Nose Piercings: Guide & Images

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 15, 2019
    Last Updated: November 28, 2020

If you have attitude and a spirit that cannot 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 rings can make you feel like the coolest person in any room.

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 that will look great.

Nostril Piercing

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.

Bridge 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 Piercing

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.

Septril Piercing

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.

Nasallang Piercing

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. Placement can vary slightly depending on nose shape and size.

When all that is done, they’ll be ready to begin the piercing. They should use a hollow needle and never a piercing gun.

The piercing will be over in a flash, and while you may have watery eyes for a couple of seconds, the sharp pain will have been and gone quickly.

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.

Nose 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.

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.

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 ring 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 nose 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.

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, 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.​

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.

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 nose rings 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 ring 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.

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.

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 jewelry. Doing this will allow the 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.

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 or nose studs 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 studs 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 of the different piercing varieties, 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.

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.

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