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What is a Sternum Piercing?

Anna T.
Updated May 21, 2024
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A sternum piercing, which is also referred to as a chest or cleavage piercing, is located on the surface of a person's sternum. The sternum is the piece of bone on the upper part of the chest, which is located just above the breasts and in between the cleavage on women. For men, the sternum is considered to be the bony area around the pectoral muscles. People usually wear surface bars in sternum piercings. These bars are shaped similarly to a staple, and they go into and out of the pierced area at a 90-degree angle. A sternum piercing doesn't normally take that long to heal from, but there is a very good chance that a person's body will reject the piercing.

The human body usually attempts to reject anything that enters into the skin, which is why piercings occasionally grow over no matter how many times a person tries to keep it from happening. This doesn't typically occur with most piercings if proper care is taken of the area, but it is much more likely with a sternum piercing. Many people claim that their body rejects the jewelry and pushes it out. Some piercing experts say that this only happens if the piercer was inexperienced and that a person should do his or her research before getting a sternum piercing to ensure that the person doing the piercing knows how to properly perform the procedure.

Getting a sternum piercing normally takes just a few minutes, and the pain a person might experience varies greatly. The amount of pain a person endures will depend mostly on the individual pain tolerance level. After the piercing is done, it is necessary to wear the same jewelry in the piercing for a few weeks without removal. It may be necessary for a person to go back to his piercer after the first few weeks have passed to make sure the area is healing like it is supposed to. If it is, new jewelry can normally be picked out and put in place at that time.

Aftercare instructions are especially important to follow with sternum piercings because of how easily the body rejects these piercings. The pierced area and the jewelry should be cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis. Many people are tempted to twist and tug on their new body jewelry, but this is not recommended with sternum piercings. The only time a sternum piercing should be moved is when a person needs to clean under it while in the shower. After four to six weeks have passed, the area will likely be completely healed and no longer tender to the touch. Healing time may take longer if a sternum piercing becomes infected.

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Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to BeautyAnswered. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By burcinc — On Dec 03, 2014

I think whether a sternum piercing will work out depends on the individual. I don't have high pain tolerance so my sternum piercing was very painful. I regretted it at as soon as I got it. It was sore for days and then my body rejected it. I did not try to have it replaced. I realized that my body is just not okay with this type of piercing.

By ddljohn — On Dec 03, 2014

@SteamLouis-- My roommate has had a sternum piercing for the past two years. Her body did not reject it and it did not get infected. So I completely disagree with you.

Of course, it's important to have the piercing done by someone who is experienced with sternum piercings, who follows hygiene rules and high quality bars. As long as one cleans the piercing as required and follows all of the directions of the piercer, I think it will be fine. I'm planning to get one too in the near future. I'm excited about it.

By SteamLouis — On Dec 02, 2014

I've only had very modest piercings such as ear and nose. But even those weren't done too well because the piercer turned out to be less experienced than I expected. I especially had a bad experience with my nose piercing. The piercing was done at the wrong spot so it hit through a blood vessel. It never healed properly and would bleed every time I changed my nose ring. I eventually had to keep it off and it closed off within a few hours. But now I have an ugly purple spot where it was and it never goes away.

If things can go wrong with such a simple piercing like a nose piercing, I can't even image what all could go wrong with a sternum piercing. It's such a sensitive part of the body. I'm sure it will hurt a lot and get infected. And like the article said, the body will probably reject it anyway. It's best to avoid it.

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to BeautyAnswered. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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