Nose Piercings: Guide & Images
If you have attitude and a spirit that can not be tamed, nose piercings might be in your future. Whether it’s up high on your nose or it’s a barely noticeable nostril piercing, nose piercings can make you feel like the coolest, toughest person in any room.
Before you do anything permanent though, you should read this article to learn about the different nose piercings you can get and all the information you’ll need to determine whether this is something you want to do.
Nose Piercing Types
If you’re still deciding whether to get a nose piercing or not, there are several variations you can go for. Let’s review seven common types and what they entail.
Remember, you aren’t only limited to these seven kinds. You can mix and layer several of them if you want to give yourself an unforgettable face.
Nostril piercings are the most popular type of nose piercing there is. Everyone knows someone who has this type of piercing and we see celebrities sporting fake or real ones in every magazine we look at.
This piercing is inserted into your nostril and it can be placed on either side. You can wear almost any kind of jewelry with this type of piercing, including ever-popular hoops, circular barbells, studs and many other types.
High Nostril Piercing
These are also done on the nostril, but higher up than traditional nostril piercings are. Whereas the lower nostril piercings are done near the crease, this one is above that.
As it’s so high up and can be relatively harder to reach, you can’t use any type of jewelry you want for this piercing. Studs are a good choice for this one, although you can also use L-shaped pins. If you’re a fan of hoops, you’ll be disappointed to know they don’t work well with this type of piercing.
It looks like it would be painful to get this piercing due to being located at the bridge of your nose where all that bone and cartilage is located. However, while this piercing looks like it would go all the way through that area, it actually only goes through the skin, leading to quicker healing times.
However, one word of caution is in order about this piercing – it does have a higher chance of migration than many other piercings do simply because of how shallow it goes in your skin.
Migration is what happens when your body is rejecting the piercing and trying to push it out, like it would with a splinter or anything else it deems a foreign object. If migration is suspected, you’ll see the piercing getting closer to the surface of the skin, and if that occurs, your piercing will be a thing of the past – it’ll have to be taken out.
To give yourself a fighting chance against migration, you’ll want to opt for a curved barbell for your jewelry and skip the straight barbell.
Septum piercings go between your nostrils in the skin you have at the bottom of your nose right before the cartilage begins. Although these piercings are rising in popularity, not everybody is able to get one.
People with severely deviated septums will have to pass.
Unlike some nose piercings, these can be hidden from view if you need them to be. If your boss gets on your case about your appearance or you have a big job interview with a conservative company, you can flip this piercing inside your nose and get it out when you’re done.
You can get this piercing if you’ve already had a gauged septum piercing. It’ll go through that and exit below the tip of the nose. This isn’t something you can do on a whim, it can take years and there can be a lot of pain involved.
Vertical Tip Piercing
You don’t see this type of piercing very often. This one is a vertical piercing that goes from right above the tip of your nose to right under it at the very bottom of the nose. In order to get this one to work with the formation of your nose, you have to use a curved barbell for vertical tip piercings.
When you have this piercing, it looks like you have two nostril piercings placed symmetrically on each side. Although, make no mistake about it, it’s much more complicated than that. You have three spots that are pierced with this one – you have the two nostril piercings any onlooker can see, but you also have to have your septum pierced too to pull off a true nasallang. Your piercer will take care of all three holes at once.
What Happens During A Nose Piercing?
The first thing the piercer should do is put on a pair of sterile gloves before they touch any part of your skin or any of the tools they’ll need for piercing.
Before they start grabbing the needle, they should also disinfect the surface of the skin they’ll be piercing. They should mark the area they’re going to pierce just to make certain you’re both on the same page about the exact placement of the jewelry.
If you have any reservations about the marking they made, speak up right away or it’ll be too late to do anything about it.
When all that is done, they’ll be ready to begin the piercing. They should use a hollow needle – they should never use a piercing gun.
Piercing guns cause much more tissue damage than is necessary. A hollow needle is a much better choice because it is easier on your skin and cartilage. On top of that, it’s the more sanitary option.
With piercing guns, even when they’ve been cleaned between uses, tiny particles of skin, fluid and contaminants can be lodged into your piercing site. Remnants of anyone who has used that piercing gun before you, can end up contaminating you. That’s how some people end up with hepatitis or other diseases from a simple piercing procedure.
Therefore, if your piercer grabs a piercing gun instead of a hollow needle, it’s time to play runaway bride. Get out of there before it’s too late and something happens that you regret.
