All You Need to Know About Septum Piercings

Published November 15th, 2021 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Erik Rivera

What is septum piercing? | Procedure | How bad does it hurt? | Healing timeline | Cost | Care of piercing | Risks

Septum piercings are a type of septal piercing that is located on the septum, which is the cartilage that divides your nostrils. They can be done anywhere on the septum but they are most commonly pierced just below where the cartilage meets your nostril. This article will answer many questions you may have about septum piercings including how much it hurts, how long they take to heal, and what metal should be used.

What is a septum piercing?

A septum piercing is a type of body piercing that involves piercings on both sides of the nasal septum, also known as the cartilage in the nose. This area has many nerves and muscles on both sides, so it can be very sensitive for some people. The septum piercing can be done anywhere from one to four millimeters below your nostrils and this is considered the sweet spot. It can cause some pain and bleed but it should not last more than an hour or so after you get pierced.

What is the procedure they use to pierce your septum?

Septum piercings are typically done with a small needle and surgical stainless steel jewelry. A septum piercing involves a needle that is used to pierce both sides of your septum. You may have the option to have an insertion tube when you get pierced, which means they will use one long needle and slide in a hollow cannula instead, the cannula being a thin tube. This reduces discomfort compared to just using a regular needle. During septum piercings, a person will have their septal cartilage in between the clamps and will push down to stabilize it before piercing your septum with the needle.

septum piercing*Source: Cosmo: Septum Piercing 101

How much do septum piercings hurt?

The pain of septum piercings can be felt from mild discomfort to searing pain. Your septum piercing will depend on the skill of your piercer, but some people are able to numb this area before getting septum pierced which can help reduce discomfort during the procedure. Most people find the pain mild for a piercing and the actual piercing event as feeling unusual or weird. Some liken the feeling to having to sneeze and many people have their eyes water. 

How long do septum piercings take to heal?

Healing times for septum piercings vary and can take anywhere from one to six months or longer, but it is typically around three months. Should the septum piercing reject or your jewelry be removed for some reason, you may need a re-piercing which will add time to how long septum piercings take to heal. The septum area is very sensitive because it is near the nose and septum piercings may leave some crusties, but it should not get infected if cared for properly.

How much should a septum piercing cost?

The price for septum piercings varies greatly depending on where you live and what studio or shop does septum piercings. You can typically expect septum piercings to cost between $20 and $100.

The one constant between all the piercers should have is their cleanliness. This means that they all should use clean gloves, piercing needles, and jewelry. If septum piercings are done with a hollow cannula, they will need to be sterile and you should not have any problems in regards to hygiene or infections during the septum piercing process.

What metal should I use for my septum piercing?

The most common metals used are surgical steel, titanium, niobium, or silver. You can also have septum piercings done in gold but it is not recommended because the price will be higher and septum piercings in gold are not as common. However, if you do get a gold piercing we recommend you get it in 14k gold instead of 18k because it is stronger and will not wear down as quickly although anything above 14K will work.

How should I care for my septum piercing?

Caring for your septum piercing is relatively simple, but you need to keep it clean especially during the healing process. To do this, wash your hands before touching or cleaning septum piercings. Use a saline solution to clean septum piercings. Clean septum piercings with the piercing facing down, not up towards your nose or face. You should also use an antibacterial soap on septum piercings but avoid using harsh products like alcohol because it will dry out septum piercings and irritate them.

What are the risks of septum piercings?

People with septum piercings run the risk that the piercings will reject or tear through your septal cartilage, but this should not be common if you take care of septum piercings properly and follow all aftercare procedures. You could also experience swelling around septum piercings and it could become infected. The common risks of getting a septum piercing include:

  • allergic reactions to the metal used for septum piercings or piercing jewelry that can result in piercing rejection
  • infections can occur in people who get pierced as there is a cut that can allow infections into your body, to prevent this be cognizant to clean your piercing regularly
  • septal hematomas occur when septum piercings sever a blood vessel under your skin, this results in swelling and bruising and septum piercings will need to heal before septal hematomas go away
  • bloodborne diseases are also a risk if the piercer is using unsterilized equipment, bloodborne illnesses include HIV, tetanus, and hepatitis B and C
  • scarring is possible if septum piercings are not done properly

To help avoid these problems, it is recommended that you use an experienced, reputable piercer.

How do I change my septum piercing?

If septum piercings are done with a piercing needle and jewelry is placed in septum piercings, you should only change the piercings after the initial healing process. If it has migrated then you will need to consult with your piercer about septum piercing changing procedures.

After septum piercings have healed you may change your septal jewelry or stretch septum piercing sizes to accommodate larger gauges. If you are changing septum piercings you should clean septum piercing with saline solution before removing septal jewelry by twisting it slowly. You can then replace the septum piercing jewelry of your choice, but if septum piercings are done as large gauges you may want to stretch them first before replacing the septal jewelry.

Summary

A septum piercing is located on the septal cartilage, which is the thin tissue that separates your nostrils. It can be done with a hollow needle or cannula and it should not take more than 15 minutes to complete and most people describe having minimal pain for a piercing. Your septum piercing should heal within 3 months, although it may take up to 6 months. The cost is variable depending on your piercer and location but should cost between $20-$100 and there are a number of metals you can use for your jewelry including titanium and gold. Your piercer will explain piercing aftercare procedures before septum piercings are done and the piercing jewelry will be provided; however, be sure to keep your piercing clean by regularly cleaning it and your piece of jewelry as there are some risks, including infection. To change the piercings, gently twist them while also using a saline solution to remove them. Should you have any further questions, we recommend you ask your local experienced piercer.

References and Sources:

nyti.ms

healthline.com

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