Basic Nipple Piercing Info | Painful Pleasures Community

Basic Nipple Piercing Info

Whether you're about to get your nipples pierced or already have pierced nipples, we have some basic nipple piercing tips and info that you're sure to find useful. In our <em>Basic Nipple Piercing Info</em> article, we cover aftercare, what to do if a problem arises, how to navigate our awesome selection of nipple piercing jewelry, dealing with piercing retainers, and where to find other great resources like how to put on a drop-down nipple shield vs. a circular one.

by PainfulPleasures Last Updated: May 13, 2021

Whether you’ve decided to have your nipples pierced soon or already have pierced nipples, congratulations! This is a sexy, fun type of piercing that can increase sensitivity and excite your partner. Plus, with tons of cute nipple rings available, you’ll have a blast shopping for nipple piercing jewelry! Before you can start shopping for jewelry, though, you have to make sure your nipple piercings have healed fully and well.


Nipple Piercing Aftercare & the Healing ProcessRecovery Piercing Aftercare Spray - Purified Saline Wash Solution

Nipple piercings can take anywhere from 9 months to a year to fully heal. During that time, it’s incredibly important to baby your nipples, keep them clean, and avoid rough play in the bedroom.

Wear the Right Nipple Jewelry From the Start

First things first, make sure you have the right starter nipple jewelry. Straight barbells are ideal, because they’ll put less pressure on your delicate, healing fistulas (i.e. the holes where you were pierced) than other types of nipple jewelry, like captive bead rings. Just make sure the balls at either end of your straight barbells sit comfortably alongside your nipples. If they’re pressing in, it can cause necrosis (i.e. tissue death), but nipple jewelry that’s too long can get caught on clothing and cause other problems like skin tears. To get just the right size nipple barbells, you’ll need to have your piercer fit you and find the ideal length based on the size of your nipples. The gauge should be 14g or 12g to start, although you may stretch later, once you’re fully healed. Anything smaller than 14g can lead to the “cheese cutter effect”, where your jewelry slowly migrates out over time, so don’t let your piercer talk you into anything smaller than a 14g barbell unless you have really petite nipples.

Keep up With Your Nipple Piercing Aftercare

Once you have the right jewelry, be sure to keep up with your nipple piercing aftercare! You should be spritzing your nipples (particularly around the fistula openings) with a cleanser like Recovery Purified Saline Wash or H2Ocean 2-3 times per day for at least the first 4-6 weeks to keep the fistulas flushed and help loosen up crusties. Crusties are a natural part of the piercing healing process; that’s just lymph, a clear fluid that your healing piercings excrete that dries to a whitish crust. It’s nothing to worry about–unless you aren’t careful about how you remove it, that is. Don’t turn your jewelry or slide it side-to-side to break up the crusties! It’s always better to soften them with warm water in the shower or saline solution before wiping them away with a clean cotton ball or swab. Avoid soaping up your piercings directly when working to soften crusties.

Use Homemade Sea Salt Solution 2x/Day

If you’d prefer to make your own cleansing solution either instead of using a piercing aftercare spray or as a supplement to such a spray, mix 1/4 tsp. sea salt in a cup of water that’s been boiled for at least 5 minutes to sterilize it. Once the solution has cooled to a comfortable temperature, apply it either with a series of clean cotton balls or by dipping each nipple in the solution for a few minutes (preferably 5 minutes per nipple, 2 times per day). If your skin is dry, you can add a couple drops of tea tree oil to your sea salt solution to moisturize your skin. Tea tree oil is also a natural antiseptic that will aid in the healing process. Do not apply oils, creams or balms to your nipple piercings directly, though. You don’t want to clog the healing fistulas, trapping in bacteria and potentially leading to infection or prolonging the healing process. In between sea salt solution soaks, you should regularly spritz your piercings with aftercare spray to keep the skin hydrated and your fistulas flushed of debris. If you’re at work, just take a bathroom break, step in a stall, lift your shirt and bra, and spritz on some solution. The effect will be immediately cooling and soothing. Note that you can never over-apply sea salt solution, so use it as frequently as desired. (At minimum, you should be doing 2 full soaks a day and spritzing 3-6 times in between soaks.)

Nipple Shields for Pierced NipplesIs It Time to Change Your Jewelry?

