Daith Piercing: Pain Scale (Level), Cost, Infection, Cleaning, Aftercare, Healing Time & Stages

There are many types of ear piercings. While most people get them to enhance their beauty, others choose the type to go for for health and superstitious reasons.

  • You can get your earlobe and tragus pierced.
  • Ear cartilages are also a good surface especially if you want to have many rings.

But where do you place a ring if you want to relieve persistent migranes? Did you know that an ear piercing can help you with this?


What is a daith piercing? How much does it cost? How long does it take to heal? What is the pain scale and stages of healing?

A daith ear cartilage piercing can get infected just like any other piercing. Without proper aftercare and cleaning, it can start to bleed and ooze pus.

What is a daith piercing? (with pictures)

This is a piercing passing through your inner ear cartilage fold via a pressure point. Normally, the procedure is performed in a piercing parlor by a professional.

Daith piercing pictures
  • Lately, this trend has taken social media by storm, with many people wanting to learn more about it, with some claiming that it can assist in reducing anxiety, migraines, as well as assisting with weight loss.
  • Even though there is not much research to support some of these headache treatment claims, there are those that claim that the piercing actually works.

See pictures below (throughout the page ) showing this type of ear art, how they are done and the kind of jewelry you can wear.

Read also: Infected navel piercing signs.

Is it painful?

What is the pain level of a daith cartilage piercing? This kind of ear piercing is one of the most painful piercings that you can ever get. If you have had your nostril pierced in the past, or know someone who has, the daith piercing will hurt even more than that.

But, you should note that the most painful aspect about it comes around during the healing process. A slight touch of clothes or even pillow will lead to lots of pain in the coming days. Additionally, you will find it very hard to sleep at night until it heals.

Pain scale (level)

As mentioned above, it goes through your inner ear cartilage, and this means that it is likely going to be a little bit more uncomfortable as compared to other forms of piercings.

But, this does not mean that the pain is not bearable.

On average, it takes between three and six months for it to heal completely, with most people choosing to wear a heart shaped ring after piercing.

On a scale of 1-5, many people have rated it at a pain level of 3.

The piercing is becoming popular with each passing day, not only because of how cool it looks but also because of the growing evidence that it can also serve another function in your body.


Based on the increasing amounts of feedback gathered from people who suffer from regular migraines, it is believed that this piercing focuses on a particular acupuncture point. As such, it can relieve the frequency as well as the severity of your headaches and migraines.

How much does it cost?

What is the price of a daith piercing? In many reputable parlors, it costs between $40 and $50 for the piercing to be done. You may, however, need to dig deeper into your pocket to acquire the aftercare products, which you will most definitely need during the healing process.

Healing stages, process and time

The piercing takes place on the part of your ear located above the tragus. Many piercings actually appear to be very similar. The needle has to go through a thick section of your cartilage.

With this type of piercing, the total healing time is expected to be a little bit complicated and may take longer than your other piercings. This means that there will be a number of stages that must be covered.

In the first-week aftercare routine, you should understand that the piercings tend to be a magnet for germs and dirt that are all around you. It will also require more attention, given the fact that the wound is much larger than the one in a thin cartilage piercing.

It is, therefore significant to ensure that it remains clean during the first week after piercing, and be sure to pay attention to the instructions that have been provided by your piercer.

How long does a daith piercing take to heal?

For most people, it will take between 6 weeks to 3 months to heal completely. It may take longer depending on the circumstances.

  • As is the case with any other kind of piercing, you need to ensure that you do not come into contact with perfumes, makeup, and even hair sprays.
  • You will also be required to change your pillowcase on a daily basis, as well as clean your ear after wearing and earmuff, earphone, or after using your phone to make a call. This will promote faster healing through the stages.
  • In a perfect world, it should take about six weeks for the piercing wound to heal. Many people will at one point or another encounter a problem with their piercing.
  • Such setbacks cause the healing time to increase dramatically to between three and six months for your piercing to become completely healed.

However, you are encouraged not to give up, even if you encounter some problems, as they will eventually wane.

Aftercare tips

During the healing process, there are a few things that you should and should not do, as part of the daith piercing aftercare process.

After a piercing, your piercer will provide you with instructions, as well as aftercare products, which you should use to reduce the pain level as well as chances of an infection.

With these instructions at hand, and if you remember to clean your piercing on a regular basis, you should have a speedy and pain-free healing process.

How to clean a daith ear piercing?

