Information on Nose Piercings

Young woman with nose studs and wearing studded ring, extreme close-up
The pierced nose has been in style for thousands of years. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The practice of piercing the nose has been around for thousands of years, but don't expect it to be like an ear piercing. The process and healing period take longer, with the piercing more visible to others. Before getting your nose pierced, learn where to go and how to care for it to avoid complications.

Types of Nose Rings

A stud or ring can be used to pierce the nostril, though the ring allows for better movement during cleaning while it heals. After healing, piercing studs are worn either pushed directly into the hole or screwed in. Septum piercings are made with a u-shaped ring. Whichever piercing you choose should be made of steel, titanium or 14- or 18-karat gold. Keep the diameter of the piercing small as excess weight can damage the tissue. A clear retainer calls less attention to the piercing without risking the hole closing.

Process of Piercing

Check with the Association of Professional Piercers to find a local piercer. Look for a well-lit salon, clean equipment and staff who practice sanitary habits. Along with washing hands, piercing equipment must be sanitized or disposable. For example, a needle used only once will be removed from a sealed plastic pouch and thrown into a trash container marked biohazard. As a piercing gun cannot be sterilized, the nose must be pierced with a hollow needle that is inserted into the nose, followed by the ring or stud.

Care for the Piercing

The piercing can bleed, swell, leak fluids and become tender. Wash your hands before and after cleaning it as directed by the piercer. Clean three times a day with a saline-soaked cotton ball or a mild anti-bacterial cleanser for at least eight weeks. Avoid sports which can cause injury to the piercing, and pay special attention when pulling shirts over your head.

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