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Having wanted to have my nipples pierced for some years,I had researched / exhausted as much information on pros, cons, procedures, aftercare etc
I was mainly bombarded with advice about breastfeeding - general consensus is that there are no problems providing that you are not ambitious with the size of your initial piercing - the bigger the diameter the more milk ducts could be damaged, and that you remove the jewellery whilst actually feeding - risk of inhalation/choking etc - common sense I think.
However, that does not affect me as I am 41, have no children and have been sterilised!
I made email contact with thepiercingshop at Bath Place, Taunton, Somerset, for several reasons, it is reasonably local to me, it has excellent reviews on piercing blogs and I was also personally recommended to the place, its own website www.thepiercingshop.co.uk is not huge but contains good information.
I made some enquiries about allergies/metal reactions as I can only wear the purer metals in my ears and those were pierced over 20 years ago, I was told that titanium barbell should not give me any problems, there are PTFE and acrylic pieces of jewellery to choose from also.
Although I think my breasts are one of my best features, I still found myself to be quite shy and nervous to be in the intimate situation of the piercing room.
When I arrived for my appointment, I was asked to complete a form regarding allergies & medical conditions - a sort of disclaimer crossed with a consent form.
My piercer was called Steve, his daughter was actually manning the shop and she said she would come into the piercing room when my piercing was being done as my escort/chaperon since I had not brought anyone with me.
I was asked to take off my top half clothing so that I could be marked with a pen for the piercing sites, and measured for the size of piercing I would require; then asked to lie on a couch for the actual piercing.
Steve uses a very cold spray to numb the area, ethyl chloride, he uses extremely clean equipment and is clean in his technique.
Although I knew exactly what Steve was doing, I chose not to look and chatted to his daughter throughout as distraction (she was excellent as this!!), I was really only aware of a resistant pushing sensation. the barbells are in, no bleeding whatsoever, no dressings required, post piercing care explained and a leaflet with the same & more information. I was given the opportunity to check the completed piercings in a mirror before I left.
That was yesterday, I was aware of some soreness last night and am being aware not to catch myself as I'm sure it would be painful in the short-term. Today I'm proud of myself and still chuffed that I went ahead with the piercings.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants to have it done - my fears of what it would be like were much worse than the reality, I think I did too much homework beforehand, although they take several months to properly heal, I'm going away in a month's time and cant wait to show of Steve's handywork on the beach!
UPDATE 29.09.08 Whilst I appreciate receiving a balanced set of viewpoints, my review is entitled 'Nipple Piercing - great if anyone else likes them' , I was rather taken aback by the ageist comments, those stating that it is simply 'wrong', and those who even suggested that I and others considering such an individual choice should seek counselling!
as my profile states, I am a registered nurse and I am dealing with members of the public daily - I am NOT one of the people sited as being a mobile scrap metal merchant ! It is actually quite nice to know that I do have some very personal piercings that are mine to expose or share with whoever I choose - or conversely no-one except me may ever know that I have them.
Addressing the issues raised:
only one piercing from one practitioner - that's because its the only place I've been to to get piercings (excluding ears, with my mum > 25 years ago!).
I would not advocate self piercing, they are less likely to be straight or simmetrical, and far more likely to result in infection.
I chose 'The Piercing Shop' in Bath Place in Taunton, based on reading, no, trawling' the internet for forums/reviews/recommendations for places exhibiting good practise, safe practise and guidance for pre and post piercing. They happen to be local to me, and definitely not the cheapest. they also, ultimately, came by personal recommendation.
THEIR advice for trouble-free piercings:The most important piece of advice if you want trouble-free piercings is always use a dedicated piercing specialist. Also, it's always advisable to ask to have a look round the piercing studios before you decide who is going to do it for you. Use this check list before you decide: Body Piercing Check List
It is a registered body piercing studio - look for the certificates. Adequate information is given to you before your piercing. Your body piercer should be wearing gloves and protective clothing. His/her hair should be tied back. Ask if they use a sterilising unit for their piercing tools. Instruments that are not sterilised should be disposable. All surfaces should be smooth and wipeable, including the floor. All needles should be disposable - they must not be used a second time. All dressings they use should be sterile packed. Your piercer should wash his/her hands before they pierce you. All body jewellery should be sterile packed. Full after care advice and support is provided after your piercing. Your piercer should not carry out too many piercings on your body in one session. Your piercer should not attempt to carry out piercings that are medically irresponsible.
and finally but most importantly
Check that they are responsible about piercing children. Although there are no laws, anyone under the age of 16 years ought to have parental consent.
There are also things you need to do before a piercing:
a. Eat before your piercing. This will help prevent you feeling faint b. Inform the piercer of any medical conditions or allergies you might have
And after your piercing, you should avoid giving blood for at least a year.
The Piercing Shop requires parental consent before piercing anyone under the age of 16 and will only pierce the ears of children under the age of 13 and then only if they are accompanied by a parent.
There are many children who have eyebrows, noses and tops of ears pierced but some schools are unhappy about their pupils' piercings. The Piercing Shop manufactures 'invisible' retainers for schools so the piercings are not seen whilst being kept open. Keeps everybody happy.
THEIR POST-PIERCING CARE STATES: General Body Piercing Care
Twice a day, lubricate the piercing with a healing solution or sea salt water. Move the jewellery gently to loosen, then dry the area with a clean tissue.
Normal bathing is permitted although you should not lie in the bath too long or your piercing will go soggy. Showering is better.
