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 16th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who had questions about nipple piercing placement on small anatomy:
I've read your blog for quite some time now, and I've found it to be very informative and interesting, and has given me enough knowledge to get some genital piercings, all of which have turned out great. I've wanted to have my nipples pierced for quite some time, but I'm concerned about the risks involved with doing so on less than ideal anatomy. As you can see in the pictures, my nipples are quite small and not well-defined. Even when they do become "hard", they hardly stick away from the rest of the areola. I know that piercing even inverted nipples is possible which gives me some confidence, but I'm still wary of having it done.
My main concerns are:
-Would this end up having the same risks as a surface piercing (namely in their tendency towards rejection)?
-Would the standard 14 gauge be appropriate in my case (not sure if it would be too large)?
Thanks for any help! Please feel free to use the pictures/message on your website if you feel it might be of assistance to others in the same situation.
I'm so glad to hear that my information has been helpful to you!
April 21st, 2013
I performed a consultation for a piercee whose initial jewelry in her nipple piercing was too short:
I got my nipple pierced last night and I think it maybe too small its 14g and 9/16". I am doing the sea salt soaks. Just concerned thats the bar is too small.
The bar is definitely too short for your build! You must visit your piercer ASAP to have it changed for a longer bar. Hopefully the jewelry is internally threaded or the piercer has an insertion taper that will screw onto the existing bar to avoid passing threads through your freshly pierced tissue. See below.
Throughout healing, there should be a millimeter or two of the post showing on each side when your nipple is relaxed out to its widest dimension.
Only after you are fully healed should you consider wearing a bar snug enough that the balls are right up against the tissue.
Here's the information I suggest for aftercare: http://piercingbible.com/piercing-care
Below is a section from The Piercing Bible about embedded jewelry:
March 22nd, 2013
I recieved a message from a woman who was concerned about the odor of her healed nipple piercings:
I am a female that has a nipple piercing from a reliable professional piercer who you recommend.
I have fairly large nipples and he used a large gage post for my piercing. I experienced many months of bloody leakage that finally healed. My piercing is over 2 years old, but now I have a daily discharge of white fluid that has an odor. I want to have an attractive piercing that isn’t stinky. Could I schedule a consultation to review my situation and possible options? Do I need to just remove my piercing? Can I exchange it for another gage? Can I change it out for a different piece of jewelry? I love having my nipple pierced and how it feels, but the drainage is really a bother. I hope you can advise me on my options.
Thanks for your message. If you've had your piercing for over 2 years and the discharge is smelly, I believe I know what you need. An appointment with me is not required. You're welcome to change your jewelry, but that is not required and is unlikely to have any effect on this particular situation.
The excerpt below is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing, and it explains the issue:
Sebum is a substance from your oil glands that collects in healed piercing channels. It is a naturally occurring product of the body, containing fat, keratin (a fibrous protein), and cellular material. The purpose of sebum is to protect your skin and hair, keep it moisturized, and to inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the skin. People sometimes mistake it for pus, but it is more solid and cheeselike and has a distinctive rotten odor that reflects the dead cellular debris it contains.
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 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.