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Nipple Piercings- Advanced Anatomy

Updated: Mar 28

Nipple piercings are another super popular piercing here for me at Icon. These piercings have been popular for decades and aren’t loosing the trend at all. If anything, they have become more popular- as self expression, self love, and body positivity movements have been encouraging everyone to embrace their bodies and do what makes them feel best and beautiful! These are piercings that come with serious consideration, as any piercing in a sensitive area of your body does. But, some anatomy can make these piercings fall into what I consider “advanced”. Advanced nipple piercings require a piercer with a specialized skill set and experience to do, and a diligent client willing to take good care of the piercings and follow all advice needed. They aren’t hard to do, they just need a good piercer with a bit of extra knowledge and training. Fortunately, one of the specialties of our senior piercer Ian at Icon, and myself, are advanced and surgically altered tissue, particularly nipples. With over 38 years of combined experience, these unique piercings are among his specialty and he has had amazing success getting even the most difficult cases to heal successfully. I am thrilled to be working alongside him and honing my skillset in this area as well.


Surgically Altered Nipples- Breast enhancements, reductions, mastitis surgeries, top surgery, and some other procedures can all effect the nipple. Often times the nipple is moved, reshaped, or otherwise altered which causes scar tissue to form. This scar tissue can cause decreased blood flow, can sometimes cause the skin to be tight and dense, or may even be in the way of where a piercing can go. Beyond that, implants can put forward pressure on a nipple piercing, making healing very difficult. Top surgery can sometimes leave nipples with no piercable tissue at all, or such decreased blood flow coupled with scarring that makes healing impossible. Because of this, these fall under the category of an advanced piercing. I suggest waiting at minimum 1-2 years after any surgeries before even attempting to get the area pierced. Yes- even if your surgeon said it would be ok sooner. Now this doesn’t mean that you can't ever be pierced, but expect a longer and possibly more difficult healing process. It's also worth noting that some surgically altered nipple piercings can not be pierced and that is perfectly normal and ok. It’s also extra important to do your research and seek out a piercer with experience in these kinds of piercings. A portfolio with examples of both fresh and healed surgically altered nipples is important, as well as a piercer who will work with you to get these to successfully heal. To learn more about this check out this blog all about surgically altered sites and piercing.


Inverted Nipples- Inverted nipples are where the nipple folds inside the body. Some people are born with inversions, other develop them during puberty or after pregnancy and breast feeding. Whatever the cause, surgery to change inversions can be expensive and uncomfortable. Fortunately, we can often coax inversions out with body piercing should you desire! That said inversions are natural, and normal, and there is nothing wrong with them. If you love your inversions, be aware that piercing them may change them! We have years of experience using piercing to coax inverted nipples back out, and get them to stay out with jewelry in. Everyone’s degree of inversion is different, and not all can be fully changed through piercings. Some inverted anatomy is not safe to be pierced at all. Inversions run a risk of migration and rejection, and this scarring on inverted nipples can pose a serious risk. It's incredibly important to see someone with experience in inverted nipples who will be honest if you are suitable for piercing and what the risks for your anatomy may be.


Third Nipples- Yes- some people do have third nipples. And we’d love to pierce them! These are super unique and often rare to have, and rarer to be able to be pierced. Most piercers have only pierced a handful of third nipples, and it’s always a unique, fun time! Not every third nipple is stable enough to be pierced, and these should only be performed by a piercer with years of experience, and a client willing to give the piercing a little extra TLC during the healing process. If done correctly and healed well these are just as stable as traditional nipples- but slightly cooler. ;)


Interested in nipple piercings but unsure if they will work for you? Stop in for a consultation with me at Icon in Nashville, or check out safepiercing.org to find an amazing piercer near you.

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