stop the bleeding, your body artist will put in your next jewelry and stretch up your punch to the next size. (For this reason, your artist will likely recommend you punch a size smaller than your desired size). The stretching step is sometimes just as painful as the punching step, so don’t let it catch you by surprise. All in all, the punching procedure is pretty painful and bloody – not for the faint of heart.

How Do You Heal a Conch Punch?

Towards the beginning of your healing process, you will still be in a great deal of pain even if nothing touches it at all. It is common to get migraines for a week or two after the procedure. Biopsies force you to practice LITHA because it will hurt if you don’t. For 6-8 months it will hurt if anything so much as grazes your conch, including your hair, scarf, hat, glasses, – sometimes even the wind. You won’t be able to sleep on it because you will instantly wake up in pain if you roll onto it.

Just like a regular conch piercing, it takes around 12 months to fully heal. Practice LITHA throughout the entire healing process and if you are somehow able to sleep on it, do your best not to. Dermal punches produce a lot of crusties. Some even refer to their healing punches as “slimy”. You will likely want to rinse several times a day but remember that too much salt water will hinder your healing process, so just jump for a quick shower for a rinse as often as you like.

Where Can You Get a Conch Punch and What is the Price?

So, some bad news here. Conch punches are in the grey area of what is legal. Some consider the dermal punch tool used in the procedure to be a medical instrument and therefore illegal for anyone without a medical license to use. Some piercers don’t believe punches are illegal and will perform them for you, but don’t be surprised if you’re turned down. This is why you may need to seek out a body modification artist – someone with a medical degree who will perform body mods for you. Because it is one of the more invasive procedures and you may need to seek out a body artist – you can expect to pay between $200-$300 per punch.

Conch Punch Alternatives

Obviously, a stretched conch piercing will look identical to a punch, so if you don’t want to go through the procedure, a regular conch piercing would work fine. A punch gets to the size you want much faster, but you often pay for it with literal blood and tears. With either method, you should consider the possibility of not being able to close them completely. Most of the time, if you go without jewelry long enough, your piercing should close on its own but sometimes with a punch there is not enough skin left over to close, so there is the possibility of it ending up more permanent than you had anticipated.


Conch punches are a fantastic way to get to your end goal faster than the traditional method. However the procedure is often very painful and sometimes even gory. The healing process, while faster than you might expect, is also incredibly painful throughout. You may have to check with several piercers before you find one that is willing to perform the procedure for you and that will cost around $250 per punch. If you decide to go for it, you should keep in mind that there is a slight chance the punch will never close completely and it could be permanent.