Unless you’re having an allergic reaction to your jewelry, you should wait at least 9 months to change it, and then leave it alone until you’re fully healed. If you have to change your nipple piercing jewelry sooner either because it’s too tight, you’re allergic to the material, or you’re dissatisfied with it in general, get your piercer to help you. If you buy your replacement jewelry from your piercer, the jewelry change should be free. If you take in your own jewelry, you may have to pay a small fee to have it sterilized in an autoclave and inserted by a pro. Whichever way you go, be sure to choose replacement jewelry made from one of the most hypoallergenic materials available. Titanium is your best bet, with surgical stainless steel following in close second. These are the most inert metals, and therefore the least likely to trigger allergic reactions. Alternatively, you can get PTFE straight barbells. PTFE is also known as BioPlast or BioFlex. It’s flexible and hypoallergenic–a winning combination, particularly as nipple rings go!

Dealing With Infection

If at any point you suspect you have an infected nipple piercing, look for signs of redness (particularly streaky red lines radiating from your nipple), a thick, yellowish, pus-like discharge, and fever. If you have any or all of these symptoms, see your doctor right away and ask if you need to start taking an antibiotic. You don’t necessarily have to take your nipple rings out while being treated; just keep up with the aftercare regime outlined above, take your antibiotic on schedule and complete the full course, and you should heal well. If you do decide to take out your nipple rings, continue cleansing with sea salt solution until the fistulas have fully closed.


Nipple Rings With Dangling Stars From our Dangle Nipple Rings CollectionNipple Rings

Heart Nipple Shield for Pierced NipplesOnce your new nipple piercings are fully healed, it’s time to start shopping for cool new jewelry! We carry a large selection of nipple piercing jewelry, like nipple shields, captive rings, seamless rings and segment rings, bent barbells, straight barbells, and more. Click on any of the jewelry styles listed below to start shopping for nipple rings now.


All Nipple Rings and Nipple Shields

This section showcases our entire selection of nipple jewelry. You can go through page-by-page or select a subcategory like “Nipple Shields” to see a specific type of jewelry. 

Captive Bead Rings for Nipple Piercings

Captive Rings, Segment Rings, & Seamless Nipple Rings 

These are a nice alternative to straight barbells, but they’re more likely to show through clothing–especially for guys. Women can get away with different types of nipple jewelry in professional and other more conservative environments thanks to padded bras. Captive rings, segment rings and seamless rings are not ideal for new nipple piercings that are still healing, because they can put downard pressure on the healing fistulas (holes where you were pierced) and sometimes cause migration or rejection.

Circular Barbell With Skulls Make Perfect Men's Nipple Jewelry!Pinchers & Circular Barbell Nipple Rings

These are a great alternative to captive bead rings, but like captive rings, they’re not ideal starter nipple piercing jewelry. Circular barbells and pinchers are U-shaped; they hang with the center of the U through the nipple and the arms of the U facing downward. That creates downward pressure on your healing fistulas that can delay the healing process. Once you’re healed, though, circular barbells and pinchers make awesome nipple rings.

D-Rings D-Rings for Nipple Piercings

A D-ring is kind of a cross between a straight barbell and a captive bead ring. The part that goes through the fistula is straight, but the exposted part of the ring is curved. If you find straight barbells to be more comfortable in your nipple piercings but like the look of captive bead rings, then D-rings are the perfect nipple jewelry for you.

If you desperately want to wear some type of rings as your starter nipple jewelry rather than a straight barbell, D-rings will put a little less pressure on your delicate, healing fistulas than captive rings or circular barbells would.

Straight Barbells for Nipple PiercingsStraight Barbell Nipple Jewelry

Internally-threaded titanium straight barbells are often the best starter nipple piercing jewelry. Straight barbells don’t put downward pressure on your healing fistulas, titanium is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than any other metal, and internal threads won’t scrape your fistulas like externally-threaded barbells can upon insertion. If you want some serious nipple bling to wear with your straight barbells once your piercings heal, check out our nipple shields.

Bent Barbells for Nipple Piercings

Bent Barbell Nipple Rings 

Some people find that bent barbells suit their anatomy better than straight barbells. You can turn a bent barbell so that the balls on either end of the curve face your chest and work with the natural curve of your breast. Bent barbells make the second-best type of starter jewelry, since, like straight barbells, they’re also less likely to put excessive downard pressure on your healing fistulas.

