Nose Piercing FAQ For All Your Questions
(Photo Credit: Instagram via @avapiercing).

Nose Piercing FAQ: I got my nose pierced with a piercing gun. I had no idea that only a piercing needle should be used! Have I done any damage? What should I watch for?

The people who work at many piercing boutiques perform both ear and nose piercings with a gun. The main problem with this is that piercing guns really cannot be sterilized properly since they’re made of plastic. You’re leaving your safety from blood-borne pathogens such as HIV, MRSA, and hepatitis in the hands of someone who probably does nothing more than just swipe the gun clean with an alcohol pad.

There’s also the other problem that the gun is not designed to pierce your nose. Because it is meant for the softer tissue of the earlobe, it actually rips the cartilage of your nose as it drives a stud through your septum or nostril. And it forces the stud to lie right against your skin, with no breathing room so the wound can properly heal.

For now, just keep an eye out for signs of infection. You should also consider whether the jewelry lies too tightly against your skin. Has your wound developed an angry red color? Does it feel uncomfortable? Ask your friends who are pierced to recommend other piercing boutiques. Let another professional check it out. Most likely, you won’t need to do anything, but it’s possible you can switch out the stud for a ring, which will feel better and promote quicker healing.

What do you think about home piercings? I love the way nose jewelry looks, and I just want to know the proper technique for doing it at home.

We do not recommend that you do your own piercing at home. And don’t let your friends pierce you, either! Neither you nor your friend is trained to maintain proper sterility, and you don’t want to become infected. And how steady can you keep your hand? If you’re pushing a thick needle through the sinewy cartilage of your nose, what if you lose your nerve and stop halfway? What if your piercing comes out crooked?

We don’t know of any doctors who take out their own gallbladders, and we don’t think you should pierce your own nose. Spend the time and money to find a professional piercing studio. You will end up with a much more beautiful, more quickly healing piercing.

Can I wear 10k gold in my piercing?

You should know that 10k gold is only 10 parts pure-about 41% pure. That means that almost 60% of the jewelry is made up of some cheaper metal. A higher gold content guarantees better healing and more comfort in your piercing. It’s wise to use 14k, 18k, or 22k gold. 10k gold contains too many filler metals that cause allergic reactions or simple sensitivities.

I want a sterling silver nose ring!

You should be aware that sterling silver oxidizes when it’s exposed to natural body fluids and leaves a permanent black mark on healing skin. Wear sterling silver only after you have totally healed.

What can I put on a dry piercing? My skin is dry under normal circumstances, and the skin around my piercing feels really dry.

Try using an organic skin lotion. Look for something at your local drugstore, the bath products store at the mall, or at your favorite online boutique for a product that’s free of artificial fragrances, irritating dyes, or other chemicals. They are best for the tender, healing skin of a piercing.

It’s been a few weeks since I had my nose pierced, and I’ve been following nose piercing aftercare instructions faithfully. But I just noticed a small whitehead pimple right next to the piercing! What should I do?

Try applying a hot compress to the area. The wet heat will open up your pores to release any oils or other impurities trapped inside. Just be careful by using a gentle touch, and for Pete’s sake, don’t pick at it! Whenever you break the skin, you risk the buildup of scar tissue. If the pimple is right beside the piercing, you can allow it a little extra time to heal.

What type of nose jewelry is best to wear on a newly pierced nose?

When you have your piercing done, the best type of nose jewelry is the captive bead ring-often referred to as the CBR. Because of the way it is made, it is easy to keep both the healing skin and the jewelry clean. You also do not want to bother with something that has a backing while you are healing.

However, if you really want a stud, then get a stud. If you settle for a ring when you know what you want is a stud, then you won’t have the patience to wait for the entire healing period before you switch your jewelry, and that can lead to scarring. Just keep it clean! But just as important is the type of metal-go for gold that is 14k, 18k, or 22k, or surgical-quality stainless steel.

What is the smallest-size nose piercing I can get?

Your piercing professional should advise you not to have it pierced at less than 18 or 16 gauge. Smaller piercings do not allow you a wide range of jewelry options. Smaller jewelry might seem to be disappearing into the piercing wound in the days right after it’s done because of the trauma to the skin, and you are more likely to pull at it.

Someone pulled on my nose ring / My towel got caught on my nose ring, and now my piercing is bleeding! What should I do?

Don’t take out the jewelry. Don’t rotate it, either, because if there are germs on your nose ring, you will rotate them into your wound. Instead, apply warm compresses soaked in sea salt water. If you don’t have a professional sea salt solution on hand, you can make your own. Buy sea salt at your local grocery store or drug store. Make sure it’s sea salt-you don’t want table salt, iodized salt, Epsom salts, or anything else; they are too harsh to use on a piercing. Mix one-eighth of a teaspoon-just a pinch-with three ounces of water as hot as you can stand it. Soak the cotton ball in the water and hold it on your piercing until it cools off. Repeat with a freshly soaked cotton ball until you have soaked it for about ten minutes. You should do this about three times a day.

Should I go to a studio that will numb my nose before the piercing?

We say no. An experienced piercing professional will be finished so quickly that you will have just a brief moment of pain. Other numbing techniques are not good options:

Anesthetic sprays such as ethyl chloride are used only in Europe, and if used improperly, they can cause frostbite. There are numbing gels, like Orajel, but they really only work on mucus membranes and not on the surface of the skin. Some people suggest ice, but again, if your piercer is experienced, then you won’t need it anyway-and why pay extra for that?

What if my nose jewelry falls out before the piercing is healed?

You should leave the same jewelry in place for at least six weeks. You do not have to remove the jewelry in order to clean it. If it comes out while you’re sleeping, then just clean your piercing and your jewelry and reinsert it.

Some people experience difficulty pushing it through their healing piercing. This might be the one time when you want to use an ice cube to numb your nose if you have trouble pushing the jewelry through. 

If you have difficulty and your nose quickly becomes swollen and irritated, don’t worry-but you might need a return trip to the piercing studio. If you successfully reinsert the jewelry on your own, don’t forget to cleanse it again, preferably with a warm salt soak.

Can I walk into a job interview with my nose ring?

It’s best not to wear nose jewelry when you go to a job interview. Many business owners and managers have piercings of their own, and they won’t be offended by your piercing.

But they worry about customers, who are often put off by something so simple as another person’s haircut, tattoos, or piercings.

If you are thinking about getting a nose piercing and also switching jobs, then put off the nose piercing until you’ve made the switch because you must leave your jewelry in place while the piercing heals. Once you’ve passed that critical point, you can buy clear, almost invisible acrylic posts to maintain your piercing without displaying it.

Why are nose rings banned in some Western countries?

Many people believed the Bible forbade piercing, as expressed in Leviticus 19:28. However, others interpret this as an admonishment against self-mutilation to express grief when a loved one has died.

Nevertheless, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—the Mormons—have forbidden any piercing beyond one hole in each ear. The Jewish Talmud also prohibits wearing nose rings on the Sabbath day. Many American school districts have banned visible piercings and limited the number of piercings per ear because there is no clear definition of when a piercing is for expression of culture and religion and when it is for shock value.

The ban also reduced the number of teenagers who sought piercings without parental permission. Clear acrylic studs remain an option for times when you cannot display your nose jewelry.

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