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All About The 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. This piercing is 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. The jewelry 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 is going to take between two to three months to heal. 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. Although it might seem a little sanity challenging at first, it is very important to keep your brand-new septum piercing clean. No groaning allowed! I mean, come on, you had a needle in there just moments ago, and you survived that, so the upkeep should be a breeze! Besides, a nasty, ugly infection that could destroy your look, your day, and your desire to keep your beautiful new facial accessory (not to mention your lovely nose!) is something you should avoid at all costs.
Cleanliness Affects Septum Piercing Healing Time
Septum piercing healing time changes from one person to another. A quick survey among our Instagram and Facebook followers shows a wide range of healing landmarks: from the super lucky people, whose piercings healed within a couple of weeks or less, to the ultimate survivor, whose took about a year. So, to help you keep it clean and heal it beautifully as fast as possible, I created this guide!
Model — Amelie Axelson
Septum Ring — Neptune’s Child
What to Do to Keep Your Septum Piercing Clean For one month (yes, a whole month, even if you find super cute septum pricing jewelry), do not play with the new piercing at all. You should not try to move it around or flip it up and down, and of course, do not pull out the ring! I know, it sounds like forever, especially for the lucky people whose septum heals in no time. However, it is better to be safe than VERY sorry. Stick to the script on this one, kiddos! Clean the piercing with cold water and Q-Tips. Every day. No exceptions. Be diligent: after the cold-water and studio recommended antiseptic cleansing, carefully clean the pierce from both sides. Skipping the cold-water stage and trying to do both cleaning and disinfecting at once will not get it properly clean. You should never clean your nose with your fingers, either. Always use the Q-Tips. Don’t worry, you will get used to it, we promise! Also, keep in mind that your general health has an impact on the healing of your septum piercing. You can’t exactly keep fresh holes in your nose clean and free of infection-breeding bacteria if you get sick and your nose is running off your face, right? So, while we cannot always predict the next cold outbreak, remember to stay hydrated, decrease your stress level, eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, and of course, avoid encountering other peoples’ germs. Whenever you touch something that is high-traffic for human contact, wash your hands before you even think about touching your nose. I know, this all seems like boring, common sense practice, but these steps are very important to the healing and care of new piercings, especially one located right in your nose.
Model — stunning Natascha Pedersen
Septum Ring — Gold septum ring — Cool Breeze
Things You Should Not Do When Caring for Your Septum Piercing
The do-nots of septum piercing care are just as important as the do’s. I have added a short list of no-noes to this brief guide:
- Resist the urge to change out the septum ring. We know how tempting it is to try on your new septum ring jewelry, trust us, but this is a tip that bears repeating. Do not, under any circumstances, take out the piercing ring before the allotted healing period passes. You can injure or damage your sensitive fistula, which means that the pierce will never heal properly. Give the poor thing time to regain its tenacity before subjecting it to a tug-of-war! If you are uncertain whether you are ready to change out the jewelry yourself, consult your piercing professional. He or she will be happy to give you advice about your piercing, and many will even change out the jewelry for you the first couple of times at no cost.
- Do not do anything that might thin your blood. Piercings tend to bleed a little throughout the healing process because the dry skin and lymph creates a sort of crust that rips open the fresh pierce when torn from the ring. Since bleeding is so common, it is important that a little blood does not turn into a giant waterfall. Try to limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine (sorry, coffee drinkers!) and omit any OTC pain medications with blood thinners, like Aspirin, for the first couple of weeks after getting your septum pierced. We understand your struggle, but it will be so worth the wait!
- Don’t put any balms or ointments on your septum piercing. We all know how soothing the antibiotic creams with pain relief can be on our boo boo’s. However, they are detrimental to your healing septum. They stop up the fresh holes and trap the infectious bacteria that you swore to your piercer that you would avoid. Resist the temptation!
The rules of septum piercing care may seem tedious and annoying, but the risks are too great, and the rewards of a well-tended piercing are too beautiful, to just ignore them!
Old piercing, new septum rings and random infection reasons
If you are a veteran, but for some random reason (poor quality septum jewelry, allergic reaction, a nose-punch special, you get your septum ring stuck in your best friend’s best shirt, a baby or an animal tries to pull it off, etc.) your piercing becomes irritated or infected, go back to that twice a day routine. No need to do a whole month in this case, just continue until it is no longer hangry and painful. Important note: If a poor septum ring or an allergic reaction is the cause, you should change the ring you are wearing at once. If it does not improve, get back to the professional who did the piercing or to a doctor ASAP. Infection is not only ugly, but dangerous, and it can cause long-term damage if not properly treated as quickly as possible. And one more thing: Good luck with the new piercings, lovelies!
