Everything You Need To Know About Septum Piercings

Read up before going under the needle.

Originally Published: 
Septum piercings are continuing to get more popular. Here's everything you need to know about them.

Ah, the septum piercing. Once considered unconventional, piercing the space between your nostrils is now incredibly popular. Many celebrities (like Jessica Biel, Lady Gaga, and FKA Twigs, to name a few) have experimented with the look. And if you are thinking about taking the plunge to change up your look (and a fake septum piercing like Rihanna's isn't doing it for you), here's all the critical intel you need on septum piercings.

The best thing — besides the pretty septum jewelry that you’ll get to shop— is that it doesn’t have to be permanent. It doesn't leave much of a trace if you decide to take the ring out for good, either. But that doesn't mean it's something to do on a whim. Like any piercing, it requires care, caution, and a proper healing period.

A septum piercing definitely looks really cool and is a unique accessory that can add a little glitz or edge to your overall look. You can go big and bold, small and classic, or punk rock with it; it’s a versatile piercing that can help you express different parts of who you are. It can also be easily concealed from anyone you may not want to see it.

If you want to try something new and pierce your septum, there are lots of things you need to think about before going under the needle. These are the major factors to take into consideration when thinking about a septum piercing.

How Much Does A Septum Piercing Hurt?

A piercing is a piercing. It breaks the skin. Everyone’s tolerance for pain is different, but no matter who you are and how much pain you can handle, getting a septum piercing is going to hurt.

"It's pretty much similar to a regular nose piercing," Tiny Tatz, a piercer with several years of experience at Addicted to Ink in White Plains, New York, says. "It feels like you have to sneeze or like when you get hit in the nose and your eyes water for a split second."

Tiny Tatz noted that it's tough to do from a piercer’s perspective since there "is a certain area where you have to go under the cartilage.” It’s difficult because the piercer needs to use specific tools to get between the two nostrils, while making sure not to pierce the nostril itself. Make sure you do some research and find a reputable piercer that has decent experience.

How Long Does A Septum Piercing Take To Heal?

Everyone heals differently, but Tiny Tatz says that the healing period customarily lasts between six-to-eight weeks and the jewelry should not be changed before that. Listen to your body and allow your septum piercing the proper time to heal.

Celebrity piercer Brian Keith Thompson of Body Electric Tattoo in Hollywood agrees, telling Bustle, "You need to wait for six-to-eight weeks with any piercing to let the healing happen. Changing it too soon can just add insult to injury, complications, scaring, and excess bleeding."

Thompson, who has pierced Beyoncé and Emma Stone, also stresses that you need to know what you are getting yourself into and commit to the time frame in order to heal.

"Patience is everything with any type of piercing," he says. "You have to have the maturity and the patience to complete the healing process."

What Is The Septum Piercing Aftercare Like?

The aftercare regimen is simple: Leave it be. Don't play around with it, but if it must be touched, make sure your hands are clean. Bacteria on your hands can infect your new piercing, which is something you definitely want to avoid.

"I recommend that clients get pierced with a horseshoe and leave it down. Some people get it and then have to flip it up right away because of work or not wanting to show it off. If you do have to move and flip [the jewelry], soak it with some warm water first to move it around so it's not pulling or crusty, creating a new wound," said Tiny Tatz. Other than that, clean it twice a day for two or three weeks with wound wash saline solution, piercing aftercare spray, or a gentle anti-bacterial soap.

Can I Remove A Septum Piercing?

What if you get sick of your septum piercing and want to let it go? That's fine. The hole will close after you remove the jewelry... eventually. The longer you have had the piercing, the longer it will take to close (see Busy Philipps above). But it will close.

"How long it takes to close is relative to the person," Thompson explains, citing genetics and the health of your skin as factors that affect that very process. "It could take two weeks to a month to close up."

That means you need to be patient when you get the piercing and when you part with it.

Will A Septum Piercing Leave A Scar?

There's a secret "benefit" to a septum piercing. If you remove your jewelry and let the hole close, it doesn't leave a visible scar.

"Life leaves a scar," Thompson jokes when asked about the type of scar a septum piercing leaves behind. "Yes, all piercings will leave a scar. Scarring is relative to the person, as well. But with a septum piercing, since you can't see it, here's nothing much to worry about."

How Much Does A Septum Piercing Cost?

Septum piercings will cost you between $40 to $90. The price depends on a couple of factors: the piercer’s experience, the studio’s location, and the jewelry used to make the piercing. The latter is typically included in the total price but communicate beforehand to make sure that’s the case. And when thinking about the cash, don’t forget to factor in the aftercare products you’ll need.

What Are The Latest Septum Piercing Trends?

Septum piercing trends have changed over time. While Tiny Tatz uses surgical steel for her piercings, she cites infinity rings as a trend. "It looks endless," she says. "It doesn't have a bead in it or any opening or clasp. It looks like an endless circle."

Gold and decorative designs, like flowers, have also had a moment. Crown septum piercings and thin rings with beads are other styles growing in popularity. At the end of the day, the jewelry chosen for the septum is purely based on preference.

"Whatever you want to go with, go with. It can be interchangeable so you don't have to stick to one style," Tiny Tatz said.

What Septum Ring Size Should I Get?

Ring size matters when it comes to septum piercings. The perfect ring or horseshoe for you depends on the size and shape of your sniffer — and the size of your nose may dictate whether a septum piercing will look good on you.

"A girl came in with a deviated septum and wanted to know if a septum piercing would look right," Tiny Tatz said. "If your nose is not symmetrical enough, it might not look right. Ask your piercer about how they think it will look first. Put in a piece of jewelry to test it out, to see if you really like how it looks and if you really want it."

What Should I Do Before My Appointment?

The most important takeaway from Bustle’s conversations with Tiny Tatz: Research responsibly. If you want a septum piercing, do some research and talk to experienced piercers in your area. To ensure the health of your piercing, and your overall happiness with your new look, make sure the person doing it is legit.

"Do a little research about the place you get it done," she suggested. "It is a difficult piercing to do, so do research on your piercers. Make sure they have done it before and look at portfolio of their work. You want to make sure it is done properly."

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