Daith Piercing: All That You Need To Know

There is an ear piercing called a Daith piercing that passes through the ear’s crus of the helix, which is located inside the fold of cartilage within the ear. The procedure usually involves piercing with a straight hollow needle. A captive bead ring is a popular jewelry type used for the procedure. The healing process for a Daith piercing can take between 6 and 9 months.

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In this article we will explore all that there is to know about Daith Piercing so that you can go to that piercing shop with confidence!

What is a Daith Piercing?

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Located just inside the ear cartilage (slightly above your ear canal), Daith piercings are located on the innermost fold. Daith piercings are anecdotally thought to relieve migraines by activating a soothing pressure point on the ear in addition to the fact that they look ridiculously pretty, especially when they are combined with adorned earlobes and helixes. Studs’ senior manager of piercing operations, Shannon Freed, says there is no scientific or medical evidence backing this claim but does point out that acupressure practitioners and acupuncturists might pinpoint the Daith area to treat migraines, tension, and cluster headaches (so it may work for you, but it may not).

There are some people who are not suited to piercing their Daith. As opposed to, for example, your lobes, your cartilage is pretty specific to you and your ear. It is less likely that you will be able to get your cartilage pierced if it’s smaller (fun fact: I discovered while writing this story and looking closely at my own ear that I, in fact, do not actually have room for a cartilage piercing). That is why Freed recommends seeing a professional piercer who can determine the appropriate placement for your piercing before going through with it (including absolutely no DIY).

History of Daith Piercing

According to Erik Dakota, a client, who is said to have studied Hebrew in college, named the piercing “da’at” (meaning “Knowledge”). She believed the piercer was “smart” for having the ability to figure out how to do such a complicated job. Originally showcased in Fakir Musafar’s Body Play alongside the Industrial Piercing, Apadydoe, and large gauge conch piercing, this piercing was first introduced to the public in the 1980s.

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Adding to Fakir Musafar’s remarks,

“The Daith piercing was co-created in 1992 by Erik Dakota and a Jewish woman piercing client with a metaphysical bent. … A true Daith must be done in such a way that the bottom part of the ring appears to come directly out of the ear canal. If one can see both the entrance and exit hole of the ring, it is not a true Daith. The technique for this piercing is quite advanced, requires a specifically curved needle and was devised by Erik Dakota.”

Within the last 20 years, the Daith piercing has evolved into one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine used for migraine pain management. Daith piercings are rooted in Eastern medicine practices like acupuncture. Scientists do not know if the piercing truly helps or if the outcome is a placebo effect. Many patients report a positive outcome from it.

How Painful is a Daith Piercing?

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Every person experiences pain in an extremely individual way. What is unbearable to you may be totally manageable to your friend. For that reason, Freed says that you can expect your Daith piercing to feel pretty similar to a collarbone piercing (like your rook), which is typically more painful (and more difficult to heal) than your lobes. Once you take care of it properly, you should not experience any prolonged irritation or pain. Just be careful about pinching, as you might water your eyes a bit. And speaking of…

How Long Does it Take for a Daith Piercing to Heal?

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to healing Daith piercings. Freed says, generally speaking, they take between six and twelve months. However, that doesn’t mean your piercing will be painful the entirety of the healing process but it does mean you should keep it clean as often as possible throughout the healing process. Freed recommends that you remember to gently clean your Daith piercing 3 or 4 times a day with a saline solution and steer clear of cleaning agents like rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and ointments.

She also emphasizes that you should try to leave your piercing alone, meaning no touching or twisting (no matter how tempting that might be). Remember that every time your Daith piercing catches on a T-shirt, pillowcase, or bath towel, it can irritate your hole and prolong healing. Do not let your hole come into contact with anything that can scratch it and lead to infection.

How Do You Take Out a Daith Piercing?

It’s imperative to ensure your piercing has completely healed before changing out your Daith jewelry. If you’re unsure about whether your bb will heal, book a follow-up appointment with your piercer before starting — they will take a look (and can even help you switch out the jewelry when/if you’re ready) before you get started. Daith is usually pierced with rings or curved bars, so here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when it comes to changing them out:

  • Rings: According to Freed, piercing studios like Studs utilize “clickers,” which comprise a small, hinged post connected to a ring by a hinge and which shuts shut when clicked. “To change it out, gently pull the smaller segment away from the larger segment and open it up,” she clarifies.
  • Curved barbells: Continue using the thumb and index finger to grip the curved barbell, advises Freed. “Then twist one of the balls—they’re both removable—to the left, counter-clockwise.” P.S. If you’re taking anything off over a sink, make sure you put down the stopper to avoid losing any jewelry (!).

