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How to Heal a Nipple Piercing

author image Lori A. Selke
Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate,, The SF Weekly, and
How to Heal a Nipple Piercing
A couple is in a tattoo and piercing parlor. Photo Credit: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Nipple piercings vie with navel piercings as the most popular below-the-neck body adornment. They can take a long time to heal completely--from three to four months for men and six to nine months for women. Your piercer should give you a detailed aftercare regimen to follow for taking care of your new piercing, but there are some generally accepted guidelines to follow.

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Daily Cleaning

Step 1

Wash your hands with hot water and antimicrobial cleanser or Castile soap before touching the piercing site.

Step 2

Rinse your nipple piercing with hot water. This is often easiest to do in the shower. Let the water loosen any dried and crusty material around the ring. Use a Q-tip to remove such material if necessary.

Step 3

Place a few drops of antimicrobial cleanser or Castile soap on either side of the piercing jewelry. Wash both the exposed parts of the jewelry and the entrance and exit holes carefully. Do not force the jewelry to move or rotate.

Step 4

Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of soap residue. Let air dry if possible; otherwise, dab dry with a paper towel.

Daily Salt Soak

Step 1

Combine 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. sea salt and 1 cup hot water in a small cup.

Step 2

Place the cup against the piercing so that the jewelry and entrance/exit holes are completely submerged.

Step 3

Soak for three to five minutes.

Step 4

Rinse thoroughly with tepid water.

Step 5

Air dry or dab dry with a paper towel.

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