If your piercer reaches for a hollow needle though instead of a piercing gun, you’ll be good to go. Once the procedure is done, they’ll wipe away any blood that you’ve shed and give you any aftercare instructions you need to know.
Make sure you have their phone number at the top of the sheet they give you or grab their business card on your way out the door. That way you won’t have to track down their phone number if you have any complications or questions during the healing phase.
Nose Piercing Pain – How Much Do They Hurt?
This depends a lot upon the location of the piercing and how much of a badass you are when it comes to pain. If you can take pain like a boss, maybe you won’t feel too bad when you’re having your nose pierced. On the other hand, if you’re only human like the rest of us, it’s going to hurt a bit and you’ll be pretending to be a tough guy if you say it doesn’t.
Nostril piercings generally aren’t too painful, but nevertheless, they will hurt a little more than an earlobe piercing. Still, most people have no trouble sailing through this kind of piercing with no problem when it comes to the pain level.
There are varying degrees of pain depending on which nose piercing you go for. The most universally painful one is the septril piercing. If you can’t handle pain very well, you may want to strongly consider staying away from this type of piercing.
After the actual piercing part is done, you’ll still have some pain. Your nose will feel achy for the first few days or potentially even the first couple of weeks. If it gets too bad for you to handle, you could always pop an ibuprofen to lessen some of the discomfort.
You could also try warm compresses, which will help relieve some of the pressure you might be feeling from any fluid build-ups. That warmth should trigger some draining which will give you relief.
If warmth doesn’t help and you aren’t a fan of popping pills, you can always try a cold pack on your piercing site as a way to numb the pain. Just remember not to put ice directly on your piercing site. You’ll be making the issue worse rather than making it better.
How Much Does A Nose Piercing Cost?
What you can expect to pay for a nose piercing is highly dependent upon which kind you get. For a nose piercing in general, you will fork over somewhere between $25 to $100. That amount would include a piece of starter jewelry, but the price would be higher if you wanted fancier jewelry.
Simple nostril piercings will be on the lower end of this price range. Piercings like septril piercings and septum piercings will be more toward the middle of the road when it comes to pricing. Bridge piercing, along with high nostril, nasallang and vertical nose tip piercings will be toward the top of the range.
In addition to the type of piercing you want, other things can influence the price you’ll pay. Everything from your piercer’s reputation and experience level to whether they’re practicing in a big or small city can impact the cost of your nose piercing.
While the actual procedure is fairly affordable, the overall cost can get much pricier if you don’t take care of your new piercing. You may have to add doctor’s visits and the cost of antibiotics onto that total if your piercing gets infected because you are negligent when it comes to caring for it.
Those costs can add up quickly. One trip to the doctor’s office will make your piercer’s fee look like chump change.
Your best bet to trim the cost of your piercing is by following all the rules your piercer gives you.
What To Do Before Getting A Nose Piercing
The first thing you should do is find a piercer who feels like a good fit for you. You should feel comfortable with them. You might have to call them after the piercing in case you have any follow-up questions or concerns, and if they seem unapproachable, you might be too nervous to make the call even if you need the information.
In addition to the personality of your piercer, you should also find one who comes highly recommended by others. Ask your friends who have had recent piercings where they went for the work and see if they were happy with the service that was provided. You can ask them questions about their piercer’s sanitation process.
Sanitation should be the number one priority you have when selecting a piercer. If they don’t have great sanitary practices in place, you could end up sick and you could face medical costs as a result of that.
After you’ve selected a piercer, you should ask them if you’re a good candidate for the piercing you want. You might not be. People with a severely deviated septum, for instance, shouldn’t have their septum pierced. If you’ve had problems with migrations before in other piercings you’ve had done, your piercer might recommend you pass on the bridge piercing.
You should fully disclose any medical conditions you have to your piercer. It can be dangerous for you to hold that information back, both for you and your piercer. If you have any conditions that give your piercer concerns, he may ask for a medical sign-off from your doctor. If he asks for it, go ahead and consult with your doctor.
It may seem like an extra hoop for you to jump to get the work done, but your piercer isn’t requesting the medical consent to make things difficult for you. He wants to make sure that everything is in order when it comes to your health.
Before the big date arrives, you should make sure you have any aftercare products you’ll need to take care of your new piercing in the oncoming days and weeks.
