Septum Piercing Healing & Aftercare

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 21, 2019
    Last Updated: March 17, 2022

Getting your septum pierced is all fun and games until you adopt the crucial responsibility of looking after it and making sure it stays free of infection. Septum piercings take around six to eight months to heal completely, but its tenderness may wear off after two or three weeks.

Best practice for septum piercing aftercare and healing is:

  • Cleaning it twice a day using saline solution and q-tips
  • Keeping the jewelry in place until you’re sure the skin has healed
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Washing your hands before touching or cleaning your piercing
  • Not over-cleaning your piercing

Septum Piercing Aftercare

Looking after your septum piercing is vital to ensure it doesn’t get infected. You won’t want to show off your new facial bling when it’s sore and bacteria-filled! Next up are a few of our top aftercare tips to help your beautiful new piercing heal properly.


Avoid putting soap, alcohol, creams, oils or other ointments directly onto your septum piercing to clean it, as harsh chemicals such as these can irritate it and dry the skin. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap before cleaning your septum piercing to ensure it stays free of bacteria. In doing so, try not to clean your septum piercing excessively, i.e., more than twice per day, as this can cause it to dry out or bleed.

It’s important that you clean your septum piercing twice a day using a saline solution. You can create a homemade saline solution using salt and warm water. Here’s how:

  1. Dissolve ¼ of a teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt in a cup of warm bottled water
  2. Use cotton pads or q-tips soaked in the mixture to clean your septum piercing
  3. Dry using a clean towel that won’t shed its fibers

Other Top Tips

  • Avoid touching your septum piercing or fiddling with the jewelry, as this can irritate it
  • Minimize your alcohol and nicotine intake, as alcohol thins your blood and nicotine hinders your body’s ability to heal itself
  • Apply a cool compress to your septum piercing to reduce swelling using a clean cloth soaked in cold water; hold it on your nose until the cloth warms up
  • If you need to blow your nose at any point while your septum piercing is healing, do so gently using a clean tissue; do not reuse tissues

Septum Piercing Healing

The swelling and tenderness around your septum piercing may wear off after only a few weeks, but don’t let this fool you! It can take between six and eight months for a pierced septum to fully heal.

You may notice the secretion of white fluid, known as lymph fluid, around your septum piercing. Don’t panic; this isn’t pus! This is entirely normal and is just your body’s reaction to a new piercing. It’s also a sign that your piercing is starting to heal.

Septum piercings can swell up during the initial healing stages. Again, this is completely normal. You can apply ice to your piercing site to help reduce the swelling.

Changing Your Jewelry

You may decide you want to jazz up your septum piercing with a new piece of jewelry. Make sure your septum piercing has healed before attempting to switch out the jewelry. Avoid changing the jewelry too early, as this can hinder your septum piercing’s healing process.

Your septum piercing will be pierced with starter jewelry that’s typically made from either titanium or surgical stainless steel. Once your piercing has healed, you can swap this piece of jewelry out for another of your choice. There’s a wide variety of jewelry materials to choose from, such as gold and sterling silver.

The longer you wait to change your septum piercing’s jewelry, the easier it’ll be to do it yourself. You can pay a visit to your piercer to have the jewelry changed initially. If your septum is still tender, you shouldn’t be looking to get it replaced yet, as this indicates the skin hasn’t healed. After a while, your septum’s tissue and skin will rebuild, which will allow you to change the jewelry yourself more easily.


A septum piercing is an open wound and is susceptible to infection if it isn’t looked after properly. In some cases, bacteria can infiltrate a septum piercing and cause infection. Here are a few of the signs of infection that you can keep an eye out for. If you notice any of these, speak to your piercer or doctor about treatment:

  • Yellow or green fluid secretion
  • Red streaks on the piercing site
  • Fever or skin that’s warm to touch

Don’t attempt to take out your jewelry or treat any infection yourself before speaking to your piercer or doctor!

Be Sure to Enjoy Your Septum Piercing

Septum piercings are a great accessory to have; however, they come with the responsibility of looking after them and making sure they don’t develop an infection. Septum piercings take approximately six to eight months to heal completely, so ensure you keep up the aftercare in that time. 

Clean your septum piercing twice a day with saline solution or salt-water. Keep an eye on your septum piercing for any signs of infection and speak to your piercer or doctor if you notice anything abnormal about your piercing.

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