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QOW: Nipple Piercings, Discharge, and TCP

By August 26, 2007

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Q: I had my nipple pierced three weeks ago. It was healing really well. I was using TCP to keep it clean...however now it is not going to well.

I woke up one morning and it had obviously discharged loads! So much so that my nipple had stuck to my bra. Its wasn't a gross discharge, but very crusty every day and there is almost a scab like on one side of the hole.

Now when I spoke to a friend who also had their nipple pierced they were shocked that the piercer told me to use TCP - they said that it is too strong for such a deep piercing. That's when I moved to salt water. It stings loads when I use the salt water and it does for a little while after.I really really don't want to take it out because I love it!!! Do you think in time (because I know the healing time is 6 - 8 weeks) that I will be okay?

A: First of all, any antiseptic like TCP is not good for a piercing. Definitely stop using that. Your piercer never should have recommended it.

Second, if you were wearing a bra and suddenly overnight your piercing started having problems, it's not like you could have accidentally snagged it, so unless you did something to snag it just before going to bed, my suspicion would be that maybe you are having a problem with the jewelry, but let's try just treating it for a few days first.

Just use a MILD antibacterial or better, antimicrobial liquid soap to clean it. Provon and Satin are the best, but I don't know if they are available in your area. Do that twice a day and then follow with a sea salt soak. (If your sea salt soaks burn/sting, you're using too much salt. It should be a very weak/diluted concentration of sea salt and water. Sea salt soaks should feel soothing and provide relief. If you don't want to mix your own sea salt water, you can also use sterile saline solution. Then rinse it thoroughly after the sea salt treatment.)

Do this for 4 days and see how it goes. Unless of course it get worse and you think it could be infected - in which case, don't waste time - see a doctor. But if it doesn't get nasty or hot or extremely painful, you should be OK. After 4 days, you should notice a significant improvement. If not, then it's time to blame the jewelry.

I'm not sure I would recommend you go back to whoever pierced you, seeing as they recommended the TCP in the first place. So, try to find another professional piercing shop and tell them you are having a reaction to your jewelry and you need to try something else. You may have inferior steel and just need a higher grade, or you may need to upgrade to niobium or titanium. The piercer should be able to help you with that decision.


August 26, 2007 at 8:49 pm
(1) russ says:

I too had a similar problem with my nipples. it was my left nipple. I went to my Dr. and he thought I had an infection. I had to rounds of antibiotics. Thank goodness he was a savy dr and knew not to take the rings out.

I went to my piercer like three times, and after the right nipple started in with the same problem, I thought, enough!!. I soake my nipples in sea salt, took a hot shower and then soaked again. I then took my q tip and started to clean around the rings. Whoa!! TWO large crusties came off! The next two days, I kept up with the stepped up cleaning. I am now painfree, discharge free, and no infection. Sometimes, just sometimes, you have to be more agressive with cleaning. Listen to your body, it tells you something is wrong. I have had over 100 piercings, this is the roughest I ever had when it come to healing, I had 3 piercings in each nipple before with no trouble.

August 30, 2007 at 10:50 pm
(2) Pearl says:

i had my belly button peirced about 6 months ago for my 16th how ever since i have had it done it has given me pain, all of my insides are hanging out and it’s really rank, but i have had a case of scaring now and i have tried everything to get ride of it but it hasen’t worked, i buy the expnsive stuff from the doctors and the pharmcy, but everytime i change it or take it out all of this puss, and discharge comes out and it gets really bad somedays.

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