Barbell ball being swallowed by nipple piercing.

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Sunday December 27th, 2009 @ 3:05 PM

Filed under: Nipple

I got my nipple piercings done problem-free almost a week ago. I’ve experienced normal, mild soreness and have been keeping up very diligently with sea-salt treatments and cleaning.

While the process was complication-free, I did notice that my anatomy was a little bit inconvenient for the particular size barbell I was given. Unless out, my nipples seem to lay at a seemingly uncomfortable flatness for the barbell, and at first the balls on both nipples sat in very close, often leaving small indents in my skin. That problem has gone away on the right side as the swelling disappeared, but seems to have gotten a bit worse on the left. As you can see in the picture, the ball on one side of the barbell is very nearly being swallowed by the piercing. It’s very tender to the touch right now, and you can see how the skin is shaping around where the ball sits when I push it out. When I do that, the ball will seem less obtrusive for a few moments before it slips back into the same place it was sitting before. Given the fact that tomorrow is Christmas Eve and my piercer isn’t in every day of the week anyway, I fear I won’t be able to get in to see him about longer barbells for at least a few days to a week. Should I panic, or will I be okay? I feel like the swelling might go down overnight, but I’m unsure. Is there anything I can do in the meantime?

Judging by the photos (thanks for including them!) you’ve definitely swelled up a bit more than was apparently anticipated for the jewelry selection.
Until you can see your piercer to be fitted with a longer barbell, and perhaps some larger balls, keeping hydrated and clean is going to be key in helping that barbell from embedding further into your nipple.

Drink lots of water and take an ibuprofen if you’re able and try to avoid touching it.


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22 Responses to “Barbell ball being swallowed by nipple piercing.”

  1. I was in the same position you now face–had both nips done in early October and shortly thereafter noticed the same thing you’re seeing. I was initially quite concerned about losing them (I didn’t have any other piercings for comparison) but it turned out to be less of an issue than I feared. Hopefully by now you’ve been back to your piercer who has upsized your barbells to something a bit longer; in my case my DDD/F’s also preferred balls that were a bit larger as well. I’m happy to say that they’re now three and a half months old and doing great with the new jewelry; at about six months I plan to change to CBRs if they’re still on track.

    Altair on January 20th, 2010 at 9:08 am
  2. Hi there. Mine are looking the same but it has only been 4 days, Should I wait and see if the swelling goes down? My left one is looking okay. Funny how they have only swelled up in the last 24 hours.

    Any help would be appreciated. Was really hoping that I would not have to go see another piercer anytime soon..

    Tams on January 28th, 2010 at 4:46 am
  3. Just in case this helps anyone.

    My piercer had given me 10mm Way too small. Make sure if you have signs of this, to get yourself to any piercer so they can give you bigger jewelry. : )

    Tams on February 8th, 2010 at 8:32 pm
  4. I am currently going through the same thing, its only been a week since ive had my pierced…should i let it go a lil longer to see if the swelling goes down, or go back to my pierced and get longer barbells???

    Rachel on March 30th, 2010 at 7:49 pm
  5. Thank God I read this post. the balls of my new piercing are nearly being sucked into my nipple! (well thats what it looks like) haha. I’m going to head back to my piercer next weekend and get new jewlry as this has been freaking me out for a few days. thank God I just need bigger jewelry !

    Amii on April 17th, 2010 at 6:45 pm
  6. The balls also look way too small to me.

    Becca on May 26th, 2010 at 8:38 pm
  7. Hi all! I have sort of a similar problem, my piercing is new, like five days old. But I have had my nipple pierced before. After I got it re-pierced for the first few days I had no problems and then recently for the past two days my piercing has become swollen, sore, and hard. Not in the way a nipple gets hard when its cold. There isn’t any form of discharge, which makes me believe its not infected but I am wondering if the scar tissue from the first piercing has been irritated somehow with the new barbell. I am assuming I should go see my piercer to get a new barbell but I would rather figure out a way to fix the swelling and soreness rather than just deal… Thanks!

    pinkcupcake on July 6th, 2010 at 4:12 pm
  8. Hey, I just stumbled accross this and thank god too. I have also been having this problem with only one side right now, thanks to this I can going to go see my peircer about the size. I thought it might of been normal for the healing process seeing as it is my first time getting it done and no one I knew had it done so I knew not the healing process. ANyways Thanks A lot!!

