Septum Piercing Aftercare: How Long Do They Take To Heal?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on March 21, 2018
    Last Updated: January 13, 2021

Septum piercing healing times and simple septum piercing aftercare ​instructions are a couple of important subjects people should definitely understand before booking their procedure.

Here are some of the best tips to help you smash through the septum piercing healing process quickly and efficiently.

How Long Does A Septum Piercing Take To Heal?

A septum piercing should heal in 2 or 3 months, although this can increase to between 6 and 8 months for some people, depending on various factors. While the septum is relatively painful to pierce, the wound itself should heal quickly due to the small amount of tissue that needs to be reconstructed in the area.

However, before you get all excited about a quick heal, you should know a few things first. Piercing the correct spot on the septum is tricky and requires an experienced body piercer. If your piercing professional misses the fleshy part below your nose cartilage (the columella), the correct spot for a quick healing septum piercing, then you could be in for a much, much longer healing period.

Here’s the deal. Your nose has a lot of cartilage, and just above the place where a septum piercing is best inserted is a piece of tough cartilage.

You can get the septum pierced through the cartilage, but it will increase both the pain of the piercing and the time taken to heal. That’s just how cartilage piercings are.

To prevent a longer healing time, you should have your piercer examine your nose before you decide for sure to get the septum piercing. Some people don’t have much flesh below the cartilage, and that may mean the piercing has to go through cartilage.

Just be aware that if you decide on this, you are looking at a more drawn-out healing period.

Septum Piercing Healing

Septum Piercing Aftercare Tips

It just takes a few simple steps to care for your septum piercing while it heals. Keeping it clean by following proper aftercare will help your piercing heal faster and avoid it from becoming irritated or infected (and taking longer to heal).

Keep the septum piercing clean

Firstly, clean the area of the piercing, including the jewelry, using the cleaning tips further down this article. Secondly, don’t introduce dirt or contaminants to your piercing wound.

Don’t touch

It used to be advised to twist the jewelry in piercings to help the hole heal, but that actually causes you to rip and irritate the tissue. Twisting will cause your healing times to increase.

A lot of people get septum piercings because they think they are easy to hide, and they can be. However, getting a septum piercing with the intention of hiding it often means you are using a retainer that you can flip up into your nose when you don’t want the jewelry to be seen.

Although it’s okay to flip the jewelry up or down occasionally, you should avoid doing this as much as possible. It’s the same as twisting and will irritate your new septum piercing. If you have to flip, leave it flipped up for a while before moving it again. You may want to just leave the jewelry flipped up for most of the healing period if you are concerned about it being seen.

In addition to making tiny tears and irritating the tissue, touching and twisting your jewelry introduces more bacteria to the area, and more bacteria means more chance of infection, so don’t do it.

Stay healthy

You can actually reduce your septum piercing healing time by keeping yourself healthy in general. A fresh piercing is like any wound; your body needs to be healthy in order to devote enough energy to heal itself. If you’re run down, not eating right, and not getting enough sleep, then you will be too stressed to efficiently heal a new piercing. So take care of yourself.

How To Clean A Septum Piercing

Cleaning a septum piercing is relatively easy. You just need to keep some saline solution handy and squirt both sides of the piercing (where the piercing needle entered and where it exited). Alternately, you can fill a short cup or small bowl with the saline and dip the end of your nose into it.

The cleaning solution helps to loosen any crust that forms around the piercing, as well as disinfecting the area and reducing bacteria.

You should be able to purchase aftercare saline right at the piercing studio when you get your septum pierced. Alternatively, you can buy it online, or you can make your own from distilled water and sea salt to keep the overall cost of your septum piercing down.

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.​

Always rinse your piercing with plain, clean water afterward to prevent the salt from drying out your skin.

It’s also important to keep the septum jewelry clean, not just the skin. You can use a mild skin cleanser to wash off the exposed part of your jewelry and rinse it in the shower.

Do not take out your jewelry while you do this. Just leave it in place and wash the parts that are not touching your new nose piercing. Try not to use soap or cleansers on the fresh piercing.

What Can Affect Septum Piercing Healing Times

Most of us want to get our piercings healed up as quickly as possible. So I’m going to help you out with some tips on what may affect your septum piercing healing times:

Picking at or pulling scabs and crust

Yes, it may sound a little gross, but you know you are tempted to do it. It’s hard not to want to pick off the crust that forms around your piercing, but control yourself. Pulling at those crusts and scabs can cause tiny tears in your skin, and that’s going to increase your healing time. Instead, soak them in warm saline solution until you can wipe them off gently.

Submerging the piercing in water

You should avoid submerging your septum piercing in water. Now, I know I just told you to submerge your piercing in saline or salt water solution. What I’m talking about here is going swimming or using hot tubs. You can do those things; just don’t put your face in the water while your piercing is still healing. Why? There can be a ton of bacteria in nearly all bodies of water.

Getting a sunburn on your nose

Anything that takes your body’s focus away from healing the piercing can increase healing times. Sunburn irritates the skin, and excess sun exposure can also increase the possibility of scarring.

Catching the piercing on something

This is something that no one sets out to do on purpose, but nevertheless, it’s bound to happen, and it will probably happen more than once. You catch your nose piercing on your shirt as you pull it over your head or on your towel after a shower. It hurts; a lot. It also has the potential to damage the piercing.

If you catch your piercing on something, it will likely be tender and need a bit of extra time to calm down and finish healing. Just try to be as careful as possible to avoid doing this too often.

Your cleaning regimen

Probably the number one way to reduce the amount of time it takes for your septum piercing to heal is to follow a daily cleaning routine. Cleaning the septum about twice a day is optimal, but don’t go overboard. Cleaning too much can dry out and irritate your skin.

Your general ability to heal

No two people are going to experience the exact same healing process. For some, it takes a little more time, and for others, a little less. If your body is in excellent health, then generally you can expect to be on the shorter end of the healing time frame.

Contracting an infection

This kind of goes along with general health, except it’s not as predictable as your daily health habits. If you catch a cold or flu, or any other kind of illness while your piercing is healing, it can slow things down.

If your nose is running and building up a ton of crud on your piercing, you will temporarily want to increase how often you are cleansing the site.

Reaction to the jewelry

Do yourself a favor and opt for high-quality jewelry made from surgical steel or titanium. A professional body piercer will advise you to do so anyway. Do not change out your jewelry to something cheap before the aftercare period has ended.

Septum jewelry made from cheap materials often causes allergic reactions and irritation that will give your piercing serious issues, including potential infections.

Using harsh disinfectants

Yes, you want to prevent infections, but that does not mean soaking your piercing in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Those things are just going to damage the healthy cells in your skin that you need in order to heal your piercing properly.

Instead, stick to the salt water solutions and specialized piercing aftercare products.


Septum piercings look truly amazing when they heal properly, and you can wear many different types of jewelry in them to keep them looking fresh. They’re also pretty appealing for their relatively quick healing time.

By following a few simple procedures during the septum piercing healing process, you can ensure your nose looks and feels great for decades to come.

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