Iconic, eye-catching, stylish. You probably think we’re describing Rihanna, but not this time – we’re talking about a septum piercing! Although bad girl RiRi has rocked some rad septum jewelry.
While a bunch of celebrities have put their nostrils under the needle, you may be a little hesitant to get pierced. After all, would you jump off a bridge if your friends told you? (Maybe we would if RiRi told us. And if it was a tiny bridge.)
To help you make the decision (about the piercing, not the bridge), we gathered all the info you need to know about piercing aftercare, the healing period, how to find your septum “sweet spot,” and what to do if you have a deviated septum.
What Is a Septum Piercing?
A septum piercing is a piercing through the cartilage that separates your two nostrils.
Scott Wilkinson is a professional piercer at Piercing Vegas. When discussing the ever-adaptable septum, he says, “The septum piercing can be the most big, extreme piercing; the small, delicate piercing; or it can be completely hidden.”
Get yourself a partner – or a piercing – who can do it all.
Because the septum is at the bottom of your nose, you can flip your horseshoe barbell up into your nostrils to leave people none the wiser about your new piercing, like Scarlett Johannson used to do. Or, you can leave the jewelry hanging down.
How Much Does a Septum Piercing Cost?
For a septum piercing, a professional piercer will charge between $40 and $80 for their expertise and extra for jewelry.
Professional piercing shops normally have a range of jewelry options to fit different budgets. Higher-quality jewelry made of gold or gemstones can be quite expensive. You might start with a basic titanium hoop, clicker, or barbell. For a new piercing, these titanium pieces work just as well as some fancier options.
Don’t settle for an unlicensed or unprofessional piercer, even if it’s cheaper. It’s scary enough letting a stranger stab a needle into your face. You’ll probably want someone who is trained to stab with as little pain and blood as possible. Unless you’re a masochistic vampire, we guess?
How Painful Is a Septum Piercing?
Pain levels for a septum piercing will vary mostly on your personal pain tolerance and how skilled the piercer is. I know first-hand how scary a septum piercing can be. When I first went to get one done, I chickened out and got a tattoo instead. But it’s not that bad.
Wilkinson explains. “I’ve heard everything under the sun, from the least painful to the most extreme. I’ve had it done. I know how it feels. But the reason people say it’s painful is that they went to a piercer who hit the cartilage.”
Your piercer will be aiming to hit your sweet spot, which is the thin section of mucus membrane in your septum.
When the do, the experience shouldn’t be very painful and it heals quickly. But sometimes, it can be hard to find. If you have a deviated septum, this part of your nose may be uneven. And your piercer may accidentally hit thicker cartilage.
If you worry that a septum piercing may not be a good fit (literally) for your nose, ask your piercer for their professional advice. And maybe their favorite dinner recipe while you’re at it. You’ve had enough mac and cheese this week.
How Long Will My Septum Piercing Take to Heal?
The healing time for a septum piercing is six to eight weeks. That’s if your piercing is done properly. If the piercer has accidentally hit the cartilage outside of your sweet spot, it may take several months to heal.
What’s Good Septum Piercing Aftercare?
Wilkinson recommends getting pierced with a horseshoe barbell and keeping it tucked inside your nose until it’s healed. Even though you’ll want to show off your new piercing by letting your jewelry hang free, that creates more risk of it getting contaminated or snagging on your clothing.
And unless you want to look like you’re digging for gold, keep your hands off your shiny new bling! Turning or touching this piercing kind of looks like you’re picking your nose, and your “Who Farted” shirt is drawing enough weird looks already.
Keep things clean by washing the piercing with a salt water soak at least once a day, carefully cleaning off the crusty scabs that may form around your piercing while you do so. And obviously, make sure you wash your hands before you ever touch your healing septum.
Have we learned nothing from 2020?
When Can I Change the Jewelry and What Jewelry Is Best?
Your piercer may give you three different options for your septum jewelry: a hoop, a clicker, or a horseshoe barbell.
A hoop is the most visible option, and the most likely option to make your mom complain that you look like a bull. But hey, Ferdinand is adorable!
A clicker looks somewhat like a hoop, but it works kinda like a carabiner. Some clickers are more petite than others, and some clickers have elaborate and bold designs. Ask your piercer about if you should start with one, or if you should wait until your nose is healed.
A horseshoe barbell looks like, you guessed it, a horseshoe. It’s also called a circular barbell. This barbell is great for your first septum jewelry because it’s easy to hide or to wear out.
You should be able to swap out your jewelry in about two months if your healing process goes as planned. But you should probably visit your piercer again so they can make sure your septum is totally healed. They can help give you a hand with switching out your new jewelry.
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