    Laura on May 28th, 2011 at 2:06 am
  9. I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and hold checking for new information.

    faktiskt on February 29th, 2012 at 6:39 am
  10. I’m glad I found this. One of my barbells is almost completely covered. I think it might be infected as well. Will be taking extra care to keep it clean and will be going to my piercer sometime today or tomorrow.

    Codie on November 12th, 2012 at 12:40 pm
  11. I got mine peirced about 5 weeks ago and have experienced some problems along the way similar to this. At first my right nipple developed an abscess under the skin. My flesh turned pinkish and looked almost bruised. I could feel a lump under the surface and it became hot to the touch. A round of antibiotics and polysporin applications (which is OK under this circumstance) and those symptoms seemed to have dissipated. The barbell in the same nipple is definitely being eaten. It was questionable over the last month, but now I find it’s insanely obvious. There’s no room to move the barbell at all. Comparing it to my left, the barbell itself is definitely shorter than it. I realized on Christmas Eve that something needed to be done, but was unable to find a nipple peircer at all, let alone one that was open. I left 5am Christmas morning to go to work at a remote site for 2 weeks and am worried it’ll be too long before getting the barbell switched out for a longer one. Any advise on how to minimize any potential swelling in the meantime so that it doesn’t get sucked further in? I am salt bathing 2x/day and applying polysporin following, as directed by my peircer when I had the abscess. Fun times!

    erin on December 27th, 2012 at 9:01 am
  12. Okay so first off your piercer should be smart enough and educated enough to know that when you first get them pierced you use a hoop shaped ring, not a barbell. That’s the biggest problem. The reason for the hoop shaped jewlrey is for easy cleaning purposes and so that the problem your having with your nipple “eating” your jewlrey doesn’t happen. I am a professional body piercer and and have been around this environment since I was 8 years old. My father has owned a tattoo/body piercing shop for going on 15yrs so I know a thing or two. And second off, no fancy stuff is needed to clean a piercing. All you need to do is clean it twice per day (or every 12hrs) with “gold dial antibacterial soap”. I got my nipples pierced the day I turned 16 and they were pierced with the “hoop shaped jewlrey” and I used the “gold dial antibacterial soap” (which I still use even though there healed) and mine were completely healed within 2-3 weeks. All my piercings have healed in less than 3 weeks. Its all about the PROPER JEWLREY and the PROPER AFTERCARE… If your “piercer” can’t give you that I recommend you do not go back to him/her and make sure your friends don’t go there either. Hope this helps you all!!!

    jake on February 5th, 2013 at 2:51 am
  13. Omg thank goodness for this post!!!!!! Going three this right now!!! Headed to my piercer TOMORROW

    Kkcis on April 8th, 2013 at 8:29 pm
  14. Thank you so much for this post. Got my left nipple done for the first time 2 weeks ago. Assumed that it was still swelling naturally but the barbells were sinking slightly into the skin, particularly when my nipples were not erect (i.e when I was warm and not aroused!) Panicked a little but decided to wait until the 6 weeks recommended time was up.
    I found this post yesterday, went to a local piercer and got the barbells changed from a 14g to a 20g… Immediately my nipple feels less tight, and has so much room to heal and weep and do whatever it has to do! A little bit tender from being fiddled with so early on, but I’m looking forward to getting them healed properly :)
    My advice for anyone reading this.. If you are worried enough to google it, then GO AND GET THEM CHANGED! Seriously works wonders to have more room to heal…

    Fi on April 18th, 2013 at 10:26 am
  15. I got both of my nipples pierced 5 days ago and everything was fine until I took a shower a couple days ago and I used the loofa on my chest (wasn’t really paying attention) and it got caught on my right bar and pulled it really hard. Since then the piercing has been getting sucked into my nipple more. I think when it pulled it might have made the hole bigger. Should I just get bigger jewelry or what? I’m concerned that it will heal that way.

