The first and most important part of getting a nose piercing is picking your piercer and your jewelry. Once finding a professional piercer they will help you chose the perfect piece of jewelry. Initially, you will most likely be pierced with a nostril screw, this is a post that turns into a screw at the bottom. The top end can have a bezel or a small design that attaches to the post, the bottom end is the piece that is similar to a screw shape. The “screw” feature keeps the jewelry in place, and there is less of an opportunity for it to fall or be ripped out. It is not uncommon for your professional piercer to bend the screw, so it has a loose fit inside the nose. This extra lank accounts for drainage, discharge, cleaning, and swelling. Since it is bent to be a little loose you can expect the inside to move around, this is completely normal. Everyone needs to start out with a little extra length in the beginning. After a few weeks you can go back to your piercer to have them insert smaller jewelry or bend your jewelry to fit a little snugger.
The first two weeks will be when you see the most swelling, and you want to give it another week or two before having your piercer change out the piercing. Some people do want to begin this piercing with a ring, but this varies from piercer to piercer. A ring is meant to be snug to the nose and it does not allow any extra room for swelling in the initial piercing. If the ring is too small or too fitted, then it will start to cut into the tissue. This can cause hypertrophic scaring and delayed healing. After a month and a half to two months you can start to switch the jewelry to a snugger fitting ring.
Once the jewelry is picked out and you are in the piercing room the piercer will have a clean space to work from and the jewelry already prepped and cleaned. Before getting started your piercer will put on a pair of gloves and then clean the area where your piercing will be placed. The piercer will mark the spot where the piercing will go. Once you agree on the placement on the nostril the piercers will clamp the nose and insert the needle. After the needle has been inserted the jewelry will be put in immediately, with one swift motion. The standard jewelry size for the nose is an 18 gauge or 20 gauge.
How Long Does a Nose Piercing Take to Heal?
A typical nostril piercing takes two to three months to completely heal, that’s if there are no issues with the piercing. Everyone’s bodies are a little different meaning they heal differently as well. Since the nose has mucus membranes it is normal to expect some swelling, especially in the first week. When it is healing it is important not to touch it, play with it, or rotate it. Leave the jewelry in a stationary position for as long as you can. Since you are starting with a longer piece of jewelry you may have to tuck the end of the jewelry back into your nostril.
Make sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap before touching the piercing. The inside of the piercing is essentially forming a scab, and the more that the jewelry gets moved around the more that scab is being disrupted. Touching the piercing can also introduce new bacteria into the open tissue, which can cause infection and prolonged healing time.
How to Put in a Nose Ring?
As long as your piercing is well healed then installing jewelry should be fairly easy. The best method is to use some sort of water based lubrication. Then gently insert the jewelry into the piercing using very little pressure to make sure not to damage the hole. If resistance is met and the jewelry feels as if it doesn't want to go in then go ahead and push a little harder. If at any point it becomes painful or starts to bleed then stop what your doing and seek out a professional piercer in your area to assist you
When Can I Change My Nose Piercing?
Before changing your nose piercing make sure it is completely healed. 2-3 months is the standard healing time for a nostril piercing. Once you feel like your piercing is good to go then you should be ok to change out your jewelry. But if at any point you are met with resistance or have trouble then you should seek out a professional piercer in your area to assist you.
How Do You Know When Your Nose Piercing is Healed?
Most nostril piercings will take roughly about 2-3 months at the minimum to be completely healed. After that time a good rule of thumb is if you go a good solid 2-3 weeks without seeing any crust or discharge then your piercing could possibly be healed. This is one of those things where everybody heals completely different and some peoples piercings may heal faster or longer then others.
While the nostril is healing (2-3 months) cleaning should take place two times a day, morning and night. The best method to clean the nostril is with a pre-made non-iodized sea salt spray. You will need a gallon of distilled water, make sure the label reads “distilled” and you are not substituting for anything else. You can find Non-iodized sea salt at almost any grocery store, with the distilled water.
The sea salt should say; Non-iodized, pure, or organic. When you read the label, it should only have one ingredient, sea salt. When you get home put four teaspoons of the non-iodized sea salt into the gallon of distilled water and shake the bottle well. After you have mixed the jug you can pour it into a smaller container for doing soaks on the go.
When you are ready to clean your piercing pour the solution into a shot glass or a porcelain coffee cup. Make sure that you are not using paper or plastic products, this will contaminate the sea salt solution. Once you have poured the solution into your cup put it in the microwave for a few seconds. You want the solution to be body temperature or lukewarm, any warmer then that may burn you and your piercing. Everyone has a different microwave, so it might take a few tries to get the temperature right. Hold the shot glass or coffee cup up to your nose and lean into the cup.
Hold the cup to your nose for anywhere between 7 and 15 minutes. When you are finished, rinse your nostril piercing off with water or pat it dry with a clean towel.
What to Avoid
During the two to three-month healing period avoid any bottle cleaners such as; Hydrogen Peroxide, Alcohol, Neosporin, Bactine and Antibacterial soap. When cleaning your face, you can lightly wash around the piercing, but make sure that you avoid getting soap into the hole of your piercing. Avoid drying your face and piercing with cotton balls or q-tips as the fibers tend to get stuck or trapped around the piercing which can cause irritation and healing problems. Taking showers and baths are fine, but public bodies of water can harm your piercing by introducing new bacteria into the tissue.
Disclaimer: If you have any questions or concerns about your piercings please visit your local Professional Piercer or Medical Doctor.