Goodbye Nape Piercing

About 13 months ago I got a nape piercing. After constant fighting with it, my body won and I decided to take it out. With overworking myself and always being run down, the piercing was getting infected every few days. It got really bad the past two weeks as you can see:
Infected piercing

So, tonight I unscrewed a ball and pulled it out from under my skin. This is what the bar looks like:

Nape bar

I guess I should really just stick to tattoos. At least they don’t get infected.

151 Responses to “Goodbye Nape Piercing”

  1. hooleygirl says:

    ive got my tragus peirced and i luurrvve it!!
    i didnt even feel it when i got it done.. i think cos i was stressing sooo much that it would cain like hell!!
    im really wanting to get my nape done.
    i was thinking a tattoo but at least you can take a piercing out!plus the parents would prob kick me out of home haha.
    so ive researched around a bit n i understand how majority of them reject. (which seriously sucks) and how Teflon bars are better. some ppl have said that using the clamp and using a heavier gauge all helps reduce rejection. and obviously it depends on the person..
    when i get it done the piercer shall know his/her stuff (i hope!!!) so the differences with the degrees of the bar he will know?
    can anyone suggest the most likely bar that will work ?? 😀

    hmm yerr… if someone could let me know that’d be awesome!!
    cheers mates.

  2. Jen says:

    My body rejects piercings but youve gotta fight back thats what ive done.

  3. Sinead says:

    argh! Finally took my piercing out today. It was in 2 years and had healed up after a few painful infections. Sadly I started getting infections every few weeks. scar tissue has formed around one of the exit wounds, and i’m sure the scar will be permanent, but thats ok. Raging i had to take it out, but it was getting out of hand! Apparently surface piercings don’t usually take anyway.
    Good luck to anyone Getting it done! (neck feels so weird now without it!)

  4. Sophi says:

    ahh gutted ): i had both my hips done as surface piercings and loved them sooo much, but they both got infected in the end and i had to take them out. i’m sticking to non-surface now, as my body doesn’t seem to reject them!

  5. Carter says:

    I just got my nape pierced a few weeks ago. Instead of a metal barbell, my piercer was passionate about tygon. (He said he even invested stock in it) I think it really helps as far as not rejecting. Instead of a metal barbell its a clear “plastic” tube. The point being, its bendable. When you bend your head forward, your spine is going to push against the back of your neck. If you have metal, thats not going to bend or compromise at all, hence it being just pushed and thats a big reason why it migrates and rejects.

    Also, he said to strictly use Aquafina when using the salt/water mixture. Buy 2-one liter bottles of Aquafina. Put 1 teaspoon salt per liter of water.

  6. skinhead says:

    To Olga: Are you a doctor or trained in medical science or releated research? If not, then why challenge the good doctor — and with what, your ignorance and aversional anecdotes? What the doctor didn’t also mention is that an infection spreading to the spine could kill you? How? Meningitis of the spind and brain. Piercings & tattoos presents a health risk 100% of the time. For you to ignore the importance of this issue in spite of the reality and fact that many people here are removing their piercings precisely because of health problems they’ve experience is wrong and irresponsible, to say the least. People should be warned about the risks as well as the importance of practicing daily hygiene, if still interested.

  7. Ruth says:

    I love nape piercings. But after all the trouble I’ve had with my arm surface piercing, I thought against it. Plus, I bet it stings like a bastard if you catch it.


  8. suzy says:

    hey thats cool [ the piercing ]
    too bad it got infected 🙁
    even though it looked pertty cool when it was infected [ minus the redness lol]

    i bet it hurt when u got it?

  9. dave says:

    that bar doesnt seem bent enough, i had my nape piercing done over 2 years ago now and have only recenlty taken it out for work. if the bar was bent more at the end would probaly have had a better reaction to the nape. hope it dosent scare too much.

  10. donny says:

    I got my eyebrow done about a month back. My body is rejecting the piercing but i still want to keep it in. I dont want to have to take it out but it becomes a bother and sore at times so il just have to say good bye to it and take it out. Hopefuly i get a peircing that might work out =(

  11. Constance says:

    Just like that, you know, tatoos can allso get infected? lol, anyways, nape piercings look gr8! sorry yours was rejected^^

  12. Cody says:

    it looks to me like the bar was poorly bent, thus could have been the reason for the constant battle.

