Nose Rings and Piercings
Nose piercing has been a part of various world cultures for hundreds of years
It's only been in the last two decades that nose piercing has gained a mainstream popularity in Western culture. Presently, it is the second most-popular body piercing desired by teens and young adults, after ear piercings. Due to the piercing being through cartilage and not soft tissue, nose piercings take a bit more care to heal properly than ears, and they can be more likely to develop scar tissue or have other healing issues. Unfortunately the explosion in popularity of this piercing has led to too many mall piercing huts doing noses without knowing just how tricky these piercings can be, and a lot of people aren't getting the sort of in-depth information that would help them have a more successful healing experience.
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Information About Piercing Your Nose
Nose piercings don't always heal as easily as people assume. They do not heal as easily as pierced ears. The tissue of the nose is "cartilage" which is a hard-but-flexible material in our bodies. The blood flow isn't as plentiful as "soft tissue" which is the type of material that forms the lower ear lobes.
Friction from a too-tight or too-large nose stud or ring, an accidental yank or snag, or even some people's genetic predispositions can cause a type of scar tissue, called a keloid, to form on healing nose piercings. This is that "bump" that everyone always talks about. Reading up on piercing care and knowing how to take care of your healing nose can really help avoid things like infections and keloids (aka "the bump).
Remember to ask your body piercer how to take care of your new nose piercing BEFORE you get your nose pierced. This is important because some people get sort of dizzy or feel a head rush from piercing, and it can make it harder to remember the aftercare info if you talk afterwards. (really!)
Also, many states have rules and regulations about ages and nose piercings. Be prepared to have legal ID, a legal guardian and their legal ID on hand to get your nose pierced in some states.
the common nose ring
The most commonly pierced place on the nose is somewhere along the rim of the nostril. Placement is most often at the peak of the curved edge.
Jewelry is most often a small stud or ring. For healing a nose piercing, wearing a ring allows the piercing to be cleaned more easily. Whatever is worn, it's best to wear gold or steel during the 3 month healing period. Do NOT wear sterling silver as it has the unfortunate side effect of leave a permanent black mark on your nose.
The most common complaint about nose piercings is that, like many other cartilage piercings, these can form a keloid, a bump-like type of scar tissue. This is most often due to friction or continuous irritation of the piercing.
As common as this piercing has become, they aren't as easy to heal as most young people assume. Many people do not truly anticipate what it's going to be like to have what is really a healing wound on their face for two to three months.
It often helps to try not to sleep facedown and to change your pillowcase more often while healing a nose piercing. Do not put rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on a healing nose piercing as both can burn the raw tissues inside the piercing and increase irritation.
See what getting your nose pierced is like
A small hoop is the healthiest piece of jewelry to wear in a new nose piercing because they aren't too tight to the skin surface and they can be rotated, which helps you to clean the entire inside surface of the piercing. These might look large in the photos, but they are the appropriate thickness and sizes for nose piercings.
The Nose Knows - links to more nose piercing info
- Nose Piercings
Details of the nostril and septum piercing, types of jewelry, healing and aftercare, keloids
- Adorning the nose
Nose speaks for the face. If Mother Nature has carefully shaped it, then everything else is put in its proper place. A well-chiseled nose adds beauty to a woman's face. A tiny nose stud makes it more beautiful.
- Piercings - Sepia Mutiny
I had recently gone to a Bengali family party, and was sitting on the floor talking to an older auntie type, when I noticed she had something gold in her nose. I asked her what it was, and with a little pull here and there, she pulled out a punk-rock
- Nostril Piercing - BME Encyclopedia
The nostril piercing is, on a global and historical level, the most common piercing next to the earlobe piercing.
- nose rings
Although nose rings are very common in India, they actually originated in the Middle East. It was only during the 16th century that the practice of piercing the nose filtered into India....
- Nose piercing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nose piercing is the piercing of the skin or cartilage which forms any part of the nose, normally for the purpose of wearing jewelry; among the different varieties of nose piercings, the nostril piercing is the most common. Nose piercing is one of th
- Piercings, Body Piercing
Body piercing has become very popular, trendy and fashionable. Body piercing greatly varies with multiple hoops up, around, and inside the ear, or studs and rings sticking out of the tongue, eyebrow, nostril, belly-button and lips.
Which "Side" Should You Get Pierced?
It's an URBAN MYTH that somehow getting one side of your nose pieced or the other has some sort of special meaning. Whichever side you decide to get pierced is just your personal preference, nothing more. Any of your friends who tell you differently are just spreading internet rumors.
Sometimes nicknamed the "bull ring" piercing, the nose is also sometimes pierced through the cartilage that separates the chambers of the nose, the septum. This piercing is more common in tribal peoples. Reasons for this peircing were to imitate totem animals, to bring luck and to keep evil spirits from entering the body by coming in through the nose.
This piercing can be made invisible by wearing a U-shaped piece of jewelry with the ends flipped up into the nose.
See a Septum being pierced
Nostril Screws - body jewelry - a type of jewelry that was tradionally worn in India for pierced noses
For nose piercings, you want the starter jewelry to be surgical-grade steel, or 14k gold or better.
