Should I Get A Nose Piercing?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 21, 2019
    Last Updated: March 12, 2022

Nose piercings have a long and illustrious history across time and more mainstream acceptability in popular culture. Choosing to get a nose piercing means that you’re choosing to follow the aftercare instructions carefully. Complications on your face due to a piercing are hard to conceal. 

If you know the right questions to ask yourself, the types of piercings available, and the potential complications, you’ll be well-equipped to decide if you should get your nose pierced.

Deciding whether to get your nose pierced depends on:

  • What type of nose piercing you want
  • How long of a healing time you’re committed to
  • If you can keep the piercing in all the time
  • Whether you’re physically fit to get a piercing

Different Types of Nose Piercings

The first step to getting a nose piercing is realizing that all piercings aren’t created equal. There are a fair few different types of nose piercings to choose from. Do you want a piercing that goes through a nostril, the septum, or the bridge of your nose?

You can’t simply walk into a parlor and say, “I’d like my nose pierced, please.” That’s much more to think about:

The different types of nose piercings are:

  • Nostril: Through either the right or left nostril
  • Septum: Through the columella — the space between the tip of your nose and the cartilage 
  • Bridge: A superficial piercing through the skin over the bridge of the nose
  • Nasallang: Through both nostrils and the columella; a very technical piercing
  • High nostril: Just above the typical nostril spot
  • Vertical nose tip: Through the tip of the nose with one end on top and another under the tip
Nostril and septum piercings

Piercings through your nostrils take a surprisingly long time to heal:

  • Nostrils: In two to four months, a nostril piercing should be fully healed
  • Septums: Six to eight weeks
  • Bridge: Eight to 12 weeks
  • Nasallang: Four to six months
  • High nostril: Two to four months
  • Vertical nose tip: Takes the longest and should be fully healed by six to nine months. 

Be prepared to keep up aftercare for the entire length of the healing time. Failure to do so can result in complications that may deform your face. Those are some high stakes.

Complications When Getting Your Nose Pierced

If a piercer accidentally puts the needle through your cartilage, this usually results in bleeding, hematoma, and infection. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the skill and knowledge of your piercer. 

Complications of a nose piercing can result in deformity. Remember that these piercings, as common as they may be in society, are on your face. Anything superficially that goes wrong with them will be difficult to conceal. 

Acceptability of Nose Piercings 

Nose piercings are among some of the most mainstream forms of facial piercings in the West. For that reason alone, you may feel comfortable getting one as long as you’re old enough.

The tradition of nose piercing, however, takes you back much further into older traditions. In Eastern culture, the Ayurveda, or book of life, recommends piercings in the left nostril for reasons similar to acupuncture. This placement on the body is thought to lessen the impact of childbirth and have positive effects on the reproductive health of women. 

Prepare Yourself Before You Pierce Yourself 

Before you get a piercing anywhere on your body, you should ask yourself these questions to get ahead of any complications:

  1. Do you have an infection anywhere already?
  2. Do you have a history of allergic reactions?
  3. Can you keep the piercing in all the time, or will you have to take it out for work or sports?
  4. Have you ever had a problem with scarring or developed a keloid before?
  5. Do you have the right anatomy for the type of piercing you want? 

Existing Infections

A bacterial infection is the number one complication of body piercings. About 20% of body piercings are infected by bacteria. If you’re already infected elsewhere on your body, your immune system will be lowered, and you’re more likely to get an infection at the site of the piercing. If this is the case, it’s best to wait until your other infection is healed before getting a nose piercing. 

History with Allergic Reactions

Some people have allergic reactions to the metals used in a piercing. Jewelry for piercings are usually made of:

  • Stainless steel 
  • Gold
  • Niobium
  • Titanium 
  • Alloys

To minimize a potential allergic reaction, stainless steel is usually the best choice. Niobium and titanium are also almost always hypo-allergenic. Nickel is often used in alloys and can cause allergic reactions. Be aware of whether you’ve ever exhibited an allergy to a metal before and pick a piercing accordingly.

Can You Keep the Piercing in All the Time?

Some of the nose piercings are quite easy to conceal. Studs in a nostril piercing are small and not very eye-catching. Septum piercings that are horseshoe-shaped may be hidden by the tip of your nose or easily removed. Other piercings, like the bridge, vertical nose tip, and nasallang, are more eye-catching and challenging to conceal. 

Previous Problems With Scarring

If you have, you might want to avoid a nose piercing, since scarring there would be so visible. Keloids are raised scars that result from excessive scar tissue formation. They require surgery to remove and aren’t pretty. 

Anatomical Restrictions

Your piercer should steer you in the right direction here. Some nose piercings require very particular anatomy to pull off safely. You might not have the nose structure to accommodate a specific piercing. Also consider if you want a certain side of your nose pierced, and double-check with the piercer that this will be possible.

Making a Decision About a Nose Piercing

When you’re deciding about whether to get a nose piercing or not, it’s essential to consider the different options you have. Aftercare is a key consideration as the healing length differs greatly between the various options for nose piercings. Considering your risk factors for infection, scarring, allergy, discretion, and anatomy are all necessary when deciding on a piercing through your nose.

If you want to ensure your piercing heals as best as it possibly can, it’s imperative that you follow your piercer’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality aftercare solution to aid recovery.

The best piercing aftercare product I’ve ever had the pleasure of using up to this point 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.