Whilst showering or bathing, move the jewellery Do not move it whilst it's dry! After bathing, dry the area thoroughly. Always use a tissue, not cotton wool or towels. Healing times are between four to eight weeks for most piercings. Do not remove the jewellery until the piercing has healed completely. Always allow air to circulate around the piercing and never cover the piercing with plasters. Any external pressure or knocks can lead to distortion of the piercing or even cause the piercing to grow out. In the event of infection, treat the area with a solution of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide. Do not remove the jewellery. Do not use hydrogen peroxide for more than one week. Do not overclean. Overcleaning is like overwatering a plant A CLEAN, DRY, PRESSURE-FREE PIERCING HEALS BEST.
----------------------------------------------------------------------- --------- New Body Piercings
Healing Oils Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil are both excellent natural oils for promoting the healing of your piercing. We shall always talk you through the process before your piercing and you will leave with comprehensive instructions as to how best you should care for your piercing afterwards to ensure it gives you no trouble, particularly in the first few weeks. Your piercing should heal within 6 - 8 weeks, if looked after properly. However, healing times can vary, person to person.
Naturally, ear piercing is popular with all our customers but particularly with children and their parents.
Keep the piercing studs in for at least 6 weeks (the longer, the better). Do not take them out at all. After this, always wear earrings. It is better to wear earrings at all times after the initial healing period as the piercing can close down if left open. Make sure your hands are clean before touching the earrings or ears. Apply one drop of ear care solution or sea salt water to the ears twice a day. After wetting the ears, turn the studs a little, from the front only. Dry the area thoroughly with a piece of tissue. Never use cotton wool on your new piercing. Try to avoid pressure on your ears, as this can affect the healing process. Do not remove the jewellery, even if you have problems. If you do have problems with your ears then do come back to The Piercing Shop or ring for advice. Responsible attitude to age. We do not pierce anything other than ear lobes on anybody under the age of 13 and we do not pierce anyone under the age of 16 without parental consent. If we doubt a person's age, we shall always insist on proof in the form of a photo identity.
----------------------------------------------------------------------- --------- Nose Piercings After Care
Do not remove the stud for eight weeks. Do not keep touching the stud unnecessarily. Morning and night, gently clean the piercing using a wet tissue, then dry with a tissue.
Apply one drop of care solution or sea salt water inside and out. Do not use anything else. Dry thoroughly with a tissue. Never use cotton wool on your new piercing.
Nose piercings can close over within hours, so never leave the piercing without jewellery
The special nose stud is designed to be worn with the stem pointing up the nose. This is not normally uncomfortable. If it does irritate, move the stud slightly until a comfortable position is found. If the stud causes persistent irritation, then contact The Piercing Shop for advice and adjustment. Please note that if you 'play' with the stud or attempt to change the stud before it is healed then you may cause a red lump to appear.!!!
Responsible attitude to age. We do not pierce anything other than ear lobes on anybody under the age of 13 and we do not pierce anyone under the age of 16 without parental consent. If we doubt a person's age, we shall always insist on proof in the form of a photo identity.
----------------------------------------------------------------------- --------- Tongue Piercings After Care
The tongue usually heals in two to three weeks. During that time, it can swell considerably. The barbell that has been inserted is 50% longer than the thickness of the tongue to allow for this.
When the tongue returns to normal a shorter bar should be fitted so as not to knock the teeth. During the first few weeks, suck ice cubes and eat ice cream to reduce swelling. Keep talking to a minimum.
Try to avoid smoking.
Eat softer foods as sharp foods such as crisps can irritate.
Several times a day, especially after eating, wash the mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash or sea salt dissolved in warm water.
The jewellery should be checked periodically to make sure that the balls have not worked loose.
Always wash hands before touching your piercing.
If you have any problems then you should contact The Piercing Shop for advice or ring us. We are always happy to help. Responsible attitude to age. We do not pierce anything other than ear lobes on anybody under the age of 13 and we do not pierce anyone under the age of 16 without parental consent. If we doubt a person's age, we shall always insist on proof in the form of a photo identity.
----------------------------------------------------------------------- --------- General Body Piercings After Care
Healing Oils Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil are both excellent natural oils for promoting the healing of your piercing. Once a week, all piercings should be cleaned with solution or sea salt water. Internal surfaces need looking after as much as external.
I also left the piercing shop with a sheet of printed information about how to keep my new piercings clean, and was given a small bottle of surgical spirit to apply once or twice daily in addition to gentle washing, and drying with clean dry tissue, not gauze or cotton wool; the leaflet also contained the details and guage of my piercings (14G : 1.6mm).
Personally I found that I used a combination of the cleansing spirit application and I also already had a saline aerosol (actually designed for nasal usage) which has a very fine nozzle - making for easy, non-messy usage. I am still pleased and proud of my piercings, I believe that they are well on the way to being completely healed - I do not have any discharges - it's quite normal initially to have some whitish/yellow discharge which is fluid from the lymph glands; and unless accidentally caught in something, I no longer have any discomfort from the piercings.
After the initial piercings, I had some soreness during the first evening, and during the first week - personally I found it more comfortable to not wear a bra, now I'm happy with or without. Regarding the other negative comments... I'm off to my apartment in Cyprus in a couple of days and my non-flabby breasts will be out on display on the beach - they have not been ravaged by children and are , in fact, in the peak of condition! Happy holidays!
Wow, just read the comments below! What an ageist lot they are on here, lol, as I am older than you and would be well up for it if I wasn't so scared, and also, I nag my partner (age 46!) to have his done, but he is too scared of needles too, chuckle!! Bare your pierced breasts with pride, you are only nudging middle age!!
orlando 09.09.2008 23:45
Ouch!! You are sooooo brave! Gwen x
Claiiiree 09.09.2008 20:17
thanks for your comment about my comment. I think it is nothing to do with whether MTF or ST are in my trust or not....and it has got nothing to do with individuality, I think it is more to do with the simple fact that there are two types of people - those who like piercings and those who dont.....!!!! It's a bit like marmite really. I dont like that either.