  13. Sarah says:

    Aaawww that would suck! im getting mine done in 4 days!!!! EEEEKKKKKKKKKK!!i think they look great!
    Im sure this has already been said but your main problem probably was that the bar is the wrong shape, you are supposed to have a surface/staple bar that looks like –>T__T .
    Oh well, good while it lasted and its something that you can look back on and say you did!!!

  14. Natasha says:

    dude that sucks about your nape. i got mine done saturday. its pretty sweet.. i’m the only with it at my high school and everyone thinks its cool. how long did yours take to heal the first time? lol.. mines paining a little right noww.. don’t know if its going to be good or what.. i do have 15 other piercings so i can’t see it rejecting it. =S

  15. Emma says:

    it dosent look infected..
    it just looks like its rejecting..
    surface piercings have very high rejection rates.
    plus the jewlerry isnt proper jewlerry for surface piercings.
    was the bar titanium??
    surface piercings usaully are done with titanium

  16. Jules says:

    Ater seeing a nape piercing whilst on holidays last week, i went and got one done the next day… yikes now im reading the posts and thinking what have i done, am i destined to suffer & be dissapointed ??

    So far so good, I love the little bugger and I think he likes me !

    Fingers crossed i dont have too many problems with it …..

  17. Emma says:

    Im getting some surface piercings on my chest area in a few weeks.
    im way to excited 🙂

  18. chilli1011 says:

    Hi Jules,

    Don’t be scared by the posts here everyone is different i have had my nape done for over a year now and have sailed through it i had 1 infection but got some antibiotic solution and dabbed it on twice a day and all sorted.

    Don’t over clean it and don’t play with it and it should be fine.

    Napes are little buggers really as with all surface piercings they do have a high rejection rate so it don’t really matter what your pierced with if your body don’t want it then it will try to get rid, i do believe PTFE is better though as it bends with you as opposed to a ridged metal bar that has no give at all.

    Hi Steve yeah still come here every now and again how is yours going ?

  19. rebecca says:

    I plan on getting mine done in a couple weeks, I’ll post the exp. I have during and after. Very interesting forum going on here =]

  20. Sophie says:

    i reli reli want a nape piercing and was going to get one next week maybe. but after reading up about it. and reading all of this im really scared!!! i dnt want ot hve a big scar on my neck!. doe sit all depend on wat bar u get? is it meant to be at a 90 degree angle? and shld it preferable be made outta tygon??

  21. Tara says:

    I actually had my nape piercing done a week ago yesterday. I have I think probably the worst pain threshold known to mankind. It was a breeze, my piercer was amazing, and it was the first piercing after my ears. Goshdarn trooper 😛 I just cant wait until it’s done healing and looks all purdy, hopefully it will be a little less red. I find the H2Ocean works really well for disinfecting. It sucks you had to take it out 🙁

  22. Tara says:

    && sophie. it is meant to be on a 90 degree angle, because of the fact that its a surface piercing it has to be made to fit you properly. I went in for a consultation the week before just to make sure everything would go by well. my piercer had taken her nape piercing out because of a want to have a tattoo on the back of her neck. she had no scar and had left it in for over a year.

  23. chilli1011 says:

    Hi Sophie,

    The actual piercing doesn’t have to be done at an angle but the bar you have in it has to be shaped if you speak to your piercer and ask for PTFE then it should be a breeze cos PTFE is a very bendy plastic and so it will move with you and it is highly recomended for surface piercings because of its hypoallergenic qualities and the fact that when your piercing lymphs as all piercings do then the PTFE does not stick to your piercing site the crust will form on the bar but it will not make it stick to you skin so you don’t have to deal with trying to prize a bar out from under your skin to clean it.

    As i said i have had mine for over a year now and no probs still gets a bit sore if i have a cold so i just re-do the 1/4 teaspoon seasalt to 1/2 pint hot water soak for 10 mins twice a day and in a couple of days it has settled again.