Which Side Should you Get a Daith Piercing on for Migraines?

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I mentioned earlier that there are no guarantees that getting a Daith piercing will help migraines, but if you’re willing to take a chance, choose the side of your head where your headache is most prominent. Pierce the ear you don’t sleep on to make healing much smoother (and noticeably less painful) if you suffer from migraines that aren’t specific to one side. Regardless of whether your new Daith piercing helps you with your migraines, you’ll at least be wearing some nice jewelry, right? That’s right.

How Much Does a Daith Piercing Cost?

You will have to pay a different amount depending on: (1) where you get the piercing, and (2) how much jewelry you want. The cost of a Daith piercing in NYC usually ranges from $30 to $40 plus another $50 to $60 for the jewelry, although it can certainly be more expensive. Even though the tattoo parlor might offer a good deal, it might be wiser to go somewhere else if you have a piercing. Remember that a piercing is a hole in your body-so even if the tattoo parlor offers a good deal, you might want to consider another shop. Your investment will be well worth it, y’all.

What Type of Jewelry Is Used for a Daith Piercing?

There are many options available when it comes to Daith jewelry, though Monckton recommends ring-style jewelry such as hoops, heart-shaped rings, and captive bead rings. Listed below are some of the most common options.

  • Captive bead: The captive bead ring (CBR) consists of a circular earring with a bead in the center. It makes the piercing look sleek and simple, but it also gives it a hint of edginess.
  • Hoops: A Daith generally consists of hoops, since the style hugs the cartilage and has a great deal of versatility.
  • Barbell: Daith piercings can also be achieved with a barbell, especially one that curves. The standard barbell resembles an actual barbell weight in that it is made of metal with balls attached at the ends. The ball on one side of the bar can be removed so the bar can be pushed through the piercing.
  • Clicker earrings: They feature a click mechanism that allows for easy application and removal. These earrings look like regular hoops and have the same style. They’re perfect for beginners!

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What Jewelry Material Is Used for a Daith Piercing?

Stainless steel, titanium, and niobium, which can be used in implant grade materials, don’t corrode over extended periods of time and contain significantly less nickel than surgical steel. For a new piercing, these are both excellent hypoallergenic options.

Complications Involved


An estimated 35% of ear piercings result in complications, according to a study. In addition to any other ear piercing, Daith piercings can involve a number of potential complications, which are categorized into infectious and non-infectious complications.

An array of infectious complications has been reported associated with ear piercing, from perichondritis to cellulitis to abscesses to infective endocarditis. Among the possible bloodborne diseases are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and tetanus. For patients undergoing body piercing, there is no specific recommendation regarding antibiotic prophylaxis.

Complications that are non-infectious include immediate pain, swelling, laceration, erythema, as well as allergic reactions, contact dermatitis, deformity, hypertrophic scarring, keloid formation, and perichondritis. Due to the poor blood supply to the part of the cartilage that has been pierced, delayed healing may occur.

The case report documents a case of a patient with chronic migraine failing to receive a Daith piercing.

Side Effects of Piercing

  • Ear anatomy: Since cartilage piercings are placed on the cartilage as opposed to earlobes, their success depends largely on both the uniqueness of the cartilage and the shape and size of the ear. If you can pierce your ear, its shape, specifically its anatomical anatomy, will determine what type of piercing is possible
  • Inflammation and infection: Piercing the cartilage of the ear greatly increases your chance of getting infected and may even cause inflammation of the cartilage, called chondritis. A newly pierced ear will be less likely to cause complications if the piercing is cared for correctly.
  • Blood infection: Piercings that are more severe can lead to blood infections such as hepatitis C and HIV. It’s always better to use a fresh needle when going to a professional piercer, Allen says.
  • Keloid: Keloids are persistent red or pink scarring that extends beyond the area where the opening was made. Keloid formation can be extremely difficult to treat if you have a history of it or if your family history indicates you tend to develop it. If that’s you, you might want to rethink piercing any part of your body.

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Taking good care of your Daith piercing can speed up the healing process (and prevent infections from developing). “For aftercare, you’ll need to do a twice-daily cleanse with a sterile saline wound wash and a good flush in the shower,” suggests Monckton. Dr. Anne Allen, the dermatologist at First Derm, advises “cleaning with sterile saline (dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of non-iodized, iodine-free sea salt into 1/2 cup) twice daily.” As a spray, it is sanitary since it contains natural ingredients. H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray ($12) contains natural ingredients that are safe to use. Monckton recommends avoiding physical contact with a new piercing, particularly as it heals, and avoiding twisting or playing with it.

