Explore the art and considerations behind nipple piercing in our comprehensive guide. Learn about the procedure, pain levels, aftercare, and potential health implications.
Understanding Nipple Piercing
Getting your nipple pierced is a popular trend, but it comes with some risks. Let’s break down the process and learn how to prevent infection and scarring. Not too long ago, not many people had nipple piercings because they were considered unconventional. However, things have changed, and now it is seen as a fashionable way to express your personal style. TJ Cantwell, the owner of Studio 28 Tattoos in New York City, says nipple piercings are fun and edgy, and their popularity is growing. One reason for this might be that they are not easily visible. You can keep your nipple piercing private by wearing a bra and a shirt.
Whether your nipples are flat, inverted, or protruding, you can get them pierced. But, just like any body art, nipple piercings have their risks. The process is not pain-free, and taking care of your nipple piercing afterward is important to avoid infection. Recovery time is also longer compared to getting your ears pierced. Experts at WebMedies have shared insights on what to expect when getting a nipple piercing and how to prevent any harmful side effects.
Types Of Nipple Piercing
A variety of stylish nipple piercings await your selection, each boasting its unique flair. Explore some popular styles:
- Straight Barbell: Embrace the popularity of this basic straight bar adorned with balls at each end to prevent slipping.
- Horseshoe Barbell: Attach an upside-down horseshoe to your nipple for a distinctive look.
- Captive Bead Ring (CBR): Opt for a circular shape resembling a horseshoe barbell.
- Seamless Rings: Forming a complete circle, these seamless rings allow easy insertion by separating the ends and sliding the tube through your nipple.
- Segment Rings: Similar to seamless rings but featuring a removable segment in the middle for convenient insertion.
- Nipple Clickers: Embrace the bedazzled half-moon look with these hinged clickers, designed for effortless opening and closing without the fear of losing them.
- Twister Barbells: Secure your style with barbells twisted into spirals and screw-on balls to keep them in place.
- Dangles: Elevate your look with solid rings complemented by decorative dangling elements, ranging from simple to intricate. Exercise caution to prevent catching them on your clothes.
- Nipple Shields: Essential for devoted nipple piercing enthusiasts, these function like a nipple brooch, adding a touch of flair that even Grandma would approve of!
Why Do People Pierce Their Nipples?
Getting your nipple(s) pierced isn’t just about making your parents mad – there are plenty of great reasons to consider:
- Stylish Choices: Nipple piercings offer a stylish way to express yourself. Whether you prefer to flaunt them proudly or keep them discreet under a tight-fitting shirt, the choice is entirely yours.
- Nipple Orgasms: Yes, you heard it right – nipple orgasms, also known as “nip-gasms,” are a real thing! If you’re curious to learn more, you can delve into the details.
- Increased Sensitivity: Nipple piercings may enhance overall nipple sensitivity, making them feel especially pleasurable when touched, licked, or sucked, even if you don’t experience a climax.
- Body Positivity: Beyond the physical sensations, getting pierced can be an empowering act of body positivity. It’s a way of saying, “I love and embrace my body just the way it is.” So, aside from being a fashion statement, nipple piercings can bring about some fun and empowering vibes!
What To Know Before Nipple Piercing
Consider the health implications of nipple piercing before deciding. The procedure creates a hole in your skin’s protective barrier against bacteria, notes Constance M. Chen, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and breast reconstruction specialist. Additionally, there is also the possibility of scarring. Zain Husain, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of New Jersey Dermatology and Aesthetics Center, emphasizes that scarring is always a potential outcome with any surgical procedure. Furthermore, individuals vary in their propensity to scar, and if you are prone to keloids (raised scars) from conditions like acne, cuts, or other injuries, you might be at a higher risk of developing a scar at the piercing site, as noted by Dr. Husain.
If you decide to proceed with the piercing, the next consideration is whether to pierce one or both nipples. While many people thinks for both nipples simultaneously, the decision is entirely yours. According to TJ Cantwell, it is important to choose what makes you comfortable rather than succumbing to external opinions.
Getting your nipple pierced comes with certain health risks that you should be aware of:
- Medical Conditions and Medications: If you have a health condition or take medication that increases the risk of infection or excessive bleeding, nipple piercing may be riskier for you.
- Extended Healing Time: Nipple tissue takes longer to heal compared to most other pierced areas of your body. The healing process may take up to 6 months.
- Lactation and Breastfeeding: Nipple piercing could pose challenges if you plan to breastfeed. Scar tissue around the piercing or the nipple ring may block milk ducts, and nerve damage could make it difficult for milk to flow. Nipple jewelry might also interfere with your baby’s ability to latch on. It is advisable to avoid nipple piercing if you are pregnant or currently breastfeeding, and to wait a few months after completing breastfeeding.
- Abscess Formation: A pierced nipple is more prone to developing an abscess, a painful, pus-filled lump under the nipple or in the breast. Medical attention is necessary for treatment.
- Infection Risk: Nipples are sensitive tissues connected to milk ducts, making them more susceptible to infection compared to some other types of piercings. Infections can occur even after some time has passed since getting the piercing. Using unsterilized equipment poses a risk of infection with blood-borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B or C, or tetanus.
- Torn Skin: .