    Erica on April 19th, 2013 at 4:29 pm
  16. I got mine done in September.. and I’m coming across this problem. Is it too late to get it changed? I recently ordered some 16g barbells.. could I just change to them myself?

    Regina on May 29th, 2013 at 10:53 pm
  17. I got mine done a few days ago and the right one is nearly completely in the skin, I’m going back to my piercer tomorrow as I’m really worried about it

    Emily on June 2nd, 2013 at 11:53 am
  18. I went in 2 weeks ago and found out the barbells I had were too short. A new set of barbells were put in and my piercings are healing beautifully and feel much better.

    It was a huge stress off my shoulders…. Or should I say nipples?(bad joke)

    ANYWAYS

    As Fi said if you have googled out of concern and are reading this now go in to have your piercing(s) checked out. :D

    Sabrina on June 14th, 2013 at 5:19 am
  19. I pierced my nipples a few years back and all healed fine. A couple months later my right nipple ring was snagged multiple times, it became infected, and I removed it. About three days ago I repierced my right nipple and I am concerned with the amount my nipple is eating the barbel. Yesterday I took out the nipple ring(it was a regular size and I wanted more room for swelling) and inserted one of my clean tongue rings. My nipple is still eating the barbell and I am concerned with the amount of constant crusties. I cannot simply go without a bra because of responsibilities so I am wondering if (on top of taking advil and drinking water) could I put a band aid over it? (just during the day while I am out and about). Also I was wondering if OCCASIONALLY putting Anti-Bacterial Ointment around the opening will help or will it just suffocate and slow the healing process?
    The bruising is already all gone and I did go through old scar tissue. Everything was sterilized when I did the piercing and my hands were freshly washed. I clean it regularly with saline but I have been switching to a soap mixture (I obtained the soap from a piercing shop when I had my eyebrow done)because I feel the soap does not dry the piercing up as much as the saline.
    Anyway, that’s my story, any advice?

    timie on June 21st, 2013 at 3:54 am
  20. I GOT MY NIPPLES PIERCED IN 2009 AND RECENTLY DECIDED TO SLEEP NAKED I GUESS I CAUGHT ONE ON MY BLANKET BECAUSE ONE SIDE IS COMPLETELY IN THE HOLE!!!!!!!!! MY SIS SAID TRY THE STRETCHING TECHNIQUE TO GET IT OUT BUT IDK WHAT TO DO IT LOOKS CRAZY AS HELL

    Suliekhoh on July 12th, 2013 at 1:13 am
  21. To the person who said that any educated piercer should have used hoops, I think you’re actually mistaken. I did a lot of research at different shops before I got mine done and every single one of them said that they will ONLY pierce you with a barbell because it’s better for the healing process.

    They person used one that was way too short in this case! Mine were done with barbells that were comically large and I couldn’t wait to switch them out, but it was nice for the healing process. good luck!

    Kay C on August 5th, 2013 at 8:11 pm
  22. I got one of my nipple pierced about two weeks ago while working in Spain. It was on impulse, but I’m super happy about it. The piercer didn’t even speak english, but I understood that I had to rinse it three times a day for six months. Wtf? Today I noticed the same thing as above and I freaked out. I’m concerned that it might disappear into my nipple somehow. After reading the tips above earlier today, I’ve been drinking a lot of water and just cleansing it like normal. I’ve been kind of stupid touching it a lot, but I’ll try not to from now on. While writing this it already looks better, and hopefully it will be ok. I think I’ll stop by a shop when I get back from vacation just to be sure everything is okay and just in case I have to change the barbell. This post calmed me down a bit, thanks!

    Ida on August 12th, 2013 at 7:12 pm

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