Daith piercings are done on the innermost part of your ear. Many people choose them for their perceived health benefits, but the research on them is anecdotal.

If you’re considering getting an ear piercing, daith piercings are a popular option. Many people like the aesthetic look of the daith piercings but may also choose them for health reasons.

If you live with anxiety, it’s tempting to look into some unconventional options for treatment. Daith piercings, while they are popular, lack solid evidence that they’re effective for anxiety or migraine.

Daith piercings are done on the innermost cartilage of your ear. The crux of the helix is the anatomical name for the part of the ear where the daith piercing is done.

Due to their health benefits, daith piercings have become popular over the last decade. Many people believe that they can help treat migraine and anxiety. This is an area that’s still being researched.

Does it work?

The research is limited on whether daith piercings work for anxiety. The same is true of migraine; more research needs to be done.

Daith piercings are believed to treat anxiety because they hit a pressure point or a branch of a vagus nerve in your ear, often used in acupuncture. The point that has to be pierced is so specific that most individuals who are qualified to pierce ears would need the assistance of an acupuncturist, which isn’t always possible. ‘

Research from 2018 indicates that vagus nerve stimulation has connections to:

  • gut health
  • mood and anxiety disorders
  • immune system

This is likely why people believe that daith piercings are an effective anxiety and migraine treatment.

An additional 2017 case study found a report of one patient with reduced migraine after receiving a daith piercing, but the researchers during this study also concluded that there was not enough scientific evidence to support daith piercings as a migraine treatment.

The authors also suggested that relief the patient experienced from migraine was due to vagal areas of the ear being stimulated.

As with any piercings, there are some risks associated with daith piercings, according to a 2020 case study, such as:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • allergic reactions
  • redness
  • a thick raised scar
  • lacerations
  • infection of the outer ear
  • bloodborne illnesses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C
  • tetanus
  • cellulitis
  • itchy rash
  • deformities of the ear

The authors suggest that up to 35% of ear piercings develop complications. Daith piercings can also take longer than other ear piercings to heal due to the more rigid cartilage in your inner ear.

Preparing for your piercing

When preparing for a daith piercing, here are some ways to prepare and take care of your piercing:

  • The piercer will ensure your hair is pulled away from your ear.
  • The piercer will put on gloves.
  • The artist will clean and sanitize the area of your ear.
  • The artist will take measurements of your ear.
  • The piercer may ask about your satisfaction with the placement.
  • You may be asked to lie down so the piercer can easily reach the daith area.
  • A hollow needle is used to do daith piercings.

Once you have a daith piercing, you will need to follow aftercare instructions to limit the risk of infection. Proper aftercare includes:

  • washing your hands
  • refraining from twisting or moving your piercing around
  • using soap and water to clean the piercing area
  • using a saline solution to clean the area with your fingers
  • cleaning the daith piercing at least once daily
  • allowing the piercing time to fully heal before removing it; this can take several months
Was this helpful?

Daith piercings have risen in popularity to treat anxiety and migraine. These ear piercings may assist some people with alleviating migraine and anxiety, but the research on the benefits is anecdotal.

As with any piercing, there are risks of complications. The healing time required for daith piercings is longer than many other piercings due to the hard cartilage in the inner ear. If you’re considering a daith piercing to help treat anxiety, it’s essential to understand the risks.

There’s minimal research supporting daith piercings as a treatment for anxiety. For vagus nerve stimulation to happen, piercers would have to pierce your ear in an exact spot. You may consider speaking with a medical professional before getting a daith piercing for health reasons.