The Piercing Bible
May 6th, 2013
I received this message from a woman concerned about discharge and crusting from her nipple (areola) piercing:
Hi Elayne, I had contacted you a little while ago regarding my nipple piercings. Its taken me a bit to remember too get photos/get decent ones.
To remind you, I have had my nipples pierced since I was 18, so going on 4 years. They are in areola (as shown in the first picture) not nipple. they get crusty just about everyday if I'm lucky its only every couple days, and when moved/lightly pinched to clean the crust off and avoid it going back into the piercing in the process a whiteish creamy liquid comes out. (Shown as best as I could manage in the second picture)
Other possibly pertinent info, I have never had children or been pregnant so the chances of it being a breast milk like substance is very low, especially considering its not even in nipple. My jewelry is and has always been stainless surgical steel. I do not change it ever, I clean it every shower. Do not wear acrylic balls. My gynecologist had been consulted because she had areloa piercing, she said its normal that it happened to her for ten years. Only stopping when she took them out after having children.
I think that's it, I hope it helps...and I mean I have no pain or irritation. It only mildly smells like plugs do once in a blue moon if its really oozing so it makes me think its normal? Please help! End my 4 year span of thinking I'm crazy haha
And also thank you so very much for being willing to help.
April 30th, 2013
I received a message from a person whose surface anchor was beginning to reject:
I got a chest microdermal around 9 months ago and the heel/bottom of it is rejecting. I'm getting it removed today and wanted to know what would the proper placement of a chest dermal be? I think I got it to low and all the tissue that was pulling on it was making so that it could not fully sit correctly. I'm just asking about this to see if getting one higher would be better. I also wanted to know if there was another type of piercing I could get there that would achieve the same effect except with better results. I love my dermal so much I'm just sad to say goodbye to it.
Thank you for your time.
I can understand your concern.
Unfortunately, even when everything is done right, surface anchors (the preferred terminology of the Association of Professional Piercers) simply appear to be less of a permanent body modification than traditional body piercings.
They require ongoing care throughout their life span, including regular irrigation to make sure no matter builds up in the channel or under the ornament. And even with this care, sometimes they will tilt and/or surface and reject.
There is no guarantee that repiercing in the area would result in better results. In fact, I think you can expect the same thing to happen again, which would only result in more scar tissue.
Below are some brief excerpts from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
April 29th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was considering a nostril piercing:
Hi. I really like your site and you seem to be really good at what you do. I would really appreciate it if you could mark the location of a nostril piercing that would look the best on me. Thanks a lot.
I've marked a dot for the "traditional" spot in what I call the "pleasing triangle" placement. And I have also included a second image with the triangle sketched in for you, too.
This is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
Nostril Piercing: Placement
The traditional placement for a nostril piercing is at the crease line on the side of the nose. A big smile accentuates this feature to help pinpoint the spot. This area is often thinner than the rest of the nose, so it may heal faster and feel less tender when pierced. The jewelry will rest in a natural niche, where it nestles most gracefully. I find it aesthetically pleasing when the placement of the piercing forms a relatively equilateral triangular shape with the opening of your nostril, from end to end.
April 27th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who had questions about navel piercing and pregnancy:
Hi! I've just gotten my belly pierced 2 days ago. Now I'm worried that it'll leave a scar because this morning I was positive that I'm pregnant. Should I take it off now? Because I googled and it appears to me that the belly button looks ugly when pregnant and the scar looks bad. What should I do?
Yes, if you're pregnant the jewelry should be removed and the piercing abandoned ASAP.
This is a section about "retiring" a piercing from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
Retiring a Piercing
Retiring a piercing is permanently removing your jewelry and abandoning the hole. Though body piercing has the potential to be a lifelong adornment, there is no doubt that a piercing—especially one that hasn’t been stretched too fast or large—is easier to be rid of than most other body modifications.
