After ear piercings, nose piercings are the most common worldwide. Nostril piercing is a body piercing practice most often considered descended from “Eastern” culture because of its historical prominence in India, Pakistan, Nepal and throughout South Asia, but it began to be worn in the West in the 80s and 90s—by artists, bohemians, and punks—before gaining more widespread acceptance toward the turn of this century.
The piercing can be placed anywhere on the nostril, but tends to heal most quickly—and look most natural—in the horizontal crease. During the piercing procedure, your piercer will place small dot on your nose to show where they’re going to insert the needle and jewelry. Take your time to review this placement, as it is wise to get a piercing in a location that flatters your individual anatomy and face.
While there are numerous jewelry choices when it comes to nostril piercings—from a basic stainless steel post to ornate gold-and-diamond studs—the three main types of jewelry we offer are nostril screws, press-fit posts, and captive or fixed bead rings, all in implant-grade stainless steel, titanium, or 18k solid gold. (Silver is never appropriate for initial piercings. More info is here.) Generally, we start nostril piercings with an 18 gauge nostril screw or press-fit post. While larger sizes are certainly possible, we do not recommend rings for the initial piercing— though they can certainly be worn after healing. (For more information about the difference between nostril screws and press-fit posts, click here.)
Though they can sometimes appear to be healed sooner, nostril piercings generally take anywhere from six months to one year to fully heal. Because of this, we do not recommend changing your jewelry if it is less than six months old. (So make sure you get pierced with jewelry you like!) Changing nostril jewelry too soon can not only set back healing but can cause undue pain, scarring, and long-term trouble. Even after the healing period, leaving jewelry out for short periods of time is not recommended. While some people can leave a years-old piercing empty of jewelry and still put something back in later, the inside of this piercing is a mucous membrane, which means the inside tends to close quickly—even if the outside still looks open. As with all other piercings, if you want to keep your piercing, keep jewelry in it.
Keep in mind that nostril healing can be not only lengthy, but tricky too. Keep the piercing clean, and make sure to keep dirty hands and make-up off the piercing. Nostrils can be prone to irritation and even small, fluid-filled pimples around the piercing. Make sure you follow a strict aftercare regimen and check out our nostril FAQs for common issues.
Nostril piercings can be certainly be elegant and flattering; they just need some thought and attention during healing. Take good care of it, and you’ll have a healthy piercing that lasts a lifetime.