Fiona Day | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Nipple piercings

Nipple Piercings: Every Question You've Ever Had, Answered

The Debrief: Do nipple piercings hurt? What if they get infected? How do you remove the bars? How much do nipple piercings cost? We have *so* many questions...

Ever wanted to get your nipples piercing but not sure what to expect? Want to know how much nipple piercings hurt and how much nipple piercings cost?

After years of contemplating a pierced nipple, I decided to bite the bullet and take the needle earlier this year. Thinking it would be a ‘hot’ addition to my bikini body and that it would boost my confidence, I took the plunge and toddled to the piercing studio on my lunch break. 

After a few weeks of a nipple piercing ‘honeymoon period’, the novelty soon wore off. A brief stint at a music festival led to a nasty infection which was then followed by a four-hour wait in an emergency care centre. Having a painful boob fondled by a doctor was NOT the sexy experience I’d signed up for. 

So basically, before you get your sexy nipple piercing, make sure you know all the facts, lest you end up in A&E with weeping nipples a few weeks later. Just saying. 

READ MORE: Septum Piercings: Everything You Need To Know About The Piercing of 2016

How much do nipple piercings cost?

Wondering how much it costs to get your nipple pierced? Nipple piercings can be pricey, so it's important to think things through before getting your nipple à la Rihanna (see below). Depending on the piercing studio, it can cost anything between £25-£40. If you plan on getting both your nipples pierced, you can normally negotiate a 2-for-1 offer, but they may ask you to pay before the piercing, which means you CAN’T chicken out! 

How old do you have to be to get your nipples pierced?

In the UK you must be over the age of 18 to get a nipple pierced. Your piercing studio may be breaking the law if they offer nipple piercings to younger people.  

Are nipple piercings painful? 

Bad news if you’re a piercing veteran, it’s NOTHING like any other body modification. The nipples are packed with nerve endings which makes the area ultra-sensitive. Imagine that nice feeling when your other half gently caresses your nipples (some lucky ladies can even orgasm this way) and swap those gentle hands for a solid metallic jab of metal. It’s a strange type of pain that some people might enjoy if they’re so way inclined, but for most of us, it won’t exactly be a walk in the park. The only  bonus is that it’s over VERY quickly. 

Are nipple piercings surface piercings?

We’re not entirely sure. Surface piercings take place on the surface of your skin on parts of the body that are not concave or convex. The piercing goes through a surface flap of skin, rather than going through a piece of body tissue. So we guess that means yes? But don’t hold us to that answer. 

Will I get a hoop or a bar?

It depends on the size of your nipples. If you have larger nipples, you’ll be required to get a bar, whereas if your nipples are smaller then you can opt for a hoop. This choice is something that you can discuss with your body piercer. 

How long does it take for a nipple piercing to heal?

For the first week, you’ll be instructed to keep it covered and to avoid soaking it in the bath in order to keep your piercing away from harmful bacteria. Try and resist the temptation to show it off to your friends, and your other half will also need to avoid the area (sorry!). 

As long as you clean it twice a day with a salt water solution (or contact lens solution), then you shouldn’t have any problems. It can take up to six months to heal and in the meantime it’s important to keep it clean and avoid getting it caught on your clothes. This makes saucy lacy lingerie a bit of a risk. 

If you’re going to a music festival or on holiday, be extra careful when it comes to keeping it clean and free from infection. Skipping out is seriously not worth the risk. 

Are nipple piercings supposed to scab? 

They can scab a little bit, like any other pericing. But if you are worried about excess scabing, you should probably contact your body piercer as a first port of call. More often than not, however, they will tell you to speak to a GP if they think the infection requires urgent attention. If your breast swells and you’re experiencing pain on the INSIDE of your breast or in your armpit, then it’s advised to remove the piercing immediately and seek medical attention straight away. 

Nasty infections will be treated with antibiotics or creams, depending on how far it has progressed through your breast tissue. 

Not nice. Not very nice at all. 

Will people be able to see my nipple piercing through my clothes?

If you choose to go braless then be aware that your nipple ring will almost certainly show through your top. Maybe save those special moments for the club or a house party and try and keep it under wraps while you’re at work or visiting your folks (of course, this depends how liberal your office dress code is/your parents are!). 

Are nipple piercings safe? 

The obvious dangers are that you may get an infection. Infections are very rare, but also very real. Should you get a nasty infection, there’s the risk of blood poisoning, which is not nice at all! In fact, it can even be fatal (sorry to alarm you!).  

You may also be left with scar tissue around your nipple if you choose to take the ring out, which could leave it looking slightly different to your pre-pierced nip. 

Does it affect/improve sensitivity? 

Personal experience says no, but for many women, whose piercings have healed nicely, their nipple sensitivity increased dramatically. 

If you’re into the aesthetic, then it will definitely help you spice up your bedroom antics. 

Of course, you have to live with the fact that your nipples will be out of action while they heal. This is bad news if you’re really into nipple action. 

Will I still be able to breastfeed if I get a nipple piercing?

You can still breastfeed, but you’ll have to negotiate your piercings when the time comes. Some woman switch to bars and simply take them out when it’s baby’s dinner time, only to slip them back in once they’re all fed. The scar tissue certainly shouldn’t prevent you from breastfeeding in the future if you wish to do so. 

How do I remove my nipple piercing?

Most piercings are fitted with screw ball bars and hoops. It may take a little bit of time to initially remove it, but the important thing to remember is that you wash your hands and cleanse the area beforehand. If you’re struggling, then simply pop in and see your piercer and ask them to remove it for you – they’ve dealt with these fiddly little things loads of times before!

Are nipple piercings easy to heal? 

Everyone's nipple is different of course, but it is likely you will get a tiny scar (I mean come on, it has had a bar rammed through it!). A lot of people find that when they remove their piercing, they get a teeny bubble where the bar went in and out. To combat this  it is recommended to massage skin-friendly oils (think jojoba, bio or baby oil) into the scarred area. 

Celebrity nipple piercing inspo 

Kendall Jenner

Supermodel Kendall showed off her nip jewels during a red carpet appearance. She recently told Page Six: ‘I was going through a period in my life, having a rough time, being a rebel and was like, “Let’s just do it.”’ 

Kendall Jenner Nipple Piercing


Rihanna first sported her nipple piercings during a basketball game. The pop star showed them off in all their fabulous glory in her ‘B**** better have my money’ video earlier this year. 

Rihanna Nipple Piercing

Kylie Jenner

The teen star who lives her entire life on SnapChat shared her new piercings with her followers earlier this year. 

Kylie Jenner Nipple Piercing

Bella Hadid 

Gigi’s gorgeous younger sister sported her nipple piercings on the red carpet during a Paris Fashion Week event. The 18-year-old has definitely been taking good care of her new additions. 

Bella Hadid Nipple Piercing

Christina Aguilera 

Nostalgia fans, remember Christina Aguilera’s Stripped years? The singer adorned herself with piercings, including some nipple rings. Pioneering the trend before her time, got to love Xtina. 

Nipple piercings


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Pictures: Getty, Rex