Septum piercings remain big news! Allure foretold septum piercings will be trendy years to come. Several years later, the trend is still on.
Everyone from Jessica Biel to Rihanna has rocked a legitimate or fake septum ring. Whether you are trying to accentuate a beautiful face or trying to look tough, septum piercings can help you achieve both.
In the Post
- Common Sizes of Septum Piercing
- Are septum piercings uncomfortable or hurtful?
- Severe Septum Piercing Swelling Without/With Bruising
- Rejection/Migration of Jewelry
- Piercing Scars
- Septum Jewelry
Common Sizes of Septum Piercing
14 g and 16 g are the average sizes for septum piercings. Consult with your piercer on septum stretching if you desire a larger size.
Lengths and diameter vary based on placement and anatomy. However, a 5/6’’ gives you a relatively snugger fit while a 3/8’’ a slightly looser one.
You may learn more about gauges from our post specific to this topic: Which Gauge Sizes Fit You?
Are septum piercings uncomfortable or hurtful?
Just like any other body piercings, these piercings can be uncomfortable, at least to some people. After all, a foreign object (read needle) is going through your skin to be replaced by a piece of jewelry (a bar, a horseshoe or ring). Because everyone has his or her pain tolerance, the level of pain is subjective.
Piercing of the septum does not hurt more compared to a standard nose piercing. Good piercers know how to get a soft spot to reduce the chances of feeling pain.
Septum Piercing Healing
Septum piercing healing time varies from one person to another. If you are super lucky, healing can be within several weeks. For the ultimate survivor, it can take up to a year. For faster healing, you must maintain high hygiene levels.
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What do you need to do to maintain the cleanliness of your septum piercing? The main cleaning method for your new piercing entails sea salt soaks thrice per day. In addition to that, it is prudent to avoid activities such as swimming. Only touch the pierced area with clean hands.
How to handle regular sea salt soaks (Have a monthly cleaning routine)
Although septum piercing can take up to eight months to heal fully, having and following a strict cleaning routine for a month is important. In this time, soak the area in sea salt thrice, daily. Avoid contacting the pierced area. The same is true for applying makeup and creams on your face.
To get a salt solution for the soak, you need:
- A glass
- 8 ounces of clean tap water
- A quarter teaspoon of sea salt
Fill the glass with water and add sea salt. Sea salt is preferable to table salt. Thoroughly mix the solution until the entire salt dissolves.
Immerse your septum in the mixture. Although it can be a little uncomfortable, it’s part of the healing process. Dunk your septum in the solution for roughly 10 minutes.
Does immersing your septum in the mixture sound painful? Put a cotton ball inside the sea salt mixture and gently squeeze it on your septum for around ten minutes.
A Q-tip is handy for cleaning away crust. Rub away accumulated crust using a soaked Q-tip.
Caring for Your Septum Piercing
Avoid touching it
Refrain from touching the pierced area unless it is during the process of cleaning. If touching is necessary, ensure you wash your hands thoroughly first. The less contact you have, the lower the risk of infection.
Use gentler products
Avoid using face washes or moisturizers on your face during the healing process. If using them is necessary, only use gentler ones with natural ingredients. Tea tree oil acts as a safe antibacterial solution and moisturizer. It soothes irritated and dehydrated skin.
Keep away from any beauty product with peroxide or alcohol. Additionally, keep off the use of scented face products.
You should keep away from these products for roughly 4 – 6 weeks until you heal.
Stay away from swimming pools and lakes as you heal. Chlorine pools, especially, have plenty of bacteria that can find its way into your piercing and lead to an infection.
Avoid changing your septum jewelry prematurely
Even after reaching the 6-week, safe-zone mark, your fistula will still be tender and new. This might make it challenging for you to change your jewelry initially. Over time, your fistula not only strengthens but also reinforces thus making it effortless to change the septum jewelry. If you have the burning desire to have a new piece of jewelry inserted immediately after your piercing has healed, it is prudent for a piercer to do it for you.
If you cannot avoid smoking completely, you should at the very least minimize your intake of nicotine. Nicotine brings with it a systemic effect on your body that sort of delays its healing ability. Are you a heavy smoker? I think it’s better for you to stop smoking before having a piercing.
As e-cigarettes are put under strict regulation in the US, some best alternative options to try include nicotine lozenges, patches and gum. Use them as your piercing heals.
Is There Any Chance of Getting Infection?