Since you’ll be having your nose pierced, you should consider whether to go ahead with it if you currently have a cold. Depending upon which part of your nose is being pierced, you might want to hold off until you’re better if you do develop a cold.
A bridge piercing isn’t bad to do even when you have a cold, but a nostril piercing can be a thorn in the side when you’re sick. No one wants to have to blow their nose constantly when they have a fresh nostril piercing. It can be uncomfortable and messy.
Furthermore, your piercer will really appreciate you holding off until you’re better.
Nose Piercing Aftercare & Cleaning Guide
There’s a reason doctors and medical professionals put such a high emphasis on the importance of hand-washing. It’s good for us, so before you touch your piercing at all, make sure you wash your hands well first.
The second big rule of aftercare for nose piercings is that you need to clean them at least twice a day. If you can find the time to clean them out more than that, that might not be a bad idea, especially if you develop an infection or a bump on the skin.
6 Important Nose Piercing Aftercare Steps You Must Ensure You Take:
At the very minimum, you should soak your piercing site with a solution twice a day. You make it out of 8 ounces of hot water and one-fourth teaspoon of sea salt.
Once you have the solution all thoroughly mixed up, you need to grab a handful of cotton balls. Get one wet and hold it firmly against your piercing site until it starts to dry out a bit. Next, grab another one and do the same thing until you’ve been holding the cotton balls against your skin for at least five minutes.
Alternatively, you can buy ready-made piercing aftercare sprays/solutions which are specifically created to help heal your new piercing as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan-friendly, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.
If you have a nasallang or another piercing that has more than one piercing site, you need to do this cleansing process on every site for at least five minutes. It’ll take longer to do your aftercare, but it’s an important step you shouldn’t skip.
For the next several weeks, you’ll have to be extremely careful about what beauty or cleansing products you use on your face. You shouldn’t use anything irritating or drying on your piercing site. It’ll possibly sting and it will slow down how fast your face is healing.
After showers or after carefully washing your face at night, you also shouldn’t rub your face dry with a bath towel. Instead, you should gingerly pat it dry with a clean paper towel. That will be more sterile and the patting action will be much gentler than rubbing will.
If you’re the active type of person who is always playing or competing in some kind of sport, you should take measures to safeguard your nose to prevent it from getting bumped or jostled during your activity. Whether that means laying off of your weekly basketball league for a while until your nose piercing heals is up to you.
Although, you should be aware that any physical contact your nose has during a sport will set back your healing timeline.
Finally, until your nose has healed fairly well, you’ll want to consider staying out of extended periods of time in sunlight. If you get too much sunlight and end up with a burn or even a deep tan, your skin might feel dry and itchy. That can lead to a lot of scratching, which isn’t good for a fresh nasal piercing.
How Long Does A Nose Piercing Take To Heal?
Some nose piercings heal much quicker than other ones do. You’ll only have to wait two to four months for nostril piercings to heal. It will take longer for other nose piercings like bridge piercings to heal. Those can take up to 10 weeks and are rarely fully healed by two months.
Septum piercings often take the longest to heal. They can take up to six to eight months before they are healed all the way.
Your piercer will tell you how long the healing process should take for the type of nose piercing you’re getting. They’ll also let you know how long you’ll have to wait before you change the jewelry they put in at the initial appointment.
With your nose piercings, you often won’t have to wait until they are fully healed before you can swap out your jewelry, but you’ll have to wait for at least a few weeks until that happens. Ensuring you know how to put in a nose piercing correctly is also helpful in order to not cause any extra damage by poking yourself in the nostril.
In some cases, it may look like your piercing has fully healed when it hasn’t. Ergo, if you try to remove your jewelry at that point, you should do it gently.
Nose Piercing Infections
It can be easy to get an infection when you have a nose piercing. The nose is a perfect spot for bacteria after all. It’s moist and you’re constantly touching it with your filthy hands. If people sneeze or cough around you, you’re breathing in their bacteria and germs. Because of this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone how much bacteria is in your nose constantly.
That bacteria can be a huge problem when you have an open wound in your nose caused by your piercing. Still, remember, although infections are most common when you have a fresh piercing, they can happen at any point, even when your piercing has fully healed.
As well as the normal skin infections that can happen to any piercing, with certain nose piercings, you also have to worry about perichondritis. That’s an infection that happens in the tissue that is around the cartilage. If that happens and it isn’t promptly treated, it can kill that tissue and cause big problems for you.
