Nipple Piercing 101


Piercings are a unique type of body decoration, in that there are so many types of piercings that you can get across your body. Some of these piercings, like nose piercings or ear piercings, are more widely accepted and understood. There are also those that are a bit more controversial, such as nipple piercing.

If you’re interested in getting a nipple piercing, dispelling the myths and misconceptions surrounding nipple piercing jewelry can be a great first step toward booking an appointment with a piercer.

History of the Nipple Piercing

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Nipple piercing might seem like something that’s in vogue right now, but the reality is that nipple piercing jewelry is much older than many would anticipate. In fact, some of the first instances of nipple piercings are actually found in ancient Rome, with men wearing them as a sign of masculinity and achievement. Women’s nipple rings may have come about in the 14th or 15th century, but who first started the trend and where it actually began is still a subject of great debate.

The style was only prominent here and there until it popped back up in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, nipple piercings are fairly common and, while still controversial, far less so than in years prior.

How the Process Works

A nipple piercing appointment functions like any other type of piercing appointment. You’ll first schedule a consultation with a piercer so that they can talk more about nipple piercings with you and walk you through the process, answering any questions that you might have along the way. Then, once you’re ready for your appointment, they’ll sterilize the area, pierce the nipple, attach the piercing, provide you with the necessary nipple piercing healing guidelines and aftercare instructions, and send you off.

It’s a relatively simple process, and should take no time at all if you follow all of their instructions properly.

What Should I Know Before Getting My Nipples Pierced?

There are a lot of questions you may have about getting your nipple piercing; this is a part of the body that you might not be as well acquainted with, and knowing what to expect can reduce the overall anxiety that you experience along the way.

Which piercing hurts the most?

If you’re looking into the most painful piercings, you’re going to discover that nipple piercings are fairly high up on the list. That being said, this is going to be different for everyone. It honestly depends on how sensitive your nipples are. Some people have relatively low sensitivity in this region, so a piercing might only feel like a light pinch followed by some heat and minor pain. Others may have very sensitive nipples, which means that nipple piercing pain is going to be more impactful. However, it’s often not to the point where it’s unbearable.

Of course, those looking into pain levels might not just be wondering about the level of pain involved in the piercing process. There are other factors to consider: for example, if the nipple piercing healing process doesn’t go as expected and you get an infected nipple piercing, this is naturally going to produce some pain. Additionally, getting your nipple piercing barbell or another type of nipple piercing caught on something might cause pulling or tearing. Make sure that you care for it as directed and do your best to avoid snagging it on fabrics and other areas.

How do you sleep with a nipple piercing?

Navigating day-to-day life with a nipple piercing is much easier than most would think. Sleeping with a nipple piercing? That’s what’s hardest.

There are a wide variety of strategies that people use. Beyond keeping it clean before you go to bed and making sure that you regularly wash your sheets so they can’t infect the piercing site, you can sleep on your back to avoid it getting caught on your bedding, wear a sports bra on top of a padded bra to keep your piercings protected and firmly in place, and even wearing clothes over that for extra padding and protection should you turn over or lie on your stomach in the middle of the night.

It might seem like a lot of work just to go to bed, but it’s worth it to stay comfortable and prevent your nipples from tearing along the way!

How long do they take to heal?

Healing is not a straightforward process. Some see complete healing within three months with careful attention to aftercare and few problems along the way. Others, however, might have to wait a year or longer for the healing process to finish. This might be due to nipple damage that occurs as a result of trauma, nipple piercing jewelry rejection, and other issues.

Make sure to follow the exact instructions your piercer gives you and let them know if you experience any problems along the way so that they can give you further guidance.

How do I care for it (and what do I avoid)?

Taking good care of your new nipple piercing means the difference between a lengthy healing process (or having to get rid of it temporarily) and seeing the results you want as soon as possible. Here are some helpful aftercare tips (and things that you should avoid) that will make the healing process go much smoother.

  • Avoid playing with the nipple rings and otherwise moving them around. Your piercings will move around as you clean them and as you navigate your day-to-day, but you shouldn’t actively be tugging on them or engaging in any other activity that could extend the healing process.

  • Keep all mouths away from your nipples and make sure that you wash your hands prior to cleaning your nipples. Any bacteria introduced to the piercing site could cause an infection. Some signs of nipple piercing infection include swelling and redness, discharge, and problems with the tissue around the nipple.

  • Make sure that you wear tight bras and tight-fitting clothing. When you wear looser clothing or bras, it gives your nipple piercing jewelry an opportunity to catch onto fabric, which can pull on your nipple or even take it clean out of your nipple. Tighter clothing items will keep them firmly in place.

  • Always make sure that you use the right material for your first piercing. If your nipple is your first piercing, you might not know if you have any metal allergies that could potentially impact your nipple. However, if you have had an allergic reaction in the past, you’ll want to make sure that you communicate this to your piercer so that you pick out the perfect starter piercing that won’t cause any issues once it’s in or down the road as it’s healing.

  • Expect some minor bleeding and crusting around the nipple immediately following your piercing. While these can be signs of infection, they’re quite common after you’ve gotten pierced, given that an open wound is trying to heal. Avoid picking at scabbing and keep things as clean as possible.

As long as you pay close attention to aftercare and do everything that you need to do in order to keep your nipple piercing guarded against infection, you should have very few problems that you will need to address along the way. However, things do happen, so you should always be prepared just in case.

How much do nipple piercings cost?

Nipple piercings cost a different amount depending on who you go to. That being said, the average cost of a nipple piercing is around $25 to $50 per nipple. This is relatively inexpensive, making nipple piercings a good choice for those looking for their next piercing to get. Additionally, this leaves more room in your budget to pick out the nipple rings that you want to put in after your nipple piercing has fully healed!

Choosing the Right Piercing for You

There are many types of nipple piercing jewelry to choose from. However, the most common that you’re going to find are straight barbells (which can be placed vertically or horizontally) and circular barbells (less likely to get hooked and much smaller). There’s also the question of whether or not you want jewels and the type of metal that you’re looking for (stainless steel, sterling silver, gold, etc.).

Are you considering a nipple piercing for yourself? If so, Black Line Studio is ready to help! We’re the number one rated body piercing shop in Toronto tackling all kinds of piercings from nasal to navel and nipple.

Contact us to book a free consultation so that we can walk you through the next steps and help you get the nipple piercing you want.