Completely avoiding bacteria is next to impossible unless you reside in a sterile bubble. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the harmful microorganisms that can affect your piercing. Learning how to deal with complications during the healing process is important. Do the following:
Recognize an infection
If done correctly, most septum piercings heal up without a problem. Unfortunately, infections can happen. Here are some of the signs you need to be on the lookout for:
- Intense pain, swelling or redness
- A lump close to the piercing
- Green or yellow discharge
Avoid removing your jewelry
Many people’s first reaction upon the first sign of an infection is to remove their jewelry. Avoid being a victim. It degenerates the infection. Closing of the pierced area can lead to worse medical issues.
Avoid thinning your blood
During the initial days of your healing, occasional bleeding is normal. Often, it is due to the freezing of jewelry by crusties (dried lymph). Making the crusties soft is possible using a post-operative care spray. Once you have sprayed it on the area, use a tissue to wipe away the crusties.
Bleeding can affect some people. Because of this, anything that thins the blood needs to be avoided. This is especially true during the initial two weeks of the healing process. This includes excessive amounts of caffeine, alcohol, and aspirin.
Talk to a doctor
In case of infection, take to a doctor right away. Infections without medical assistance or self-medicating yourself can make them worse.
Treatment of piercing infections is through oral or topical antibiotics. Even after the infection has lapsed, you should finish all the antibiotics recommended by the doctor. Without proper and prompt treatment, a pierced infection can turn to be a serious medical issue.
Severe Septum Piercing Swelling Without/With Bruising
During the healing process, swelling is common. If you notice that your nose has swollen severely, there is a high chance that your septum jewelry might start to cut into your skin in a potentially harmful and uncomfortable way.
Prolonged pressure on the fistula causes tissue death (necrosis) that might lead to an infection. Therefore, it is prudent to remove the pressure off as soon as possible.
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as acetaminophen can help reduce the swelling. Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen. The former may cause more bruising while the latter is a blood thinner.
Applying cool compresses gently on the swollen nose might also help with the swelling. Soak a clean piece of cloth in some cold water. Rub your nose gently. Once the cloth gets warm, either stop using it or get a new one to repeat the process.
A small cold gel pack is a great alternative. Cover it with a paper towel or thin cloth before you squeeze it gently against the area below your nose. After applying a cool compress, and/or taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, check whether the swelling beneath your nose has subsided. If it has not and the jewelry still cuts into your skin uncomfortably, you need to visit your piercer ASAP!
He or she will outfit you with a piece of better-fitting septum jewelry. Do not be alarmed if the swelling is coupled with some degree of bruising. It subsides with time. You need to be patient.
Rejection/Migration of Jewelry
It is common for piercing professionals to blunder by piercing your septum in the wrong area. If such a thing happens, chances are high that your septum jewelry might start to migrate out. Over time, your nose can reject it.
Once your pierced area shifts, and there is ample room, your piercer can put a piece of heavier-gauge jewelry. Doing so does two things – it can stop or reduce the rejection process.
You can also choose to remove the jewelry entirely. If you choose this option, take care great of your fistula as it closes. You can get a new piercing after 6-7 weeks.
Sometimes, hypergranulation problems can affect the pierced areas as a response to extra pressure. Superfluous moisture can also cause these issues. So, please don’t soak your pierced spectum too much a day.
They might present as angry-red, puffy tissue or halfway around the septum piercing. It is also possible to develop a pinkish or red piercing bump that appears fluid-filled.
Countable people develop keloid scars. For the affected ones, their scar outgrows the pierced area. If your hypergranulation develops around the affected area, have your piercer replace the jewelry with a larger and more loosely-fitting piece. Getting the pressure off coupled with an improved aftercare regime can reverse hypergranulation issues.
For the problem to fully dissipate, it might one or more weeks. With time and proper care, it ought to go away.
With some people, the issue can persist. When such a thing happens, note whether a runny nose is part of the issue. If it is, the moisture emanating from your sinuses constantly can be a contributing factor. An antihistamine such as Benadryl should be handy. Take it two times a day or as your doctor advises. It will go miles in helping dry the running nose.
Two types of scars form after getting your septum pierced. One is around the pierced area and another one over the top of the retired pierced hole. They go by the name hypertrophic and atrophic scars respectively.
- The former is not likely to form in the initial healing process. However, any person can get them. A fairly skin-colored and raised scar tissue that forms around the exit or entry point of the piercing characterizes this type of scar.
- Atrophic scars, on the other hand, form only where septum piercing holes were once. These recessed scars are normally in a similar color as one’s natural skin tone. They develop due to the inability of body tissue to completely seal the closed fistula.
The good thing is that if you develop either of these scars, most people will not recognize it. Having said that, if you want to eliminate or reduce the scar tissue, jojoba oil or silicone scar therapy gel can be handy. This is especially true if you are into natural treatment options. Regardless of the product you use, the only thing you need to do is rub a tiny amount into the affected area until you sufficiently eliminate or minimize it.
