Tell me about nose piercing.

My daughter and her friend want to go have studs put in their noses tomorrow. I’m cool with this (they are both over 18 anyway) but I don’t know much about the issue so I told them I’d post some queries here.

First of all, the biggie – do it hurt? If so, how much? I’m assuming they’ll use a needle, not one of those big old ear-piercing guns.

Secondly, what’s on the back? I’m assuming that it isn’t just an earring with the little flat backed backer that earrings have. It seems like the back of the average earring would just take up a lot of room in your nostril!

Is there anything else they should know or think about before having this done? I’ll be taking them to a reputable tattoo & body piercing place.

Choosing the right piercer is totally key here.

It’s definately better if they have it done with a needle rather than a gun - because of the fast action of the gun, there is more chance of contamination, while a proper studio will be able to autoclave and disinfect their equipment to ensure sterility. I would also expect that a fresh needle will be used - you want to see them open the sterile packaging in front of you etc.

The pain’s not that bad - a good piercer will go through breathing techniques with you which help you prepare for it - but yes, it will hurt a little. About the same as ears I think.

Make sure they keep up with the cleaning regieme as recommended by the piercer, and don’t change the jewellery until the wound is healed. There are special studs for the nose which have a small lump at the end to help it stop falling out. The stud you get when first pierced is likely to be bigger than what you would wear normally, as the nose will swell a little, and you want to make a big enough hole.

The stud can get a little annoying - that’s why I eventually took mine out - it catches on things (towels at the gym etc), and can be pushed out a little if you touch your nose etc, so you do have a constant maintenance thing going on - can be a pain. Also, worth bearing in mind that the hole will never completely close over - I took mine out after 5 years in 02, and you can still see the hole (although it’s closed up enough that I can’t get jewellery back in). So it’s not a totally reversible decision. But as long as they are OK with that, not a big risk.

Only other point to consider is that at some point it may be considered inappropriate depending on where they end up working - but they are young enough to enjoy it for a while before having to deal with that. I really loved mine, but did take it out for work (corporate environment) but don’t miss it now - replaced with a more discrete tragus piercing.

Excellent advice from Girl From Mars.

Personal experiences: It hurt me. I originally got a stud. The way the stud works, is the stem of the stud slides into the back, which screws on. I really don’t like that much, as it’s a little harder to take out to clean.

Right now I have a corkscrew-type back. I love the back but I do want to change it as it’s a little large…it has four petals of a flower. Someone just gave me a tiny diamond, and I’d like to switch to that but the diamond is the other kind of stud.

It took well over a month to heal. 12 years later, though, no problems. Since I kept the corkscrew the hole is fairly small but if I switch it will probably expand.

Also you can give up on using quilts when you sleep or anything else that isn’t s smooth covering. A nice quilt will catch the ring and rip it right out. i speak from experience.

The girl will need to learn to blow her nose differently. It’s not hard, you just need to change the angle. And you need to clean it often, particularly if you have allergies. But really it’s no more gross than anything else.

I really recommend a hoop for the first month or so, for the same reasons you put a hoop in your ear - it’s way easier to clean and keep clean. Plus it rotates so it’s harder for it to get infected.

Good luck!

NO NO NO. Do not use a nose bone (the type of jewelry described here). Use a nostril screw. Nose bones can and will get stuck–the flesh closes in around them and makes them impossible to remove. If that happens, the jewelry has to be removed by cutting it with wire cutters. Also, make sure to get high-quality jewelry, because cheap jewelry can leave marks on the skin even after the piercing is removed (like cheap necklaces turning your skin green, except under the skin, because it’s in the fistula).

Just to say, it is a work appropriate peircing for most people.

My sister got her nose and the top of her ear pierced a couple of years ago and she wears both to work (in a PR agency) and several of the girls in my class have nose piercings (mainly girls of Indian/Malaysian backgrounds) which they wear to work in the hospital.

The only piercings that people have been asked to remove while working in hospitals are nasal septum (the bone-through-the-nose look) and tongue, and that was for health and hygiene reasons, rather than dress code.

Thanks everyone – mission accomplished! Both girls were wretty nervous – in fact, I wouldn’t have been wholey surprised to see them chicken out. They didn’t, though. They each got a teeny, tiny jeweled stud (Doe got peridot, Hartley aquamarine) of the nostril screw variety linked by Mirror Image egamI rorriM. $30 each.

I forgot to ask before whether I should tip the piercer, BTW. I did, because I figured I tip manicurists and hairstylists, right? And the piercer was a real sweetheart. I tipped her 15% on a $60 tab, because that’s all the cash I had. Does that sound all right?

Just a warning for everyone: I got mine pierced earlier this year, and the piercer used a too small stud on the nostril screw. It kept going partially back into the hole and the skin would swell over and around it. I went back to the place, and they told me, “Yeah, sometimes that happens- people like the tiny ones, so that’s what we pierce with- on some people, they cause problems.” I went to another piercer for a second opinion on whether I was doing permanent damage (the first place said everything was fine; I should just get a bigger stud and they’d change it out), and the second piercer said that the only way to avoid any more scarring was to have it taken out.
So, the moral of this story is, always go to a reputable piercer and make sure they use the appropriate jewelry.

So what did you end up doing? Did you get a new piece of jewelry, or did you give up the piercing?

I got it taken out. There already seemed to be some scarring occurring, and I was afraid of causing more. Luckily, it’s barely noticable now. I may, at some point in the future, see if it’s repiercable (don’t know if there’s too much scar tissue), but I’d definitely use a piercer I’ve been to before (I got my nose done while I was away at college).
Also, as a sidenote, this had nothing to do with any lack of care for the piercing or anything on my part. It was my third piercing (not counting the traditional ear ones), and I’d never had such trouble in the past. My other two had healed beautifully.

That’s interesting on the screw studs. I’ll have to look into those for my wife.

Her studs are essentialy slightly thinner earrings, with the stud bent so it doesn’t fall out. Always has been.

She got her nose done in… I think… 2001.

Wow, who knew there was so much maintenance and whatnot.

[old lady mode] I pierced my nose back in '87 with a potato, a sewing needle and a shot of Jack Daniels. It hurt like a sonofabith and I liked it! [old lady mode]

The above is true, except I didn’t like it so much. It *really * did hurt. That was in SoCal where anything goes, so I don’t remember having to take my jewelry out for work. When I moved to Florida, where people at that time were not particularly hip, I wore it very seldom. Once I started working for the Times (a very left leaning newspaper) I put it back in and now almost never take it out. I think nose studs are pretty common place these days.