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

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


by Fiona Day |

Ever wanted to get your nipples pierced but not sure what to expect? Want to know how much they hurt and how much they actually cost?

After a while of contemplating a pierced nipple, I decided to bite the bullet and take the needle a few years ago. After being inspired by the likes of Rihanna, Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner all sporting the look, I thought it would be a ‘hot’ addition to my body and that it would boost my confidence, so 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 consider getting your nipple pierced, make sure you know all the facts, do your research and visit a reputable piercing shop with a professional piercer.

READ MORE: Ear Piercings: Your Definitive Guide

How much do nipple piercings cost?

Depending on the piercing studio, it can cost anywhere between £25-£50. The average price is usually around £40 but can be more expensive depending on the jewellery you choose. 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, and the studio may be breaking the law if they offer piercings to anyone younger.

Should I get my nipple pierced?

We're not going to pretend that we can answer this question for you! We're sure there's a quiz out there to help you decide whether you should get your nipple pierced but we'd say the safest things to consider are whether the clothing you normally wear would be likely to negatively effect the healing time of said nipple piercing, whether you are happy to diligently stick to the aftercare, and whether you really, really, want one. Beyond that the decision is entirely personal. And no, we wouldn't actually recommend taking an online quiz to decide whether you should get a nipple piercing. Think the process through, do your research, make sure you fully understand the aftercare, and book in a consultation with your piercer - make sure they're adequately qualified and reputable - to talk through the nipple piercing process, the aftercare and anything else you might need to know before booking in.

Do nipple piercings hurt?

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.

The piercing can be pain-free for some and it all depends on how sensitive your nipples are. The pain you feel only lasts a short time while getting the piercing, however many feel pain for a few days after having it done. While the piercing is healing, it can be painful if you catch it on something - the same as any other piercing.


Should I get a hoop or a barbell?

It depends on the size of your nipples. If you have larger nipples, you’ll be required to get a straight barbell, 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 fully heal?

For the first week or two, 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 until the healing process is complete.

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.

Do nipple piercings make your nipples hard forever?

Getting your nipple(s) pierced might make your nipples slightly more pronounced (due to the piercing worn), but it won't make your nipples stay erect longterm.

Are nipple piercings supposed to scab?

They can scab a little bit, like any other piercing. But if you are worried about excess scabbing, 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 nipple piercing 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!

Do nipple piercings go off in airports?

Like with all piercings, metal protectors may go off if the jewellery worn is magnetic. Most quality metal body jewellery is non-ferromagnetic though, meaning if your jewellery is made from gold, silver or platinum it won't set off the walk-through metal detectors. Phewph!

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 inspiration...


Celebrity Nipple Piercings - Grazia

Celebrity Nipple Piercings - Grazia
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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.

Celebrity Nipple Piercings - Grazia
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CREDIT: Bella Thorne Snapchat

Bella first showcased her nipple piercing on social media back in April 2017.

Celebrity Nipple Piercings - Grazia
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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.

Celebrity Nipple Piercings - Grazia
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CREDIT: Getty Images

Paris Jackson got her nipples piercing last year and still showcases them to this day, proving they're still a cool enough for you to jump on the bandwagon...

Celebrity Nipple Piercings - Grazia
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Queen of social media, Kylie shared her piercings on Snapchat back in 2015. Whether she's kept them in since having Stormi we can only guess...

Celebrity Nipple Piercings - Grazia
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Supermodel Kendall showed off her nip jewels during a red carpet appearance. She 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."'

Celebrity Nipple Piercings - Grazia
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CREDIT: Instagram

Little Mix star Perrie Edwards is not one to flaunt her nipple piercing, but it hasn't been completely hidden on her Instagram feed.

Celebrity Nipple Piercings - Grazia
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CREDIT: Instagram

Former Love Island star Maura Higgins has recently posted to her Instagram, showing off her nipple piercing if you are worried about them not being on trend anymore - we can confirm they definitely are.

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Pictures: Getty, Rex

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