It is best to retire your piercing when it is in good health. A notable exception is when you have a rejecting piercing in which the jewelry has migrated too close to the surface. The main risk of removing jewelry is the potential to trap an infection inside. If there is any purulent drainage (pus), pain, inflammation, or suspected infection, do not abandon your piercing. See “Leave Jewelry In!” page 202, and subsequent sections for more information.
If your piercing is fine but you have decided the time has come to get rid of it, simply wash your hands and the area, open your jewelry, and remove it. A little bit of water-based lubricant such as K-Y Jelly can help to make the transition smooth. Wash the area daily when you bathe. Abandoning a piercing is that simple.
Here's another section that is relevant to your issue about healing a piercing during pregnancy:
April 26th, 2013
Hi Ms. Angel,
Hope you are well. You did my triangle piercing last year in Philly and I'd like to remove it for a few hours. Do you think it would be a problem to put it back in? BTW, I love it!
There's a chance if you remove it you won't be able to reinsert it. On some women, this can happen instantaneously with triangle piercings, because of the way I manipulate the clitoral shaft to rest in front of the jewelry. There's a possibility it could slip back and block the channel even if the piercing is well established. I've had some very distressed clients who found out the hard way that it just couldn't be reinserted, even after the briefest removal.
Since you love it, maybe you can avoid taking it out?
Or, at the very least, I'd strongly suggest you get an insertion taper before you do so. That can help you to reinsert it with less difficulty or trauma. You can get them here:
I'd suggest the one for threaded jewelry in the 12 gauge (which is the most common size I use and should be what you're wearing unless we discussed some other size, or you have stretched up since I pierced you).
Information that will be very helpful to you is located in Chapter 17 of my book, The Piercing Bible. Here's a brief excerpt that should prove useful if you decide to do any jewelry changes (or try out brief removal):
Insertion Tapers for Jewelry Changes
April 23rd, 2013
I performed a consultation for a man who abandoned an Apadravya piercing:
I have had an Apadravya in for 11 years. I believe it was originally pierced as a 10G and then stretched to an 8G.
An apadravya piercing
It is time to take it out. I took it out about 48 hours ago. I almost feel like my penis is now more in danger than it was when I had the barbell in. And am curious to know if the holes will eventually close up or if an 8 Gage is too big of a gap or maybe too much time has passed to allow this to happen. Like a doctor couldn't cauterize the hole to gap it, right?
Maybe too much worrying going on in my head. I just don't want these new un-covererd holes from getting infected and I almost want to pump someone full of baby juice at somepoint. So this tripple pee spray is not the spread I want.
Thank you for any and all information.
Thanks for listening.
When abandoned, a piercing that old won't "heal" per se, but it is very likely to shrink. Your piercing has "epithelialized" as cells have grown to line the channel making it a sealed hole within your body. So it isn't an opening wound, but a channel all to itself (a "fistula"). This is assuming, of course, that you weren't experiencing irritation, a flare-up, or other problem, which can indicate that there is open tissue.
This is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
Will It Close?
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:
April 19th, 2013
I received a message from a man who experienced healing problems after getting his ear cartilage pierced by a piercing gun:
I on a whim got my cartilage pierced at Clare's Saturday afternoon and it was doing really well up until today. I know the piercing gun is bad. i think I either irritated it or its showing signs of infection. Today when I woke up I cleaned it with theIr solution and I took a shower this afternoon and did the following:
1. After washing my scalp I used the Bronners Lavender to clean my ear (thinks its too harsh for me).
2. After I got out the shower I used their cleaning solution and spayed some h2ocean on it.
3. It felted irritated so I soaked it in chamomile but I put 1/8 tsp of sea salt in the water and let it soak.
Well since then its red, burning, and throbs off and on. I attached a pic and I would value your opinion.
Thanks for your message. You're OVERCLEANING with too many products. You only need one soap and some saline. Did you dilute the Dr. Bronner's? I suggest using their "baby mild unscented" formula.
These are the care instructions I suggest: http://piercingbible.com/piercing-care
Here is information on the saline soaks: http://piercingbible.com/saline-soaks