Getting A Septum Piercing? Here's What To Know Before You Nosedive Right In

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septum piercing

Ever think about getting a septum piercing? If you’re unfamiliar with the term or beauty statement, you may be wondering — and possibly fearing — what part of the body is the septum. But, have no fear. The septum is actually part of your nose, in the space that separates your left and right nostril. A lot of people choose to decorate this area of the body with a ring, often looking pretty badass. It’s also easy to cover up. Since the holes are inside of the nostril, it won’t be too hard to close if you have second thoughts or don’t want to wear it around the office or work.

RELATED: Want A Nose Piercing? Learn The Care Basics, Including How To Clean One

A septum piercing definitely makes a statement, so you should ask yourself a few questions before booking your appointment. If you’re younger and still need parental approval for a septum piercing, your parents also might have a bunch of questions. Here are a few in particular, so that everyone’s on the same page about what a septum piercing is all about.

How much is a septum piercing?

Price is always important, especially if you’re shopping around at different places to have yours done. Since the piercing process itself is fairly easy (but should still be done by a professional) you might want to know what the septum piercing ballpark range is like. On average, septum piercing price ranges between $30 and $90. That cost isn’t just for the piercing, but the starter jewelry as well. If you can find a shop with overall great reviews that charges more than a place with less than stellar reviews, choose the better-reviewed parlor. Remember, someone’s sticking a needle in your body. Finding a professional for $20 more is better than risking an infection or a faulty piercing.

But before septums became an edgy accessory, they were a significant jewelry piece for several groups. For example, in some South Asian communities, the piercing signifies a woman who is ready to marry. In some cases, it means a woman is married and no longer single. It was also popular in Native American tribes. Shawnee leaders wore septum rings, and in the Amsat tribe, they were called otsj, which were septums made from animal bone. The Aztecs and Incas fashioned theirs out of jade and were used for religious purposes.

How much pain should you expect with a septum piercing?

Septum piercing pain varies by individual, as some people have a much higher tolerance than others. Your septum piercing might hurt a lot at first. If you have a deviated septum, the pain can be even worse. But, the good news is that the pain won’t last for long. Piercings are a lot like tattoos, in that certain areas hurt more than others. But the more piercings or tattoos you have, the better you can anticipate and prepare for the pain involved.

Is a septum piercing more painful than a nose piercing?

Pain is subjective, so some people may find a nostril piercing more painful than their septum and vice versa. However, there are many nerve endings in your nostril area, so it could hurt more than a septum piercing. Some people luck out and are pierced in their “sweet spot,” which is supposedly less painful. A septum piercing is usually described as a firm pinch that makes you want to sneeze and your eyes water. Each experience is different.

Is there any aftercare involved after getting your septum pierced?

New piercings require a little bit of TLC if you don’t want them to get infected. Septum piercing aftercare involves keeping the area clean. Misting the area with a saline rinse a few times a day is a good way to ensure it’s in good shape. Taking care of your general health will also help your body heal from the piercing naturally. Make sure you always wash your hands before handling the piercing, since dirty hands are a great way for germs to spread.

How do you handle an infected septum piercing?

In general, infected piercings shouldn’t be ignored. Once bacteria enter a piercing, it can even become life-threatening if untreated. Symptoms of an infected septum piercing include smelly discharge, swelling, bleeding, and pain. Pain that gets worse every day is a clear sign that something is wrong and you should see a professional to help get it cleared.

If you feel like you have a small infection, you’ll want to wash it out with a sea salt solution twice per day. Try to gently remove any crusting that may happen when you clear it, as crusts can hold the infection in. If your infection starts to worry you or gets worse, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help it clear before it becomes more problematic.

Can you hide a septum piercing?

One of the good things about septum piercings is that you can get a retainer to “hide” it in professional settings without having to take it out. By taking out a piercing, you risk having it close up. Keep in mind, many professionals agree that your piercing should be at least six to eight weeks old before you try flipping it up. So if you’re trying to hide it from your parents — who you see more than once every six months — it may be difficult.

If you’ve had the piercing for a bit and it’s not infected, then you can use horseshoe-shaped rings to flip it up and make it hard for others to see. Of course, a lot of this also depends on the overall shape of your nose. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s better than nothing if you’re hoping to get pierced while working at a job that frowns upon this type of self-expression.

Can septum piercings affect your sinuses?

Any piercing to your face can trigger an infection. The space between your eyebrows and upper lip is filled with veins connected to your sinus cavity. Unclean equipment used to pierce that area can lead to viruses like hepatitis B or C or tetanus. You may also form a hematoma, which is a bruise that can become infected as well. Septum piercings also bleed a bit more than other nasal piercings.

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