In addition, it’s important to replace your pillowcase every few days to avoid bacteria from spreading; to avoid harsh chemicals sourced from hair and beauty products as well as perfumes, and to keep hair accessories away from the piercing such as hats and headbands. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a benzoyl peroxide 5 percent cleanser in the shower while making sure to thoroughly rinse it off, “as it can cause irritation.” Lastly, Allen advises not to remove the Daith piercing until it has fully healed.

If You Decide to Get a Daith Piercing

In the event that you decide to get one just because it looks interesting, make sure to do it in a safe manner.

Getting a Daith or another type of body piercing requires contacting a piercing professional. Despite the fact that each state has different laws regarding who can pierce ears, look for someone who is licensed. If you intend to get pierced, make sure that you trust your piercer and feel confident about the procedure. It is best to consult your doctor before piercing your Daith to determine if there are any potential health risks.

It’s important that every piercing studio be clean, ventilated, and well lit. There should also be a separate room for piercings. Piercers and assistants should have access to a sink where they can wash their hands before and after the procedure, and towelettes should be used as opposed to reusable cloth towels. Sterilized equipment must be kept in unopened sterile packaging and new or properly sterilized whenever possible. If you get a piercing in a public restroom or a person’s home, you should reconsider.

A professional piercer should perform the following before doing a Daith piercing:

  • We will go over the procedure step by step with you
  • Jewelry should be selected according to the piercing
  • Identify and discuss potential risks and complications
  • The healing process of your piercing is explained
  • Provide you with written and verbal instructions on aftercare

Can Daith Piercings Help Migraine Symptoms and Is It Safe?

An individual suffering from migraine typically experiences headaches that are painful on only one side of the head. In addition to headaches, migraine sufferers typically experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Symptoms of these disorders can interfere with your daily routine and sometimes last for days at a time. Thus, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there is a lot of interest in finding effective treatment options.

Daith piercings may be beneficial for migraine sufferers, according to recent research. However, what exactly is a Daith piercing, and is it effective in treating or preventing migraine attacks?

There is a Daith piercing in which a tiny piece of cartilage is pierced just above your ear canal entrance. The anecdotal evidence shows that Daith piercings can relieve migraine pain, but there is currently no research to prove it.

The following information will help you understand more about Daith piercings and migraine, as well as other methods that may help you handle your symptoms.

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What’s the connection between Daith piercings and migraine?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine therapy that treats conditions by using needles to stimulate specific points on the body. Piercings are linked to migraine relief through their treatment of acupuncture points.

The ear has pressure points used in modern-day acupuncture for treating headaches and migraines, and acupuncture is often used to treat headaches and migraines.

Midway through the 2010s, Damith piercings became popular as a migraine remedy. There’s a claim that this treatment activates a pressure point that may relieve migraine symptoms by activating the Daith piercing.

A trained acupuncturist would have to identify the pressure points to ensure the piercing is in the correct spot because they are in very specific locations. Although Daith piercings have been used to treat migraine symptoms, there is no scientific evidence that they work.

What does the research say?

The symptoms of migraine reduction were documented in a case study from 2017 in which the participant got a Daith piercing. A more comprehensive clinical study is required to link the procedure to migraine relief, according to the researchers.

They also cautioned against the dangers of ear piercings and propounded the possibility that symptoms might be relieved by a placebo effect

Placing an inactive treatment on your body and experiencing fewer symptoms is called the placebo effect. Psychological conditions usually wear off over time and treatments that are inactive aren’t always effective.

In a second study, researchers tested various treatment options to alleviate chronic headaches.

Due to the lack of evidence supporting Daith piercings as a treatment for headaches or migraine, they did not recommend them. In addition to reflexology, aromatherapy, and hydrotherapy included in this study, other treatments are grouped in this category as well.

Is a Daith piercing safe?

An ear piercing in the Daith targets the fold of cartilage just above the ear canal. Almost every piercing carries some risk, but cartilage piercings are more likely to cause complications than earlobe piercings.

There are many complications associated with Daith piercings, including:

  • infection
  • bleeding
  • swelling
  • scarring
  • lingering pain
  • development of an abscess
  • possible removal of infected cartilage
  • worsening migraine symptoms

Also, the spot for the piercing is in a very precise location, which may make it difficult to penetrate. Furthermore, the piercing may be very painful.

