Thursday, September 8, 2016

Real Talk || My Septum Piercing & Healing Experience

Hi guys! Today's post isn't going to be a review or makeup video, instead, as the title has probably tipped you off, I'm going to talk about my experience getting my septum pierced a couple months ago, and how it has healed up. I'll try to do this as logically as possible, and feel free to leave me any questions you might have in the comments.

Just as a disclaimer, I am not a piercer or an expert. Aside from my lobe piercings which were done when I was maybe 2 years old, my septum is the only thing I have ever gotten pierced, so I won't have all the answers, but I wanted to share my experiences. Your piercing journey may very well be different, harder, or easier than mine, as everyone's body is different.

first picture

Why I Chose & Got My Septum Pierced

Before I start talking about the actual piercing, I wanted to quickly mention why I got this one done. First off, for me, this wasn't something I'd been wanting for a long time, which is many people's reason. But my sister had gotten the piercing a couple months ago, about the same time that Karissa Pukas (YouTuber, if you don't know) also got hers done, and while I thought they were pretty weird at first, the look grew on me pretty quickly. You may also have noticed more people wearing (often fake) septum jewellery on Instagram and in magazines and such, so its really not as stigmatized as it once was. There are lots of jewellery options, whether you want something very out-there, bling-y, punky, or dainty.

It's extremely easy to hide by flipping up a circular barbell (like the one in the picture above), or by putting in and flipping up a retainer (which is a small, usually staple-shaped piece). While I love the piercing, and don't want to hide it, there may be jobs I'd want in the future that wouldn't like my piercing, so that hide-ability is a huge bonus. Similarly, should I ever decide I'm done with it, I can take it out, and it will heal up, but even if here is a scar, it will be up inside my nose and no one would ever know I had the piercing! (Though at this point, I don't see that happening. I really do love it)

Finally, I'd both read and been told by my sister that it wasn't very painful (no piercing is going to be truly painless... they punch a hole in your body with a sharp needle. You're going to experience at least some very real discomfort at best!) This is because it doesn't go through your nose cartilage, but in the very front area of the septum is the "sweet spot" which is just skin, and very few nerves. It even heals pretty quickly, though there seems some debate on the internet about healing time. My piercer, along with many places online, say that the healing time is about 6 weeks. That's not even 2 months!

I'll get to when mine felt healed a little later, but all in all (unless you believe the people who say its actually 6-8 months, not weeks), it's a very friendly piercing with low levels of commitment for everything: pain, healing time, ease of hiding, and a lack of scarring.

This is also how I—unintentionally—convinced Brit she should get the piercing as well! She also loved the idea of the "inconsequential rebellion." We were never a rebellious pair.

close up

The Tattoo/Piercing Studio and the Piercing exprience

Anyways, for me, choosing a studio to get pierced at was easy because my sister already had 2 piercings from Sinister Skin and was really happy with the place and piercers, so I just took her recommendation. I'd never been in a tattoo place before, so it looked a little scary when we went in and I think Brit almost backed out, but the piercer (Justin) was really friendly and professional, we signed the required forms, and went into one of the piercing rooms together.

We'd gone back and forth about who should go first, and up until the last minute Brit wanted to go first so she wouldn't be freaked out by seeing what was going to happen. That was fine for me, since I am better off knowing the procedure beforehand, which is why I had googled it the night before. But, as I just alluded to, I ended up going first because I'm clearly more Gryffindor than Brit (Slytherins can be brave too, at least compared to RavenPuffs =P).

Sinister is a pretty small studio, and they don't have piercing options, everyone gets a basic, sterile, surgical steel circular barbell for their new septum piercing, which is fine. The piece is really small, and while it wasn't a favourite at first, it's currently my favourite ring I own! It definitely grew on me. After showing us the jewellery, I lay down in something like a dentist chair, Justin put on gloves, and then started by sanitizing the area just inside my nose with alcohol. This is pretty gross, alcohol is a strong scent at the best of times, never mind IN YOUR NOSE, and you will want your mouth open to breath now, and really for the rest of the procedure.

Next, he put the piercing clamp in my nose which looks a little like a pair of scissors, but with a tube at the end that lines up where the piercing is going. This is super uncomfortable clamped in your nose, and is possibly the worst part, not the actual piercing, as this stays clamped in your nose for a few minutes. Justin explained that he tries to pierce as high in the nose as possible, which I'm happy about, because the piercing doesn't hang out of my nose too far, which I love. That said, even by the same piercer, a piercing will look a little different on everyone because of their unique shape. For example, both my and Brit's piercings are placed high in the nose, but mine hides away a lot more than her's, as you can see below.

two examples same piercing

Finally, the needle goes through the guides on the clamp, and apart from a sting or a pinch when it came through the other side, I didn't really feel the piercing itself. I did, however, have a weird tight feeling that there was something in my skin. I felt some weird tugging when he threaded the jewellery through the new hole, and I could still feel the new weight and some tightness on my nose, which was a bit uncomfortable, but not painful. I asked if it would go away soon, and he assured me it would. I think the last step was to resanitize, but this time with "green soap," because alcohol would have burned like crazy and aggrevated my new wound.

