6 Things to Know Before Getting a Nose Piercing

The nose is the center of your face, so why not decorate it? These days, the nose piercing is becoming more and more popular. One of the reasons it’s become so popular is the fact that it’s often the first facial piercing people feel comfortable getting. It’s becoming more and more acceptable in the workplace. From nostril to septum piercings, placement and jewelry, there’s a lot to know about a nose piercing before you go get one.

1. Do Nose Piercings Hurt?

This is a commonly asked question; the answer is always it depends. First, it depends on your pain tolerance. But honestly, it looks scarier than it really is. Because it’s right in the center of your face, you can see the needle if you keep your eyes open. Oftentimes, seeing the needle creates more fear than the actual piercing process itself.

If you’re getting your nostril pierced, don’t be afraid if your eyes water. This is often not caused by pain, but instead, the fact that you have nerves connected to your sinuses and interfering with them can cause your eyes to water. Nostril piercings are also often compared to ear lobe piercings, but you feel a bit more of the pinch because of the needle passing through cartilage.

Does a Nose Piercing Hurt

2. What Are the Different Types of Nose Piercings?

While the nostril is the most common type of nose piercing, with the septum being a close second, there are other nose piercings you can get, including:

High nostrils: These are just like nostril piercings, except they are placed in the highest point of the nostril where the thinnest and softest cartilage is located. These take a bit longer than normal nostril piercings to heal and are slightly more painful.

Rhino or vertical tip: This piercing goes through the tip of the nose vertically. The piercing should be parallel, centered, and straight. The depth or the angle of the piercing will depend on each nose’s unique anatomy and preference. You can wear either a straight or curved barbell in this piercing. This piercing does go through quite a bit of cartilage, but because there are more nerves in the area, blood flow is better, which makes healing a bit quicker than other cartilage piercings (6 months to a year). Expect a bit of pain, especially because the piercing must be slow in order for it to be accurate.

Septril: This is a unique combination of a septum and nostril piercing. In order to get this piercing, you must have a fully healed, stretched septum piercing. In fact, your septum needs to be stretched quite a bit, with most piercers recommended it be at least at a 4g, if not larger. This is because your piercer will need to fit a receiving tube into it in order to pierce into the intended area. Like the vertical tip, this piercing is located right at the center tip of the nose between your two nostrils, except its placement is usually angled down. The healing time for this piercing is around 4-6 months. As with most piercings, it will need to be pierced with a longer bar to account for swelling, and downsizing as soon as the swelling goes down will help prevent migration.

Nasallang: This piercing involves a straight bar going through one nostril, into the septum, and then out the other nostril. Unlike a traditional septum piercing, which goes through the sweet spot in the nose rather than the cartilage, this piercing involves the septum being pierced through the cartilage. The exact placement will depend on your anatomy. It’s very important that you are pierced with a longer bar at first, as this will allow for swelling and any crusties that will build up due to movement. Therefore, piercers recommend that you begin with a well-polished, high-quality piece of jewelry so it’s easier to clean. This piercing does take longer to heal; it is essentially three individual piercings. Expect it to take anywhere for a year or more to fully heal. This piercing is extremely painful.

Mantis: These piercings are typically done in pairs. They are also known as forward nostril piercings. Placement is going to depend on your anatomy as well as the jewelry you want to wear. You’re going to want to wear a flatback style, such as a threadless post and end. These take around 3-4 months to heal.

3. What Metals Are Allergy & Sensitivity Safe?

If you’re known to have sensitive skin or allergies to certain metals, you are going to want to avoid jewelry made from nickel as well as sterling silver. Those with an allergy to nickel will develop a rash. Additionally, sterling silver will tarnish, and when it does, it can stain your skin or, worse, cause bacterial growth to occur.

To be on the safe side, piercers will recommend you opt for one of the following types of metals:

  • ASTM F-136 Titanium
  • 316LVM Stainless Steel
  • 18kt Gold

Nose Piercing X Hoop Earrings

4. Are There Times I Shouldn’t Get My Nose Pierced?

Yes! You definitely shouldn’t go in for a nose piercing if you’re sick. First, you don’t want to be spreading germs where there needs to be a sterile environment. But also, when you’re sick, especially if you have a runny nose or are congested, you are blowing your nose a lot. The constant touching and friction around the nose are not conducive to healing a brand-new piercing.