    Hope this has been some help 🙂

  24. tasha says:

    i had my nape done it looks wicked and didnt hurt but when it got infected it fucked recked its still in now thou and looks much beta but i wudnt take it out cuz i like people faces lol x

  25. Clare says:

    Mine is giving me trouble. It keeps getting infected, and then it heals and then it gets bad again. I don’t want to take it out because I love it SO MUCH but I think I may have to.
    Yours was so little. My bar is 2″ long.

    Anyways… I just found this searching for advice and thought I would let you know that I am in the same boat. It’s a sad boat.

  26. inkylady says:

    that bar looked crooked like someone bent it with a wrench in there garage.. did you goto a parlor to get this done or did you back yard that? either way it looked horrible and it was definitly rejecting.. stick to the ink

  27. Clare says:

    inkylady Says:
    October 22nd, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    that bar looked crooked like someone bent it with a wrench in there garage.. did you goto a parlor to get this done or did you back yard that? either way it looked horrible and it was definitly rejecting.. stick to the ink

    My reply:
    It’s supposed to be bent to try to prevent it from rejecting. That insures the metal sits a certain way in your skin so it doesn’t tear out. If it were straight, the movement of your head would tear a straight bar out for sure. That goes for any surface piercing, especially ones on flat areas. If you knew anything about piercings you would know that; so don’t tell him that it was rejecting or try to give him advice on something like that.

    Judging by the image, the skin formed a keiloid, which in a way is the opposite of rejecting because the skin there gets so hard.
    Mine did the same thing. I took it out this morning.

  28. Ani-mouse says:

    does anyone know of a very good piercing place in Toronto?? And is there an age restriction for getting a nape piercing??? also……how do you hide it from parents? =P

  29. Hannah says:

    hi there. have my nape pierced, had it pierced 2 times, the first time i lost a ball and the bar fell out and it healed over so i got it redone about 2 years ago. i love it. its pretty and easy to hide if needed. mine does tend to get a bit messy every now and again but i cope. i just keep it clean.
    i think why your body was fighting it most was because you had a metal bar in it. i got some of the plastic piercing bar stuff. its flexible so it can bend in my skin if needed.

    i love my nape piercing, its my favourite piercing out of my 15. i still prefer my tattoos though. i got my nape pierced because i wanted to be different from everyone and i thought it was pretty. now im at universtity my friends back home have decided to get their napes pierced. im trying to think of a new unusual piercing to get. i dont like how they’re copying me. its not nice for me to see that they’re doing it. about 5 of my friends now have their napes pierced because i have mine done and they’re finally allowed to get piercings.

    i think if you still want your nape pierced then go to a piercing parlour and ask if they have the plastic flexible bars for surface piercings, if they do then get it redone with it. its so much better than a metal bar. trust me.


  30. Clare says:

    I have heard about the plastic bars. i wonder if, later down the road they will re-pierce mine in the same spot and use plastic?

  31. Amanda says:

    I have my eyebrow done and have for 3 months now and have been told it might be rejecting and its really upsetting I LOVE IT. its not infected or red or anything but slowly it starts to show more and more of the 5/16th barbell i have in it so i moved down to a 1/4in barbell and it fits perfectly like the 5/16th paractically did 2 months ago. I really hope it doesnt reject and start pushing my barbell out more becuase i was told to take it out right away if it does otherwise there is a chance i could get a nasty scar. I have 8 other piercings and never had a problem with any of them so I was kinda shocked at this one. I wanna get my nape pierced now but i donno if i should if it will reject too seeings how i think my eyebrow is 🙁 anyways of trying to keep a pericing from rejecting???

  32. Michelle says:

    Elo people, just so you know piercings like that ie.the nape they reject after awhile anyway becasue its a surface peircing, its placed under the skin not under fat so the body can easily reject it more and freely push the piercings out.THats the same for when people have the tops of thier writs done to keep them you redo them yes its under skin again which the body can easily reject where as other peircings are easy to keep as they are placed under fatt making it harder for the body to reject and for the body to heal up better around it.

    Dont get me wrong tho surface piercings are great, i used to have my cleavage peirced(inbetween my boobs) i loved it i miss it like hell as well,thank god ive still got photos lol.Mine was peirced with those flexi plastic bars with metal balls on the end whcih was really comfortable, which i was happy tthey didnt do it with a normal metal barbell.

