One early nipple piercing fad occurred in the court of Queen Isabella of Bavaria (1385 to 1417), who started the trend of wearing gowns with fronts opened down to the navel. Because the breasts were bared, women began piercing their nipples and stringing diamond-studded gold chains through the holes. The late 1890s saw wealthy European women embrace a similar “bosom ring” fad. While female piercing practices have been historically popular with fashion-conscious, upper class ladies, male nipple piercing practices were typically undergone by the working-class fringe, particularly carnies and sailors. Both British and American sailors have legends of nipple piercings being performed to commemorate crossing certain longitudes or latitudes.
A nipple piercing is typically placed at the base of the erect part of the nipple. The piercing can be placed vertically, horizontally or at any angle in between. Proper piercing procedure includes marking the points of entry and exit onto the nipple, wiping the area clean with antiseptic and tightly clamping the nipple. The piercer generally has the client take three deep breaths, and on the third exhale, the piercer pushes the needle through the nipple using the entry and exit marks as guides. The needle is attached to a thin, sharp tube that cores out the skin and tissue. Jewelry is attached to this tube and just follows the needle through.
Healing Information & After care
Now, once you are pierced, the healing process may be slow. This depends a lot on the size and weight of your breasts. Those with smaller breasts will actually have less problems than those with heavier breasts that can get caught in things through natural movement. You never realize how much pulling and squishing your nipples undergo every day until you get them pierced!
If your nipples are sore during the healing process, an ice pack can do wonders. If you don’t have an ice pack, a package of small frozen vegetables like peas or corn works really well. Don’t laugh! This is a highly recommended method of treatment for engorged breast-feeding mothers.
Sea salt soaks will also provide comfort to a sore nipple piercing. Most nipples will rest comfortably in a small cup of salt water, so this can be done easily while watching TV, reading a book or relaxing. Soak each pierced nipple for about 5 minutes and then rinse well.
The less aggravation your piercing undergoes, the quicker the healing time will be. It should only take about 6-8 weeks. In my case, it took 6 months because my youngest daughter was still very small when I got mine pierced. She was climbing up on my lap one day and grabbed my nipple……ouch! This set the piercing back to the beginning as far as healing goes, so be careful!
If it’s been many months and your nipples still haven’t healed, you may have an allergy or sensitivity to the jewelry you are wearing. You also might be doing something to aggravate it without realizing it. It’s best to see your piercer (or any professional piercer) and let them look at it so they can make an informed suggestion for healing.