What Is a Daith Piercing?
A Daith piercing is a hoop that hugs the cartilage on the inside of your ear and has its roots in Jewish culture. “I’ve always pronounced it like ‘faith,’ but in recent years, people have been pronouncing it ‘doth,’ which is apparently how Erik Dakota, the person who came up with the idea of piercing the crux of the helix (the anatomical area of the ear),” says Monckton, who believes Daith piercing suits most people.
So, How Well Does it Work?
For years, people have gotten daith piercings to treat migraines. They began in 1992 for cosmetic purposes, according to Dr. Blatchley, but people soon noticed improvements in migraine symptoms. According to an American Migraine Foundation report, the perception of daith piercings has been that any reported results are simply a placebo effect (meaning they are temporary and psychological rather than physical) due to a lack of research on the topic.
That is, until Dr. Blatchley, in collaboration with the University of Essex, presented the world’s first medical research on the benefits of a daith piercing for migraines to the Association of Migraine Disorders just last month. The small study (26 participants) discovered that one to three months after receiving a daith piercing, approximately 40% experienced a reduction in pain and other migraine symptoms (such as brain fog, neck ache, and visual discomfort), as well as a reduction in days of symptoms. Twelve months after the initial piercing, several patients were still reporting changes or cessation of migraines. The remaining 40% reported short-term benefits, while the remaining 20% reported no change in their migraine symptoms following the daith piercing.
The jury is still out because there has been very little scientific research on the effects of daith piercings on migraine patients. What we do know is that a precise piercing is require for any benefit, so you should find a migraine specialist who offers daith piercings to perform the piercing.
Healing Time for Daith Piercing
The daith piercing usually takes 7- 9 months to heal. Of course, depending on how your body heals, it may take longer. Before changing your jewelry or discontinuing aftercare practices, have a piercer examine your piercing to ensure that it has fully healed, both inside and out. The daith piercing will appear fully healed before it is, and it is common for piercees to damage their daith piercing by discontinuing aftercare practices too soon.
It goes without saying that pain is entirely subjective—what is excruciatingly painful for you may be completely bearable for your friend. That being said, Freed says your daith piercing should feel similar to an upper-cartilage piercing (like your rook), which is typically more painful (and more difficult to heal) than your lobes. Other than a quick pinch and some eye-watering, you shouldn’t experience any long-term irritation or soreness if you take proper care of it.
According to the leading headache specialists, researchers, and advocates in the United States, the risks of a daith piercing far outweigh the benefits. Any “results” from the treatment are thought to be due to the placebo effect, which means they are temporary and psychological rather than physical. Furthermore, the piercing is often painful and carries a high risk of infection. In the long run, it may aggravate migraine symptoms. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there is no evidence to support the claim that daith piercings help relieve migraines. Furthermore, the American Migraine Foundation is adamant that seeking piercing from a nonmedical third party is not a migraine treatment. To learn more about alternative treatment options, please visit our website.
How Long Does It Take to Heal a Daith Piercing?
A daith piercing, like most cartilage piercings, takes about 2-4 months to heal and the jewelry should not be changed until it is healed. Because of the type of piercing and the awkwardness of the situation, the healing process can be much longer (up to 12 months). It is typically pierced with a 16g-14g curved barbell measuring approximately 3/8″ in length, but it can also be pierced with a captive bead ring. Because it is less likely to catch or move while healing, the curved barbell is easier to heal.
Once healed, you can use a smaller barbell or ring or change it to something more ornate. The daith piercing is extremely painful; it has the traditional cartilage “pop,” but it isn’t as strong as the tragus. After it has healed, many people prefer to wear “clicker” jewelry, which has ornate designs or gems on one side and is much more decorative. They can also be formed into fun shapes such as stars, hearts, and moons. If you leave your jewelry out for too long, the daith piercing will heal, so don’t leave it out for too long unless you want the piercing to close.
Ear anatomy: Because Daith piercings are placed on the cartilage rather than the earlobes, they rely more on the uniqueness of the cartilage as well as the size and shape of the ear. “Ear shape—specifically anatomically—will determine whether or not it is even possible to pierce,” Monckton explains.
Blood infection: On the more severe end of things, there is a risk of blood infection, such as hepatitis C, with piercing.
Infection and inflammation: “Piercing any cartilage of the ear increases the risk of infection and can even lead to cartilage inflammation, known as chondritis,” Allen says. Taking proper care of a new piercing will reduce the risk.
On the more severe end of things, there is a risk of blood infection, such as hepatitis C, with piercing.
Proponents of daith piercing as an anxiety treatment claim that the piercing constantly stimulates an acupuncture pressure point linked to anxiety and mood.
Acupuncturists refer to this location as “point zero,” and they believe it can help the body maintain homeostasis or relatively constant internal conditions. Anxiety is a type of homeostasis disruption.
Although acupuncture has been practice for thousands of years, research into its general effectiveness for various ailments is relatively new.
However, no peer-reviewed scientific research has been conduct to directly test the hypothesis that a Daith piercing can improve mental health or help a person manage anxiety.
Some acupuncturists are also concerned about the piercing. Acupuncture point access necessitates extreme precision. The piercer will miss the point entirely if he moves a fraction in any direction.
As a result, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a piercer who is unfamiliar with acupuncture to pierce the correct point.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a Daith piercing can work. Positive feedback about the effectiveness of a Daith piercing can be found on numerous online message boards and social media posts.
However, it is impossible to know whether this is a placebo effect, a false claim made by people selling the piercing, or evidence of a novel anxiety treatment without well-controlled research.
By taking good care of your daith piercing, you can speed up the healing process (and keep infections at bay). “For aftercare, a twice-daily cleanse with a sterile saline wound wash and a good flush in the shower is recommend,” Monckton says. First Derm dermatologist Anne Allen, MD, suggests “cleaning with sterile saline (dissolve 1/8 teaspoon non-iodized, iodine-free sea salt into 1/2 cup) twice daily.” The H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray ($8) is a sanitary spray that contains natural ingredients. Monckton advises resisting the urge to touch, twist, or play with a new piercing, especially while it is healing.
It’s also a good idea to change your pillowcase every few days to avoid bacterial infections, to avoid harsh chemicals in beauty and hair products and perfumes, and to prevent hair accessories like hats and headbands that can snag on the piercing. In the shower, Allen recommends using a 5% benzoyl peroxide cleanser, but be sure to thoroughly rinse, “as it can cause irritation.” Finally, do not remove your daith piercing until it has healed completely.
The cost of a Daith Piercing
According to Monckton, “daith piercings are no more expensive than any other inner-ear cartilage piercing.” The cost will vary depending on the location and the jewelry used, but a range of $30 to $80 (plus the jewelry) is usually an accurate range. A daith piercing, for example, costs $30 without jewelry at Maria Tash NYC (which starts at $65 and bleeds into the triple digits).
The Bottom Line
For thousands of years, people have used herbs to treat a variety of health issues. According to scientific evidence, certain herbs may help to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.
Some herbal products, like prescription medications, can cause side effects. Herbal products may also take longer to take effect. People must consider these factors when weighing the benefits and drawbacks of a particular treatment.
Certain herbs and medications can have serious interactions. Anyone who is taking medication should consult their doctor before beginning to use herbal products.