After ear piercings, nose piercings are the most common worldwide. Nostril piercing is a body piercing practice most often considered descended from “Eastern” culture because of its historical prominence in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and throughout South Asia, but it began to be worn in the West in the 80s and 90s—by artists, bohemians, and punks—before gaining more widespread acceptance toward the turn of this century.
The piercing can be placed anywhere on the nostril, but tends to heal most quickly—and look most natural—in the horizontal crease. During the piercing procedure, your piercer will place a small dot on your nose to show where they're going place jewelry. Take your time to review this placement, as it is wise to get a piercing in a location that flatters your individual anatomy and face.
While there are numerous jewelry choices when it comes to nostril piercings—from a basic surgical steel post to ornate gold-and-diamond studs—the three main types of jewelry we offer are nostril screws, and captive bead rings, all in implant-grade surgical steel. (Silver is never appropriate for initial piercings. Generally, we start nostril piercings with an 18 gauge nostril screw.
Nostril Piercing FAQ
How long until I can change my jewelry?
Wait at least 4-6 months. Nostril piercings are not very forgiving if you try to change the jewelry too soon. Not waiting long enough could result in irritation, a tear to the piercing channel, scarring, an increased risk of infection, or difficulty reinserting the jewelry. Make sure you get pierced with jewelry you like and wait until it's fully healed to change it.
How long until I can leave the piercing empty?
The inner wall of a nostril piercing is made up of a mucus membrane, so this part of the piercing tends to close up very quickly without jewelry—even for a few short minutes. If you like your piercing, keep jewelry in it; don’t remove your jewelry without first having another piece of jewelry to fill its place.
Are there jewelry options if I need to hide the piercing?
There are several options that make your piercing less visible but none that will make it invisible. Nostrils screws made of quartz glass that are incredibly discreet—and are a good option for surgery where metal is not allowed. While these do not make your piercing disappear, they are much less noticeable than other options—especially if someone is not looking for your piercing—and they work in situations where wearing jewelry is not acceptable, such as work, family events, school, surgery, etc.
How do I get the jewelry out?
We typically use one of two types of jewelry for nostril piercings: a nostril screw a ring is a second option. Nostril screws are a long wire "post" with a set stone, ball, or disc on one end. This is bent into a modified spiral, or screw, to fit each person's individual nostril. To remove, grasp the end and give a slight twist as the jewelry comes out. Removing and re-inserting nostril screws can be tricky (at least until you get the hang of it), but once you get a feel for it becomes second nature.
Initially, the process of removing your nostril jewelry can be frustrating and troublesome. If you do have difficulty changing or removing your jewelry, come in and see us. If you buy the jewelry from us, we will insert it free of charge. Just do not attempt to change your piercing until it is at least 4-6 months old, or longer; removing your jewelry too soon can actually cost you your piercing.
Can I get this piercing wherever I want?
The location of your nostril piercing will depend upon the size and shape of your nose as well as the location of the crease of your nostril—the thinnest part of your cartilage and traditional location for the piercing. To find your nostril crease, look in the mirror and flare your nostrils; the natural line that forms is your nostril crease. Almost anywhere along that line will work, though most people will have one particular spot that most flatters their facial features most.
Why can't I get a really tight-fitting ring?
Rings tend to be troublesome for some during healing, (Even if you never see it, your nostril tissue will swell slightly after getting your piercing and during the healing process, so the initial jewelry will need to be large enough to accommodate for any swelling that may occur, and wearing a ring that is too tight will irritate the tissue and often results in difficulty healing or even scarring). Allow your piercer to recommend a fit and style for you, your nose, and your lifestyle; you can always switch to something more snug once the piercing has fully healed.
Why does my jewelry stick out?
Nostril screws are initially bent to fit your nose and your piercing during the healing process. This means that the jewelry, at first, will be slightly larger in order to accommodate for swelling. This may cause the screw to protrude from the base of the nose
If you find your nostril screw sticking out, or the ends flip down after getting the piercing, give it a week; this will often resolve itself. If the jewelry is still loose and uncomfortable after that time, stop in and see your piercer. We can sometimes tighten the nostril screw without removing it so that it will better stay in place but will still allow for healthy healing. Once the piercing is completely healed, you can have it bent for the perfect close, custom fit you are looking for, or go for a shorter post altogether.
Why shouldn't I get my nose pierced with a gun? It's cheap!
It may be cheaper, but you do get what you pay for. Piercing a nostril with a gun is more painful and tends to result in nasty scarring, seldom producing a healthy, attractive piercing. What’s more, due to their plastic parts, piercing guns cannot be sterilized; this means that the blood and bodily fluids of others tend to accumulate in various cracks and crevices. Plus, employees of locations using ear-piercing guns are seldom effectively trained in bloodborne pathogens transmission, and there are several documented case in the United States of staph infections acquired from the improper use of piercing guns. (Continued next page)
Furthermore, piercing gun studs were NOT designed to pierce nostrils. The post used is far too short to allow for swelling, often resulting in jewelry that becomes embedded in the skin. All of this means more discomfort, swelling, and scarring—and makes it unlikely the piercing will heal in the first place.