Daith Piercing - Healing, Cleaning & Care Guide
The daith piercing, which is a perforation in the innermost cartilage fold in the ear, has become hugely popular in the last several years.
Although it looks simple enough, the daith is one of the most intricate body piercings you can go for, as it typically requires a specially designed, curved needle in order to create the precise perforation required.
Difficulties aside; if done right, this piercing can truly stand out from the others, and is sure to be a real eye-catcher.
However, it's important to remember that you'll have to look after your new daith piercing immediately after getting it done, because (as with all piercings), it can be prone to infections and other undesirable effects if not cleaned and treated properly.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about getting a daith piercing.
How Long Will My Daith Piercing Take To Heal?
A daith piercing can take between 4-12 months to completely heal, but with proper care and treatment, it can be narrowed down to between 4-6 months.
Because of its awkward position, a daith piercing will take longer than most to heal completely, for several reasons.
Firstly, the daith goes through a thick, fleshy cartridge area of the ear, which causes a small amount of trauma to the inside of the ear for a variable period of time (depending on your body's ability to heal). This is completely natural.
Also, like other ear piercings, it is more prone to dust and germs in the air when compared to, for example, belly button or tongue piercings (as they are better protected from the elements).
Another reason why the healing process will take longer is due to there being a much smaller blood supply feeding that area of the ear. This means less oxygen and nutrients will be reaching the wounded area, which prolongs healing times compared to other piercings.
Although it will inevitably take longer to heal, there are several things to do or avoid to make sure the aftercare phase goes as smoothly as possible.
Firstly, you should avoid contact between the daith piercing and makeup, perfumes, and other harsh skincare products. These can all potentially agitate the healing tissue, which will in-turn prolong the healing process.
Also, pillow sheets should regularly be changed, as the culminating bacteria and dandruff will interfere with the healing of your daith piercing.
You should also gently cleanse your ear with ear buds after wearing earmuffs, headphones or other accessories you wear on your ears, as well as after using the telephone (which can harbor a lot of bacteria).
And, of course, an infection will dramatically slow the healing process, which is why a careful and correct cleaning routine is all the more important.
What To Do On The Day Of Your Daith Piercing
Even before arriving at the piercers, there are several things you should consider and do.
Although it seems like a no-brainer, you should not consume any alcohol for at least 24 hours before the piercing.
Not only is it illegal for the piercer to work on anyone who is intoxicated, but the alcohol can warp the perception of pain, potentially making the procedure more painful (even if it would initially appear that alcohol would cause the opposite effect).
It's also strongly advisable to have a meal before getting to the piercing shop and to drink plenty of water. The food will help to ensure your blood-sugar levels remain stable, and staying hydrated will help to keep you feeling more energetic and focused.
You should ensure you research the piercing as best as possible to make sure it's the one you truly want. Maybe you're looking to get a daith piercing purely because they look awesome, or maybe you're getting one to help with migraines. Either way, make sure it's definitely what you want.
It's very advisable that you go to a professional piercer, and not just a friend who offers to pierce your ear at a lower price. The slightly higher cost of getting an experienced piercer is definitely worth it.
A professional will make sure your piercing will take place in a safe, hygienic, and sterile environment - which will all go a long way to ensuring your daith piercing doesn't become infected and potentially ruined.
A piercing is a long-term investment, and worth the extra money you may spend by going to an experienced and well-recommended shop/piercer.
After the piercing is complete, it's important you take proper care of your new piercing on the SAME day, as this is the time you will be most prone to an infection.
You should try to aim to clean your daith piercing at least two or three times on the day of your piercing to keep the area as sterile as possible.
Although it may feel VERY tempting, do not itch, rub or play with the new piercing, as it will disrupt the healing and increase the chances of bacteria being transferred to the site of the daith.
What To Do For The Rest Of The Healing Process
Any respectable and professional piercer should provide you with aftercare information and advice on how to look after your new daith piercing. However, here are some of the most common cleaning practices you should follow to keep your new daith clear from infection, and to ensure a quicker, smoother aftercare phase:
You can soak a small ball of cotton wool in saline solution (salt water) or warm (mild) soapy water, and dab it onto the piercing wound.
After cleaning, gently dry the ear with a new paper towel, as bathroom towels could spread germs, dust, hair, or other irritable particles onto your piercing (even if previously washed).
Try to prevent any buildup of earwax in the ear canal, as the wax can disrupt the inner ear skin from healing. Also, avoid wearing hats that could catch on the piercing.
Bedding and pillow sheets should be changed every few days to reduce the risk of hair, sweat, and dirt contaminating your daith.
Finally, try to protect your new piercing from strong shampoos and conditioners, as these can contain harsher chemicals which will irritate and slow down the healing process.
What Not To Do While Your Daith Piercing Is Healing
As previously mentioned, playing with, or touching your new daith piercing will seem very tempting, but you must try to resist this urge, as it significantly increases the likelihood of bacteria spreading to the pierced area, increasing the chances of infection.
If you need to touch your piercing, make sure you've thoroughly washed your hands, or wear sterile gloves.