Before deciding to get this piercing, you should first take the initiative to learn more about some of the health risks that are associated with piercings. Start by looking at the daily care routine. Here’s the daily piercing care routine:

Signs of infection.
  • As it is healing, the ear piercing will need to be cleaned at least once each day
  • Do not clean it more than once, as this could end up harming your ear, rather than hastening the healing process.
  • During the cleaning sessions, you will be required to use a saline solution or a good antibacterial soap.
  • Refrain from stirring the wound, unless you are doing it for cleaning purposes. Keep in mind that dirty hands often carry bacteria, and your piercing is a good entry point for the bacteria, which may then cause an infection in the area that has been pierced.

Step by step cleaning procedure

  1. Begin by washing your hands each time using the antibacterial soap.
  2. Using plain water, wet your piercing.
  3. Scoop a few drops of the antibacterial soap and put them on the piercing. You should then use a cotton bud to lather then drops.
  4. Using the cotton bud, try and loosen any discharge that has been crusted. Proceed to float it off your jewelry as well as your skin with the same bud.
  5. Allow the antibacterial soap to remain in your piercing for a maximum of two minutes. While waiting, you should take the time to rotate your jewelry, making it possible for the disinfectant to penetrate your skin.
  6. Use water to rinse off the area, and allow it to air dry. You should not use a towel to dry the area, as the sheet may contain some bacteria.

Daith piercing infection

During the healing process, inflammation signs accompanied by perichondritis may be present. A red and sensitive ear are the common symptoms of infection. According to doctors, pain is likely to be present in the area surrounding your cartilage.

For the redness, it will be present in the entire area where an injury has occurred. Additionally, ear lobe swelling it likely to occur with the infection. The swelling can also occur in the middle ear, with a bump forming on the piercing itself. Some of the factors that can lead to an infection include:

1. Dirt around your fresh piercing

When too much dirt accumulates around the area that has been pierced, this is likely to result in ear piercing infection. For proper healing, it is, therefore essential to make sure that this area remains clean at all times.

Even though it is likely for piercing to cause soreness, redness, and inflammation, it is advisable to seek proper care if the symptoms worsen.

In case you begin to notice the formation of pus or possible irritation in the region that was pierced, then it is possible that your body is rejecting the piercing. It may, therefore, be better for you to have the offending jewelry removed by a piercer before it starts migrating.

2. Collection of pus in the cartilage

Pus collection in the cartilage and surrounding tissues is a sign of an infection. If not controlled could lead to the death of your cartilage. The death of your cartilage may lead to your ears becoming deformed, as your cartilage gets its blood supply and nutrients from the tissues that are surrounding it.

If your ear has a severe ear cartilage infection, this could lead to fever, as well as a discharge seeping from the piercing wound, which may cause your ear to start itching.

This kind of infections may also lead to the formation of ear crusts in the regions that are infected, as well as the presence of a pus-like discharge. With time, this infection could begin spreading from your ear cartilage to other regions like your neck and face.

Symptoms of infection

How can you know whether your piercing has become infected? First, you will need to know some of the signs and symptoms associated with an infection. Some people automatically assume that they have an infection when the piercing begins to act up. Symptoms of an ear piercing can include bleeding, hurting, a bump, discharge etc.

Bump keloid on the pierced area

Bumps and abscess on your pierced area are caused by the excess accumulation of pus. This can be due to the presence of a foreign body in your ear or because of poor drainage. When there is a foreign body, your body is likely to react in a defensive manner.

Additionally, a hypertrophic scar may also lead to the formation of a bump or keloid. The bump will also have some discharge, but in this case, it will not be pus. It is an indication that you have repeatedly been irritating the pierced region.


Normally, this is not a symptom of an ear piercing that is infected, particularly one that has been present for a while. When you get a new piercing, it will be normal to bleed, but this should only last for a short duration.

  • Injuries and trauma may also be the reasons why you have an aftercare bleeding ear. Again, this may not be a sign that you are infected, but it will increase your chances of getting an infection.
  • Keep in mind that there is an open wound on your body, and as such, the area will be highly susceptible to germs and bacteria.
  • In case you start bleeding, try and apply some pressure on your piercing to slow down the bleeding, and then contact your piercer to get proper treatment.

It will also be vital to use a mirror when wearing the piercings, more so if you are not sure where the holes are located. When dressing, make certain that they will not get tugged by your clothes, as this may lead to further injuries and possible bleeding.


Another sign or symptom of a daith piercing infection is discharge. A yellow discharge should not be a course of concern. But immediately it changes to green, then you should start getting worried.

