Nipple piercings, once a niche and less common piercing with a bad rap, have grown in popularity in recent years. This resurgence in interest grew in part due to celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Rihanna sporting their own piercings, but also because they can increase your nipple sensitivity while being both a stylish and aesthetically pleasing adornment.
What’s not to love?
If you’re considering nipple piercing, you likely have a few questions before taking the dive.
For example, we often get asked, “Will it hurt?” and “Can I breastfeed with nipple piercings” among other questions.
This guide summarizes the answers to the most common questions people have about nipple piercings combined with tips on how to avoid “failure” once you get one.
1. Talk with your Piercer First
Before your piercing, speak with your piercing professional.
Use this time to ask them your questions about piercing pain, aftercare, and changing out jewelry. A pre-piercing discussion will help you get to know your piercer, feel more comfortable the day of your piercing, and overall improve your experience.
One common question is, “Can you get your nipples pierced if they are small?” While the answer is generally “yes,” this is a question to ask your piercer. Inverted nipples and small nipples can usually be pierced, but special techniques or smaller jewelry may be needed. If you think your nipples may be too small for standard nipple jewelry, just let your piercer know.
2. Prepare for your appointment
Probably the first question anyone asks about nipple piercings is, “Do nipple piercings hurt?” The answer is yes, but just for a moment! A professionally done piercing shouldn’t cause any real pain beyond the moment of the piercing.
The next question we’re usually asked is, “Can you numb your nipple before getting it pierced?” While you technically can numb your nipple using a topical anesthetic, we do not recommend it as it is possible for the substance to be carried through the perforation but equipment while the piercing is being performed.
NOTE: do not take NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or drink alcohol before your piercing. Alcohol and some NSAIDs can thin your blood and may cause complications with your piercing.
3. Keep it clean
Keeping your nipple piercing clean is the first step to a smooth and uneventful recovery. The last thing you want is an infection. The good news is that proper post care is easy.
Piercing hygiene is simple: Soak your nipples in sea salt solution twice a day. Many people use shot glasses to make this process easier, filling the glass with the saltwater solution and then leaning forward and placing it over their nipple. Don’t touch your piercing unless you’ve first thoroughly washed your hands while it’s healing.
4. Avoid hot tubs and swimming pools if possible
Showing off your piercing in the hot tub is tempting, but don’t do it. Bacteria from dead skin and bodily fluids tend to accumulate hot tub pipes, causing bacteria buildup and growth. This bacteria can cause a painful infection in your nipple piercing. Instead, try to wait until your piercing is healed to use the hot tub.
5. Remove the jewelry carefully
It’s safe to remove your jewelry once your piercing is fully healed. The time to reach a fully healed state is unique to each individual but generally takes about six months post-piercing.
There are two main types of jewelry you can use for your first piercing: barbells and captive bead rings. To remove a barbell, simply twist the ball at one end to remove it. Then, slide your piercing straight out. To remove a captive bead ring, open the ring and slide the bead off. Once the bead is released, slide your ring until the opening is aligned with your piercing and the ring can be removed.
If you’re having trouble, talk to a piercer—they’ll gladly take a few moments to help you remove it.
6. Breastfeed mindfully
Our customers often ask, “Can you still breastfeed if you have your nipples pierced?” We always answer, “Yes!” But make sure you pierce your nipples at least six months before breastfeeding to allow time for healing, and remove your jewelry before each feeding session (jewelry left if can be a potential choking hazard for the child).
7. Determine your personal comfort level with bras
Everyone’s post-piercing bra preferences are different. Some prefer to wear a bra to protect and secure their piercing. Others feel a bra is too restrictive, fear snagging their piercing on their bra, or dislike the feeling of wearing a bra with their new jewelry. Others yet skip the bra altogether.
We often recommend wearing a sports bra during the healing process. A sports bra will allow your piercing to breathe, preventing sweat and bacteria buildup in the piercing. It will also protect your piercing from snagging on sweaters or textured tops.
Ultimately, it’s your body. As long as you protect your piercing from snags, wear whatever makes you most comfortable.
Nipple piercings are versatile, attractive, and easy to care for. They make a stunning impression—but can be easily concealed for professional settings. If you’re considering joining the wave of nipple piercers, make an appointment to talk to your piercer! You might just find your next favourite piercing.
378 Yonge Street,
Toronto & Vancouver, Ontario
252 Eglinton Ave East,
Toronto & Vancouver, Ontario
7381 Kennedy Road,
Upper Canada Mall
17600 Yonge Street,