It’s 2022 and you can get anything on the internet: household essentials, clothes, exercise equipment, body jewelry…and cheap piercing guns? Yep, you read that right. Amazon now sells cheap piercing kits complete with a piercing gun and jewelry for $9.99. There are numerous videos on TikTok showing people who have bought these kits using the piercing gun and jewelry to pierce their noses.
However, if you asked any piercer who is a member of the Association of Professional Piercers (APP), they would tell you to refrain from piercing your own nose, let alone with a gun you bought off Amazon.
Regardless of your decision, it’s important to know exactly what it feels like to properly pierce your nose and how to care for the piercing afterward.
Why Do APP Members Recommend Avoiding Being Pierced with a Gun?
Piercers who are APP members don’t just tell you to not pierce yourself because it would kill their business. They make these recommendations based on what would keep you safest and provide the best piercings possible.
In keeping your safety in mind, they recommend avoiding piercing guns because:
- Reusable piercing guns can’t be thoroughly sterilized, putting you in contact with other people’s body fluids and blood. This poses risks involved with bloodborne pathogens.
- Piercing guns can cause tissue damage. The needle on a piercing gun is dull compared to the hollow needles professional piercers use. Therefore, more pressure is needed in order to create the fistula. This can cause serious tissue damage and has been known to shatter cartilage and leave a person permanently disfigured. Additionally, there’s not enough pressure put on the needle, and the blunt jewelry can get stuck halfway through the ear.
- The jewelry compatible with piercing guns is not recommended for healing a piercing due to its low quality. The Association of Professional Piercers recommends that all initial jewelry for piercings is implant grade
What It Feels Like to Properly Pierce Your Nose
No two people will have the same exact experience getting their nose pierced; especially because pain is subjective. However, we can provide a general idea of what it will feel like.
Nose piercings aren’t completely pain-free. You will feel some discomfort and it might sting a bit. However, when a professional piercer performs the piercing, the pain should be as minimal as possible.
If the feeling had to be compared to another experience, it would feel about the same as a shot or an eyebrow wax; you will feel some pressure from the clamps and needle going through the cartilage followed by some mild sharp pain.
Fortunately, this pain should only last for a few seconds; a professional piercer will tell you to take a deep breath in and will push the needle through on your exhale. Following the actual piercing, the area will be sore, but the pain should be tolerable.
A few ways to reduce any pain you may feel are to make sure you have a full meal before you are pierced and to avoid caffeine before you are pierced. Caffeine can reduce blood flow, which will make it more painful.
How to Care for a Nose Piercing
When you are initially pierced, you will be given jewelry that’s a bit longer to account for any swelling that occurs. Because nostril piercings go through a mucus membrane, you should expect the area to swell quite a bit.
While your piercing is healing, it is important that you don’t touch it. There is no need for you to rotate or twist your jewelry for it to heal. When you do move your jewelry, it irritates the healing fistula, which can lead to increased scar tissue and prolonged healing times. Additionally, any bacteria on your hands can get into the open wound and cause an infection. Therefore, if you ever do need to touch your jewelry or the area around it, make sure you wash your hands first.
Instead of moving your jewelry, you’ll want to leave it alone except when you do saltwater soaks. For a nose piercing, you’ll want to do saltwater soaks once or twice daily.
To make your solution for a saltwater soak:
- Go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of distilled water
- Also, pick up some non-iodized or all-natural sea salt
- At home, mix four teaspoons into the gallon of distilled water Take a shot glass or a coffee up and pour the solution into it (only use porcelain or glass and never paper or plastic glasses and mugs)
- Microwave the solution for a few seconds until it’s barely body temperature or lukewarm
- Dunk your nose in the solution and let it soak for 7 to 15 minutes
- Take fresh water and rinse the area off and pat dry
What to Avoid While You’re Healing Your Piercing
While your piercing heals, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid doing to ensure it heals properly, including:
- Using a Q-tip to clean the piercing—Q-tips can shed particles of cotton that can get stuck in the healing fistula
- Using any harsh chemicals on the piercing, such as Neosporin, Bactine, Hydrogen Peroxide, or alcohol
- Going swimming in any public body of water or submerging your new nose piercing in a bath
Should you follow all of the above aftercare and avoid anything that will prolong the healing process, your new nose piercing should heal within two to three months.
For more information about nose piercings and aftercare, be sure to read our comprehensive guide.