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Daith Piercing: All Your Questions Answered

Daith piercings is believed to be able to relieve migraine symptoms for many. If you’re interested in trying one of these piercings, here’s everything you need to know about what it is and how it may or may not help those with migraine headaches.

What is daith piercing?

A daith ear piercing goes through the second cartilage shelf at the top of the inside of the ear. The first shelf or ridge is called a rook when pierced, and the daith piercing goes right below that.

A daith piercing is done with hoop-style jewelry and often also has some type of gemstone or decorative piece that fits up against the ear cartilage for a more pleasing aesthetic. 

The origin of daith piercing

While ear piercing has been around in many cultures for thousands of years, the daith piercing itself is relatively new. It’s credited to piercer Erik Dakota, who did the first one in 1992, and the piercing became mainstream when it was covered in Fakir Musafar’s Body Play magazine. Derived from the Hebrew word for the Tree of Knowledge, “daith” is pronounced “day-th” and “daath.”

Does a daith piercing hurt?

Any body piercing hurts, but the level of pain depends on where the piercing is and your personal pain tolerance. The daith piercing pain level is considered moderate to high because it goes through cartilage. A daith piercing will be roughly as painful as a helix (upper ear cartilage) piercing or a nose piercing. The thing to remember about piercing pain is that it’s over quickly. While there will be some lingering swelling and pain while the piercing heals, which for a cartilage piercing can take up to 12 months, the worst of the pain is over in less than five minutes.

Can a daith piercing relieve migraines?

One of the purported daith piercing benefits is that it can help treat migraines. However, the reports are mixed, and the positive evidence is mostly anecdotal. There are some people who claim they had a significant reduction in the number of migraine headaches they experience and/or the frequency of the attacks. 

One of the purported daith piercing benefits is that it can help treat migraines. However, the reports are mixed, and the positive evidence is mostly anecdotal.

The basic theory of a daith piercing for migraines is that it hits an acupuncture point in that spot of the ear. However, for this to work, the piercing must hit that spot precisely, which is hard to do because of individual anatomy and the limitations on the use of the needle. According to the American Migraine Foundation, there is no scientific evidence that daith piercings can help migraines, and it believes that any positive reports can be attributed to the placebo effect.

How to take care of a daith piercing

Taking proper care of your new daith piercing is critical to promoting good healing and reducing the risks of rejection or infection. Your piercer will give you specific aftercare instructions, and it’s very important to follow these exactly. 

Aftercare instructions usually include rinsing the piercing with warm water at the end of your shower to ensure that any shampoo, conditioner, or soap residue doesn’t remain on the piercing. You will also need to clean the piercing twice daily with a medical-grade saline solution. 

Most piercers advise against using cotton swabs on these piercings because they can leave behind stray fibers. Instead, you can soak it with saline solution and then use sterile gauze to dab around the site of the piercing to remove any blood or buildup, both of which are normal in the first few weeks. Your piercer will likely want you to come back six to eight weeks after the initial visit to check on the healing process and see when you might be ready to downsize the jewelry.

Aftercare instructions usually include rinsing the piercing with warm water at the end of your shower to ensure that any shampoo, conditioner, or soap residue doesn’t remain on the piercing.

Try to avoid touching your piercing. If you absolutely must, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly to avoid introducing germs into the piercing site. Avoid sleeping on the piercing or putting any pressure on it, such as with headphones or headbands, until it has fully healed. There’s no need to spin the piercing or do anything to encourage it to heal. The best advice for any piercing is to leave it alone as much as possible. If you get a bump or have swelling or pain after the first two weeks, return to your piercer to get it checked out. Never take out a piercing you think is infected on your own.

What you need to know before getting daith piercing

Getting any kind of body modification is a big decision, and a daith piercing is no different. Before you decide to get this piercing, it’s important to understand what the possible benefits of daith piercings are. While there is some anecdotal evidence that it can help decrease migraine symptoms and pain, scientific studies haven’t been able to replicate this. If the only reason you’re getting a daith piercing is to alleviate migraine pain, you may want to reconsider. This is especially true if you don’t like the overall look of piercings. The daith is a more visible and unique piercing, which makes it more noticeable.

Look for a piercer who’s a member of the Association of Professional Piercers. This organization requires members to go through an apprenticeship of an appropriate length and train in piercing-related issues such as bloodborne pathogens.

If you decide to go forward with your daith piercing, you’ll also need to make sure that you work with a professional piercer in a clean studio. This isn’t something that can be done at a piercing stand in the mall or with a gun, and it should never be attempted at home. 

Look for a piercer who’s a member of the Association of Professional Piercers. This organization requires members to go through an apprenticeship of an appropriate length and train in piercing-related issues such as bloodborne pathogens. Your best bet for a qualified professional piercer is at a standalone piercing studio or reputable tattoo shop.

Keep in mind that a daith piercing performed by a professional and with medical-grade jewelry won’t be cheap. The total cost for the piercing fee and the jewelry, not including tip, can easily come to $200–$300. 

The takeaway

There is no scientific evidence that daith piercings can help migraines. There are some risks associated with getting this piercing, but they are pretty much the same as getting a regular lobe piercing. A daith piercing isn’t likely to make migraines worse, which may be enough for some people with migraines to give it a try.

https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/daith-piercings-101/

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