Consider getting a Daith piercing only when it is worth the risk. Find a qualified piercer to perform the piercing. After the piercing, keep the healing site clean until it has healed.

Are there other alternative therapies for migraine symptoms?

In addition to conventional treatments, there are other alternative treatments that may reduce the symptoms of migraines. Certain therapies are even able to reduce how frequently migraine attacks occur.


Many people, including migraine sufferers, have used acupuncture to treat a variety of painful conditions. Researchers suggest that acupuncture may be effective in treating certain conditions.


Alternatively, auriculotherapy may be recommended. It’s an acupuncture technique that’s focused on the ear.

This form of therapy involves the application of pressure to specific points on the ear with needles, seeds, or fingertips. Research suggests that this kind of therapy may assist in relieving pain.


Additionally, a recent study showed that mindfulness meditation can reduce migraine pain intensity and might make a good migraine treatment option for migraineurs.


A biofeedback session improves your ability to tune into your body, where you can make adjustments as needed.

Measurement of stress-related responses in your body includes how tense your muscles are, or other stress-related reactions. If you want to prevent migraine symptoms, you can learn how to relax and reduce the symptoms of stress.

Dietary supplements and more

The symptoms of migraines may also be relieved by certain dietary supplements. A few examples are:

  • butterbur
  • magnesium
  • riboflavin

Furthermore, ginger has also been shown to be an effective treatment for migraines.

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What are conventional migraine treatment options?

There are various types of conventional migraine treatment, including:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and over-the-counter migraine medicines are among these options
  • Drugs that are prescribed such as triptans, ergots, steroids, beta-blockers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications.
  • An injectable medication administered by a physician

Can a Piercing Help Treat Anxiety?

As an anxiety treatment, Daith piercings are advocated because they are thought to continually stimulate an acupuncture pressure point that has been linked to anxiety and mood.

Advised by acupuncturists, this spot can help the body maintain homeostasis, which means relative stability inside the body. Homeostasis is disrupted when anxiety is present.

Although acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, little research has been conducted to determine its effectiveness in treating various ailments.

Although no peer-reviewed scientific research has directly tested the idea that a Daith piercing can improve mental health or help manage anxiety, there is some evidence that suggests it might do just that.

The piercing also raises the suspicion of some acupuncturists. In order to reach acupuncture points, great precision must be applied. The piercer will completely miss the point if they move a fraction in any direction.

For this reason, it can be very difficult, and in some cases impossible, for someone without acupuncture knowledge to pierce the correct points.

It’s been anecdotally reported that a Daith piercing can be beneficial. Positive comments about a Daith piercing can be found on a great many online message boards and social media websites.

Nevertheless, a thorough investigation is necessary to determine whether it is a placebo effect, a deceptive claim offered by people selling the piercing, or an indication of novel anxiety treatment.

Although Daith piercings may pose a risk of infection, no harm has been shown associated with them.


A small number of studies have examined how well the Daith piercing works as a migraine solution, although no scientific studies have evaluated how well it works for anxiety.

The studies provided some insight into how anxiety might be affected by piercings.

According to a 2017 report, a 54-year-old man who underwent a heart-piercing for migraine relief showed significant improvement in his migraine symptoms.

The authors of the study propose that a placebo effect may be responsible for the difference. Nevertheless, the researchers speculate that the piercing may also activate vagal afferent fibers. A change in the vagus nerve might contribute to anxiety because these fibers affect its functioning.

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Earlier research indicates that vagal afferent fibers facilitate the modulation of mood, in particular the modulation of anxiety and fear.

The results suggest that Daith piercings might help improve anxiety symptoms if the vagus nerve is stimulated if Daith piercing stimulates the vagus nerve.

Moreover, researchers believe that the vagus nerve is involved with the interaction between the brain and gut. A vagus nerve stimulation could be helpful for people with anxiety-induced physical symptoms like stomach cramps.

Although these ideas are speculative, without data or studies directly linking a Daith piercing to increased vagal tone or direct vagal stimulation, they remain speculation.

Take Away

The effectiveness of a Daith piercing for treating anxiety has never been scientifically proven. Additionally, there is little evidence that it can be used in the treatment of other conditions, such as migraines.

Despite this lack of evidence, it does not necessarily indicate that the piercing does not work, but it does mean that it is not recommended, especially as an alternative to more traditional treatments.

Those who are thinking of getting a Daith piercing to relieve anxiety should talk to their doctors about the risks and benefits. In the event that they choose to get pierced, they should choose a piercer with extensive experience and continue looking for alternatives to anxiety therapy.

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