If you want to learn how to clean septum piercing, this blog is for you. Generally, a septum piercing sits between the two nostrils, so it takes up a lot of real estate on your face. It’s a form of self-expression that many people choose to wear because it gives them confidence and helps them stand apart from the crowd. However, it’s not like getting your nose pierced regularly. The piercer should hit that sweet spot under the cartilage and go through the nose. As with any new piercing, you are given starter jewelry, which must be worn all the time. That way, the septum rings stay in place, and the holes don’t close up, bleed, or put bacteria into the body. While sterling silver is a great choice, your piercer might recommend titanium or gold instead. They should also explain the healing process, aftercare instructions, and all the rest. However, it’s up to you to wash the area thoroughly and explain your symptoms if you realize that it’s infected, has a wound nearby, or have any worry at all. Learning to clean a septum piercing correctly keeps you and it healthy and prevents painful and visible complications.
How Do You Clean Septum Piercings
When cleaning your septum piercing, it’s crucial to follow all the aftercare instructions the professional gave you. Usually, you should gently clean the piercing with saline solution. You can buy it from the piercing studio or make it yourself. While most professionals tell you it’s fine to make your own, it’s your job to ensure that it’s done properly so that the area can heal correctly. Remember, a needle is going into the nose, and you don’t want to make life more painful or put yourself at risk for infection.
Making Your Own Saline Soak
If you want to know how to clean septum piercing, You may also buy a saline soak online or from a local drugstore, but making it yourself with tap water can be easier and less expensive. Your septum piercing doesn’t care where the products come from; it just wants to be clean and free of irritation. A saline solution made of distilled water often lasts longer. If you like to make big batches of it ahead of time, this might be the best choice. Most grocery stores and pharmacies have it readily available.
What You Need
To make a sea-salt solution, you need:
- A clean container or airtight jar with a lid
- Measuring cups and a teaspoon
- Baking soda (not necessary but can prevent the saline from irritating the skin)
- Fine sea salt or table salt (iodine-free)
- Tap or distilled water
- Microwave-safe bowl or pot with lid
How to Clean Septum Piercing By Steps:
There are a few methods how to clean septum piercing, make your saline soak, and they include:
- Put 2 cups of water into a pot, cover it, and boil for 15 minutes.
- Let the water cool to room temperature.
- Add about 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Add a pinch of baking soda if you’re using it.
- Stir until it’s all dissolved.
- Refrigerate your solution in the airtight container until you need it. After 24 hours, discard it so that bacteria can’t form.
- Grab a microwave-safe bowl and add 2 cups of water to it.
- Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Cover the bowl and microwave it for one to two minutes.
- Let it fully cool to room temperature.
- Pour your solution into your clean, airtight container.
- Refrigerate it until you want to use it, and throw it away after 24 hours.
- Add about 8 teaspoons of the salt to 1 gallon of your distilled water.
- Mix it thoroughly and use it immediately.
- Refrigerate any leftovers for a month. Make sure to shake the jug each time before using it.
How to Use the Saline Solution
To clean the septum piercing with saline, you may use a cotton ball soaked in the mixture, spray it on the nose, pour it on the nose, or use a piece of gauze. Some people prefer to dip their noses into a shallow bowl of the solution. However, the mixture can get onto your upper lip, which might cause drying because of the salt.
Should You Clean a Septum Piercing Each Day?
Yes, a healing septum piercing needs to be cleaned each day. It’s best to do it two times a day with a saline soak. However, it might get crusty, so you can carefully clean it as needed. Plus, you shouldn’t over-clean because it might dry out the skin and cause irritation.
How Long to Continue Cleaning After Getting the Septum Pierced
You must clean the septum piercing forever, but when it’s fully healed, you may have a less frequent cleaning routine. Plain-water cleanings are also possible after that. Typically, you want to do the daily cleaning ritual for four to eight weeks unless instructed otherwise by a professional or doctor.
What to Do If It Crusts Over
Crusting is normal for the first few weeks. After that, you’re more likely to see boogers. Gently remove the crust with plain warm water and some gauze. It’s best not to use cold water to keep your nose clean because it could be too shocking for the body. Sometimes, gently soaking the area loosens up the mess. Then, use a clean tissue to pat the area dry.
Should You Clean Your Jewelry?
Don’t remove the septum ring or septum retainer until it has fully healed. That way, you don’t risk infection or injury. Routine saline soaks are often enough to keep that jewelry clean. Once it has healed, you may remove the jewelry and wash it with antibacterial soap and warm water. Some people like to put it in boiling water for sanitization purposes. Regardless, you want to ensure that your hands are clean before touching the septum piercing.
How Long Should the Septum Piercing Take to Fully Heal?
Septum piercings often heal faster than some other nose piercings. It usually takes two months for proper healing, but that depends on your general health and other issues. Sometimes, it takes eight or more weeks. Poor health, improper aftercare, or low-quality jewelry might slow your healing process. Most piercings fare better when you’re not blowing bubbles that get stuck on the piercing, not blowing your nose, nor playing with the jewelry. All of that can upset the nose area and the piercing, making it take longer.