You want to avoid sterling silver for any fresh or still-healing nose piercings because the silver tarnishing not only can cause or increase irritation in the healing piercing, it can also trigger a condition where the healing skin is permanently stained with a dark color.
You should not start out with anything nylon or plastic in a fresh piercing, as those surfaces tend to cause adverse skin reactions and interfere with healing. They are fine for piercings that have fully-healed. So, don't think about getting a new nose piercing and then hiding it on the job. It really doesn't work well.
How to Wear a Nostril Screw - This jewelry starts out by twisting into place. Rotate the nostril screw so that the curled part of the wire pokes through your nose. Once you get the curl turned through the piercing, rotate the jewelry so that the straight part pops into place inside your nose. The curl should now be parallel to your nostril, hidden on the inside of your nose and should hold the jewelry in place securely but without digging into your nose too tightly.
Piercing "Guns" Are BAD! - Learn Why Here
Piercing guns are very bad for noses because they were not made to pierce noses, they pierce using a very blunt stud (increases chances of scarring), the jewelry fits too tightly (increases chances of infection) and, most importantly, they are NOT sterilized properly in between customers so as to prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C!Do yourself a favor and do NOT get your nose pierced this way!
Aftercare and Piercing FAQs
- All About Nose Piercings
Learn more about the types of nose piercings (nostril, septum and bridge), jewelry (rings, bones, studs, screws), see how nose piercings are done and get healing and aftercare advice.
- Nose Piercing FAQ
Frequently asked nose piercing questions. Should you be worried if you got your nose pierced with an earring gun? Is there anything you can do for a pierced nose that just won't heal? Can you pierce your nose at home?
- How To Remove A Nose Ring
Remove a Nose Ring or Stud Whether you've outgrown your nose pierce, or simply feel the need for a change, the removal process is pretty straightforward. Expect the hole to leave its mark, though - a legacy to the period you're leaving behind.
- Go Ask Alice!: Nose piercing
Dear Alice, I am a first-year student and I want to get my nose pierced. This isn't just a whim; I've wanted one for a long time. However, I know that there will come a time when the ring will look juvenile on me. My question: will such a hole close
Nose Pins and L-Bars - body jewelry - more nose piercing jewelry
I really recommend NOT wearing a nose "bone" as it's a stud with a fat rounded end on the back end that has to be forced in and out of the nose piercing to change. Frequently the piercing canal shrinks down to the size of the bar part, and I get a lot of email from people who are stuck trying to yank the bone out of their nose. Sometimes they even have to be cut to be removed. Essentially, this type of jewelry can be a literal pain in the nose, and I suggest that people absolutely avoid wearing them.
L-bars however have a tiny bend, often smaller than a nostril screw and this holds the stud in place. Nose pins are a straight post with no form of backing, and those either stay in place for you, or they don't. I think both styles are much more viable for nose jewelry options. The best is a tiny ring or the nostril screws listed above.
The Earl or Bridge Piercing
A modern nose piercing that's been invented is sometimes called the "earl" or bridge piercing and involves a barbell being pierced through the skin over the bridge of the nose. The only part of the body jewelry visible are the two balls on the ends of the bar, which rest on either side of the nose.
Facial movement and surface tension makes this a difficult piercing to heal for some people. Others abandon the piercing as having the balls just inside their field of vision becomes annoying.
This piercing got the name "earl" from one of the first people who ever got this piercing. Earl played the tattooed and pierced elder on the vampire high council in the first Blade movie, wearing his own body art, not makeup, for the role.
Watch A Bridge Piercing As It's Done
Nose Piercing Prejudice
The one thing you have to remember if you're going to get your nose pierced is that in Western culture, it's still frowned upon in a lot of places. There are plenty of people who will dismiss you as weird, kinky, masochistic, self-damaging and just not "right" when they see you have a nose piercing. It's pretty common for people to be told to take any facial piercings out at their place of work, or to not get hired for a job if you have a facial piercing, regardless of your actual resume and qualifications.
If you aren't up to withstanding any of these prejudgments, don't get your nose pierced.
Some people switch out metal jewelry for retainers when they have to deal with certain work or family situations. This type of jewelry is made out of clear acrylic, so as to be of a lower visual profile than metal. These are only appropriate for piercings that are completely finished healing, as the plastics sometimes interact badly with still-healing skin surfaces.
Understand that acrylic retainers are NOT really invisible, they just have a lower visible profile than metal jewelry. You can still see that you have a nose piercing when you wear them.
Got a nose piercing question? If it's a brief one, you can ask it here. Questions that are addressed by something written in the lens already will get deleted to cut down on repetition.
It's also a good idea to read through past questions to see if someone has already asked what you wish to ask about, as that might get you your answer right away!
Please note, I can NOT answer the following questions:
- how much will it hurt? (no clue, that all depends on your own perceptions and physical tolerance)
- how much do piercings cost? (go ask a piercer)
- how will something heal? (your own body's healing process and how diligent you are taking care of your nose can't be predicted)
- is this infected? (go see a doctor for a medical diagnosis)