In such a case, the discharge is likely to have a foul smell, which has been caused by a bacterial agent. Often, the discharge becomes noticeable when the jewelry is moved, and in some cases, it starts seeping through the jewelry. When a white discharge is present, this is an indication that you do not have an infection.

Burning sensation

Burning sensations are normally caused by an allergic reaction, and are accompanied by a yellowish looking discharge. It can come about due to failure to clean the piercing, or from an allergic reaction to the jewelry that is in place.

In many cases, the shops use surgical steel, which is a top grade metal, and one which very few people are allergic to. You should also check whether the jewelry has become loose or is too tight.

Inflammation, redness and tenderness

A sign your daith piercing is infected is your ear getting warm and tender. The major signs of an infection are redness, bruising, and swelling. But, if the piercing has just been done, then the area is likely going to be tender and warm.

You can differentiate whether you have an infection or whether your piercing has just recently become pissed by checking for pain.

If you find that the level of pain being experienced is more painful than annoying, have the piercing checked out by a professional piercer or a medical doctor.

Fever and loss of function

Additional symptoms of infection could include nausea, fever, and cold chills. The symptoms are associated with an infection that has become severe, and one which was caused by a pathogen or bacteria that has suddenly become systematic.

For this, it will be vital to get in touch with a doctor. Ignoring the symptoms may lead to the development of more life-threatening infections. In such a case, the piercer will not be of help and will recommend a physician as well.

Daith piercing vs. tragus piercing

When looking for the best type of ear piercing, you are looking to come across a debate on daith piercing pain compared to the tragus. Before that question can be answered, it is vital first to take a look at all the piercing types.

Tragus piercing

Tragus is the piece of your ear that is found in your ear opening. At a closer look, you should find something that is thickly shaped, and which is part of your ear cartilage.

A tragus piercing is the perforation of the tragus, which projects immediately in front of the ear canal.” [Wikipedia] In tragus piercing, the methodology used involves penetrating little gauge needles into the area.

Additionally, the jewelry used for this kind of piercing is either the flimsy roundabout wire rings or the globule ring.

Even though this is also a hearty manifestation of ear piercing, it can turn touchy every once in a while. For instance, wearing headphones during the healing process may be dangerous for you, but the possibility of extending or experiencing tears are very low.

Daith cartilage piercing

As mentioned earlier, daith piercing occurs on the inner part of your cartilage, which is placed close to your ear opening. During the procedure, the inner cartilage will be punctured a few ties to provide an approach to the thinner wired ear adornments.

The needle that is used for this particular procedure is typically bent, but, in some cases, it may contain minor collector tubes at the end, which is meant to make sure that your other ear parts will not come into harm. The amount of pain experienced in both procedures depends on a person’s pain tolerance.

When comparing the tragus piercing vs. daith piercing it is important to note the following similarities and differences:

  • They are both a type of ear cartilage piercings.
  • The pain scale of both piercings is a bit high.
  • Daith cartilage piercing is mostly done to treat migraines and anxiety while a tragus piercing is usually for beauty purposes.


What are the benefits of getting a daith ear piercing? It is widely known that the benefits are beyond the beauty this kind of piercing brings. With a daith cartilage piercing, you may heal migraines, get rid of anxiety and be able to lose weight faster.

1. Relieving migraines and headaches

A migraine is a prime headache syndrome, which manifests in the form of a recurring attack. It can last for between four and seventy-two hours.

The amount of pain involved ranges between moderate and severe in terms of intensity. Some of the characteristics associated with this condition are:

daith piercing for migraines
Ear acupuncture for migraine relief
  • Unilateral location
  • Moderate to severe intensity
  • Pulsating quality
  • Aggravation by activities that are of a routine nature

People who suffer from migraines may experience phono phobia, vomiting, nausea, and photophobia. Research shows that this is a pervasive disorder, and attacks women more than men (two and a half times higher).

A daith piercing works the same way acupuncture works. This is why it is applied as a treatment for pressure-related migraines.

A person who experiences regular migraines can be treated when the attack occurs. However, there are those that may require prophylactic interventions, because their attacks are too frequent.

Certain medications can be used to control the condition, though most of the drugs have been associated with many side-effects that are quite adverse.

The reason behind its use for migraine relief is:

One in every five Americans experiences a chronic migraine episode that is brought about by the lack of consistent action, according to the CDC. Many of the sufferers try as much as they can to stay away from their triggers, but in the end, they always experience recurrent episodes. This is what led to the search for a viable treatment option for a migraine.