What to Do If You See Signs of Infection
If you see signs of infection from your septum piercing, contact a doctor. Look for:
- Smelly discharge or thick pus at the piercing site
- Foul smells from the piercing hole
- Severe swelling, redness, or pain
Piercing rejection is also possible, and you might notice:
- Changes in the jewelry’s position
- Thinner septum tissue
- Larger piercing hole
- Redness and flaking
Is There Anything to Avoid During Your Healing Process?
To avoid developing scar tissue, it’s best to stop:
- Touching the piercing
- Changing cartilage earrings
- Swimming in hot tubs or pools
- Handling the nose or piercing without washing your hands
What Else to Keep in Mind
One of the most important things for how to clean septum piercing is to remember, your nose is sensitive, and infection often starts there. Only use professional piercers for the nose rings. After getting your septum pierced, don’t touch/play with the septum ring. With that, be mindful of what you’re doing, such as taking off your shirt, kissing, and more. You may aggravate the healing septum piercing easily.
How to clean septum piercing top Conclusions. Getting a septum piercing is exciting, but it’s not like a normal nose piercing. Overall, you have to focus on appropriate septum piercing care so that new piercings don’t get infected and can heal properly. Cleaning is something you have to do forever, so it’s best to learn how to do it now! Want to learn more about how to clean septum piercing? check our ETSY store. I learned about how to care for septum piercings when I got mine done. There are only a couple must-dos, but plenty of must-NOT-dos! Septum Piercing Care and Healing Tips Owen Vangioni via Unsplash; Canvas
What Is a Septum Piercing?
A septum piercing is a piercing through the septum—the wall that divides the nostrils. In most cases, the actual cartilage itself is not pierced. Piercers will generally go through what is known as the «sweet spot,» the small, softer area between the cartilage and the bottom of the nose. If you put a finger in each nostril, pinch your septum, and drag your nose down, you should be able to locate it. However, not everybody has a sweet spot, so in some cases, the cartilage will be pierced. This will typically be more painful than a standard septum piercing through the sweet spot.
Where is the septum piercing «sweet spot»?
Where the piercing sits exactly will vary from person to person, depending on where their sweet spot is. On some people, it will be pierced close to the tip of the nose and in others, it will be further back.
Can you hide a septum piercing?
Septum piercings are perhaps the easiest to hide if your workplace is not accepting of body modifications. With the right jewelry (a septum keeper or a circular barbell), the piercing can be hidden by flipping the jewelry up into the nostrils, making it invisible to the eye.
Is a septum piercing a cartilage piercing?
It depends—in most cases no, a septum piercing usually goes through the flesh right next to it (the «sweet spot») but not the cartilage itself. Not everyone has a sweet spot, however, so in some cases, the cartilage will be pierced.
How to Clean a Septum Piercing: A Step-by-Step Guide
The best way to clean your new piercing is to use a saline solution. Many piercers may sell a ready-made solution (such as H2Ocean) but it is easy to make your own at home. See the recipe below.
Step 1: Make Your Own Saline Solution
Mix 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt into 8 oz (250 ml) of warm distilled water. The water should not be too hot, as this can aggravate the piercing and, obviously, burn you. Leave the mixture to cool until it is about as warm as an easily drinkable cup of coffee. Scroll to Continue
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What kind of salt should I use? Sea salt is the best kind of salt to use for your solution. Some people have found that using table salt as a substitute works, but this is not recommended due to the minerals it can contain. Epsom salts should be avoided, as these contain magnesium sulfate and not sodium chloride.
Step 2: Soak Your Nose or Apply a Compress
It can be difficult to completely submerge the piercing into a glass of water, but if you have a glass that allows you to, then soak it for 5–10 minutes. If not, use a disposable paper towel to create a compress but be careful to not apply too much pressure to the piercing. Paper towel, cotton ball, or washcloth? Do not use cotton balls as these will leave behind fibers, and do not use washcloths as these can harbor bacteria. A paper towel usually works fine.
Step 3: Rinse After Soaking
When you have finished soaking your piercing, rinse it with clean, cold water and a fresh Q-Tip to remove any discharge or «crusties.»
How Often Should I Clean It?
For new piercings, it is recommended that you clean them with a saline solution 2–3 times a day. Don’t overdo it, as you can end up drying out your piercing and irritating it. A picture of my piercings. Lisa Wright
Things to Avoid After Getting a Septum Piercing
- DO NOT handle your piercing with dirty hands. Make sure to thoroughly clean your hands before touching the piercing in any way, especially before cleaning.
- DO NOT over-clean your piercing with salt solutions. This can dry out and irritate the piercing and delay or complicate healing.
- DO NOT play or fiddle with your jewelry. This will slow down the healing process and can lead to infection.
- DO NOT use strong, perfumed soaps or products containing alcohol or peroxide on or near your piercing. These can cause reactions and aggravate your skin.
- DO NOT keep flipping your piercing up and down. This will irritate the piercing and slow down the healing process. Choose whether you want it up and down, and leave it that way while it heals. Some people find it easier to wear it flipped up while healing to avoid any knocks.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional. © 2012 Leese Wright
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