Nostril Piercing FAQ
How long until I can change my jewelry?
Wait at least six months. Nostril piercings are not very forgiving if you try to change the jewelry too soon. Not waiting long enough could result in irritation, a tear to the piercing channel, scarring, an increased risk of infection, or difficulty reinserting the jewelry. Make sure you get pierced with jewelry you like and wait until it’s fully healed to change it.
How long until I can leave the piercing empty?
The inner wall of a nostril piercing is made up of a mucus membrane, so this part of the piercing tends to close up very quickly without jewelry—even for a few short minutes. If you like your piercing, keep jewelry in it; don’t remove your jewelry without first having another piece of jewelry to fill its place.
Are there jewelry options if I need to hide the piercing?
There are several options that make your piercing less visible but none that will make it invisible. We sell nostrils screws made of quartz glass that are incredibly discreet—and are a good option for surgery where metal is not allowed. We also carry ends for NeoMetal press-fit barbells made of matte-finish titanium and anodized in several different shades of copper to approximate different skin tones. (This option is available for initial piercings, but then should not be changed for six months during healing.) While these do not make your piercing disappear, they are much less noticeable than other options—especially if someone is not looking for your piercing—and they work in situations where wearing jewelry is not acceptable, such as work, family events, school, surgery, etc.
How do I get the jewelry out?
We typically use one of two types of jewelry for nostril piercings: a nostril screw or a press-fit barbell—though a ring is a third option. (But if your piercing was done at Infinite, your jewelry is most likely a nostril screw or a press-fit barbell.)
Nostril screws are a long wire “post” with a set stone, ball, or disc on one end. This is bent into a modified spiral, or screw, to fit each person’s individual nostril. To remove, grasp the end and give a slight twist as the jewelry comes out. Removing and re-inserting nostril screws can be tricky (at least until you get the hang of it), but once you get a feel for it it becomes second nature.
Press-fit barbells are just what they sound like: barbells where the end stays on by pressure (as opposed to regular barbells, where the ends are screwed). Press-fit barbells also have only one end that comes off; this is the end on the outside of your nose. The remove, grab the inside bead and the outside piece and pull apart. When re-inserting, the post should be put in from the inside of your nose.
Initially, the process of removing your nostril jewelry can be frustrating and troublesome. If you do have difficulty changing or removing your jewelry come in and see us. If you buy the jewelry from us, we will insert it free of charge. Just do not attempt to change your piercing until it is at least 6 months old, or longer; removing your jewelry too soon can actually cost you your piercing.
Can I get this piercing wherever I want?
The location of your nostril piercing will depend upon the size and shape of your nose as well as the location of the crease of your nostril—the thinnest part of your cartilage and traditional location for the piercing. To find your nostril crease, look in the mirror and flare your nostrils; the natural line that forms is your nostril crease. Almost anywhere along that line will work, though most people will have one particular spot that most flatters their facial features most.
Why can’t I get a really tight-fitting ring?
Rings tend to be troublesome during healing, so we will almost always recommend healing with a post. (Even if you never see it, your nostril tissue will swell slightly after getting your piercing and during the healing process, so the initial jewelry will need to be large enough to accommodate for any swelling that may occur, and wearing a ring that is too tight will irritate the tissue and often results in difficulty healing or even scarring). Allow your piercer to recommend a fit and style for you, your nose, and your lifestyle; you can always switch to something more snug once the piercing has fully healed.
Why does my jewelry stick out?
Nostril screws are initially bent to fit your nose and your piercing during the healing process. This means that the jewelry, at first, will be slightly larger in order to accommodate for swelling. This may cause the screw to protrude from the base of the nose. Press-fit barbells must also be longer initially, to account for swelling.
If you find your nostril screw sticking out, or the ends flips down after getting the piercing, give it a week; this will often resolve itself. If the jewelry is still loose and uncomfortable after that time, stop in and see your piercer. He or she can sometimes tighten the nostril screw without removing it so that it will better stay in place but will still allow for healthy healing. Once the piercing is completely healed, you can have it bent for the perfect close, custom fit you are looking for, or go for a shorter post altogether.
Why shouldn’t I get my nose pierced with a gun? It’s cheap!
It may be cheaper, but you do get what you pay for. Piercing a nostril with a gun is more painful and tends to result in nasty scarring, seldom producing a healthy, attractive piercing. What’s more, due to their plastic parts, piercing guns cannot be sterilized; this means that the blood and bodily fluids of others tend to accumulate in various cracks and crevices. Plus, employees of locations using ear-piercing guns are seldom effectively trained in bloodborne pathogens transmission, and there are several documented case in the United States of staph infections acquired from the improper use of piercing guns.
Furthermore, piercing gun studs were not designed to pierce nostrils. The post used is far too short to allow for swelling, often resulting in jewelry that becomes embedded in the skin. All of this means more discomfort, swelling and scarring—and makes it unlikely the piercing will heal in the first place.
More information about the dangers of piercing guns can be found on the Association of Professional Piercers’ web site, here.