Finally, your piercer will hopefully have mentioned that you shouldn't change your daith jewelry until the piercing has fully healed. Prematurely removing the stud could cause trauma to the scar tissue which is trying to heal (by accidentally prodding and poking the inner tissue as the jewelry is being removed/inserted).
How To Clean A Daith Piercing
Since most soaps generally dry out the skin, it's advisable to not soap up your piercing too much, despite it maybe sounding like a good idea to clean it this way.
While you should attempt to wash the jewelry with soap and water each day, you should make a conscious effort not to get any soap into the piercing itself.
Products like hair gel, skin oils and sprays can also delay healing times if they constantly come in contact with your piercing, so keep these away as much as possible too.
The good news is that cleaning the piercing, even without the use of soap, is very straightforward.
Simply soak the piercing with a salt water solution, or a pre-made saline solution morning and night, and at any other point in the day if the piercing becomes dirty.
Try to follow this routine for at least three months, or until you're confident that your cartilage piercing is fully healed. Remember; just because the outside of the piercing looks healed, this is not to say that the inside has completely healed too. The outer skin nearly always heals faster than the inner tissues, so be aware of this while your daith is healing.
A good way to ensure your piercing heals as best as possible is to use a specialized piercing aftercare product, as these generally only contain ingredients that are guaranteed to have a positive effect during the healing stages.
What If My Daith Piercing Becomes Infected?
Firstly, it's important to know HOW to spot an infection around/within your new piercing.
You'll want to look out for inflammation of the ear, and if the ear becomes extremely red and begins to feel more painful, especially in the cartilage portion of the ear, you may want to seek advice from a doctor. Excess swelling that doesn't disperse over the next few days can also be a sign of infection.
The piercing itself may cause swelling, redness or pain in the first few days of healing. Initially, don't be alarmed, this is normal. Nevertheless, if any of these symptoms get worse instead of getting better, (especially after 7-10 days), you should contact your doctor.
In much rarer cases, a pus buildup may take place inside the cartilage, which could result in the death of cartilage tissue (usually as a result of a loss of blood supply). If this goes untreated, the shape of the ear can be altered, and you may suffer from the ear deformity known as cauliflower ear.
If you're concerned about any of the symptoms above, consult your doctor. Antibiotics will usually be prescribed to clear any infection that may be present, and the sooner an infection is treated, the more favorable the outcome will be.
When Can I Stop Cleaning My Daith Piercing?
We've established that the healing process for a daith piercing can take up to 4-6 months (and sometimes longer), so it's advisable to carry on cleaning the piercing throughout this period to ensure it heals as best as it possibly can.
You may want to consult your piercing professional before you stop cleaning the area so they can give their professional advice as to whether they think the piercing has sufficiently healed or not.
Sometimes it's worth cleaning the piercing for 2 extra weeks after you feel your piercing has healed, just to give you peace of mind, and to help finish off the final healing stages.
When Can I Remove/Replace My Daith Piercing Jewelry?
While there are many different opinions as to when you can change your daith piercing jewelry, It's strongly recommended that you remove your piercing only when your piercer advises it's okay for you to do so.
While some piercers advise that it's fine to remove jewelry after 1 month, others can ask that you wait at least three months before the initial removal.
Ideally, you should wait until you're happy and confident that your piercing has healed and free of infection before any change is made.
Of course, there may be circumstances where you NEED to remove the piercing, so in that case, you should remove the jewelry for a very short amount of time only; and it would be in your best interest to consult your piercer for their advice, and how to proceed in your own personal circumstance.
Daith Piercings And Keloids
There is a small chance you can develop keloid scars after getting your daith piercing. A keloid scar is a formation of large, puffy-looking tissue that is primarily made up of excess collagen. Keloids more commonly appear on the upper ear after a piercing.
If a keloid scar forms after your piercing, you should consult your doctor. Treatments for these include laser therapy, cortisone injections, and pressure dressings. While these treatments can help to smooth out the skin, there is a chance that permanent scarring could remain on the affected area.
In conclusion, getting a daith piercing and looking after it is a relatively simple process as long as you stick to the aftercare methods detailed above.
However, as with all piercings, there is a slight risk of things going slightly awry. Therefore, you should remain vigilant and be on the lookout for potential setbacks, such as infections.
As long as you take the right precautions with your daith piercing, within 6-12 months, you should have a fully healed and intriguing piece of piercing-art, and it will all have been more than worth it.
Getting A New Piercing?
If you're thinking about getting a new piercing of any type, you'll want to ensure you're sufficiently prepared for the hugely important healing stage.
The best piercing aftercare product I've ever had the pleasure of using up to this point is the H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray.
Not only is every single ingredient completely natural, but the spray works brilliantly on all skin types (including sensitive skin) and comes in a very generously sized can.
Many users of the spray advise that when using it from the very start of the healing process, it appears to decrease healing times and helps to reduce any lingering pain/soreness.
Read more about the H2Ocean Piercing Spray here. Have a quick look at some of the customer reviews and you'll see why it's one of the most popular piercing sprays on the market.