The Daith is a section of your ear, comprised completely of cartilage, and it is the outer of rim of cartilage closest to the head. Not many people have daith piercings, and even less think it is a piercable area of the body, but rest assured, the daith IS piercable and it does look fantastic!
Cartilage is nothing more than connective tissue, and the daith is no exception. Although placed on (and slightly in) the ear, the daith piercings will in no way affect your sense of hearing or your balance. There are not many nerves running through the daith, yet many people who get this pierced report a decent amount of uncomfortable pressure being felt, although this usually from the clamps a piercer would use to secure the area. Bleeding can happen with this piercing, not because of the piercing process per se, but because many people are very careless with their ears. New piercings, particularly in cartilage, are very sensitive to abuse, so putting cell phones against your daith, using a q-tip too harshly, shoving iPod headphones (or any headphones) in your newly pierced ear, or pressing your hands against your ears too hard will agitate your piercing and could make it bleed. The daith is in a complicated place (for the ear – in the grand scheme of things, its not nearly the most complicated piercing available) so if you are considering a daith piercing, make sure you are very cautious and protective of it for at least three to six months!
Stretching the daith would be extremely painful, so gauging it wouldn’t be recommended by any professional or reputable piercer. Most jewelry used in daith piercings are captive bead rings (and this type of jewelry helps aid the healing process because it’s harder for build-up to accrue) although other types of jewelry such as curved or circular barbells may be suitable. Of course, don’t even think of replacing the jewelry until it is completely healed – which can take from three months to a year – and even then, your particular ear shape may not be conducive to either barbell shape in this location.
The aftercare is pretty standard for a cartilage ear piercing: soak in warm salt water, don’t touch it with your grimy hands, never use rubbing alcohol or Neosporin on it, don’t use headphones that require insertion into the ear (there are plenty on the market that won’t irritate your piercing), and just be very gentle with your overall ear. In the event of infection, keep up your aftercare routine, but see your piercer for further advice. Sometimes, gently patting diluted tea tree oil helps with swelling and infection, but talk to your piercer first. With proper care management and vigilance, your daith piercing will heal flawlessly in no time!