The best thing you can do to ward off developing infections is to wash your hands every time before you touch your nose piercings. That’s important with any piercing you have, but it’s especially important with nasal piercings. Unlike with a belly button piercing, you can’t just put a shirt over the top of the nose piercing and forget it’s there.
It is constantly exposed to germs and is an area of your body that you end up touching a lot. Whether it’s itchy, you need to blow your nose or you’re covering it up as you sneeze, your nose gets a lot of interaction with your hands. That’s why they need to be clean. Otherwise, you’ll introduce a lot of germs and bacteria and possibly give yourself an infection.
To reduce your odds of getting an infection, make sure you clean your piercing site twice a day with that saline solution we discussed earlier.
Figuring out when you have an infection in your nose can be hard to do, but it’s important because the longer you let an infection go without addressing it, the more difficult it can be to treat. Prompt treatment may save you a lot of worries, and even some money as well because you may only need one antibiotic to get the job done.
Some of the most commons signs of infection include redness, swelling, pain and pus. You can even have a fever and the chills during really bad infections. If that happens, it means the infection is no longer localized – it’s getting out of control throughout your body. You’ll have to call the doctor immediately when there’s a fever and other signs of infection.
It’s also worth mentioning that bumps on a nose piercing can also be a sign of infection, but not always.
If you do end up with an infection, one of the worst things you can do is remove the piercing. It may seem like the right thing to do. If something is offending you, you take it out of the equation by getting rid of it, right? Yet in this case, that’s the wrong tactic to take.
If you remove your piercing, that hole will close up, leaving all that bacteria-infested goo in the body. By keeping your piercing in, you can allow all that gross discharge to drain out of the site, and it’s much better to get that stuff out than to let it fester inside your body.
Nose Piercing Risks
You may end up developing little bumps on your nose after you get a piercing. These will usually go away with no problems, but they can take a while to do so. The bumps are essentially scar tissue that will go away with time.
They happen when you tug at the nose piercing on purpose or accidentally, such as when it catches on a shirt you’re trying to take off quickly. Those little injuries can mess up the tissue and cause these annoying, unsightly little bumps.
They might go away in a few days or a couple of weeks, but you’ll be impatient as you wonder how badly they are messing up your appearance. It won’t affect your overall health – it’s purely a cosmetic issue, but it can be annoying for sure. Bumps can also signal infections.
When you have your septum pierced, you can end up with septal hematoma. That’s a fancy way of saying you can get bruising or bleeding in the septum area. Septal hematoma is no walk in the park. It can cause problems breathing, a lot of swelling and nasal stuffiness. If you notice any signs of this problem, you need to go into your doctor’s office right away.
This is one complication you really need to take seriously. Left untreated, it could give you a facial deformity.
Rejection and migration is another feared piercing risk. Although it’s not a danger to your overall health and well-being, it can be a crushing disappointment. You’ve paid money for your piercing and went through all the pain, only to find out it has to be removed because it’s migrating toward the surface of your skin.
If this happens, all you can do is take out the piercing, let your piercing hole heal up and try again to have it pierced at a later date. The outcome may end up being the same, but there’s no harm in trying.
Nose Piercing Jewelry
Which kind of jewelry you wear mainly depends upon which type of nose piercing you’re getting. While pretty much anything goes when it comes to some of the piercings, like nostril rings, other nose piercings don’t give you as much freedom to choose the type of jewelry you’re going to use.
That’s because the nose is a small space that doesn’t give you as much room to work with. You’ll have to check with your piercer to ask his recommendations about which types of jewelry will work with the kind of piercing you have in mind.
Whichever style of jewelry you choose, you may want to ask for a non-allergic metal like titanium to use as your starter jewelry. That can cut down on the risk you have of migration and even infection. Since irritated skin that you’re scratching a lot doesn’t have as much time to heal, it has a greater risk of infection. The longer your skin sits unhealed, the more of a sitting duck you are.
With all the different varieties of nose piercings there are, there really is something for almost everyone. Some people will even want more than one nose piercing. Whether you end up getting one or three different kinds, how well you treat them in the beginning will influence your satisfaction with them.
If you take care of them, they’ll remain one of your favorite investments. If you let things start to spiral out of control by ignoring the aftercare instructions and touching them constantly with dirty hands, it might not be long before an infection sets in that makes you regret your decision.
As long as you take your new responsibility seriously, you’ll smile every time you look in the mirror, see your piercing and watch your individuality shining through.