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Location: The nape of the neck (the back of the neck in the area between the hairline and the base of the neck.)

Alternate Names: Nape surface piercing, neck piercing

Piercing: The nape piercing is a surface piercing which will generally be performed with a hollow piercing needle.  Punch and taper technique may also be used by more experienced piercers to create a perfectly shaped channel for the surface jewelry.  This piercing normally takes slightly longer than a run of the mill cartilage piercing to perform as placement must be exact, and a surgical pen may be used to mark the entry and exit points.

Aftercare: As with most surface piercings, a nape piercing will likely take at least twelve weeks to heal. Sea salt soaks, hot compresses, and gentle cleanings with surgical grade soap or saline are often recommended. Due to location, extra care must be taken when changing clothing and grooming the hair so as not to swat or yank the piercing jewelry which may cause irritation.

Jewelry: Most piercers will use surface bars for this type of piercing, which are shaped like a staple to alleviate pressure on the skin.  In many cases flexible barbells made out of tygon, bioplast, or PTFE have been successfully used as well.  In the case of a surface barbell, the best option provided is a bar with longer arms to accommodate the initial swelling followed by a change out for jewelry with shorter arms after healing.

Prevalence: Among those under age 29, surface piercing is estimated to account for approximately two percent of overall piercings.  Nape piercing itself has become particularly popular among young women, including famous Italian actress Asia Argento.

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