Before the Piercing
When you first enter a body piercing shop to have your nipples pierced, you'll be asked to provide identification that verifies your age. You'll also be asked to fill out industry-standard paperwork that includes basic contact information and consent forms. Next, your piercing artist will show you the jewelry you can choose from. Once in the piercing chair, you'll remove any clothing covering your breasts while your piercing artist prepares the equipment. Make sure you see the sterilized needle and jewelry before proceeding to ensure your safety.
Your piercing artist will use ink to mark two dots on each side of both nipples. These will serve as guides to ensure your piercings are inserted at the proper angles. Some piercing artists apply lidocaine to your nipples at the point to minimize your pain, but many do not. Lidocaine comes in both topical creams and injections. Next, your piercer will decontaminate your skin with a sterile solution such as betadine to help prevent infection. He will use clamps to pull the skin taught. A special needle, or cannula, is inserted through the first nipple at the ink dots.
The cannula has a special tip that attaches to your jewelry. Your piercer will attach the jewelry to the end of the cannula and then pull the cannula and the jewelry back through your nipple. The piercer will remove the jewelry from the needle and either screw the appropriate ends on your barbells or use pliers to close your hoop. This process gets repeated on the opposite nipple. It's common for your nipple to bleed a small amount as the cannula breaks the skin or brings the jewelry through the nipple. At this point, your piercing is complete. The final step is getting educated on aftercare to prevent infection and allow your piercings to heal properly.
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A Jill-of-all-trades, Lillian Downey is a certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, certified clinical phlebotomist and a certified non-profit administrator. She's also written extensively on gardening and cooking. She also authors blogs on nail art blog and women's self esteem.