Stretching is a major commitment and should not be taken lightly as there is no guarantee your piercing will return to its original size. It entirely depends on the elasticity and overall health of your skin. Stretching should not be performed unless you are comfortable with having a stretched piercing forever.
When it comes to stretching, slow and steady is the best approach. Ideally a full size stretch should last at least 1.5 times the time it took your piercings to heal to begin with. That means, to go from 10g to 8g or from 8g to 6g, for example, it should take around 14 to 18 months.
Simply wrap a layer (or more) of tape around the jewelry and insert back into the piercing. You will repeat this method over time, gradually adding more tape, increasing the size of the hole. But not just any tape will do. What you use for packaging should be inert and free of adhesives.
The piercer will look at the size of your nipple to determine how long the barbell needs to be, but as a general rule of thumb there should be about 1/8 inch of space on each side of the barbell. If the barbell is too tight, it can “plug” the entry and exit holes of the piercing, preventing leakage and swelling.
Wear loose, cotton clothing for the first few months.
Tight clothing can prevent the piercing from being exposed to fresh air, which can make bacteria more likely to build up. Tight clothing can also rub and irritate the piercing, which can be painful and damage the piercing.
Symptoms of piercing rejection
the jewelry is more visible on the outside of the piercing. the piercing remains sore, red, irritated, or dry after the first few days. the jewelry becomes visible under the skin. the piercing hole seems to get bigger.
1.2mm (16G) is the standard and most common nipple piercing gauge. It is also the size generally used as the initial piercing jewel while healing. Some people like to wear a thicker and larger nipple piercing, in which case it is more appropriate to go for a piece of jewelry with a diameter of 1.6mm (14G).
The most common jewelry used for a nipple piercing is a 14G (14G) barbell, but depending on the nipple size, you can also be pierced with 16G (thinner than 14G) or even 12G (thicker than 14G) . They are most commonly pierced with a straight barbell.
Real nipple piercings have a bar length between 12 and 19 mm, with 16 being the most common. Depending on the thickness of your own nipple, you have to choose the size. It’s not uncommon to be a size that’s a little big for your nipple piercing, you can’t go too small.
Nipple piercings are one of the fastest piercings to close. If they are new, they can be closed within minutes. Even after a few years, nipple piercings without jewelry can close within a week. In some, the hole can remain open on its own for years, although this is rare.
If your piercing jewelry begins to sink into your skin/tissue, see your piercer immediately for a longer bar. Some piercings embed easily, we refer to this as “nesting”. Lip and tongue piercings are prone to this as our mouth tissues are very soft. There is a big difference between these types of embeds.
If you can persevere, it’s best to wait a full 12 months before attempting to change your jewelry yourself. (You can do this earlier in the healing process with the help of a piercer if necessary due to issues like swelling that require longer barbells.)
After cleaning the area for a few weeks, you will see fewer and fewer crusts until it all disappears. This is not a one-size-fits-all process. For some people, the scab will go away in two or three weeks – for others it may take four or five weeks.
We recommend that people not sleep on piercings while they are healing as this may stress the piercing and lead to migration or rejection. However, we have clients who successfully heal nipple piercings who are stomach sleepers.
Note that too tight is not ideal. If you wear bras, watch out for push-up bras that are too tight. Medium sports bras and t-shirt bras are perfect. A tough, ventilated eyepatch can be worn under sports bras or other tight clothing for workouts or sports. Likewise, a binding can cause irritation if it is too tight.
The most common body piercings that are rejected are belly button piercings and eyebrow piercings. The surface piercings that are most likely to be rejected are those closer to the skin’s surface, such as the sternum or nape (nape of the neck) and Madison piercings.
Surface piercings such as the eyebrow, neck, nipple and wrist tend to shed more easily than other piercings. This is because they don’t travel directly through the body, but rather along an area of skin, as the jewelry only pierces a small portion of the skin’s surface.
The best way to measure the length of your nipple piercing bar is to find a ruler and measure the ends from the inside. If you have silver ball ends, do not measure beyond those ball ends, just measure the length of the shaft in between.