So I’ve had some pretty bad luck in the past with piercings and thought I would share a story with you. I’ve had 3 separate piercings done before (excluding my ears) and all have rejected/got infected. Maybe it’s something I’m doing, but I’ll share this and let you be the judge. So for my 18th birthday my boyfriend took me to a tattoo parlor to get my nipples pierced by a guy we knew. He’s done piercings on friends we knew before in the past and they have all turned out fine, so there was no need to question the quality of his service. I get there and he takes a look at my nipples, taking his time to mark where the needle would enter and exit. He prepped his table, using only new needles still in the pack and sterilized everything. He used gloves when piercing me and was very quick and efficient. I felt little pain (more like an intense sensitive feeling) and so I thought everything was fine. I followed the cleaning instructions, making sure not to soak with sea salt water too often so the skin didn’t dry out, yet I was noticing a problem with the piercings. I would go to school wearing a bra and by the time I got home my piercings would be so crusted over with goop and blood that it physically hurt to take my bra off and I would have to stand in the shower until the bra was soaked enough with water that I could peel it away. I thought maybe they were taking a while to heal because everything on the Internet I read said 6-12 months healing time. Finally after 9 months I went back to talk to someone. The guy who originally pierced my nipples wasn’t in that day so another guy too a look for me. Turns out I have flat nipples (meaning they don’t stand out unless stimulated) so when they were pierced it was done too shallow, with too small a bar, and the beads on the end were too big. This actually caused the jewelry to migrate and reject, splitting the edges of my nipple open. I was told if I had left them in any longer they would eventually split open entirely :( Needless to say I took them out immediately and now they are healed but I’m left with some nasty scars. I’ve been told using vitamin e oil to soften them might give me the chance to have them repierced, but it would have to be done so deeper and with a curved barbell instead of a straight one. I’m not saying the guy was awful, just that maybe he wasn’t as knowledgeable as I thought and use this as a cautious reminder to carefully plan your piercings and your piercer.
I also have flat nipples. For anyone reading this, that doesn’t mean you can’t be pierced or that awful things will happen. I did take one of mine out as I kept bumping it on things and it just didn’t really heal even after a year and I didn’t want to deal with it. Nothing to really do with my nipple shape.
aaaanyway. I know 12g seems scary to some of you, but it’s only .4mm larger than 14g and that can make a big difference with nipple piercings. Female nipples should be pierced at no smaller than 14g and optimally at 12g. And with straight barbells, unless perhaps it would relieve the pressure of having either flat or inverted nipples. Male nipples should be pierced no smaller than 16g and optimally at 14g. Straight barbells, preferably.
And when you get pierced, watch out for strange extended irritation like the OP. Your nipple piercing probably shouldn’t be really really crusty like that after about the first week or so. It took a while for mine to completely stop, but the crusty flood usually ends after a week, maybe two. Another thing I found helpful was to put clean gauze between nipple and bra and even hold it in place with paper medical tape. (I’ve found that paper medical tape is a lot less harsh with the adhesive and your skin. I know some people have sensitivities to all adhesives, but for someone who just doesn’t want to rip their skin off, paper tape is good.)
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