    Oh ye amanda i also had my eybrow peirced mine started to reject aswell and one night it just fell out while i was brushing my hair lol,and i asked a few peircers if eyebrow has a high rejection rate and one of them who was also a female mentioned to me that shse had her eyebrow pierced 13 times cos its keep rejecting for some reason it jsut doesnt stick under some peoples skin,which is a bugger cos i miss mine i got a nifty lil split on my eyebrow tho lol.

  33. SceneWolf says:

    I got mine done a week ago using the punch and taper method and it seems to be doing fine – it’s a little red around the edges and a touch swollen but that comes with all piercings – I hear the punch and tapers are the way to go, a lot less chance of rejection apparently – only thing is it hurts a bit more when you get it done, but if your into piercing you probably like the feeling

  34. StephG says:

    Hey, I had my nape done about 3 months ago in Bath. It has its odd moments when it goes a bit swollen, but other than thst it’s been good as gold. The guy who did it used a surface bar (i.e. 90 degree angle) and from what I’ve read these are the best kind, so I’m pleased I actually went to someone who knew what they were doing. I clean it every day and the swelling has gone right down. I swear by antiseptic wash, I usually spray loads over my piercing and on the bar, then move the bar around so it floods the piercing too, seems to work for me? Next stop, wrist piercing!!!!

  35. hannah says:

    both my nipple piercings grew out. it just really depends on your body. otherwise every other piercings been fine.
    my nape peircing is still fine, although i got my first spot ever a few weeks ago, and guess where it decided to be? my nape! i mean, im 18 and never had a spot, my skin is just perfect, but i get a spot and its on my nape piercing! its ok though! burst it and now the markings going down where it was. im cleaning it 3 times a day and its just about gone, just a little mark so far thats slowly going!

    also i think with ur piercing, it looks a little high up on the nape, mines a bit lower where theres more skin. its holding perfectly.
    i think if ur gonna get it redone, get it a little lower and get a bit more skin between the balls, when i got mine repierced i had about 2 inches of skin between each ball, of course the swelling went down and now its about an inch.
    its a shame though, nape piercings are gorgeous! im considering getting the side of my lip repierced, i already have the middle pierced, and i miss my side one, and my nipple piercings, but my nipples reject the bars, but i might get them redone one day…

    nape piercings are sex.

  36. Jordie says:

    uhm actually, tattoos DO get infected.

  37. annem says:

    i dont think u needed to take it out. i got my tragus pierced b4 and i thought it was infected after 3 weeks but when i went bk to the piercing place they said it was something called keloid. many people get it and it looks as thou the body is rejecting it but it isnt. all they did was put a bigger bar in and i had to treat the piercing as if it was just done

  38. Dominic says:

    I have a nape piercing as well looks awesome, didn’t realise there was such a risk or rejection though 🙁 but had mine for like 5 months already and still looking good. Even thinking of getting a longer one below. Just look after them really well and they don’t seem to get infected.

  39. Cindy says:

    I’ve had my nape pierced for a little over a year. I’ve never had any troubles with it. Best thing to do is keep it cleaned! And tattoos can become infected! Any time you do anything strange to your body it can become infected. Sorry your nape piercing went sour. I love mine.

  40. Lola says:

    I’m taking my nape piercing out tonight. My body just keeps trying to reject the hardware and I can’t deal with having to wear my hair so that the irritation is visible! It was great for a while, but now it’s more trouble than it’s worth! And I’m almost positive that it will leave a scar =(

  41. Melissa says:

    I am thinking about getting it pierced tonight. My biggest concerns are what I have read on here. the rejection and the pain. I know it won’t hurt during or right after the piercing, but what about the healing process? I don’t know if I can handle the pain if it gets caught on my hair or clothing. I can take some pain. I have my cartilage done and a few days after that if someone even thought about touching it it hurt so bad!!! I can handle some pain, but I just kind of want to know what I am in for.

  42. Vicky says:

    sorry, i think that the scarring is all part of the fun!
    i’ve had my nape pierced twice now, the first piercing lasted about 7 months, and both times i had it pierced with a straight plastic bar with little silver ball bits on the ends (sorry for the lack of technical language!)
    i had my nape pierced for the second time in july so it’s lasted about 6 months but is starting to grow out again which is sad, i’ll just have to wait a while till i can get it repierced.
    As for the pain factor, it’s a piercing of course it’s going to hurt to some extent but it hurt a lot less than my other piercings (including cartiledge piercings and stretching my ears to 16mm)
    it’s just skin so it’s like a minor pinch, but its all fun, if you want it go out and get it pierced, after all if you don’t like it you can always take it out no hassle!