Precautions For Safe Nipple Piercing
When getting your nipple pierced, it’s important to keep things safe and clean. Follow these simple tips:
- Always choose a licensed professional to do your nipple piercing. Don’t do it yourself or let a friend do it.
- Make sure the place where you are getting pierced is clean, and check if they do piercings and tattoos in different areas.
- The piercer should ask if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. If you say yes, they should not pierce you.
- Check that the piercing equipment and rings are cleaned with a machine called an autoclave.
- Make sure they use a clean, new needle for your piercing that’s taken out of a sealed packet.
- Avoid places that use piercing guns, as they can’t be properly cleaned.
- The piercer should wash their hands and wear new disposable gloves during the piercing.
- They should give you clear instructions on how to take care of your nipple after the piercing.
- Confirm that the jewelry they use fits your nipple properly.
By following these steps, you can make sure your nipple piercing in a safe and healthy way.
Choosing The Right Nipple Piercing Jewelry
Choosing the right jewelry for your nipple piercing is important. What it looks like is one thing, but what it’s made of matters too. Dr. Husain says that metals like nickel can cause an allergic skin reaction. It’s better to go for surgical stainless steel or titanium jewelry because they are less likely to cause reactions and are hypoallergenic. So, pick your jewelry carefully to avoid any skin issues!
What Type Of Jewelry Is Best For New Nipple Piercings?
For the piercing, it is best to use a straight barbell instead of rings because rings can move too much and disrupt the healing process. Sometimes, people with inverted nipples might use a curved barbell, but that’s quite rare. The initial jewelry your piercer uses will be longer to account for swelling, and you can swap it for a shorter one later.
When it comes to the metal, make sure it’s implant-grade. Titanium, steel, and gold are good choices because they’re less likely to cause an allergic reaction compared to metals that contain nickel. Joshua Zeichner MD, a director at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, suggests, “Gold rarely causes a reaction in the skin.” However, because gold can be expensive, piercings often use titanium or steel, as they also carry a lower risk of causing allergies than nickel-containing metals.
The Nipple Piercing Process
Getting your nipple pierced is a quick process, but it might be a bit painful. Once you have picked out your jewelry, you will head to a private room with the piercer. Feel free to bring a friend or family member with you. If the piercer is working out of a very small workspace, they should never tell you that you cannot have someone in the room with you. The actual procedure typically takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Firstly, the piercer will clean and prep your skin, using a sterile, single-use pen to mark the spot of your piercing.
Once placement is set, you are ready. The piercer will ask you to inhale deeply. Typically, the piercer performs the piercing as you exhale, and it takes a fraction of a second. Will it hurt? Almost definitely, although it is hard to know just how much since it depends on your personal level of pain tolerance. The best way to think about it is the piercing itself is done very quickly.
Do Nipple Piercings Cause Pain?
In short, yes, getting your nipples pierced can be painful. However, the degree of discomfort varies from person to person. Some describe it as a minor sting, while others compare it to the sensation of a fire ant bite on their breast. Yet, for many, they consider the temporary pain a small price to pay for the lasting perk of having permanent nipple adornments.
Experiencing some pain is normal after getting your nipple pierced, and you can expect a period of soreness for about a week following the procedure. Additionally, you may notice bleeding, itching, swelling, or discharge from the pierced area. As the healing process unfolds over the next few months, your nipple may continue to feel sore or irritated. It is important to be mindful of these potential reactions and adhere to proper care instructions to facilitate a smooth healing journey.
Aftercare For Your Pierced Nipple
Taking care of your healing nipple piercing is important to prevent infection. Start by washing your hands with special soap and warm water before touching or cleaning your nipple. If you notice any crusty material around your nipple ring, gently rinse it off with warm water. After washing, carefully pat your nipple dry using a clean paper towel. You can also promote healing by soaking your nipple in a solution made of half a teaspoon of sea salt mixed with warm water, allowing it to air dry or gently patting it dry afterward.
To avoid complications, be cautious not to let your nipple ring snag on clothes, towels, or sheets, as this could result in skin tears and potential infections. As an additional protective measure, consider wearing a padded bra, a thick sports bra, or a cotton T-shirt to safeguard your newly pierced nipple. By following these straightforward steps, you can maintain the cleanliness of your nipple piercing and minimize the risk of infections during the healing process.
Healing Process and Signs of Infection
As your nipple heals, you might see some white crust, and your nipple could feel sore, irritated, or itchy at times. Even after it heals, you might notice a bit of waxy ooze or crust. If you see signs of an infected nipple, just see your doctor. Look out for a hot, sensitive, or painful nipple, along with yellow, green, or brown discharge that smells bad. Swelling, fever, body aches, rash, fatigue, and redness spreading from the piercing are also indicators of a potential infection. Keeping an eye on these signs and seeking medical help if needed for your well-being.
Nipple piercing costs vary, so shop around. It may cost more than ear piercing. The studio will charge you for the piercing and nipple jewelry separately.
Breastfeeding and Nipple Piercings
When it comes to breastfeeding, some women choose to remove their nipple rings because milk can leak through the piercing. The hole may become smaller or close up after a few weeks. But don’t worry – you can likely put your nipple ring back in once you are done breastfeeding. If, for any reason, your piercing closes up, it’s important to visit a professional studio to have it redone. Avoid trying to re-pierce it yourself to ensure a safe and proper procedure.