You took the leap and got your nipple piercing! A new piercing is always fun and exciting, and with a massive selection of online or in store options for nipple rings, bars, chains, and accessories, you’re probably wondering: “when can I change it?!”
Depending on your preference and the piercer, you likely have a barbell or ring jewelry currently in place. These may even be in a larger size than necessary to allow for proper healing and space for any swelling. These may not be the most attractive pieces, but they are designed especially for your new nipple piercing and play a very important role in the healing process!
Changing from this jewelry is totally allowed, but you must have a solid understanding of when changing jewelry is best and exactly how it goes down! Keep reading to get all your questions about changing a nipple piercing answered.
When Can You Change Your Nipple Piercing For The First Time?
Changing your new nipple piercing always requires waiting! It is imperative that your nipple piercing is completely healed before changing. If your initial healing jewelry is too large or not looking right before it has fully healed, you’ll need to go back to your piercer in case the piercing needs to be changed or adjusted.
Any attempt to change your piercing before it has healed 100% will set back your healing process even further, so try to be patient! Healing time can be different for everyone but generally takes between 3 and 12 months. When redness and swelling have stopped, your piercing is no longer painful or leaking fluid, and the piercing site appears to have adjusted and accepted your new piercing, it may be the right time for you to change your jewelry.
Thankfully, nipple piercings are straightforward to change when dealing with any type of nipple jewelry including straight or curved bars, rings, shields, and dangles. Changing your nipple piercing should be an easy task and should not cause any pain if the piercing is healed and ready.
Once the piercing is healed, there is no limit to the number of times you can change your jewelry. However, those with sensitive skin may want to let their piercing rest between changes to avoid irritating the skin around the piercing.
It is important to note that nipple piercings are one of the quickest to close when jewelry is taken out; even a fully healed piercing can close within a week. For this reason, it is recommended to keep jewelry in at all times.
Can You Change a Nipple Piercing Yourself?
If you are confident and brave enough to withstand getting a nipple piercing, odds are you have the guts to change one yourself! However, if you are uncomfortable changing your own nipple jewelry, you can always go back to your piercer or find a local piercing shop to have them change it for you.
Be advised that this will incur a fee for their time and sterilization equipment beforehand. In some cases, you may have to make an appointment. Because of the quick nature of a nipple jewelry change, walk-ins are also usually accepted in most cases.
Changing your nipple piercing yourself is something that can be mastered with practice and patience. A fully healed and well-adjusted nipple piercing should give you no difficulties when changing to various types of jewelry. If you are still squeamish about changing your own nipple piercing, practicing on piercing models is a great option to get your hands comfortable with the steps!
Making sure you are familiar with the jewelry that you will be using is also important. It is best to confirm whether you have internally threaded or externally threaded body jewelry as well as what material your jewelry is made from. This info will help you to figure out what style of nipple jewelry works best for you! Keep reading for the step-by-step breakdown of how to change your nipple piercing.
How Do You Change a Nipple Piercing?
Step One: Sanitizing
Start by sanitizing your hands, jewelry, and area. Wash hands with antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Soak your new jewelry in a 1:1 solution of warm water and sea salt. It’s also a great idea to sanitize your current jewelry before changing it out to avoid infection. You can do this by using a cotton swab to gently cleanse the piercing area with the same 1:1 sea salt and warm water solution.
Step Two: Removing Current Jewelry
Removing bar jewelry: bar jewelry will either be internally or externally threaded, regardless, it must be unscrewed from one end to remove. Carefully hold your piecing with both hands and unscrew one end of the bar piercing until the ball becomes loose, set the ball aside. From there the piercing can be removed by gently pulling it out. Make sure to replace the ball on the jewelry right away so you don’t lose it!
Removing ring jewelry: Some types of ring jewelry are held intact by a small ball between the ends of the ring. To loosen the ball and create an opening, items including tweezers, scissors, or your fingers can be used to gently pry the two ends of the ring apart until the ball is freed.
After it is removed, the ring can be gently stretched to create an opening large enough to remove the ring from the nipple. Keep in mind that ring piercings have many styles, and they may not all require a metal ball for closure. Many ring piercings are simply pushed together to close.
Step Three: Inserting New Jewelry
Inserting bar jewelry: Unscrew one ball on either end of the bar jewelry so that the bar is exposed. Hold your nipple jewelry by the remaining ball and gently push the bar through the piercing. Move the jewelry slowly through the piercing.
If the jewelry does not immediately go through, calmy and patiently rotate and push the jewelry until it emerges through the other side. Screw the ball back on the bar to close the piercing. Finish with one more round of cleaning with a cotton swab and the sea salt solution and admire your new jewelry!
Inserting ring jewelry: The ring on your ring nipple jewelry may be held together with a single bead, or simply pushed together. Gently pry open the ring using tweezers, scissor tips, or your fingers to create a gap. Insert one end of the ring slowly through the piercing, working gently and turning the ring until it is full inserted.
Reinsert the ball to the ring or push both sides together to ensure your ring stays on. Wearing gloves can help to keep your fingers from slipping on the ring and help prevent accidentally pinching yourself.
What Happens If You Change a Nipple Piercing too Soon?
Changing a nipple piercing too soon can be detrimental to the piercings healing process in many ways and set you up for a nasty infection. If you are changing a piercing too soon, this means that it is not healed.
Removing a piercing before it is healed will cause pain, irritation, and will cause bacteria to enter the piercing hole itself. An infection is not something that you want with a nipple piercing, and if you get one you can expect to see oozing of fluid, redness, swelling, itchiness, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Additionally, infection and any kind of irritation of the piercing during the healing process can set you back months in progress and bring you back to square one. It is always best to wait until your piercing is fully healed before you change it to avoid any issues and ensure the removal and replacement process is quick and painless.
What is the Best Way to Boost the Nipple Piercing Healing Process?
It’s hard to wait through the healing process after a new nipple piercing, but its essential! To boost the healing process for your new nipple piercing and be able to change it as soon as possible, cleaning is key!
Using a 3:1 ratio of warm water to sea salt to soak your nipple piercings is the best way to prevent infection. This recipe is safe enough to use twice a day. Use a medicine cup or small cup to create suction and soak your piercing for up to 5 minutes.
If you take good care of your piercing, it will heal quickly, and you will be able to change the jewelry in no time! Persistence and patience in the healing process will help you to get the most out of your piercing in the future.