Nipple piercing is a type of body piercing that’s usually performed at the base of the nipple. While the phenomenon may seem like a new concept, it’s actually been around for centuries. It was a fashion statement in the 14th century and was popular with young women during the Victorian era in 1890.
Male Karankawa Native Americans were also known to pierce their nipples. If you’re thinking of getting your nipple pierced, our guide will take you through the process step-by-step, so you know what to expect.
Things to Consider Before The Procedure
Before you sit down in the chair, there are a few important things that you should consider first.
- The size of your nipple is important. Most women don’t have a problem getting their nipples pierced. However, some men have very small nipples that are ultimately unsafe to pierce. A piercer should never puncture the breast tissue as this can cause mastitis.
- You will need to find a professional, experienced piercer for the job. Never pierce your nipples yourself or trust an inexperienced person with the job.
- Nipple piercings are, usually, meant to increase stimulation and arousal. In some cases, however, it actually winds up reducing stimulation.
- If you’re embarrassed of the idea of showing your nipples to the piercer – don’t be. He or she will likely be the same gender as you and will behave professionally. If the piercer makes you feel uncomfortable, then leave and find someone else.
- Contrary to what you may have heard, you can still breastfeed after getting your nipples pierced. You will, however, have to remove the jewelry before doing so. Most moms remove their jewelry permanently once they have children.
- The healing process will vary, but most women will heal in six months and most men will heal in four.
What to Expect During Your Piercing
Contrary to what you may have heard, nipple piercings are generally quick and relatively painless. Here’s how the procedure works:
- You will be asked to sign a consent form. Most parlors will not pierce your nipples if you’re under 18 years of age, so keep this in mind.
- Your piercer will greet you, and sit you down in a chair. He or she put on a pair of glove and get the sterilized equipment ready. An anatomy consultation will also be performed to make sure that your nipples are a good candidate for the procedure.
- The piercer will clean your nipple(s) with an antiseptic wipe and place two dots where the piercing will go with a marker. Most are pierced horizontally, but you may opt for a vertical one.
- Next, the piercer will clamp your nipple, and push the needle in and out. The procedure takes seconds. A small tube is left inside of the nipple, which is replaced with jewelry.
- Finally, it will be covered with a cotton patch, and you will be given instructions on how to care for it. Most places will supply you with an aftercare sheet that details instructions on how to prevent infection and care for it. You may also be given a cleaning solution to keep the area free from bacteria.
As you can see, the process is quite simple and it should only take a matter of minutes to complete. Just make sure that you choose a reputable piercer, and remember, piercing guns should never be used on nipples.
Although the procedure itself only takes a few minutes, you should expect to spend at least an hour at the shop between filling out paperwork, picking out jewelry and going through your consultation.
It’s also perfectly normal to feel dizzy or nauseous afterwards. The piercer should not let you leave the shop until you are feeling okay. It may be best to ask a friend to drive you to and from the shop just in case you feel woozy after the piercing.
The cost to pierce your nipple will largely depend on the parlor you choose. On average, the cost to pierce just one nipple is between $40 and $50. This does not include the cost of jewelry.
Jewelry prices vary greatly and can range anywhere from $10 for a basic piece of jewelry to $50 or more for more elaborate pieces. Expect to spend anywhere between $40 and $100 or more for just one nipple piercing.
Aftercare and Cleaning Your Piercing
It’s important to take good care of your nipple piercing to prevent infection and speed up the healing process. Most parlors will sell aftercare products for this purpose.
The Association of Professional Piercers recommends the following:
- Wash your hands before.
- Soak it in saline solution for 5-10 minute at least once per day. Apply the solution using a gauze or paper towels saturated in the solution. Rinse.
- You should have received an anti-bacterial soap from the shop that you will use to clean it. It’s typically best to use this soap while you’re in the shower. Before you use the soap, wash your hair and your body.
- Lather up the soap and apply it to your piercing and the jewelry. Work it into the piercing by rotating the ring. Once the soap is into it, allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then rinse. While rinsing, rotate the jewelry to make sure that all of the soap is washed away.
- After showering, dry your nipple with a tissue as cloth towels can harbor bacteria.
After three days, you can go through this process just once per day for the next three to four weeks. After four weeks, you’ll want to go through this process once every two or three days for three to four months.
- Do not use Epsom salt, tea tree oil, table salt, bactine, bacitracin, Neosporin or any other solution not listed on the aftercare guide. These products are not designed for puncture wounds and cause complications.
- Do not use baby oil or sun block on a new and unseasoned piercing.