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A daith piercing is an ear piercing which penetrates the cartilage of the ear very close to the ear canal. When well-placed, it can also appear hidden in the ear, with just a portion of the jewelry sticking out. Because of its placement, this cartilage piercing requires special care to prevent infection, and it must be placed by an experienced professional who has received training in placing and performing specialized piercings.
To visualize a daith piercing, it might help to grab an ear for reference. If you put your hand on the small flap of cartilage in front of your ear canal, known as the tragus, and move your hand straight back, you will feel a fold of thick cartilage which leads towards your ear canal and the bowl of your ear. This section of inner cartilage is the area used for this piercing, although piercings on other inner folds of cartilage or the bowl of the ear are sometimes referred to as daiths as well.
Because there isn't a lot of room to work with when it comes to a daith piercing, this piercing must be placed carefully, and not all people have the anatomy to accommodate a daith piercing. A curved needle is often used, because a straight needle would be hard to work with, and jewelry must be selected carefully so that it accommodates the swelling associated with new piercings without being uncomfortable.
The daith tends to collect dirt, which can be dangerous during the healing process. Generally, aftercare involves washing the site gently several times a day with a mild antimicrobial soap, and using a sea salt soak to promote healthy healing and reduce swelling. Because it's a bit hard to soak the area conventionally, some people accomplish this by soaking cotton pads in saltwater and holding them to the piercing, almost like poultices.
Keeping a daith piercing clean is important, because you do not want to collect dirt and other materials in your ear canal. The piercing can also sometimes impede the natural passage of ear wax, so it is a good idea to gently swab the area once a week once the piercing is fully healed to keep the site clean.
If a daith piercing becomes infected, it is important to treat the infection to prevent complications or damage to the ear. Generally, piercers recommend leaving piercings in during treatment, to avoid trapping the infection under the skin, and medical care from a doctor is strongly recommended so that an infection does not become severe.