NIPPLE PIERCING AFTERCARE



Your body may not think that it’s normal to have a piece of metal lodged in it, even though it was done under aseptic conditions. We use sterile 316L (implant grade surgical steel ), and a sterile needle. The only source of potential infection could come from you; therefore, proper aftercare is a priority.

Once pierced, your body should immediately do some blood clotting at the site of the wound, and use other mechanisms to help it heal A mild degree of redness, swelling, and heat at the piercing are all normal. A normal piercing could be tender for a few days. Not “all day every day,”---- the discomfort is usually only noticed periodically. Ibuprofen is the drug of choice. (ADVIL, or generic) It will relieve the discomfort, decrease swelling, and cool the heat. Aspirin or Tylenol are not recommended. ICE WILL HELP A LOT AND SHOULD BE PUT ON THE PIERCING AS SOON AS PRACTICAL--- like, when you get home. You can put ice on it as often as you want. Wounds that swell can become a little itchy . Don’t scratch at it.

A POTENTIAL CAUSE OF AN INFECTION OF A NIPPLE PIERCING WOULD BE DIRTY FINGERS.

Wash your hands and fingertips often, and before cleaning your piercing. You should use a gentle liquid antibacterial soap, twice a day on the jewelry, and in the piercing, with your clean fingertips. We strongly recommend PROVON MEDICATED SOLUTION. The jewelry should either be moved up and down in the wound, or turned back and forth so the skin does not try to attach itself to it. Rinse with water, and dry. The ball, or balls, on a curved barbell should be checked to make sure that they are on tight. The most common cause of a “lost” or closed piercing, is the loss of one of the balls that screw onto the end of a barbell. For the first few days you may want to use an anti-bacterial ointment on the shaft of the jewelry and in the wound to reduce the stinging sensation that may occur. This pain arises from the movement of the jewelry in the fresh wound before the inner walls of the wound can start to heal, and has been described as feeling , “ like a sliver of glass is stuck in there”. A normal piercing may naturally tighten around the jewelry , making it difficult to turn or move up and down when dry.

A common cause of problem healing is constant use of an ointment, especially one that is causing a local allergic response. Antibiotic ointment use should be minimal and only for a day or two.

It is not uncommon for a fresh nipple piercing to bleed a tiny bit for the first day or two, depending on your activity level. After that , the wound may drain a sticky clear or whitish-yellow fluid which becomes crusty on the jewelry. This crust should be removed during cleaning.

If you go swimming in clean water, like a pool, you should clean your piercing afterwards. Salt water, like the ocean, is good for a piercing. Jacuzzis are probably not a good idea for the first couple days. Showers are great. Baths…….probably not a good idea at first either. The idea is to keep germs out of it. Creek water, swamp water,……not good.

Once your piercing is no longer sore to touch, is not draining, and the jewelry can be moved around freely within, you can consider changing jewelry. Fancy jewelry with intricate shapes or stones mounted in silver designs can often look sensational for a romantic engagement, but may not be suitable for long term wear, and may cause irritation. Consider wearing the most comfortable jewelry most of the time. You should learn how your jewelry is made to open or close, and the type of metal or material used to make it. You can easily become familiar with the processes required to change it yourself. Curved barbells with stones usually come apart by unscrewing the top ball or stone. Plain curved barbells usually come apart by unscrewing either ball ( whichever comes off first). Same with circular barbells. Captive bead rings usually require a tool (ring opening pliers) to release the tension of the ring enough for the ball to be released. They also require a tool to “round out” the ring and close it (ring closing pliers), enough so that it can then be opened ever so slightly enough (with the ring opening pliers), to place the bead back into the ring.

It can be said that all piercing eventually heal. The object is to get them to heal soon, with minimal amount of problems or scarring. Vitamin C, multivitamins, and Zinc supplements have been used successfully to speed healing during the first couple weeks. Hot soaks and compresses with ¼ tsp. Sea salt per cup of clean water are strongly suggested for navel piercing. This can be done twice a day for 10-15 minutes. Avoid wearing clothing that irritates the piercing.


Many normal nipple piercing gets a little red bump at one or both ends of the jewelry. There are many suggestions as to how to make them go away. The warm soaks with sea salt should be used first. More aggressive approaches begin with using hydrogen peroxide to clean the area often, with a Q-tip. People have successfully irrigated their problem piercing with Bactine. We do not recommend alcohol or betadine to be used.

If you think you have a problem that is not normal, please feel free to call us, or stop in. We would encourage you to see a doctor if you think you are getting an infection, or if you are having some kind of problem that is causing a concern. Your family doctor may want to have a look, and may want to prescribe antibiotics for a problem case . Headlight Tattoo Inc. maintains a relationship with a Licensed Physician, as required by State code and the Gloucester County Health Department. If you would like to know of a doctor that will see you about a problem with your piercing, please ask, and we will provide the name and location of a Licensed Physician who has agreed to see you. This Physician may charge you a fee.

Healthy living, a high-quality diet, and good hydration will promote healing.

For a nipple piercing to be fully healed, to the point where the jewelry can be removed for a few days without it closing up may take a year or two. Please don’t drink and drive, and be nice to dogs.

Feel free to email any questions, concerns or comments to:  headtattoo@aol.com
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