What you should know about its use for a migraine relief:

  1. On insertion, the daith will not come anywhere close to the acupuncture points that are used by experts when treating a migraine.
  2. According to clinical experts, the body piercings only offer a temporary solution, which lasts for between a week or two and offers a therapeutic experience at best. It, therefore, may not offer a long-term solution for this problem.
  3. May people who have gotten the piercing swear by it saying that it works and it gives migraine relief.
  4. A daith piercing is considered an advanced piercing, which if done incorrectly may lead to excessive pain, and increased healing times. Additionally, it may result in the formation of unsightly bumps, in addition to experiencing serious infections in the ear.
  5. Diligent aftercare is required, failure to which an infection will develop. During the healing time, you will need to avoid activities such as swimming, and you will be required to clean the piercing on a daily basis.

It is recommended that you speak with a personal piercer before committing to getting this piercing, in order to get a worthy assessment of what to expect, and whether or not it will be helpful with your migraine issues.

2. Anxiety relief

A daith piercing is also said to help with anxiety relief. Anxiety is often triggered by the performance of everyday tasks, being exposed to certain types of lighting e.g. fluorescent light, or even eating certain kinds of foods. To-date scientists have not been able to pinpoint why they affect certain people and leave out others.

Additionally, there does not seem to be an available cure that can treat all people suffering from this condition, which has led to many sufferers trying different pills to try and control the problem.

Some of the options that have been tried have included yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and even switching diets: and now, people are trying piercing as a form of dealing with anxiety. The piercing runs through a pressure point and is, therefore, able to relieve anxiety.

Given that the procedure is still new, there are not many statistics to back up its effectiveness, especially considering that it is mainly performed in tattoo shops.

3. Weight loss

In terms of traditional Chinese Medicine, the ear is deemed to be a microsystem, which has points pairing with different vital parts of your body.

It, therefore, is possible for your appetite to be curbed, immediately the needles get inserted into the said points. When your metabolism becomes fastened, it becomes possible to prevent binging and overeating.

Once they are inserted, you get to experience a calming effect given that the endorphins that become secreted after the insertion of the needles are those responsible for helping you lose the extra weight.

Ear piercings, according to some medical experts is one of the latest versions of an ear acupuncture.  Similar to the traditional acupuncture, which relies on the use of needles, this kind of piercing will also stimulate such spots, though in this case, the laser will be utilized in place of needles.

When you undergo this type of ear acupuncture, the endorphins that will be released will also impact your hormonal and digestive systems by having them rebalanced.

As such, your metabolism will be slowed down, and therefore, your determination to stay away from foods that are not healthy will become fortified.

DONTs of an ear cartilage piercing

  1. Do not thin your blood. Blood thinners include alcohol, caffeine, and aspirin. It, therefore, will be vital to stay away from them. During the early healing days, there is the possibility that your piercing could be prone to aftercare bleeding, which is why it is important to stay away from the thinners.
  2. Do not traumatize your ear piercing. When washing, fixing your hair or brushing your shoulders, it will be important to exercise a lot of caution. Too much pressure means that the piercing may become traumatized by a misplaced brush or hand. You should avoid wearing jewelry, as well as ensure that other people do not touch or play around with your piercings. If it is important for you to touch it, make sure that you use a clean hand, or a gloved hand, to make sure that you do not get any bacteria or germs into it. Additionally, make sure that you do not break any crust that could be present.
  3. Try and avoid bacteria. Even though bacteria are all around us, you have to seek to avoid it entirely during the healing process. You can escape this by ensuring that no one touches it, staying away from hot tubs and swimming pools, as well as staying away from communal water areas.


One comment

  1. This looks like it would help me out so much!! I’ve had headaches for 40 years!! Medications, mri’s, cat scans, eating healthy, turning noise box down, (TV!), listening to relaxing music, taking warm baths with essential oils, trying to get rid of stress, that’s a really hard one!!!!! I wear sunglasses around the house, lights really hurt, that usually ends in a headache!! I have glaucoma, had a few surgeries on my left eye, that’s the worst eye, I told my eye doctor if the eye surgery didn’t help with the pain, I was getting a faith piercing! He said it wouldn’t hurt, if it didn’t work, I would have a neat piercing! My surgery was over 3 months ago, I have constant pain in my eye, my head pounds everyday!! I have the sorest neck!! I think stress also contributes to a lot of my pain and discomfort!!! I’m really, really thinking about doing this!!!! It’s so tiring having migraines all the time!!! I don’t get things done, because I’m in pain!!! 😢

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