Cleavage Piercing 101
Slowly becoming one of the most sought after forms of body modification the cleavage or sternum piercing is a popular choice for those seeking something a little different and unusual. This vertical or transverse piercing is located in the middle of the chest, close to the breastbone, which makes this an intimate addition for those that love unique and alternative styled piercings.
Due to its location, the cleavage piercing is perfect for those that are looking to showcase something a little different, but something that is easily concealed if required. With its alluring style and eye catching persona, this piercing is a show stopping asset when worn with dresses, low cut tops, and swimwear.
Cleavage Piercing Variations
Cleavage piercings are available as either a form of surface or microdermal piercing. By placing micro dermal anchors beneath the skin, jewellery can be interchanged easily. Although this style may suggest a fast healing period, we highly recommend you discuss this option with your piercer. Similarly we also suggest that you discuss the orientation, either transverse or vertical, with your piercer as some may not be suitable for certain styles.
The cleavage/sternum piercing is located on the breastbone, the long flat bone that is in the middle of the chest. After cleaning the area and marking the piercing channel within the desired location, the piercer will need to pinch the skin to allow the sterilised need to pass through. Once this is done, the jewellery is then inserted. It is important to ensure that the initial markings are both straight and symmetrically aligned as this could potentially affect the existing symmetry of the chest area. We highly recommend visiting a professional and skilled piercer that has credible experience in dealing with this style of piercing.
Unfortunately not everyone is suitable for a cleavage piercing. Those with a lifestyle that is heavily sports orientated are highly recommended to discuss the effects of the piercing with their piercer. In many situations, depending on the piercing location and sport, they may suggest impact resistant jewellery or flexible retainers after the healing process.
It is worth noting that in the case of sternum piercings, including cleavage piercings, it is highly important to determine whether there is enough free, loose skin available to perform the piercing. If there isn’t enough loose skin the piercing may shift over time and could potentially break the skin. With this in mind, it is highly important that you discuss your suitability, lifestyle choices, and positioning with a piercer that has plenty of experience in this field! Similarly, it is worth discussing your suitability for this piercing if you are large or small busted.
Most people report that a cleavage piercing, either surface or microdermal, is moderately more painful than many other surface piercings, due to its location on the breastbone. However, it is worth bearing in mind that everyone experiences pain differently, so this ‘pain rating’ is purely anecdotal.
Within the first few days it is common to experience some forms of swelling and soreness which often disappears soon after. If this is not the case, and the pain/swelling/redness continues, it is heavily advised that you seek medical attention immediately.
This piercing typically takes between 4 – 6 weeks to fully heal, however this is purely dependant on the individual. It’s important to maintain good standards of hygiene and a through aftercare routine to avoid the risk of infection. It is advised that you clean the piercing with a sterilized cotton ball and salt water solution at least twice a day to help reduce the risk of infection.
When caring for your cleavage piercing, ensure that you:
- Ensure that your refrain from applying lotions, makeup, moisturisers, perfumes, or body sprays to the area whilst this piercing is still healing
- Ensure that you don’t cover the piercing, allowing it to move freely
- Use an antibacterial soap when cleansing the pierced area
- Pat the piercing dry with clean paper towels to avoid your piercing from catching
- Avoid applying any unnecessary pressure to the piercing. Ensure that your bra is not too tight and doesn’t cause unnecessary rubbing.
- Avoid swimming/water sport activities until after your piercing has healed. If that isn’t possible then it is highly recommended that you cover the piercing area with suitable dressing, such as a waterproof eye-patch, that will both protect and prevent the piercing from becoming infected.
If you have any queries or are concerned that your piercing is migrating, it is highly recommended that you seek professional guidance.
The cleavage piercing can accommodate a wide range of jewellery.
Many popular jewellery choices include:
- Staple/Long Plastic Surface Barbells
- Curved Barbells
- Titanium Skin Divers
- Stainless Steel/Acrylic/Titanium Dermal Tops
Typically, 1.2mm – 1.4mm gauge jewellery is used in the piercing process, though smaller or larger jewellery can be worn once the piercing has fully healed. If you plan to wear jewellery of a larger gauge, we recommend discussing this prior to getting the piercing, or paying a visit to your piercer (once you’ve fully healed) to ensure your piercing can accommodate some stretching and that your anatomy is suitable prior to changing your jewellery.
Depending on whether you opt of for a surface or microdermal bindi piercing, there is a lot of choice when it comes to cleavage piercing jewellery.
The information contained here within is based on our experience as one of the UK’s largest piercing chains. Please note that each individual’s experiences will be subjective and therefore each person will have a different experience of pain, healing and maintenance. For more information, please view our article guides terms and conditions page