The Daith Piercing: Everything You Need to Know
If you place your finger in your ear canal, you’ll feel a fold of cartilage sticking out above the passageway. Move your finger upward and pinch that flap of cartilage. That is your daith.
While cartilage piercings, in general, are becoming more and more popular, the daith in particular has seen recent traction. As more companies accept cartilage piercings as acceptable in the workplace, many are taking advantage of the unique piercings that the folds of the ear allow. The daith piercing presents the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Beyond aesthetics, many claim medical benefits to the daith piercing. Eastern medicine has long considered the daith to be an important pressure point. Acupuncturists focus on the daith to help relieve chronic headaches or migraines. The theory is that getting your daith pierced permanently activates these acupuncture points, leading to pain relief. Although this theory has never been medically proven, anecdotal evidence abounds.
Whether or not the daith piercing is a viable option for migraine relief, it looks amazing. Of course, it has its unique challenges. Here’s all you need to know about the daith piercing.
How much does the daith piercing hurt?
While it’s not the most painful piercing you can get, it’s considered one of the most painful ear piercings. The daith cartilage is quite thick, so the puncture might not be as smooth as other piercing options. Those who have undergone the procedure make pain claims ranging from, “It wasn’t as bad as I expected,” to “I cried and passed out.” It’s important to understand your pain tolerance before you get this piercing.
The thickness of the cartilage combined with its difficult-to-reach location makes it a challenge. If you have a lower pain tolerance, you probably want to choose a more expensive piercer; they will be more confident in the process, leading to a more comfortable experience.
Because of the difficulty of the daith piercing, post-piercing pain might be more extreme than other piercing types. Expect throbbing, redness, and sensitivity to the area for at least a few days after the procedure. If it continues or occurs in excess, it could be a sign that something else is wrong, and you should talk to your piercer.
Daith piercing healing process
On average, the daith piercing takes around 2 - 3 months to heal. Of course, it might take longer, depending on how your body heals. It’s always a good idea to have a piercer take a look at your piercing to make sure that it has fully healed, inside and out, before changing your jewelry or stopping aftercare practices.
Since the daith piercing is a little difficult to access, it can be hard to keep the area clean. There are a few options for optimal cleaning, and you can choose the best one for you.
Dip the ear directly into a saline solution or a sea salt bath. A soak is the best option for keeping your daith clean. Two to three times a day, you should fill a mug or any glass that can fit your ear with either a sea salt solution or aftercare product. Dip your ear into the mug, ensuring that your piercing is submerged, and let it soak for 3 - 5 minutes. Once completed, you can pat the area dry with a paper towel.
Use a saline or sea salt compress. Every ear is different, and you might find it difficult to properly conduct a proper sea salt bath. If this is the case, then you can soak a paper towel with an aftercare product or sea salt solution and hold the paper towel to your daith for 3 - 5 minutes. Remember, this is supposed to take the place of a sea salt bath, so make sure that the paper towel is fully soaked.
Don’t move the jewelry. Cartilage is more easily damaged than softer skin, so you need to be extra careful not to move your daith piercing jewelry as it heals. Damaged cartilage can lead to piercing bumps, keloids, and other issues that sometimes will require medical procedures to rectify. To avoid these complications, leave the jewelry alone. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you don’t put pressure on the piercing. Try not to sleep or lean against the piercing as it heals. This could pose a challenge, especially if you get both daiths done at the same time.
Daith jewelry styles
Your initial jewelry will most likely be either a 16G, 3/8" curved barbell or a 16G, 7/16” captive bead ring. These styles are easily inserted into the piercing immediately post-puncture, and the length allows plenty of space for swelling during healing. You can switch to a smaller size, such as 1/4" or 5/16" after the healing process is completed. Learn more about standard piercing sizes here.
Curved barbells and captive bead rings are popular options after the daith piercing has healed. Both sport beads that look adorable peeking out of the daith. Since it’s located inside of the ear, a splash of bead color can add an interesting aesthetic to your cartilage compilation.
Clicker rings are also very popular. Daith-specific clickers often have a flat prong, rather than a curved one, to allow the hoop to sit flush with your daith. With these types, it’s common to choose more intricate jewelry that decorates the conch area of your ear.
For a subtler look, seamless hoops look super cute in a daith as well. These styles are more common with daith piercings that are a part of a cartilage cluster so that the daith jewelry doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the cartilage piercings.
If you love the curved barbell look, but you’d like to have the beads more centrally located within the ear, a circular barbell is a great option.
Why shouldn’t I get a daith piercing?
Everyone’s ears are different. Some have tons of folds, and others are flatter. Before you get your daith pierced, you need to make sure that your daith is big enough to provide the surface area needed for the piercing and that there’s enough space to accommodate the jewelry.
Some daiths won’t allow for hoops, and you’ll have to opt for the curved barbell option. If you’re looking forward to wearing hoops in your daith, make sure that there’s the space to do so.
If you have a low pain tolerance, or if you’ve never been pierced before, you might want to wait on the daith piercing. A good piercer will keep you calm and make the process quick and easy, but some have reported fainting in the piercer’s chair, so you need to keep this in mind.