5. What Type of Jewelry Can I Wear in My Nose Piercing?

When you get a piercing, you want to select a piece of jewelry that matches your aesthetic. One of the best parts of nose piercings is the variety of jewelry options you have available. However, it does depend on what type of nose piercing you have.

Nose Piercing Jewelry Types

Nostril Piercings

Nostril Screws

For nostril piercings, you have multiple types of jewelry to choose from. You can go with a nostril screw, which is a gem or end of some sort attached to a long post that can bend inside your nostril to prevent it from falling out.


You can also opt for a flatback. Also used in ear and lip piercings, a flatback is a post with a flat backing and a separate end. This end can be screwed on, with either internally or externally threaded jewelry. The post can also be hollow with the end having a separate post that fits inside; this type of jewelry is known as threadless. You can choose different ends to meet your style or outfits, but it should be noted that you shouldn’t play around with switching the ends until your piercing is fully healed.


Much like a nostril screw, the L-bend style of jewelry is composed of an end attached to a post with a bend in it. Unlike the nostril screw, which has a curve at the end of it to fit within your nostril, the L-bend does not contain a curve. While it’s easier to get in and out of the piercing, it also has a higher chance of falling out.

Nose Bones

This style of jewelry contains an end that attaches to a post with a ball on the end. This ball is often thicker than the post, which means you must slightly stretch the piercing in order to insert or remove this type of jewelry. For this reason, it is not recommended as initial jewelry for a nostril piercing.

Rings / Hoops

Nose rings are common jewelry as well. However, did you know that many piercers don’t recommend a ring for initial jewelry? This is because rings make the piercing harder to clean and thus heal. However, rings are great options for fully healed nostril piercings. And, if you have both nostrils pierced, you can even switch it up and do a stud on one side and a ring on the other.

Septum Piercings

For septum piercings, the jewelry options will depend on the gauge of yours. If you haven’t stretched your septum, then a ring style would work best for you.

These include:

  • Clickers
  • Seamless or segment rings
  • Circular barbells
  • Captive bead rings

Guy With Septum Piercing

If you don’t want your jewelry to show, you can wear a septum retainer and keep the jewelry flipped up inside your nose. If you’ve stretched your septum, you might be inclined to wear a septum tusk, spike, or plug. A septum tusk or spike has a thicker middle section and thinner ends that taper out. A septum plug is just like the plug you’d wear in a stretched ear.

6. What Is Aftercare Like for These Piercings?

For any nose piercing, you’re going to want to make sure you keep it clean and you don’t snag your clothes or a towel on the piercing(s) while it’s/they’re healing. Additionally, in order to help get rid of some of the crusties and keep the area clean, you’re going to want to fill a small cup (like a Dixie cup) up with saline solution. Next, you’re going to want to submerge your nose into the saline solution, blowing bubbles if you can. You’re going to want to keep your nose submerged for about 1 minute.

Additionally, you’re going to want to avoid any harsh chemical face cleaners getting near the area.

Trauma to the piercing can cause one of those often talked about bumps next to your piercing.

You also do not want to be touching your piercing. This includes moving the jewelry in any way. You do not need to twist and move the jewelry for it to heal. In fact, this could make the healing process take longer.

Make sure you wash your hands before you touch the piercing so you don’t possibly introduce any bacteria into the piercing and cause an infection.

Lastly, you definitely don’t want to go to the beach or a swimming pool while the piercing is healing. This avoids any possible spread of bacteria as well as keeps your nose free from harsh chlorine.

Be very careful blowing your nose as well as wearing any type of eyewear, especially if you have high nostril piercings.

Think You’re Ready to Get a Nose Piercing?

Well, now you know the necessary facts before getting a nose piercing. For specific questions regarding your anatomy or aftercare procedures, it’s best to consult your piercer. And when it comes time to play around with jewelry, Urban Body Jewelry has you covered. Check out our wide selection of gold nose rings and other nose piercing jewelry today.

Written by Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel is a poet and Content Account Manager. She has been getting pierced for over 16 years, while taking the time to learn proper aftercare techniques from the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) members. Always enamored by the jewelry options that exist for body modifications, she one day hopes to assist clientele with picking out jewelry and styling ears.