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By Jackie Manno/Sept. 1, 2021 1:44 pm EDT

We’ve all heard of ear piercings, nose piercings, lip piercings, and belly button piercings, but did you know you can also get a piercing on your chest as well? Known as the sternum piercing, this unique and racy body modification is placed on your breastbone and has been found on the likes of Cardi B, who is clearly not afraid to shake things up. 

“Sternum piercings are either surface piercings or surface anchors placed in the chest, usually with emphasis on adorning the cleavage area, center of chest, and below the clavicle areas,” Starr Ellis, owner of Nine Moons Piercing in Manhattan, told Byrdie. Although they may sound (and look) awesome, they are a big commitment that doesn’t come without risks. So if you want a sternum piercing for yourself, there are many things that you need to consider before making the leap. Here is the truth about sternum piercings.

Sternum piercings are nothing to take lightly

Given that they are considered a surface piercing, which means they are placed in the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), sternum piercings are more likely to reject and leave scarring, which means finding a professional piercer and following through with aftercare properly is a must. “Since this area is not double-sided like the earlobe, philtrum [the dip between your nose and lip] or nasal ala [outer side of your nostril], the piercing is anchored or embedded into the skin. Our bodies don’t like foreign objects and can literally push them out,” Sydney Givens, founder of Skincare by Sydney, told Byrdie.

Pierced with a hollow needle typically around 14 gauge in size, according to Healthline, your piercer will typically use either a surface bar made of titanium, stainless steel, or gold. This piercing typically takes around one or three months to heal, and rinsing the area twice a day with saline solution is essential.

And lastly, given the skill required to make this particular punch, the not-extremely-common sternum piercing does not come at a cheap price. Byrdie reports that they run at about $150 on average, so if you’re set on getting one, it is not a decision to take lightly.

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