Septum Piercing Pain – How Much Do They Hurt?

Septum piercings have become a unique alternative to the more common nostril piercing, so those who are considering getting their nose pierced may wonder whether they want to pierce the nostril or the septum, or both - and one of the factors likely to come into play is septum piercing pain.

Discomfort and tenderness caused by piercings can vary from person to person, depending on their individual pain threshold, but this articles sets out what we know from anecdotal evidence about how much septum piercings hurt.


Septum Piercing Pain

Will A Septum Piercing Definitely Hurt?

Well, yes. A septum piercing will hurt, at least somewhat. Unless you don’t feel pain at all (unlikely), then you’re going to notice and feel a needle and subsequent jewelry passing through your septum, but most people find the short period of pain well worth the aesthetic pleasure they get from a new piercing.

It can help to remember that lots of things hurt, and you’re not going to avoid every physical pain in your life anyway, so you might as well get something worthwhile out of some of that pain.

Also, everyone who has gotten a septum piercing (or any other piercing) went through the pain and came out fine. The memory of the pain will fade quickly, but your new piercing will be with you for quite a while if you take care of it.

How Much Do Septum Piercings Hurt

How Bad Will The Septum Piercing Pain Be?

Septum piercing pain is experienced on a fairly wide scale. Some people experience almost no pain at all (if they have an extremely adept piercer doing the work), rating it a 1 or 2 on a pain scale of 1 to 10. However, for most people, a septum piercing is more painful than a nostril piercing.

In general, people experience a pain rating between a 4 and a 6 for a septum piercing. That may sound quite painful, but remember that it’s over in just a few seconds.

Here’s an idea of how much a septum piercing hurts compared to other piercings, based on various people’s experiences. It tends to hurt more than earlobe, tongue, navel, or lip piercings.

But it will likely hurt less than an industrial piercing of the ear cartilage, and it almost certainly hurts less than nipple or genital piercings.

Septum Piercing

What To Expect At The Shop

A septum piercing really isn’t complex when it comes to the process needed to pierce this area. If you’ve had other facial piercings, piercing the septum will be quite similar.

The piercing professional will clean the area to be pierced with an antiseptic cleanser, and they will examine and mark the area that needs to be pierced.

It is especially important with septum piercings that your piercer precisely marks the right spot for piercing. Piercing the columella, below the nose cartilage, will result in a much smaller amount of pain.

If they are off on the exact area the septum piercing should go through, you are unfortunately in for a bit more pain.

The body piercer may use a small clamp to hold your septum in place during the piercing process.

This helps to ensure that the correct location is pierced and prevents you from jerking during it. A small, hollow needle will be passed through the septum, followed by the jewelry. Your eyes may water, and you may feel the urge to sneeze.

Septum Piercing

How Long Will A Septum Piercing Hurt For?

How long the septum piercing hurts for can depend on the experience and technique of the person piercing you.

More skilled piercing professionals tend to get the piercing over with quicker, resulting in less pain. Of course, you don’t want them to sacrifice accuracy for speed.

In general, the initial pain should be done in a minute or less. You will probably feel some pain both when the needle passes through and when the jewelry subsequently passes through your new piercing.

Afterwards, you’ll feel a less intense pain or tenderness as your body adjusts to the piercing.

A new piercing is basically a wound that your body is trying to heal, so there will be some inflammation, and you may even find that your entire nose is a bit sensitive to touch.

However, you should be pain-free in just a couple of weeks. Your piercing won’t be entirely healed, though, for 6 months or so.

Looking after your new septum piercing properly will help to ensure healing times are kept to an absolute minimum.

6 Important Nose Piercing Aftercare Steps You Must Ensure You Take:

After 8 months, you can try stretching your septum piercing to larger sizes if that’s something you’re interested in.

Piercing stretching is a separate process and should be undertaken slowly and carefully. You will feel a bit of pain associated with the stretching process, but it should never be intense.

Septum Piercing

What Factors Can Affect Septum Piercing Pain?

Your body is complex. Because of that, various factors can influence how much pain you experience during a septum piercing. What that also means is that you can take steps to reduce the amount of pain you potentially experience.

