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How to Get Your Nipples Pierced

Two Parts:Planning Your Nipple PiercingCaring For Your Nipple Piercing

Nipple piercings are a fun and fascinating form of body art for both men and women. Many people choose to have their nipples pierced because, aside from looking great, piercings can increase nipple sensitivity and enlarge small or inverted nipples. If you decide to go ahead with getting your nipple (or nipples!) pierced, it is vital that you get the job done at a clean, professional piercing parlor and that you can commit to a rigorous aftercare and cleaning routine. This article will tell you all you need to know about getting your nipple pierced.

Part 1
Planning Your Nipple Piercing

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    Find a reputable piercing/tattoo parlor in your area. Choosing a safe, professional piercing parlor is the first and arguably most important step in getting your nipple pierced. Piercing establishments are often found in urban areas, but you'll come across them in even the remotest of places. Google, as with most things, is a good way to start your search for a parlor. The website should be professional and well-organized, with plenty of helpful information.
    • They may also provide a gallery of images so you can see photos of the shop, along with pictures of previous customer's piercings.
    • Make sure to read plenty of customer reviews to see if they had a good experience with the piercing parlor and whether they would return to the place again.[1]
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    Visit the piercing parlor before you make an appointment. It is always a good idea to visit the piercing parlor in person before making an appointment. That way you can see for yourself whether the place is clean, safe and professional looking. They should be willing to show you an operating license from the local Health Department, along with their autoclave (machine for sterilizing jewelry and equipment) and spore test results (proof that the autoclave is working properly).
    • Get to know some of the people working there, consult with them about your decision, and take a look at some of the work they've done in the past. Clearly, if they don't have many success stories, you should find a different place to get pierced.
    • Ask if you can watch one of the piercers set up and complete a piercing. Make sure that the piercer washes his hands before putting on clean gloves. From that point on, he should only touch the equipment and the person being pierced.
    • All of the equipment and needles should be laid out in individual sterile packages and should be opened in front of you. The needles should be disposed of in a container labeled "biohazard" after use.[2]
    • If you are confident that the premise is clean and that the piercer is an experienced professional who follows the correct health and safety procedures, you can go ahead and make your appointment.
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    Weigh up the pros and cons of getting your nipple pierced. Before going through with the appointment, make sure that you weigh up all the pros and cons of getting a nipple piercing one last time. Think about whether this specific piercing is something you will still want in years to come and whether it will affect your life or relationships in any way. Getting your nipple pierced is not a decision to be taken lightly.
    • Pros: A nipple piercing not only looks great, but it can also increase sensitivity in the nipple as it is frequently stimulated by the piercing. A nipple piercing can also increase the size of a small nipple and prevent it from becoming inverted. This can be useful for breastfeeding, which is not hindered by a nipple piercing in any way.
    • Cons: Nipple piercings can be somewhat painful and can take up to a year to completely heal. They require a strict cleaning routine to prevent infection and are therefore a big commitment. If the piercing is not properly cared for infections may occur, which can be serious, especially for breastfeeding mothers.
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    Decide if you want to get both nipples pierced at the same time. It is possible to get both of your nipples pierced at the same time. This is usually done if the reason for piercing is to increase the size of the nipples; however, many people just find it easier to go through the healing process for both nipples simultaneously.
    • In addition, it is often slightly cheaper to have both nipples pierced in one sitting, rather than making two separate appointments.
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    Decide whether you want a ring or barbell piercing. The two types of nipple piercings are ring piercings and barbell piercings. Rings are the more popular option, but barbells are best for those involved in contact sports, as they are less likely to be ripped out. The type of piercing you can get will also depend on the size and shape of your nipple, so you will need to consult with your piercer before making a final decision.
    • The nipple can be pierced in any direction, but horizontal piercings are most common, followed by vertical piercings. It is also possible, in some cases, to have one nipple pierced multiple times though the first piercing will need to have healed completely before successive ones are added.
    • In terms of jewelry, the safest type for nipple piercings are implantation steel captive bead rings or implantation steel barbells. Jewelry containing high amounts of nickel should never be used, as these may cause infections and allergic reactions.[3]
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    Prepare yourself for some pain. How painful you find getting your nipple pierced will depend on your individual pain threshold. Some people find it very painful while others think it's a breeze. Most people describe the sensation as similar to being pinched or bitten hard. The nipple will also feel very hot.
    • Luckily, nipple piercings are very quick, and there will only be a couple of seconds of pain before the feeling passes.
    • Afterwards, the nipple will feel warm and tender to the touch, but will not be painful.

