Nose piercings are performed in one of two places: the nostril or the septum. The septum, or the fleshy piece of cartilage that separates your nostrils, is typically pierced with a hoop or horseshoe piercing. Nostril jewelry, however, varies in size, type and decoration. Nose studs, rings, horseshoes, bones and a plethora of other jewelry exist to outfit nostril piercings. When a nose piercing is healed -- typically between one and four months, according to Elayne Angel in "The Body Piercing Bible" -- you can begin to think about swapping out your jewelry for a hoop nose ring.
Wash your hands using soap and water, scrubbing for approximately 15 to 20 seconds. This removes oils, germs and microorganisms.
Put on a pair of latex gloves if you're worried about contamination to the area or have a hard time gripping the jewelry.
Swab the area of the piercing with a sterile saline wipe. Wipe the area around the piercing. Use a second saline wipe to clean the piercing and jewelry already in your nose.
Remove the jewelry already in your nose. Screw-type studs are removed by twisting the jewelry and pulling out. Bone-style studs may require a bit of finesse to remove. If you need added lubrication to coax the jewelry out of the piercing, use another saline wipe.
Clean the hoop using a sterile wipe. If the hoop is a captive-bead style ring, remove the bead and wipe down all surfaces. If the hoop is a disc-style ring, wipe down all surfaces as best as possible.
Slide one end of the hoop into the piercing. Steady your hand and move smoothly and slowly. Do not force the jewelry through the hole, as this can cause trauma to the piercing and an immense amount of pain.
Fasten the jewelry in place, if necessary. A captive bead style hoop requires the bead to be put back into place, where it is held by the tension of the ring. Disc-style hoops do not require any additional fastening.
Clean the piercing with a fresh sterile saline wipe. Discard any used wipes and gloves.
Things You'll Need
Sterile saline wipes
If you feel uncomfortable changing your jewelry at home or can't get a good grip on the tiny jewelry usually used with nose piercings, speak to your piercer. Most piercers are more than happy to change your jewelry and show you how to do it correctly.