Completely getting rid of the scar might take several months. However, using natural products is not only non-invasive but also more effective compared to alternatives.
Keloid scars are the third scarring type. These scars are genetic issues. Therefore, if you have a family member that is susceptible to developing keloids, there is a high probability that you may be too. In most instances, you will find out at just a young age if you are prone to this type of scar as they tend to form around any wound.
Seeking professional help from a dermatologist is the best solution if you are susceptible to developing keloid scars. Some of the common treatment options include:
- Lasering off the scar tissue
- Surgical removal
- Freezing off the scarred tissue cryogenically
- Corticosteroids injections to reduce inflammation
- Jojoba oil or silicone scar therapy in conjunction with the above medical treatment options
As we have already mentioned, the more time you give your piercing to heal, the easier it will be to change your septum jewelry. Here are some tricks you can apply to smoothly change the jewelry yourself:
- The new septum jewelry must the same gauge as the existing one. Carefully push the old one out as you thread the new piece through your piercing.
- Use a taper with the same thickest point as your jewelry. Remove the jewelry, and apply a small drop of water-based lubricant to the taper’s end. Once you do that, insert it halfway into the septum piercing. With the taper, slowly insert the new piercing jewelry into the septum.
If you experience any issues getting the new piece in, consult your piercer ASAP! The sooner you do it the better to prevent the piercing from closing upon you. Once you have changed your septum jewelry, you will need to begin your aftercare regime afresh. Carry on with the care routine as we described above until you heal completely.
How to choose new septum jewelry
The jewelry you choose to wear when your piercing is healed fully does not necessarily have to be titanium or surgical stainless steel. Others options include:
- Clear mono-filament
- Sterling silver
- 14k yellow or white gold
- Surgical steel
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- Platinum, White Gold, Yellow Gold and Rose Gold
Are septum piercings safe?
Yes! Septum piercings are safe, provided you seek the services of a qualified, reputable and experienced professional. The last thing you want is to do it yourself or have a friend do it for you. Your piercer should follow these safety procedures:
- Inquires if you could be pregnant or have any health issues
- Utilizes a sterile needle
- Sterilizes the jewelry on-site inside a machine by the name an autoclave
- Unpacks the needle package in front of you (it must be sealed)
- Utilizes sterile gloves and washes hands after and before the piercing
- Thoroughly cleans and disinfects nose with antiseptic liquid or alcohol before the procedure
- Provides clear instructions on how to not only clean but also take care of your nose
Is it advisable to stretch my septum piercing?
Sure, you can do it. However, if you have plans of stretching it to the next biggest gauge, it is wise to wait until you have had it for not less than 9 weeks.
Avoid stretching your piercing until you have inserted septum jewelry yourself successfully once or twice. Additionally, do not start stretching it immediately after you have inserted new jewelry as jewelry change can irritate your fistula.
Applying emu oil on the pierced area improves natural elasticity thus guaranteeing a smooth stretching process. Once you are ready, only go up one size at most at a time.
Is it safe for a septum piercing to pass via the cartilage?
No! a neatly-done septum piercing goes through your ‘sweet spot.’ This is the region of flesh between your nose’s front and your cartilage.
Learn more about cartilage piercing: Cartilage Piercing: Really? Cos It Sounds Painful
Is hiding septum piercing possible?
Yes, it is very much possible. To hide it, all you need to do is flip it up inside the nostrils.
What is the process of septum pierce like?
Septum piercings usually go through the middle of your nose’s tip – between the nostrils. The nose has some little skin at its tip. Because of this, piercing the cartilage to get to your septum is unnecessary.
The best attribute about this kind of body piercing is that when you change your mind later about it, you can do away with it easily.
Cost of septum piercings?
Expect to pay roughly $40 – $90 for this kind of piercing. This cost includes jewelry made of semiprecious stones and metals. The truth is, it is not among the cheapest piercings around. For other facial piercings – including ear, nostrils or eyebrow piercings, you can pay less.
The high cost is due to the challenging nature of getting the right replacement. Secondly, determining if a septum is appropriate for piercing can be difficult. It needs more knowledge compared to simpler piercings such as earlobes.
What causes septum piercing to smell?
The smell, also known as septum funk, is an odor of dead skin (crust) cell accumulation as the body tries to rebuild itself. If septum stench is accompanied by blood, yellow pus, or pain, then it is a catalyst for a serious issue (s). Keeping your piercing clean should keep away the nasty smell.
Septum ring is cool