Nipple

Marks and Punctures have a large selection of tattoo designs and piercings available, we are happy to work with your requirements and designs, giving the best possible advice along the way. Our shop in Aylesbury has a comfortable waiting area and sterilised rooms for piercing and tattooing. Find out more in the about us section.

Nipple Piercing Aftercare

The number one reason for infection is touching and playing with the piercing. Only touch the piercing when cleaning it with clean hands!

DO remove the bandage after 4 – 5 hours and have a shower immediately. Cup your hand under the piercing and soak it with water for 3-4 minutes, or have a good soak in the bath. There may be some coagulated blood, but don’t be alarmed as this is normal and will wash of easily. If any blood has dried on the jewellery, remove it in the shower with a wet cottonbud. Don’t use the cleaning solution for 24 hours.

DO use a mild antibacterial soap in the shower (once a day only). Cup your hand under the piercing and soak it for 1-2 minutes, then put 1-2 drops (no more!) of the cleaning solution in your hand, lather it and apply gently to your nipple piercing. Leave the lather on for 1 minute then soak the piercing once again and wash thoroughly to remove all the solution. Leaving the solution on the skin can cause irritation!

DO dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or table salt in ½ cup of warm boiled water. Let this cool a little, then place in a clean glass or medicine cup and lie down with it upturned on your nipple for 10 – 15 minutes, once or twice a day. You can also use saline solution, which isavailable from any chemist (please ensure that you warm it up before use). Rinse with fresh water and dry thoroughly with a clean tissue afterwards. This process is the best way to promote healing and the more you do it the faster your piercing will heal.

DO make sure when washing to remove all the crusting. If it’s not cleaned off properly, it can solidify around the ring and tear the inside of the wound when the ring moves. This can be painful and lead to inflammation and delayed healing. Furthermore, if it’s not removed bacteria can feed on it and infect the wound.

DO continue to use antibacterial soap. After your free bottle runs out, we can sell you a 50ml bottle of antibacterial wash, especially formulated for navel and nipple piercings, which is alcohol free and contains aloe vera for moisturising and Vitamin E. Neglecting to use antibacterial soap / our nipple wash for the full healing period can result in infection.

DO make sure that you dry your nipple thoroughly after cleaning. This should be done by patting (not rubbing) it dry with a paper tissue – towels can harbour bacteria.

You can use lavender oil on the piercing as it promotes healing and lubricates the wound, thus reducing tenderness. Apply a small amount with a cotton bud after cleaning then move the jewellery gently so it gets into the wound. Remove any excess with a tissue, as leaving it on can irritate the skin. Lavender oil can be purchased at supermarkets (in the medicine section) or at a chemist, and must be marked BP or medicinal grade.

DO use antibacterial soap after going swimming in the ocean or public pools.

DO make sure that you wash the piercing carefully with water after exercising or sweating a lot, as sweat acts like an acid and can cause the wound to become aggravated.

DO be careful if you play contact sports or do manual labour not to tear the piercing by knocking it accidentally. When playing sport you can use sticking plaster to protect the piercing but this must be removed immediately after you finish and the wound washed carefully.

Ladies: DO wear a bra to bed at night (for the first week only), as this will stop the jewellery being knocked about during sleep in the healing phase. Men should use surgical tape (available at any chemist). Don’t bandage it in the daytime as this can increase the chance of infection.

DO try to give the piercing some sunshine as it helps the body produce Vitamin D, which promotes healing. It also helps dry the wound and minimise infection. You can also take B vitamins with a zinc supplement as this also helps promote healing.

DON’T allow your partner to play roughly with the piercing for the first 2-3 weeks and never allow your partner to suck on the piercing until it is healed, as the bacteria in the mouth can cause a nasty infection.

DON’T turn the ring in the piercing for the first 2-3 weeks. Move it very gently and only enough to remove the crusting; after that you can turn it enough for cleaning. Moving the ring constantly aggravates the wound and delays healing.

DON’T pick at the scab as this will cause excessive scar tissue formation and may lead to infections.

DON’T put your wallet / cigarettes in your breast pocket as the weight and constant movement will aggravate the piercing.

Ladies: DON’T wear lacy bras as they catch the jewellery and aggravate the piercing; plain or sports bras are more comfortable.

DON’T use methylated spirits or alcohol on the piercing as these are very astringent and can damage the wound.

DON’T use creams or ointments as they keep the wound moist and hamper the healing process.

DON’T remove the ring because you will lose the piercing.

DON’T replace the jewellery with a sleeper because the sharp hinges can tear the inside of the wound resulting in infection, and it increases the chance of the piercing growing out. Silver sleepers are especially dangerous, as the silver oxidises in the wound and can cause allergic reactions and ‘argyria’, a permanent black mark inside the wound.

DON’T bandage the wound to protect it from dirt if you work in a dusty environment – it must have fresh air to heal properly. Try to wash the piercing with fresh clean water whenever you have a break or go to the toilet, but don’t touch the piercing with dirty hands, as this can cause infection.

Healing

Nipples usually take approximately 3 – 10 weeks to heal and they usually heal without any problems.

Your nipple will be slightly tender to the touch for several days after the piercing, but this will gradually go away. However, your nipples will always be more sensitive so don’t be too rough with them during sex. Until the scar tissue develops fully, the piercing can be easily torn; the ring will never be actually torn out, but a very small tear may occur on the side of the wound. If this happens after the piercing has healed you will have to treat it as a wound again, or you could develop an infection.

A very small amount of people sometimes develop a cyst or lump behind the piercing, this is usually harmless but a physician should examine it.

Proper aftercare of nipple piercing is essential because if you develop an infection it can pass down the lactiferous (milk) ducts in the breast and infect the auxiliary lymph nodes under the armpit. An infection in the nipple can become serious in a very short space of time. The signs of infection will be any excessive pain, swelling, a large lump in the breast, thick yellow pus coming from the wound, or any excessive redness around the wound.

If you think you may have an infection, come back and see us or see a physician immediately. Doctors are pretty conservative and will probably tell you to remove the ring from the wound – don’t do this as the ring allows any infection to come out of the wound. However, infections are very rare and always respond quickly to antibiotics.

Breastfeeding

In the late 19th century, English doctors advised women with small or inverted nipples to have them pierced in order to make breastfeeding easier. According to many women whom we have pierced, and anecdotal evidence from other women who have had their nipples pierced, nipple piercing has no discernible effect on breastfeeding. There are approximately 20 – 30 milk ducts in the average female nipple; piercing cuts 3 – 4 at most so there are plenty left to enable you to breastfeed.

If your nipples are pierced and you wish to breastfeed there are several things you can do. You can remove the jewellery altogether and replace it after you finish breastfeeding; you can wear circular barbells, which are easily inserted and removed at will (although this may cause tenderness); or you can wear barbells, which allow the baby to breastfeed without any difficulty.

Call us on: 01296 399969