  43. louis says:

    omg lol i have 2 on my wrist and one on my nape lol and i love em x
    add my myspaz

  44. Mel D says:

    Hi Guys,

    I just got my nape pierced 3 days ago. I got it pierced with a PTFE instead of metal barbell and so far I haven’t experienced any pain. It is a little red around the edges and tender but that goes for all piercings. I am cleaing it with salt water 2-3 times daily so I hope it heals ok. It also doesn’t bother me while I am sleeping as I just sleep on my sides not my back.

    I know that everyone’s bodies are different but now I am starting to sketch out reading all these posts.

    Can someone explain why is it better to do the punch and taping method than to get it clamped and why this helps reduce the rejection rate?


  45. Jack says:

    Im planning to get a nape piercing within the next few weeks, probably in chrome (camden),
    i was wondering roughly how much it would cost?
    and do they use a needle?
    because ive seen videos where they cut the neck open (punched and tapered i believe its called) and i would MUCH prefer a needle.
    Also can i easily change the balls often?
    And if it gets infected or something, is it easy to take the whole piercing out altogether?

  46. fay says:

    yes i like piercings and tattoos i have four tats and a couple of piercings but my honest opinion is that it looked mingin anyway just out of place and weird………
    im glad uve taken it out!!

  47. chilli1011 says:

    Hi I am back again,


    As you may have read i have my nape done and have had no probs with it and if you are going to Camden then i would advise going to Cold steel i have had several piercings there and so have several people i know and Julie the piercer is fantastic.
    It doesn’t really hurt a great deal to get done but all people are different mine was done with a needle not the punch and taper method and all pirecers will give different advice i know 2 people who have had the P&T method and have nothing but trouble infection after infection due to the punch taking a piece of your skin out whereas a needle just goes straight through.

    As for changing the balls on it then once it has healed completely then go for your life but do wait till it has healed it can take up to a year though but you maybe one of these quick healers who sail through.

    I have had mine for well over a year and go between crystal balls and glitter balls and even little flowers and balls with hearts round the sides have some great balls and they just screw on to your bar even though it is not threaded as such.

    My bar is PTFE it is definately the way to go and it is easy to take out if your body decides it doesn’t want it there but i minor infection is easy to treat with antibiotic lotion ( from doctors ) but if it is rejecting don’t try to keep it because it will tear through your skin and scar just unscrew a ball and pull it through.

    Hope i have been a bit helpful

  48. Shawna says:

    Ok. I’ve been thinking about piercing my nape for a long time. I like to build things up and then one day I just go do it, like my tat and belly button ring.

    I really really want this piercing, but I’m one of those people who almost passes out after being pierced–but i love them! When I got my industrial (i had to take it out because of a job) I had to lay down before they did the second hole…I actually wasn’t expecting it to hurt at all so when it did hurt…like a bia…I was taken off guard and literally almost passed out.

    I’m super super afraid that the nape is going to hurt so bad. But, I was at least this afraid when I pierced my navel on a whim in Vegas…I almost walked out of the room as I was lying on the table hyperventalating (i’m not kidding) and I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t even know he had already pierced me…and it hasn’t hurt since.

    I’m planning to go to the place tomorrow to talk to a piercer. What do I do what do I do…I really want it…but I’m starting to psych myself out. Honestly…is it awfully painful??????

    (next I’m tatooing my wrist…which I know hurts but I’m not so worried about that one, lol)

  49. jeannete says:

    what did u clean it with/

  50. RICHARD says:

    I had the same problems as most of you.ialso gave up and pulled mine out.But right after ipulled it out i wished Ihadn’t.About a week later I had my nape pierced again ,and useing anew spray,H2OCEAN? or something like that,all’s well apart from the odd itchyness and one bout of swelling,sorted with some hot salty pad and Ibuprofen,which is an anti-inflammatory,no problems .Also got it pierced a little higher this time,i don’t feel so naked now.