What is a Septum Piercing?
The Septum Piercing is a piercing that is done through the nasal septum, this is the piece of your nose that separates the left and right nostril. Piercers are aiming for the “sweet spot” this is the thin piece of skin that sits at the front of your nose, past the thick cartilage. It is technically called the “columella”. Some people do not have a columella making the piercing difficult to perform. After finding the sweet spot your piercer will work on finding the correct placement, everyone has a different anatomy, so the placement is going to vary from person to person.
Septum piercings are relatively non-painful when placed correctly, but it is important to keep in mind everyone’s different pain tolerance. When you are having the septum pierced the piercer will clamp the spot that is going to be pierced and perform the actual piercing with a hollow needle. After the needle has gone through the tissue, the piercer will unclamp the nose and inset the jewelry. As the piercing is happening expect some eye watering and a small amount of blood may appear.
Septum Jewelry Options
The septum is a unique piercing because it has many different jewelry options that can be customized to the individual. The septum is usually pierced at a 16 gauge and there is a wide variety of jewelry in that size. Most piercers will use a captive bead ring or a circular barbell ring (which sits in a horseshoe U-shape) to start with. Septum rings can be upgraded to different more fancier options such as a clicker. This is an ideal piercing because of its ability to be hidden or flipped up into the nose, making a horseshoe, staple shaped, or curvy retainer a more desirable option.
A clicker is one of the more customizable options and can have many different gemstones and designs. This can be inserted by your piercer once the piercing has healed. The other unique thing about the septum piercing is the ability to have it stretched. A professional piercer will be able to help stretch the piercing if that is your goal.
A septum piercing healing process is going to take between two to three months. Right after it is pierced there might be a few days of swelling, where it will feel uncomfortable. After a few days this piercing shouldn’t hurt unless accidentally moved or bumped. The most important thing to do (other than keeping a cleaning regime) is to resist the urge to touch it. Try not to play with it, spin it, rotate it, or grab at it. This is not like the piercing you get while you’re at the mall, you don’t need to rotate the jewelry. The only exception to this rule is when you want to flip it up or re-center the piercing (keep this at a minimum if possible). This is part of the beauty of the septum, its ability to be flipped into the nose.
The septum piercing is done on the center of the face, and it can be moved naturally when eating or talking. Straightening it is okay as long as you are only touching it with clean hands. If you need to flip the piercing up or straighten the piercing make sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap. Ideally you don’t want to move the piercing, but one of the reasons that people get this piercing is because it is so easy to hide. This is a great piercing for the work place or school setting because it is so easy to hide.
As with any piercing it is important to create a cleaning regime that you will complete every day, multiple times a day throughout the healing period. For around three months you will want to use a saline soak to clean the septum piercing. This soak should be done twice a day, once a day at the absolute minimum. It is easier to remember if it is done once in the morning and once at night. This piercing does not need to be cleaned more than two times a day. The saline solution that is used for cleaning is made from non-iodized sea salt and a gallon of distilled water. These are both items that can be found in the grocery store for a few dollars. It is important that the salt is “pure” and “non-iodized”. Make sure the gallon of water is labeled “distilled” and it is not substituted with tap water or any other water.
When you are making the solution, you will put 4 tablespoons of the non-iodized sea salt into the gallon of distilled water. Putting this in the gallon of water makes sure that the correct measurements are being used and you can easily pour it into a smaller bottle when you need it on the go. When cleaning the septum take a coffee cup and pour the solution into the cup (high enough were you can submerge the nose into the cup). Put the cup in the microwave for a few seconds to make the solution body temperature. Be careful not to make it too hot because it can burn you and the piercing. Take the coffee cup out of the microwave and tilt your nose into the cup. It is a little awkward for the first few times, but it you get used to it after the first few sessions. Let your nose sit in the coffee cup for seven to ten minutes. When you are done you can rinse your nose off or pat it dry with a paper towel.
What Not to Use
Make sure you are not using anything that is in a bottle. Stay away from things such as; Bactine, Neosporin, Alcohol, and Antibacterial Soap. None of these items should go on or near the new piercing. The only cleaning solution needed it a non-iodized seal salt solution. Make sure to always wash your hands before touching or moving your new piercing.
Disclaimer: If you have any questions about your Piercings, please visit a Professional Piercer or a Medical Professional.