When Can I Change My Nipple Piercing?

When Can I Change My Nipple Piercing?

Nipple piercings look cool, and they're great to try if you want to go beyond typical piercings. That being said, if you want your nipple piercing to heal well, don't rush into changing it!

When Can I Change My Nipple Piercing?

To avoid infections and other complications, it is really best to wait 12 months to change your nipple piercing. You'll need to be patient: nipple piercings can take 3 to 12 months to heal completely!

Can I Change My Nipple Piercing After 2 Months?

You may be able to change your nipple piercing after two months. However, it's not a good idea. Changing a piercing too early will likely delay healing.

You might wonder why nipple piercings take so long to heal. After all, most ear piercings are healed in a fraction of the time! That's because an earlobe piercing simply goes through the skin. When you're piercing a nipple, you're placing a needle through delicate tissue that connects to a whole network of ducts.

What Happens if You Change Your Nipple Piercing Too Soon?

Some people do end up changing their nipple piercings too soon, especially if they get excited about a new piece of jewelry! But as we mentioned above, nipple piercings are more complex than most.

Before it's completely healed, a piercing is essentially an open wound. If you remove the piercing and introduce new jewelry, you introduce new bacteria to the site.

At best, it will prolong the healing process. At worst, it can lead to an infection. Infected nipple piercings have the potential to cause deeper infections of the breast and surrounding lymph nodes, so you definitely want to avoid them!

So How Do You Know When It’s Safe to Change the Piercing?

Once three months (the minimum time it typically takes a nipple piercing to heal) have elapsed, look for the following signs that healing is complete:

  • There's no more crusting and discharge.
  • The piercing holes appear to pull inward.
  • The edges of the piercing holes (around the jewelry) appear smooth and even.
  • There's no more redness, swelling, or heat coming from the piercing.
  • The piercing doesn't hurt.
  • The jewelry can move somewhat freely in the piercing hole.

Of course, if you have any doubts, you can always ask your piercer! Most reputable piercers will be happy to check on your piercing to make sure it's healing well.

Nipple Piercing Healing Tips

It's a good idea to take steps to help your nipple piercing heal. Here are a few:

1. Use Quality Nipple Piercing Jewelry.

Nickel and other low-end metals are more likely to irritate your skin, making an infection more likely. Instead, use implant-grade titanium, solid k gold, or another high-quality metal that won't cause skin issues.

How Long Does It Take for Nipple Piercing to Heal?

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2. Do Sea-Salt Soaks.

Most piercers recommend soaking new piercings in a sea-salt solution twice per day. To do this, mix 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon salt into a cup of warm water. Let the salt dissolve. Pour the solution into a small cup that fits over the nipple and let the nipple soak for 3-5 minutes.

3. Leave the Piercing Alone.

It can be tempting to touch or play with your piercing. Don't do this! You're introducing new bacteria when you touch a fresh piercing (especially with hands that aren't clean).

4. Do Your Best to Protect the Piercing.

Snagging your nipple piercing on towels or clothing really hurts! It can also delay the healing process. Take any precautions you need to avoid causing additional trauma to a fresh piercing.

How to Change Your Nipple Piercing?

If you've got new jewelry you want to try and your nipple piercing is completely healed, you're finally ready to change your nipple piercing. How you do it will be a little different depending on the type of jewelry you have. Just make sure to wash your hands first!

1. Bars/Barbells

Taking Them Out

  • Hold one end of the barbell and unscrew the ball on the other end.
  • Set the ball somewhere safe so you don't lose it!
  • Gently slide the bar out of the piercing. Don't force or yank it!

Putting Them In

  • Make sure your new jewelry is clean.
  • Unscrew the ball from one end of the barbell.
  • Gently slide the bar through the piercing. Make sure you don't force it, as that can cause an injury.
  • Screw the other metal ball on the end of the barbell once it's gone through the piercing.

2. Rings

Taking Them Out

  • Make sure your hands are clean.
  • Open the ring by pinching and pulling on either side of the opening.
  • If that doesn't work, you can gently slide a pair of closed safety scissors through the ring. Open the scissors slightly to loosen it.
  • Once the ring is open, carefully angle it and pull it out of the piercing.

Putting Them In

  • Open the ring and gently hold it open.
  • Angle it so you can slide it through the piercing. Move it gently so you don't cause an injury!
  • Once you've moved part of the ring through the piercing, close and secure it.

Nipple Piercing Aftercare

If you want to make sure your piercing heals fast so you can try out new jewelry, the best way to increase the odds of that happening is to take good care of your nipple piercing. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Get a sea salt spray and apply it three times per day. Salt is a natural antiseptic that can reduce your risk of infection.
  • In the first few months, soak the piercing in sea salt twice a day. You can make a sea salt solution by dissolving 1/4 tsp salt in a cup of warm water.
  • Protect the piercing so it doesn't snag on anything (women can wear a sports bra while sleeping, and men can wear a thick cotton undershirt).
  • Avoid touching the piercing as much as you can. This can introduce bacteria and cause an infection.
  • Avoid using lotion and soap on the area, as the chemicals may irritate the piercing.
  • Eat a balanced diet and get plenty of rest, as that can speed up the healing process.

Even if your aftercare is perfect, you may find that your piercing takes a while to heal. Some people's bodies just take longer when it comes to healing. Do your best to be patient, and you'll be enjoying your new jewelry soon!

Read More

Types of Nipple Piercings: A Complete List with Images, Pros and Cons

How Long Does It Take for Nipple Piercing to Heal?

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