healing nipple piercings
February 24th, 2013
I received a message from a piercee who was concerned about her nipple piercing, which appeared to be migrating:
I had both nipples done back in August. The one had to be removed about 3 months later because of rejection and now I think the other is doing the same.
I have been under a lot of stress but I'm just not sure. It's not in the same place anymore.
Yes, sorry-that does appear to be migration.
Did you use the same jewelry the first time?
I noticed your jewelry appears to have a matte finish and that can cause problems, especially in a new/healing piercing. Initial jewelry should have a super-smooth, high polish mirror finish for safety. It is unclear whether the ring would have been wide enough for optimal safety when the piercing was new. The part of a ring that passes through the tissue should be relatively straight.
You should probably go ahead and remove that ring now to avoid further tissue damage.
February 21st, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was considering the possibility of having multiple nipple piercings:
So I got both my nipples pierced quite a while back. Because of my profession I can't get any visible piercings and I'm not quite ready yet to go into genital ones. So that's why I was thinking of getting my nipples pierced again
What are some of the perks and risks of getting additional nipple piercings? My piercings are also not horizontal, but diagonal. I let my piercer do this on purpose, for aesthetic reasons. Is it possible to put the second pair straight on there, so it makes a diagonal cross?
To some extent your anatomy will determine appropriate (or possible) locations for added jewelry. If the second piercing would end up too close to the surface, or too far into the areola, those are potential issues. Also there's another consideration, depending on how much space you have, and therefore how much tissue is in between the jewelry: it can pinch on the interior. And, if the jewelry is quite close together, it is not uncommon that due to pressure, the skin in between thins and dissipates, and the jewelry rests metal to metal inside. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you experience discomfort from interior pinching.
The drawing from my book, The Piercing Bible, shows the appearance of a double nipple piercing in an "iron cross" formation.
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 4th, 2012
My left nipple has been pierced the EXACT same amount as my right and it still leaks, nearly every morning I have crustys that I must clean off, and a bit through out the day. Nothing excessive, though sometimes in the morning I find dried blood. I have had to go up in size on my left nipple slightly when the nipple got a bit bigger but only on one side. I have pictures that I would gladly send, however I saw no option on your website for me to attach :( I want to know is there way to get my left nipple back to regular without having to take the piercing out? Is it rejecting at a very slow rate? Will my nipple be this way forever?
You definitely do have some scar tissue formation going on there.
Do you feel like it is continuing to grow, or if it has stabilized?
I don't know if perhaps that side was pierced a little deeper than not he other one? In any case, I have some suggestions from my book for dealing with excess scar tissue (called hypertrophic scarring) and I posted it here on this website.
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.