Nose piercings are incredibly popular amongst all ages, all genders, all walks of life. They can be part of self expression, cultural tradition, or self-discovery. We absolutely adore a nose piercing. Here you’ll find an overview of nose piercings, their aftercare, and what to expect in terms of healing and jewellery options!
There are many places on the nose that can be pierced. Not all are easy, not all are to everyone’s taste, but we love how much of a blank canvas the nose is.
Traditional nose piercings are exactly what most people imagine when thinking about a nose piercing. They sit about 8mm from the edge of the nose, below the nasal crease. Some people will want their nose piercings directly on the nasal crease, but we do not recommend this as it is the thickest part of the cartilage, where two cartilage plates meet. This means that ‘nasal crease’ piercings can be very tricky to heal. Traditional nose piercings are the most common type, and have the largest range of jewellery choices once healed.
High Nostril piercings are their own subset of nose piercings, and are easily the most tricky to heal. High nostril piercings are defined as any nose piercing placed above the nasal crease. Some piercers will split them into two secondary categories depending on their height. For example, we would define my (Kat) nostrils as ‘mid-nostrils’ even though technically by our own definition they are high nostrils. High nostrils, when done correctly by a skilled piercer, can be practically against the bone of the nose bridge. High nostrils are not to be taken on lightly and can take upwards of 9-12 months to fully heal. Aiden is incredibly experienced with high nostrils, and has done many sets for other piercers too!
Mantis piercings are a relatively new trend in nose piercings. Otherwise known as ‘forward facing nostrils,’ these are nose piercings that pass through the front or tip of the nose. Mantis piercings can be a trickier heal and are complex to mark and pierce. It is so easy for a tiny discrepancy in angle or placement to throw the whole thing. We would love to do more forward facing nostril piercings if the right client chose them!
Nose piercings have a few options in terms of jewellery. Some are good for fresh piercings, some are good for healed piercings, and some are not great for piercings in general!
Studs, or flat-back labrets, are the perfect style of jewellery to start nose piercings with. The straight bar means than any excess length for swelling is neatly tucked away, and the healing piercing can drain easily and without issue. Flat-back labrets are very comfortable to wear and look unobtrusive even with extra room for swelling!
Labrets are incredibly secure, and do not carry the same risk of loss that a nostril screw or nose bone do. We will talk about those guys in a minute! Labrets are comfortable, and do not give you that big ‘metal bogey’ sensation. You also can’t see them sticking out of your nose. Winner!
All of our threadless ends are compatible with these labrets, which means you have a huge amount of jewellery to choose from for your initial piercing. You can see our full range of jewellery in-studio, or on our webstore.
Rings are a really classic look for nose piercings. It’s usually the end-goal style, and are incredibly popular! However, they are only really suitable for healed piercings. Healed nose piercings do not need extra room for swelling and drainage, and do not need a stopper ‘design’ to avoid irritating your fresh piercing with a seam or hinge. We highly recommend waiting a minimum of three months before swapping to a ring, so your piercing has a chance to heal and settle before changing to this slightly more irritating style of jewellery.
If you chose to start with a ring, it would usually not be the style of ring you imagine! This ring would have to be much thicker in gauge, and larger in diameter, to allow for your initial swelling and drainage of fluids (yummy!). This ring would also mean you are much more likely to snag your piercing, knock it, or rotate and twist it to introduce bacteria. All of these can irritate your piercing and extend your healing time. If you are set on a ring, it’s important to know what you are getting yourself into!
Nostril Screws and Nose Bones
The other options for nostril piercings are nostril screws and nose bones. Nostril screws are those classic ‘corkscrew’ type pieces which you spiral into the piercing and are held in place via the curvature of the post. Nose bones are straight posts with a sharp point or small ball on the inside, so when inserted the ball is pushed through and holds the jewellery in place. We do not recommend either style of jewellery for long term wear, especially nose bones as they can damage your piercing! The main reason these types of jewellery are used is because they are incredibly cheap to manufacture in comparison to high quality threaded or threadless jewellery. There is no real benefit to you as the final customer.
These styles of jewellery lack security, and are the most common cause of lost piercings! They are often made from mystery metals and are cheaply manufactured. We only recommend nostrils screws for well-healed piercings, and only for temporary wear. If your nose piercing is irritated, it is best to swap to a high-quality flat-back labret as a first port of call.
The Piercing Process
Nose piercings are incredibly easy to get, and are not that uncomfortable to get! They do make your eyes water, but this is simply because your eyes don’t need an excuse to water.
The most uncomfortable part of the piercing is usually any clamps and tools that are used. Luckily, we do not use any clamps or tools for nose piercings so they are much more comfortable process for you. For each piercing, we use a single sterile tri-bevel needle, our hands, and your jewellery. Nothing else! This freehand technique is both easier for you, and produces less waste to go to landfill or be incinerated.
Once your nose has been cleaned, marked, disinfected and you are happy with the position, we ask you to lie down. We find that being pierced lying down is much less intimidating for you! Once you are ready, you are asked to take a nice calm breath in. On your exhale is when we pierce you. Once you have been pierced, we pause to insert the jewellery and then you are done! The whole process takes about 5-10 seconds.
Nose Piercing Aftercare
For our full aftercare instructions, click here.
For nose piercings, you want to clean the outside only. The inside of your nose is a self-cleaning location, so you really don’t need to do too much to it at all! The outside of your nose needs to be cleaned just twice a day in the morning and evening, using a sterile saline spray. You want to spritz a little bit onto your piercing, let it soak into any crusties for about thirty seconds, then gently remove any buildup using a piece of folded kitchen roll or nonwoven gauze. Then just pat dry to wick away any excess moisture.
All piercings should be kept dry, which means no bathtubs, hot tubs or swimming for 4-6 weeks. Showers are totally fine though – Just ensure you have some kitchen roll or nonwoven gauze to hand to dry with afterwards!
The final and most important rule is to leave your new piercing alone! You should not be twisting or turning your jewellery, touching your piercing, fiddling with the jewellery or any other action that can disturb your piercing or introduce bacteria.
The Healing Process
Noses are relatively straightforward to heal! We strongly recommend booking a check-up after roughly 4-6 weeks in order for us to downsize the length of your jewellery and check your healing is going well!
You can change the jewellery yourself at home after about 12 weeks if you have been healing well, and you can expect a full heal in about 6 months!
The main cause of issues on nose piercings is overcleaning your piercing and snagging your jewellery, so do just be careful with it and let your body do it’s thing! Getting your downsize at 4-6 weeks is super important to the health of your piercing.
So there you go, an easy overview of nose piercings! There are so many ways to wear them so you can really make them your own. If you have any issues with your nose piercings, please do book a checkup or get in contact so we can help you troubleshoot.