July 11th, 2014
A woman wrote to me for a consultation about her failed nipple piercings. She'd been told that her problem was "rejection" but I disagree with that assessment.
Here's how they looked, and what she said:
June 11th, 2013
I received a message from a man who had questions about the effects of nipple piercing on breasts with Gynecomastia:
Hey Elayne, my name is L.
I'm a piercer and tattoo apprentice. First I want you to know that you and your book are astoundingly impressive. Your resume alone is quite intimidating. I thought I was hot shit when I was one of the first people I knew to rock a gauged earing, but to work at the first piercing shop, and to see these piercings and jewelry to come to fruition.. Just wow.
I also understand that there must of been some Struggles being a pioneer. Just wanted you to know how much I respect you.
So I wanted to get in touch with you about a VERY important question to me. I have gynocomastia or however you spell it. Its not easy to talk about- I have puffy nipples, were talking half spheres. Its embarassing and humiliating with a shirt on, let alone no shirt. I've tried, believe me, to get over it. I'm not sure if my torso has ever been hit by direct sunlight. I have to be with a significant other an incredible amount of time to take my shirt off.
I was reading your section of the nipple piercings. first off I don't have mine done. I'm a little confused because on page 128 you say the piercing can cause the nipple to stay erect (which for me would KEEP THEM SHRUNK!!!!! :)) but on page 131 you speak of post nipple development and mention swelling. I've looked into plastic surgery and its almost forever out of my price range as well as a strong chance it will come back.
My question is, could it keep my nipples hard which would be shrunk for me, and is there a way to try and achieve that or is it a probability. I just wanna be comfortable in my own Skin. Thank you in advanced soo much for replying and even more for your contributions to the world.
March 20th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who wondered if her water consumption could affect the healing process:
OMG! Let me start off by saying that I'm so excited that you have an advice column sort of thing. I have had your book for years, and I've always wanted to ask you questions. Anywho I've had my nipple piercing done for about 6 months. It still crusts up, and I know that it has not completely healed. It used to have previous issues until I had my piercer change the barbell to a longer one. I still use salt water soaks every time it gets irritated, but I've noticed that as I've been drinking a lot of water it has stopped crusting up as much. Is this because I'm in the final stages of healing or the amount of water I've been drinking?
Thanks for your message. I haven't ever heard of increased water consumption being responsible for a major healing effect. That said, being hydrated is important for overall health and well being, so it couldn't hurt to continue drinking a lot of water.
And, you may find (as described in my book) that you will have ups and downs over time. You may have stopped crusting now, and whether you drink a lot of water or not, you may have more secretion once again. Don't be surprised by that cycle.
February 7th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was concerned about the placement of her nipple piercing:
I had my nipple pierced a few days ago and it seems to me that the piercing is wrongly situated. It goes through my areolas, and not my nipple. I'm wondering how dangerous this is because I like it. I'm sending you a picture.
I'm sorry to say this but I considered asking if your piercer was blind. I've never seen a more poorly placed nipple piercing on anatomy that is so perfectly suited.
You really should go and ask for your money back and remove the jewelry. That is not where your nipple should be pierced. And the bar is dangerously short.
I marked with arrows where it should have been placed at the base of your nipple.
January 20th, 2013
I received a message and photo from a woman who was concerned about her nipple piercing:
I've attached a picture of my nipple piercing. Ive had it for roughly about 3 months.
A bump has appeared and sometimes puss/blood leaks out of it. I think this is because I became less strict with salt soaking it daily, because I assumed it healed already. Do you have any ideas for getting rid of this bump and do you know if this is just simply and infection or is it worse e.g. Migration/Rejection.
Nipple piercings can take 6-9 months or so to heal on women, so you will need to keep up with aftercare, including saline soaks, for some time. The excerpt below is from my book:
November 2nd, 2012
I got a message from a man who had both his nipples pierced, and he suspected something was not right with one of them:
Hello! I recently got both nipples pierced. My right one looks very good, but my left one doesn't look like it has pierced enough tissue, and as such, is making me very nervous. They have been in for a little over a week at this point, there is no pain, and minor crusting. Does it appear to be ok? Or should I remove it, let it heal, and then have it redone?
Unfortunately, that piercing is far too close to the surface to be viable. If you don't remove it, I am sure that it will reject completely, which can leave you with a split scar.
I think you should get your money back--that was NOT properly pierced. I would suggest you wait at least 4 weeks before repiercing, and make sure the tissue feels pliable. If it feels dense or tight, I would continue to wait. You may want to try a scar reduction product to facilitate the healing after the wound seals over.
I would strongly advise you visit a more competent professional to redo it; I would not trust the individual who performed the original piercing.
If you would like to have me evaluate the other side, feel free to send another photo.
September 3rd, 2012
I received a message from a woman I'd pierced previously. She went to a different piercer to get her nipples done and ended up with initial jewelry that was inappropriate (too small):
Good morning Elayne,
I wish to thank you for your help and insight in regards to my recent nipple piercings that I did for my husband's birthday in Key West, Florida. It will be one month tomorrow since the piercing was done. They seem to be healing ok, no pain, but I am getting a thick, yellow-greenish discharge on an almost daily basis from each nipple. Is this NORMAL? I clean the daily crustys off with a saline soaked Q-tip, and I am trying to get at least two saline soaks in each day (however, somedays I only get one in).
I am concerned about having the ring in and having the piercing not straight (rounded on the ends) and am wondering if I can exchange the jewelry and put in a straight bar for the rest of the healing period?
Also, you had mentioned to my husband that if we wanted to "play" with them, that it would have been better to have gone to a 14 gauge. If I do this, is the healing process the same, and will it have any effect on the looks due to being re-pierced? Hopefully, if I do this I will only have you do it...I will check your schedule and see where you are going to be.
Thank you again for all your help and expert advise.
August 22nd, 2012
Below is my correspondence with a young woman who is having trouble healing her nipple piercings. They've been taking an extended period of time to heal, and get bumps (possibly localized piercing pimples) periodically:
I've had my nipple piercings for over a year now, and they're still healing, which is fine with me, however they keep forming bumps. The bumps will appear for awhile, go away, and then come back; it's been doing this for about 3-4 months now (and gets worse when i'm menstruating). I also believe that they may have migrated from the original position they were pierced in. I've considered retiring them for the past two months, but I'm just not sure if they're being fussy or if I should actually retire them. Any help you could give would be amazing!
I have read through the troubleshooting part of the Piercing Bible again to see what I could do to help these bumps; i've been very consistent with warm saline soaks, i've been massaging emu oil onto the area at least once a day, i've tried chamomile teabag compresses, one piercer suggested I try neem oil (which worked for a bit, but stopped helping after awhile), and I very briefly applied peroxide to the bumps (less than a week) to see if that would help them disappear. They do seem to get smaller and go away, every now and then, but they keep coming back.