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What is a Daith Piercing?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 21, 2024
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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.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a BeautyAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon237754 — On Dec 31, 2011

I've had my daith pierced for the past four days now. It looked super awesome when I first got it. Now it's pretty red and swollen. I clean it with antibacterial soap and a QTip. When I last cleaned it, there was a little blood on the QTip. I'm beginning to worry that this will soon turn into an infection. Please help!

By anon202963 — On Aug 04, 2011

I just got my daith pierced today and so far it's pretty happy. The piercing itself was painful, but no worse than the forward helix which I have in my other ear. The jewelry insertion wasn't painful at all (I have a 16g cbr). Currently it is slightly painful but nothing I can't handle. Definitely don't recommend putting pressure on it at the moment though.

By anon158321 — On Mar 06, 2011

I have both the tragus and daith now, the tragus was a lot less painful than the daith and healed a lot quicker as well. But, i like them both too, but it's like the original post said: you have to decide what works best with your anatomy. But it never hurts to talk to a piercer too. They can give you a lot of good advice.

By anon124193 — On Nov 04, 2010

I have both, tragus was way easier and less painful. The daith I have had for less than a week and it still is pretty painful! I do sea salt soaks and clean but still lil swollen etc. I am going to give it a good two weeks before I panic though!

By anon121073 — On Oct 23, 2010

@yournamehere: Daith hurts way worse. The belly button is a walk in the park. But, daith isn't torture -- it's a min. of discomfort and then a sore ear for awhile. Also daith and conch are different. Conch pierces the inside but wraps around the lower lobe.

@musicshaman: I have a captive barbell and I think it looks nice. Especially the cool colored ones. you have to start off larger, but once it heals up a small one looks really nice.

@lightning88: Everyone has the tragus and to me they look a little odd. Not the cool, oh that's odd! the, that looks kind of off, odd. plus you have more jewelry options with a daith.

By anon119476 — On Oct 18, 2010

i got one but there is an infection in it. Should I go to my piercer again to get it changed?

By yournamehere — On Sep 27, 2010

Which one would you say is more painful, a belly piercing or a daith piercing? Also, I've heard this same kind of thing called a conch piercing, is a conch piercing the same thing as a daith piercing?

I'm trying to decide which one I want to get for my 21st, so can anybody help me out?

By musicshaman — On Sep 27, 2010

What would you say the best kind of piercing jewelry is for a daith piercing? My wife has a navel piercing and wants to get an inner daith piercing for Christmas, so I thought I would get her some jewelry to go with it -- does anybody have any advice, or is there some store or something I should go to?

By lightning88 — On Sep 27, 2010

I have always thought that daith ear piercings looked really cool, but I can't decide whether I want to get piercing of the tragus or get my daith pierced. Has anybody gotten either one of these, can you tell me what it's like and whether you're pleased with it? I have an eyebrow piercing, so I'm not into the super traditional look anyway, but I always like to ask about piercings before I get one.

Any advice?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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