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BODY PIERCINGS FOR MEDICAL REASONS
BY HEATHER LOWERY 1/8/2016
STATE OF KENTUCKY LICENSED PROFESSIONAL BODY PIERCER
SINCE JANUARY 2009
I'm somewhat apprehensive to write this article. However, with the current influx of interests in certain body piercings for medical reasons, I feel it is my due diligence to inform my client base to the best of my ability.
From time to time certain body piercings have been sought for reasons other than cosmetics or aesthetics. Due to the popularity of social media, word travels fast around the world these days. Because of technology, we get overwhelmed with request for services that we may not have as much experience with. The current culprit is the Daith piercing. It is a protruding piece of cartilage located at the base of the helix and just above the opening to the ear canal. Since November 1, 2015, I have received 100's of inquiries regarding this piercing and the claim it gives relief, if not cures, one of headaches.
I started my research into the origin of this claim and found a number of articles quoting doctors who've found the coincidental relief of headaches after their patients received this piercing. Those doctors are comparing the piercing benefits to the similar relief during acupuncture. I've even read articles of doctors who say this claim is completely false and is a fabrication of the body piercing industry. In my research, I've found that piercing professionals who have been interviewed are not making any claims and are very careful to remind clients of their position as a body piercer, not a medical professional.
The Daith piercing is in a difficult place to work with and up until November 2015, I had only done a handful of these piercings. After researching current information for a week and deciding how to best inform my clients about this piercing, I felt ready to accept this new challenge. I take every service I offer very personal and needed to be certain I don't, for a second, mislead anyone to believe this piercing will cure their headaches. I believe I've been compassionate and successful in my approach.
As I continue this journey, I want to be more informative to potential clients....
If you are considering this approach as a headache sufferer or even for aesthetic reasons, please research the pros and cons. Cartilage is soft bony tissue that has reduced blood flow, compared to, lets say, the ear lobe and is typically more painful to pierce and takes significantly longer to heal. In most cases this piercing will take 12-45 weeks to heal, special cases may take even longer. It is extremely important that this piercing is free to drain the lymphatic fluid the body sends to heal it. Otherwise, major swelling and /or infection can occur. Therefore, this piercing needs to be cleaned completely and rinsed completely at least once per day. All crusty stuff needs to be cleaned off and the jewelry needs to be able to move freely. Also, you don't want to clean it too much!!!! I believe 4 times a day is the absolute maximum!!!! It is also important to keep hair products and chemicals away from the piercing area. Absolutely no alcohol, peroxide or iodine!!!! Approved cleansing products are anti-microbial or germicidal liquid soap or purified sea salt based saline. Follow the information on the Aftercare sheet provided to you.
Now, for all of you wondering what my take away on the benefit of headache relief is....I've done roughly 80 of these piercings from 11/5/2015 - 1/8/2016. I've heard back from about 25 clients of which all but 2 have had no headache since the piercing. Is this a placebo effect? I don't know. I've had 5 clients concerned with piercing bumps that have appeared and I've had one client experience severe swelling that has lead to an infection.
Is this piercing for you? That is for you to decide. The piercing is $20 and includes a sterilized hoop made of 316L implant grade surgical steel. I will say, personally I believe this is an attractive piercing.
I realize this is a lot of information to process. However, I believe it is important to understand as much as possible. I hope you give me the opportunity to be your piercing professional. I promise to give you my very best.
Lastly, if you ever have any questions or concerns about this or any other body piercing, please don't hesitate to stop by the shop or give me a call.
I've continued to see this piercing grow in request. As of this update, I estimate completing well over 300 of these in 2016 alone. Feedback is still about the same. Although I have many client who will swear by this approach. I have, in the past year had physicians send headache patients to me, saying things along the line of "For $20, if you're ok with getting a piercing, it is worth a shot!"
At the end of the day, I hope it does help those suffering from headaches. And, it's actually a cute piercing!