What is a septum piercing?
A septum piercing is a piercing that goes through the the softest bit of flesh toward the front of the nose aka the nasal septum. The piercing is usually in the center of the nose although it can be off-center. This piercing has been around since ancient times and is commonly seen in Indian culture. The term “septum” comes from the Latin word septiculum which means partition or division.
Pain and healing time
A septum piercing involves some pain to varying degrees, depending on the person – though it’s probably not as painful as you would think. There’s typically at least a little sting because you’re essentially punching a hole through your skin. The pain is sharp and fast, but doesn’t last long. The amount of pain varies depending on how thick your nose is. Thicker noses cause more pain than thinner ones.
It generally takes up to 4 months for the wound to heal. Until then, you don’t need to do anything. Not even change the jewelry.
Once it heals, you’re free to switch it up with those gorgeous septum rings you’ve been eyeing!
The first step is to leave it alone. Don’t touch it, don’t flip it, don’t play with it—don’t do anything your piercer wouldn’t want you to do.
There’ll be strong urges to pinch your newly pierced nose but stay strong and keep your hands away from it unless it’s time to clean. Wash your piercing (thoroughly!) with antibacterial soap at least twice a day for two or three weeks.
Don’t worry about whether you can see your septum piercing, let it heal and settle down. Your body will do what it does.
It is important not to swim in chlorinated water for at least one month following the piercing. Chlorine can irritate your septum piercing, causing trauma or infection. It can also cause dryness or cracking of the skin around the piercing. It is also important to avoid touching the septum piercing area with unwashed hands, as this can lead to infection.
If you really have to move your ring (because of work or because you don’t want anyone finding out), then make sure to soak the ring in warm water first. The water will help soften the skin around the metal to make it easier to move around. Warm water will also take out any crusty debris around your septum and prevent you from pulling too hard on the piercing and creating a new wound.
One of the possible downsides of septum piercing is the migration of jewelry to an unintended position in the nose. This can be caused by poor aftercare, and may lead to infection. Some symptoms of infection include increased pain, redness, or size after you get your piercing. If you notice this happening, contact your piercer quickly.
Infection can also lead to scarring. However, even if you don’t get an infection, you can cause scarring by tugging or playing with your new piercing and not following proper aftercare guidelines.
Cost and where to get it done
Always stay away from sketchy places. Get your piercing done at a piercing studio instead. It’s safer and cleaner so you won’t have to deal with problems like infections. It will typically cost between $50 and $100.
Professional piercer Tiny Tatz says that a septum piercing is “a difficult piercing to do, so do research on your piercers. Make sure they have done it before and look at a portfolio of their work. You want to make sure it is done properly.”
Having a professional piercer do your septum piercing means they can do it at the right angle based on your facial symmetry. If you’re in the United States, here’s a directory of professional piercers.
Changing out the jewelry
There are many different reasons why someone may want to change out their septum piercing. It could because the jewelry is old and they would like another style or color, or perhaps because it has become damaged in some way.
First, make sure your hands are washed. Slowly bend your hoop away from the septum or if you have barbell style jewelry in your septum, then simply twist the ball off, and replace it with a new one. Make sure your new piece is sterilized with a saline solution.
If this process makes you nervous you could always go to your piercer to get it done. They may charge you a small fee for doing so, and limit you to their jewelry for the replacement, so ask them beforehand.
Best types of jewelry and jewelry material
Modern septum piercing jewelry can be made from a variety of materials, with styles ranging from traditional to extreme. Among the most common pieces used during the initial piercing includes circular barbells and captive bead rings (CBR), which can be threaded through the septum when changing between different pieces is inconvenient or impractical.
Circular barbell: A circular barbell is composed of two balls connected by a metal rod. The ball on the end that rests against the piercings face has an opening large enough to fit around the piercing that it rests next to, while the other ball has a threaded post that can be screwed into place in order secure it in place.
Rings: A captive bead ring is composed of a small open hoop that can be inserted through the piercing, which has one end with a raised ball. This ball acts as an insulator between the jewelry and the piercing; in turn, preventing skin irritation and allowing it to heal properly. Rings are most commonly made using implant grade steel or titanium due to their strength, durability and resistance to wear.
The most common materials used for initial septum piercings that plan on having it for several years are generally steel or titanium; both of which are inert metals that do not cause body reactions like other cheaper metal components can. Additionally, these two metals are well suited because they are highly durable and resistant to corrosion; however, as the piercing heals and becomes increasingly aware of its surrounding environment it can become more vulnerable to wear and tear.