Here’s what to consider:

How much rest you’ve had

Your body feels and heals better when you get enough sleep. It’s an important part of your health that many people ignore.

At a minimum, don’t stay up late the night before you get pierced. At best, get at least 7 hours of sleep each night for a week leading up to your piercing appointment.

Your physical condition

Got a cold the morning of your appointment? You may want to consider rescheduling.

If you already feel unwell, a piercing isn’t going to make your day any better. You’ll be able to better tolerate the pain and heal your piercing faster if you start with a clean slate of health.

Alcohol or drug use

Anything that alters your state of mind can affect how your body experiences pain. It’s a good idea to avoid mind-altering substances prior to your piercing.

Consuming alcohol or drugs can also potentially slow the healing process, leading to longer lasting pain than necessary.

Piercer roughness

Piercers are individuals, and they all have their own style. That means the technique of one piercer may be a bit rougher and cause more pain than another.

A skilled piercer, however, shouldn’t cause more pain than necessary. Your best bet is to ask people what their experience was with the person who will be doing your piercing.

Pay slightly more for your septum piercing by choosing an experienced piercer and you will likely get a much better outcome.​

Septum Piercing

Piercer experience

This is one of the most important factors in septum piercing pain. Get referrals for the shop, and if possible the particular piercer, you will be getting pierced by.

A septum piercing has a small window of ideal piercing space beneath your nose cartilage. A piercer with more septum experience will hit the right spot and do it efficiently, taking as little time as possible.

Personal Healing Capabilities

Everybody heals differently to one-another, and while there is generally some pain during healing, some people might experience more or less depending on their bodies.

Somebody who heals faster than another person will likely end up feeling pain for a shorter amount of time during the initial healing period. ​

Also, poor healing can lead to a septum piercing infection, which can be relatively painful until it heals.​

My Favorite Piercing Aftercare Product

My Favorite Piercing Aftercare Product

The best piercing aftercare product I've ever had the pleasure of using up to this point is the H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray.

H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray

Not only is every single ingredient completely natural, but the spray works brilliantly on all skin types (including sensitive skin) and comes in a very generously sized can.​

Many users of the spray advise that when using it from the very start of the healing process, it appears to decrease healing times and helps to reduce any lingering pain/soreness.​

Read more about the H2Ocean Piercing Spray here. Have a quick look at some of the customer reviews and you'll see why it's one of the most popular piercing sprays on the market.​

Personal pain tolerance and state of mind

If you know that you experience pain more than other people do, you can expect a septum piercing to hurt more for you than other people’s septum piercing stories.

If, on the other hand, you tend to tolerate pain well, then you shouldn’t find it difficult to handle getting your septum pierced.

How you think about the piercing experience can actually make a big difference in how you tolerate the pain.

Being anxious and scared of the pain may cause you to be more aware of how much it hurts. Plus, it will make you tense, which is likely to increase the pain you feel.

To prevent this, try to go in with a relaxed state of mind, and research everything you can about septum piercing beforehand, to ease your anxiety.

Note that you cannot use numbing spray on the septum area. The skin inside the nose is more sensitive to these cold sprays.

Septum Piercing

Ways To Deal With Septum Piercing Pain

We talked a bit about mind state. Here are some tips for getting into a relaxed state to reduce your piercing pain.

  • Bring along some music to listen to during your piercing. Music has been shown to help people increase pain tolerance. And it takes your mind off the process.
  • Have a friend come with you for conversation. Just don’t move too much while you’re talking.
  • ​Engage in meditation or positive thinking, and take slow, natural breaths.
  • ​Remember that everyone with a septum piercing has experienced some pain, and the experience will be worth it.
  • ​Be rested and clear-headed.
  • Research everything you can about septum piercing before you go into the shop. Knowledge can reduce anxiety.
  • ​Eat something to stabilize your blood sugar before getting pierced. Low blood sugar can cause some people to faint after a piercing, but that is rare.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.


A septum piercing can be a bit intimidating because many report it as one of the moderately painful piercings, but it’s also one of the boldest piercings you can get. The jewelry is prominent on your face, more so than a simple nostril stud.

The level of hurt will vary from other people, but you can definitely help to reduce septum piercing pain by going in relaxed, informed, and well rested. Good luck!

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