If – like me – you’re already a bit squeamish about the thought of getting your nipple pierced, then this story might not be for you.
A woman from Florida has experienced a terrible shock after her entire nipple ring fell out while she was in the shower, bringing with it an abundance of dried-up skin.
Cosha Crawford was left in agony after the ring quite literally dropped out of her nipple, leaving her suffering with the ‘worst pain ever’.
Taking to Facebook, Cosha shared a gruesome picture of the nipple ring, accompanied by the following post:
I was in the shower minding my own business then boom I heard something dropped looked down and it was my whole nipple ring with dried up skin on it.
I mean it literally came out just the way it’s in my hand with both balls on the end. Worst pain ever.
Cosha’s Facebook friends were left horrified by the image of her dislodged nipple piercing, and the post swiftly went viral.
Half your nipple still on the ring. You good?
— Terrance (@Im__Terrance) July 2, 2019
At the time of writing, Cosha’s original post has been shared more than 30,000 times, with those bearing nipple piercings – or even just nipples in general – sharing a collective shudder.
One slightly macabre person enquired:
I just wanna know if your nipple came off with it.. Or if that’s nipple piercing infection crust.
Looks like your body rejected it. And probably showed signs that it didn’t want way before your body PUSHED it out.
We understand our bodies will tell us, immediately what it doesn’t want on it or in it! Keep it moisturized and don’t try to re-pierce thru scar tissue.
This just put me off getting my nipples pierced 😭
— wandii (@wandii_t) July 3, 2019
As somebody whose scaffolding piercing once decided to make a very icky leap for freedom, I can relate completely relate to Cosha’s alarm. However, I can’t even imagine how agonising this would be in such a sensitive part of the body.
Even though many people have been put off nipple piercings for life after hearing about Cosha’s grisly ordeal, there are steps you can take to make sure your nipple piercing experience is as safe and comfortable as humanly possible.
Head piercer at London based piercing studio Sacred Gold, Nicole Mitchell, told UNILAD:
Make sure that you are pierced in a professional studio. They will check your ID to make sure you are 18+ as it’s an intimate piercing.
The piercing should be performed with a single use sterilised needle and the jewellery should be made of implant grade titanium or solid 14k nickel free gold.
Always check your piercers portfolio and if you are not comfortable or confident in your piercer at any point, then you don’t have to go through with the piercing.
Glue or tape it back.
— localMAN♻🏁 (@arc_tobi) July 2, 2019
UNILAD also spoke with skincare specialist Patricia Boland from ColorescienceUK, who told us a little bit about the risks involved wit nipple piercings.
Nipple piercings are not dangerous but there are definitely risks involved if they are inserted poorly or through infected insertion practice. When the piercing becomes infected this could cause the transmission of hepatitis B or C, or in rare cases even HIV.
Infection should not be confused with similar looking symptoms like rashes, peeling or dry crustiness, which is not a cause for concern. Having said that, if these symptoms cause excruciating pain around the piercing, it would be best to see a doctor immediately.
Other symptoms include breast cellulitis which is an infection that can result from bacteria being introduced to the nipple. If this is left untreated it might require surgical draining to remove the pus out.
Boland has also given the following advice to UNILAD readers about how to ensure you opt for a safe piercing procedure:
Make sure you get your nipples pierced by a licensed professional in a clean studio. Never let your friend or someone unlicensed do it for you.
Make sure the studio has separate areas for piercings and tattoos and the piercings are done with sterile, singleuse needles that are sealed in a packet which is opened in front of you.
If you notice that these sanitary steps aren’t being taken- don’t get it pierced! Nipple piercing
equipment and rings should be sterilized, and the staff must wash their hands before and after the piercing and wear a new pair of unused disposable latex gloves.
Lastly, make sure the jewellery is the correct size for your nipple as this can result in nipple piercings falling out, rubbing against your skin and overall irritation and discomfort’.
Keep your pierced nipple clean while it’s healing to prevent infections and always wash your hands before touching your nipples.
In the case of seeing any crusty material around the nipple, rinse it off gently with warm water. After washing your nipple, pat it dry with a paper towel.
For extra care you can also soak the nipple in a saltwater mix solution made of a half-teaspoon of sea salt and some warm water.
Try to be gentle with your nipples and not let your nipple ring get caught on your clothes, towels, or bed sheets as this could tear your skin. Padded bras and cotton shirts can provide extra
comfort and help prevent this.
Boland has warned those with newly pierced nipples to keep an eye out for any pain, sensitivity, colourful discharges, bad smells, fever, aches and rashes. If you notice anything unusual about your nipple piercing, then it’s always best to get your GP to check it out for you.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.