The Nostril Piercing: Everything You Need to Know
Besides ear piercings, nostril piercings are perhaps the most popular piercing. The nostril piercing allows for tiny, dainty jewelry for a subtle sparkle, making them more commonly accepted in professional settings than other facial piercings. For occasions that allow for bolder styles, the nostril piercing can also be dressed up with larger jewelry options. With the growing popularity of jewelry styles, like diamond nose rings, the nostril piercing can be easily dressed up for even the most classy events in your life.
Since the nostril piercing is so popular, it’s easy to assume that it’s an easy piercing to handle. However, like all piercings, the nostril piercing comes with unique challenges to keep in mind before you get the piercing.
Here’s everything you need to know about the nostril piercing.
How much does the nostril piercing hurt?
The nose tends to be more sensitive than other areas of the face, and punching a needle through cartilage can sometimes cause more pain than puncturing softer skin, like the earlobe. However, most people who have their nose pierced reported less pain than they expected. Getting your nostril pierced is only slightly more painful than getting your cartilage pierced.
Any pinch you might feel will be quick. Many claim that the most unnerving part of the process is not the pain, but the fact that the needle will be directly in your face as the nose is punctured. It’s recommended to close your eyes during the process, especially if you have a fear of needles.
After you get your nose pierced, you might discover that you can see your jewelry in the corner of your eye, or your brain might register the jewelry as a nagging itch. Eventually, your brain will get used to the piercing, but until then, try not to absentmindedly pick at or scratch your new jewelry; it’s easy to rip nose studs out of the piercing, which can be incredibly painful, especially if your piercing is fresh.
Nostril piercing healing process
The nostril piercing takes around 4 - 6 months to fully heal. It’s always a good idea to talk to your piercer before stopping aftercare practices or changing your jewelry. Healing times vary from person to person, and sometimes the interior of your piercing takes much longer to heal than the exterior.
Cartilage piercings have a tendency to form piercing bumps if you don’t adhere to proper aftercare practices, so it’s important to make sure that you treat the nose piercing very carefully during the first six months.
Since the nose is such a prominent facial feature, you need to make sure that you take extra care of your nostril piercing as it heals. Its location on your face means that you will notice the new jewelry more than other piercing styles, so it’s important that you make an effort to refrain from messing with your jewelry as your piercing heals.
Here are some aftercare tips unique to the nostril piercing:
Do a sea salt soak 2 - 3 times a day. In many piercings, a salt bath consists of soaking a cotton ball in a sea salt mixture and holding it to the piercing site for 3 - 5 minutes. Since the nostril piercing goes inside of the nose, piercers recommend that you completely submerge your nose in a sea salt solution to ensure that the entire piercing is disinfected. You can do this by mixing the sea salt solution in a Dixie cup and putting your entire nose into the cup for 3 - 5 minutes.
If your jewelry falls out, replace it immediately. The walls of your nasal cavity heal quickly, closing up your piercing within minutes. If your jewelry falls out or you lose your jewelry, make sure you replace it as soon as possible. If the piercing hole closes before you can replace the jewelry, don’t force it in. Go see your piercer to get it re-pierced.
Don’t touch the jewelry. Spinning, scratching, or moving the jewelry can cause trauma to the surrounding skin that can lead to scarring, piercing bumps, and other unsightly issues. Cartilage is particularly susceptible to damage, so you need to be extra sure that you leave your jewelry alone as it heals. Try not to sleep on the side that the nostril piercing is located, take care while blowing your nose, and be careful when changing.
Jewelry style is important. You can choose either a stud or a hoop as your initial jewelry, but the hoop will cause the piercing to heal with a slight curve, so it’s recommended that you start with a nose stud. You can always switch to a hoop later. Studs come with a variety of prong styles; the one you choose will come down to personal preference. It’s important to note that your first jewelry will need a longer prong in order to accommodate swelling. The longer prong might itch or poke the inside of your nose, but once you’re fully healed, you can get a better-fitting nose stud that will be more comfortable.