Seamless Rings for Nipple PiercingsMore on Seamless Rings

Our ornate seamless rings are the perfect example of beautiful nipple jewelry that you’ll find in our new Captive, Segment & Seamless Nipple Rings section. There are some additional seamless rings like the beautiful one to the left that you’ll only find in our Septum Jewelry and Earrings sections (because they tend to be 16g or 18g, which is a little smaller-than-ideal for nipple piercings), but they make great nipple piercing jewelry when you’re looking for extra sparkle for a special occasion, but don’t want to wear nipple shields. Seamless rings are easy to insert, too; just bend the ring slightly at the gap to widen it, insert it, and squeeze it shut again.

Dangle Nipple RingsOur Dangle Nipple Rings Feature Everything From Flowers to Skulls, and Loads of Designs in Between

We have so many lovely dangle nipple rings that we’ve just added a new section to our site to showcase them! It’s not always easy to conceal dangle nipple rings under everyday clothes, but when you want to add a special touch to your boudouire attire, it’s fun to have at least one pair on hand. We have dangle nipple rings for women and men alike. (Lucky men can show theirs off at the beach!) Choose from designs with dangling hearts and birds, flowers and snowflakes, or more masculine designs like skulls, dragons and independent crosses.

Nipple Piercing RetainersNipple Piercing Retainers

There may come a time when you need to make your pierced nipples more discreet or need a non-metal alternative to your regular jewelry so you can keep your nipple piercings open while you take a medical test like an MRI or have surgery. For such times, we have a variety of nipple piercig retainers to help. Don’t be fooled by the ones labeled as tongue ring retainers or belly button ring retainers; they’re just straight barbells and bent barbells made of acrylic or glass that you can sub into your piercings in place of your regular jewelry for as long as needed. The only time you should not use nipple piercing retainers is while your piercings are healing, unless it’s an absolute necessity. If you have a scheduled test or minor procedure coming up and have time to get a piercer to help you insert retainers to leave in for a limited time, that’s the way to go. However, if an emergency arises and you’re pressed for time–say you were just in a car accident and are being whisked off to the ER for tests to see if you have any broken bones or internal injuries–then you may just have to take out your jewelry and hope for the best.

More Great Nipple Jewelry & AccessoriesUnique Nipple Piercing Jewelry

In addition to the various types of nipple rings, barbells and retainers detailed above, we also have special gold nipple jewelry and a selection of nipple piercing weights and accessories that can help you stretch your nipple piercings or just have some fun in the bedroom. We also have a special section called Unique Nipple Jewelry now, where you’ll find some of our more unusual nipple rings. Take the whisker-looking nipple rings to the right, for example. They’re a favorite among men’s nipple jewelry, and not something you see every day! Take a look through the 200+ unique nipple rings and nipple shields we offer, and you might just find something fun that you can’t leave without!

Tip: If you have trouble inserting a nipple ring yourself, you can put a tiny drop of water-based lubricant on the side of your nipple and the end of the barbell. Too much lubricant will make your jewelry completely unmanageable and impossible to insert, so be very conservative with it!


Helpful Nipple Piercing Resources

In addition to the nipple ring shopping pages listed above, you may find these other nipple piercing resources helpful:

  • Nipple Piercing FAQs – Due to the number of questions we get about nipple piercings on a weekly basis, we put together a frequently asked questions page to give you lots of helpful info in one convenient spot.How to Put on a Circular Nipple Shield
  • How to Put on a Nipple Shield – This handy guide, complete with illustrations and step-by-step instructions, shows you how to put on our drop-down nipple shields, our circular nipple shields, and even our non-piercing nipple shields.
  • Female Nipple Piercing Pictures – Here you’ll find photos of some of our female community members’ nipple piercings. If you’re looking for ideas for new types of nipple rings to try, you’ll find inspiration in this section!
  • Male Nipple Piercing Pictures – Girls just wanna have fun… but so do guys! For aesthetics and pleasure alike, many of our male forum members have their nipples pierced, and they’ve posted pictures here.
  • Nipple Piercings Forum Section – Our forum is a place for body mod enthusiasts to come together, share ideas and tips, ask questions of the community at large, and read other people’s stories. We have an entire section dedicated to nipple piercings where you can learn about other people’s experiences and post questions for our knowledgeable moderators and experienced community members to answer.
  • For more helpful info on nipple piercings, visit our Nipple Piercing Resources Guide.
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