I got up, and at this point, after getting to check out my new piercing in the mirror, I got really light-headed. This turned to dizziness, nausea, and sweating. Luckily, David was there to lean on, and the piercer said it was pretty normal for some people and offered me a lollipop, which did help. I'm sad I didn't really get to watch Brit's piercing, since I was feeling so shit, but I think hers hurt a little more than mine and definitely bled a bit more, but she had way less weird aftershocks than I did, so I think we both did pretty well. I felt much better by the time she was done as well, and we paid and left after Justin went over cleaning and care instructions. Of us were done in less than an hour, including at least 10 minutes of waiting when we first arrived!

Where the piercing sits in my nose. I apologize for blurriness and also if the inside of noses freaks you out.

where the piercing goes

Pain & Healing

I feel like I had a really good run at healing. I didn't get an infection, even though I stopped using the sea salt solution pretty early on. I probably should have talked to the piercer about this, but it was making my nose seriously dry and flaky and really really itchy, so it seemed for the best to just use warm water to clean it, since the dry itchiness was just making it touch my nose more than I should! Besides, lots of people on the internet including the r/piercing subreddit swear by the LITHA method... which stands for "Leave It The Hell Alone."

Weird flaky nose skin, which healed up pretty quickly after I stopped with the salt:

dry nose skin

For the first little while, it was a bit painful or annoying to move my mouth much (eating, talking, laughing, smiling, sneezing, etc.) because my nose moves a lot with my mouth, and that caused some tugging on the jewellery as my septum skin got used to accommodating the new steel bar I had had inserted into it. This got better quite quickly, though it started to seem like forever before it got better. I'd say I had full range of motion with my face back after 2 weeks, though I was almost there at 1.

At 2 weeks, I had also developed the (probably bad) habit of playing with the jewellery with my upper lip. And by 5 weeks I was able to touch, poke, wiggle, and grab my nose without pain or discomfort... which isn't something you realize you will miss until it is taken from you! At 5.5 weeks, I managed to widen the gap in my ring enough to flip the jewellery up, if I want (Justin told us at the start that the rings are a bit bendy, and we could open or tighten them as desired, but our noses were way too tender to try right away).


Changing the Jewellery

I waited the full 6 weeks before changing the jewellery for the first time, and I'm so glad I did, because it was harder than anticipated, and I did irritate my nose a little the first time. I had wanted to try my new clicker first (Seen above; Brit and I went and got new jewellery in advance of 6 weeks), but I just couldn't get the tricky bitch closed, so I ended up opting for a larger, rose gold circular barbell. (picture below).

These can be a little tough to get the balls screwed back on, but lucky for me, I wear the same rings as earrings (same gauge and everything), so I have practise and mostly do it thourgh feel. Brit had a slightly tougher time, but ultimately the barbells are the easiest jewellery to change in and out of that we've found thus far.

gold barbell

I know this is a pretty divisive piercing, as most piercings are, but I love it! Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have any questions about anything I said, or anything you think I missed. I'll be happy to answer any questions I can. If you are interested in piercings in general, I'd recommend checking out r/piercing on Reddit, as well. There's a large, active community there, and you can ask questions, look at other people's piercings, and share your own!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this slightly different (possibly slightly off-topic) post!


  1. hey :) loved reading this! i just got my septum pierced a couple days ago and did flip it up pretty immediately for work. i have a retainer, not a circular barbell and as far as i know the piercing is straight but the retainer sits unevenly in my nose which is really irritating and makes me very nervous it might come out at night or something and travel all the way to my BRAIN or something oops

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I got mine pierced about a week ago. It's pretty badly swollen (thanks to my boyfriend constantly forgetting about it when he kisses me, often smushing my nose a bit) but not infected or bleeding or anything. The retainer sits a bit unevenly (it is flipped inside my nose) and I was super paranoid it was going to heal crooked, so I'm glad that's fairly normal.

  2. I had mine pierced 5 days ago and I thought my dry skin was from me not doing skincare as strictly around my nose since it's so painful to touch still.. but this made me realize that it's probably the sea salt soaks, omg. I never even thought about that drying my nose out. Much appreciation for this lol

  3. I got mine done a week ago. To me from your pics it looks like yours is in the cartilage. I hope it's not. There is a sweet spot where they are ment to go in between the cartilage and the outside of your nose. So far 4 days after I got mine, movement was easy. Im just having dry nose, itchy from healing, and normal crusties. For my 13th piercing i feel it is the easiest one.

    1. My cartilage starts pretty far back, so mine is pierced in the sweet spot. Everyone's nose is a little different, I'm sure lots of people have more cartilage and a smaller sweet spot, but don't worry, mine is pierced in a good place!

  4. I want one!!! It's very nice and you're very cute with this piercing 😍


I love reading your comments, and I really do read them all! So let me know what your thoughts are!


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