Watch for signs of infection. The nose hosts a number of harmful bacteria. Since the nose acts as a buffer against germs, the nostrils are particularly busy with microbes. Types of bacteria found in the nose can cause infections that lead to dangerous complications like tissue death, which in extreme cases can lead to the removal of all or part of the nose. Don’t take the risk; at any sign of infection, please visit your doctor.
No makeup. This rule is especially difficult for a nose piercing, but you want to make sure that no foreign substance touches your nose. This includes acne cream, makeup, and suntan lotion. If you must wear foundation or other facial creams, keep a wide berth around the piercing.
Nostril jewelry styles
Nostril piercings are decorated with both nose studs and different styles of hoops.
Seamless rings are probably the most popular hoop styles in the nostril piercing. The slender hoop sits flush against the nostril, creating a look that’s more noticeable than a stud but still subtle enough that they are still often accepted in professional environments.
For bolder nostril piercing styles, you can also opt for a captive bead ring, which offers the hoop style with a bead that can showcase a gemstone, a diamond, or other unique options. However, other nostril jewelry styles are much more popular than the captive bead ring.
Faux hoops are another popular option. These styles include nose studs that feature a charm that wraps around your nostril, or C-shaped hoops that wrap around the nostril without fully closing like a seamless hoop does.
Nose studs are by far the most popular jewelry style in a nostril piercing. Styles vary from dainty diamond nose studs to fun charms, so you can truly make your nose piercing unique. Nose studs come in three main prong types: the L-shape, the twist, and the bone.
The L-shape prong is shaped like an L, as the name implies. It’s inserted into the nostril piercing at a 90-degree angle, and the bent end of the jewelry sits along the wall of the nasal passage, keeping the jewelry in place. This style is easy to insert, but the length of the L-shape prong can cause initial discomfort.
The twist prong is shaped in a spiral. It’s inserted into the piercing by twisting it into the hole. The twist of the prong makes it more compact, so you might not feel it as much as the L-shaped prong, but the twisted shape can catch boogers, so it might not be a great option for those with allergies.
The bone prong is simple a straight prong with a wider end to keep it in the jewelry. This prong is shorter and less likely to be seen in the nostril, but it is easier to tear this type out of your jewelry if it catches on your clothing or you accidentally scratch the jewelry.
After you’ve had your piercing for a while, you will discover your favorite prong option. Since every nose is different, it’s a good idea to be fitted by a piercer to determine your proper prong length for the most comfortable wear.
Why shouldn’t I get a nostril piercing?
The aesthetics of this piercing really depends on the anatomy of your nose. The nostril piercing can be placed anywhere on the nostril, but it’s most typically placed in the crease of the nostril where the cartilage is thinnest. From there, you and your piercer can decide the optimal location to best complement the shape of your nose.
If your nose crease is particularly pronounced, it might be difficult to find jewelry that will fit comfortably. You can talk to your piercer about options, or you might want to consider another jewelry option.
Blowing your nose can be especially difficult during healing. It will hurt to press the tissue against the new piercing as you blow your nose, and snot and boogers can get caught in the jewelry. If you tend to get allergies, then you’ll want to wait until allergy season is over to get your piercing.
How much will it cost?
Nostril piercings are lower on the cost scale at around $30 - $60. The location of the nostril piercing is incredibly important; a misplaced nostril piercing can completely change the aesthetic of your nose. You want to opt for an experienced piercer who has an eye for piercing location. While the location of your piercing is ultimately up to you, it’s best if you have a piercer who can give you advice that you can rely on.
Always choose a piercer who uses a needle over a piercing gun. Piercing guns harbor bacteria and use blunt force to puncture the piercing. In any piercing, it’s important to use a needle, but it’s even more important in any cartilage piercing since the blunt force can cause permanent damage to the pierced area.
Often, you will have to pay for the jewelry on top of the piercing. While options like nickel are cheaper, you want to choose more expensive jewelry options, like 14k gold or surgical steel. Even if you’ve never had sensitivities to metal, a fresh piercing could trigger sensitivities, so it’s best to choose metals that won’t agitate your skin as it heals.