Part 2
Caring For Your Nipple Piercing

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    Remove the bandage and clean the piercing. The most important thing you need to do while your nipple piercing heals is to keep the area clean. The first time you wash your piercing should be 4 to 5 hours after you get it done. Gently remove the bandage from the nipple, cup your hand under the piercing and immerse it in water for 3 to 4 minutes, allowing any dried blood to wash off.
    • This can be done in the shower or the bath, but if you soak in the bath, make sure to rinse the piercing with fresh water before getting out.
    • If there is any dried blood remaining on the nipple or jewelry, use a dampened q-tip to gently wipe it off.
    • You should not use any cleaning solution during this initial cleaning; you should only use water.
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    Clean the piercing once a day for the first four weeks. After the initial cleaning, you will need to wash the piercing once a day using a mild antibacterial cleanser. This is best done in the shower. Do your regular shower routine first, including shampooing and washing, as you want your nipple piercing to be the last thing you clean. To clean:
    • Soak the nipple piercing in water for a few minutes, then squirt a drop or two of the cleanser into your hand and rub to make a lather.
    • Apply the lathered cleanser to the nipple and work it into the piercing by gently rotating the ring or sliding the barbell back and forth.
    • Let the lather sit on the nipple for a minute or two before rinsing off with fresh water. Towel dry your body as normal but use a piece of paper towel to gently pat your piercing dry. Towels can harbor bacteria and may cause the piercing to become infected.
    • After the first four weeks have passed; you can limit this cleaning routine to once every 2 to 3 days for the next four months. This is important, as over-cleaning the piercing can cause it to dry out and become irritated.[4]
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    Soak the piercing in a salt solution to promote healing. Another thing you can do to encourage the piercing to heal is to soak it in a salt solution once or twice a day. This is done by dissolving half a teaspoon of table or sea salt in boiling water (approximately half a cup). Once cooled slightly, this solution can then be poured into a clean glass or Styrofoam cup.
    • The cup can then be firmly pressed around the nipple, so the piercing is immersed in the solution. Keep it there for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse with fresh water and pat dry with paper towel.
    • Instead of making your salt solution, you can buy a saline solution at a drugstore that will serve the same purpose.
    • You can repeat this process once or twice a day for as long as you like -- the more frequently you do it, the faster your piercing will heal.
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    Protect the piercing at night. You should cover your nipple piercing at night, so it doesn't become tangled in clothing or sheets and get pulled or ripped out. Women can protect their piercing by wearing a bra to bed while men can cover the piercing with a strip of surgical tape ( available at most drug stores).
    • Men should only use this surgical tape to cover their piercings at night. The rest of the time the piercing should be exposed to the air, as this will speed up healing time.
    • Women should avoid wearing lacy bras with new nipple piercings, as the ring can become caught in the lace. Regular or sports bras are safer options.
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    Know which products to avoid. There are certain products that you should avoid using on your new nipple piercing, as they will either irritate the wounds or prevent the piercing from healing properly. Such products include:
    • Rubbing alcohol or methylated spirits: these are very astringent and are too harsh to be used on sensitive nipple piercings.
    • Hydrogen peroxide or iodine products: these prevent scar tissue from forming and prolong the healing process.
    • Anti-bacterial creams and gels: creams such as Neosporin or Bacitracin should not be used on nipple piercings as they cause the piercing to become moist and prevent the piercing from healing quickly.
    • You should also avoid putting products like sun tan lotion, baby oil or tea tree oil on the nipple, as they can cause the skin to become irritated.[4]
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    Do not touch or play with the piercing. It is important that you avoid touching or playing with the piercing as much as possible during the healing process. Bacteria from your hands can easily enter the wound and cause the piercing to become infected, which is the last thing you want. If you absolutely have to touch the piercing, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap first.
    • You should avoid twisting or turning the ring in the piercing for the first couple of months, except when cleaning. Twisting the ring aggravates the piercing and slows down healing.
    • You should also be careful when playing sports or during any physical activity, as the ring may be torn from the piercing if knocked against too roughly.
    • You can cover the piercing with a bandage or some surgical tape to protect it during physical activity, but you must remove the tape immediately afterward and wash the piercing thoroughly.
    • Do not remove the ring or barbell from the piercing until it has fully healed. In particular, you should avoid replacing your nipple ring with silver sleeper studs, as these can damage the wound and cause an allergic reaction.
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    Learn how to deal with infections. Nine times out of ten, infections are the result of poor hygiene or neglectful cleaning practices, so they are easy to avoid as long as you are diligent about caring for your piercing. However, if you begin to notice symptoms such as nipple soreness, redness, and swelling, or a discharge of blood or pus, chances are your piercing has become infected.
    • Most minor infections can be cleared up within 24 hours by cleaning the piercing thoroughly with an antibacterial cleanser and flushing it with plenty of fresh water. If you have any questions, call or visit your piercer.
    • If the infection does not clear up within 24 hours, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. They can prescribe antibiotics that will effectively clear up the infections.
    • Never remove a piercing when dealing with an infection (even though some doctors may tell you to do so) as this may cause the infection to become trapped in the nipple and can turn into an abscess.
    • If you develop a fever and chills as a result of the infection, you need to see your doctor immediately. A condition known as toxic shock syndrome may have developed which is severe and can lead to death if left untreated.[3]
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    Allow 6 to 10 weeks for the piercing to heal. Nipple piercings usually take between 6 to 10 weeks to heal, if the piercing is properly cared for and there are no complications. The nipple (or nipples) will be tender for the first few days, but this will more or less subside.
    • Be aware that although the initial healing should take less than three months, it can take over a year for the piercing to heal completely and for scar tissue to form.


  • Make sure the piercing artist is wearing clean clothes and does not have any open cuts on his/her body.
  • One rather subjective measure of the skill of a tattoo/piercing artist is the number/quality of piercings/tattoos the artist possesses.
  • Don't over wash your piercing, as this may dry out the skin and lead to an infection.
  • Make sure for this piercing the piercer opens the needle in front of you, wears gloves or sterilizes her hands and (optional) uses numbing spray cause it helps a lot. The piercer must also mark the nipple with pen before she pierces it to get the angle right. It's such a risky piercing to get wrong so make sure you're 100% happy with where it's going to be placed before you get it done.


  • Leave this to the professionals. Do not attempt pierce your own nipple, or anyone else's for that matter.
  • If your nipple piercing becomes infected, seek medical advice if the infection has not cleared within 24 hours.

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Categories: Tattoos and Piercing