All About Nostril Piercings: Maintenance, Before and After Care

By | January 21, 2014

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Are you thinking about getting a piercing in a place other than your ears? If so, consider getting a nostril piercing. These are attractive, fun and relatively low-maintenance if you know how to properly care for it.

Do a little online research before getting a nose piercing

Before you make a trip to your local (or not so local) tattoo shop to get pierced, go on the Internet and do your research. Do a search on nostril piercings and read about the risks and amount of care that goes into having one, weighing out the pros and cons. You will probably find that the cons are relatively low, so long as you follow proper instruction on cleaning your piercing and get the proper jewelry.

Talk to a professional piercer at a tattoo shop

When you decide to make a trip to a tattoo shop to get your nose pierced, talk to the professional piercer first. Ask about the same things you found out in your online research. Chances are, the piercer has piercings as well, so he or she could share some of his or her own experiences with you.

Once you decide to get pierced, the piercer will ask most likely select a small segment ring – a nostril hoop that pulls apart to put it in and remove it that may or may not have a ball in between the openings – made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is the first choice to be pierced with because it’s hypoallergenic.

Don’t be afraid to speak up on what you want when getting a nostril piercing

If you know you don’t have an allergy to nickel, you may find you want to be pierced with 14 karat gold. Tell the piercer and see what he or she thinks. The second-most common material with which to be pierced after stainless steel is titanium.

Most often, when a person gets a nostril piercing, it is done with a 20- or 18-gauge needle. However, on a less frequent basis, some people get a 16-gauge. It all depends on what you want. Again, talk with your professional piercer. In some cases, it can be more difficult to find larger-gauge jewelry, whether in a tattoo shop or online.

Get pierced with a segment ring. Studs, while cute and less noticeable, are not ideal for your healing period, which takes anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the individual. Rings are far easier to clean, and there is less risk of them falling out. Save the studs for later, when you’re able to change your jewelry.

Right or left nostril for piercing?

Of course, you should also decide which nostril you want pierced. Are you a person who tends to sleep mostly on your right side? Then you might decide you want your left side pierced. Or, do you find your right side to be your “best” side? Maybe you would want the right nostril pierced. Again, this is all up to you.

After care and maintenance of a nose ring

After you get the piercing, your piercer will probably sell you a special antibacterial/antimicrobial soap specifically for cleaning tattoos and piercings. Use this to clean your piercing twice a day, once in the morning and then again at night, before you go to bed.

In spite of what we’ve been taught for years with ear piercings, try to avoid rotating your nose ring. This can actually hinder the healing process rather than helping it. The delicate cartilage can heal much faster if the ring stays in position.

Wear your nose ring at all times, even to sleep and shower. Removing your jewelry too soon can cause your piercing to close, and in the case of nostril piercings, even those that have been there for years can close in mere minutes when jewelry is removed. So, if you would like to actually keep your piercing, leave the ring alone.

If possible, avoid using nasal sprays, at least for the first six months of the healing process. Some people with nostril piercings have allergies, but it’s best to take antihistamines orally during this time. Afterward, you should have no issues if you use a nasal spray.

After the healing process, you might feel you want to change your jewelry. Make a trip to your tattoo shop and visit your piercer to get some advice. He or she will look you over and may advise you to either wait a bit longer, or he or she will give you the green light. If you feel uncomfortable about removing your nose ring yourself, someone will do so at the tattoo shop, most likely for a small fee. Make sure you replace it with something that is made with acceptable material, as mentioned earlier in this article. Most people switch to another nose ring or a stud.

Things to think about when getting a nose piercing

Are you someone in your 30s or 40s who wished to get a nostril piercing when you were in your teens or 20s? If you still want to get pierced even now, weigh your options, and, if they’re more favorable, go for it. You can always get a retainer – a clear piece of jewelry that basically “hides” a piercing – if you need to conceal your piercing at work!

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