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Thanks for all the wonderful advice from Fort Worth, Texas
Jan 10, 2010

It is cold in Texas! 15 degrees at night, car wash frozen! But on to other things..... How long does it take for a nipple piercing to heal and what is the proper care?

I am stilldoing fantastic! Latest cervical surgery in June. C3-T1, massage helps! Tcells 975+ and still no viral load!

Can't wait to get to San Jose next week for the warm weather for another week of work.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Cowboy,

From a frozen carwash to a pierced nipple in one sentence . . . . Hmm. You just might win this week's best non sequitur award!

Nipple piercing recovery time depends on the nipple and on the size of the jewelry you intend to hang from it. A simple ring could heal much more quickly than a hula-hoop-sized steel rim with the entire crown jewels hanging from it.

Proper care? Didn't the seriously inked and studded dude at the piercing palace send you out a PPP (post-piercing plan)?

OK, here's the scoop. Assuming you had your OUCHAMAGOUCHA performed by an experienced professional and used high quality steel, here's what I'd recommend:

1. You should clean the piercing twice a day for the first three to five days. You can do this in the shower. Clean the piercing as the last thing you do before exiting the shower. (Shampoo, condition, soap up, rinse off, etc. First. Then tend to your new bling!) You can use any antibacterial soap product. Lather up your hands; then apply the suds to the nipple piercing and jewelry working it in by rotating the ring. Wait a few moments; then rinse with lots of fresh running water, again rotating the ring (or shuffling the little barbell thingy back and forth) to ensure all the soap is rinsed off. Use a tissue to dry your nipple piercing thoroughly. (Towels can retain bacteria and should not be used on recent piercings.)

2. After the first five days you can decrease this cleaning ritual to once per day for the following month. It's best only to rotate the ring (or shuffle the barbell) under running water for this first month.

3. For months two through four, you should perform the cleaning ritual every two to three days.

4. It's not recommended to use products such as Polysporin, Neosporin, Bacitracin, Bactroban, Bactine, tea tree oil, Betadine or epsom salts on your piercing. These products are not designed for puncture wounds. You should also not use sunblock, suntan lotion or other skin care products on a new or unseasoned nipple piercing. (This shouldn't be a problem with your current frosty temperatures!) Also, do not take your piercing out. See your professional piercer (or your friendly doctor) if you think it needs to be removed or if you suspect an infection.

Finally, no matter how good the shiny new bling looks over the first several months, it won't be fully healed ("seasoned") until you've had it in place for a full year.

Cervical surgery and nipple piercing? OUCHAMAGOUCHA! Glad to hear you are holding up well and that your meds are still kicking your HIV's butt!

San Jose/San Francisco is comfortably sunny, but not exactly warm at the moment.

Safe travels. Don't forget to warn the security folks at the airport about your new bling! Unless of course the screener is totally hot, in which case you might want him to discover your new bit of sparkle and touch of steel for himself!

Dr. Bob



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