What Is a Septum Piercing? A Beginner’s Guide May 13, 2020 – Posted in: Piercing Advice – Tags: , , , ,

If you’re into body piercing styles, then you might have noticed that the septum piercing has become one of the must-get piercings for both piercing aficionados and the casual piercee. In the past, the septum piercing held more of a rebellious vibe, but in recent years, it’s become a favorite of anyone from punk rockers to business professionals.

Theories about its rise in popularity abound. Some say that it’s the piercing of the Millennial generation, setting them apart from Gen Xers who popularized navel and tongue piercings in the ‘90s. Others believe that the septum piercing offers an edgier look that can still be easily hidden in more professional settings. Whatever the case, it can’t be denied that the septum piercing is one of the piercings to get.

As with all piercings, it’s important to do your research before you make an appointment with a piercing studio. To help get you started, here’s a beginner’s guide to septum piercings.

What is a septum piercing?

You know that piece of skin and cartilage that separates your nostrils? That’s your septum. If you pinch your septum, you should feel a thin area of skin between some hard cartilage and the tip of your septum (often referred to as the sweet spot). That’s where the septum piercing is placed. It is a little bit higher and a little further forward than you might realize. If you can’t feel it, no worries; a qualified piercer will be able to locate the sweet spot for you. 

woman with a septum piercing

A septum piercing is located in the “sweet spot” of the septum

The septum piercing is great because of the variety of jewelry styles that you can choose from, making the piercing your own. If you’d like a subtler look, you can opt for a seamless ring. If you’re a fan of elaborate styles, you can also choose some bold hoop looks. And, ever-popular are circular barbells with little balls peeking from the piercing. The septum piercing is surprisingly versatile.

A major selling point of this piercing is that it’s pretty easy to hide in a professional environment. Since the piercing is located inside your nose, you can invest in a piercing retainer to wear during the weekday, and likely, coworkers and customers will be none the wiser about your septum piercing.

How long does a septum piercing take to heal?

If pierced correctly (meaning through the sweet spot and not through the cartilage), your septum will only take around 4 – 8 weeks to heal at a minimum. The shorter healing time makes it one of the easier piercings to get. 

Since the piercing is located inside your nose, where there tends to be some snot and other gunk, it’s important that you keep your piercing clean. The septum piercing is known to develop a bit of a stink (something that’s common in other piercings as well, but it seems to be more associated with the septum piercing) so you need to make sure that you’re keeping the piercing clean even beyond the healing period.

For starter jewelry, you’ll likely be fitted with a circular barbell or a captive bead ring. As you go about your day, you’ll probably notice that the jewelry goes slightly askew. During the healing period, you can gently put the jewelry back into place (with freshly washed hands), but do so minimally; in any piercing, you could cause trauma to the piercing site when you move the jewelry around too much. In the end, it’s better to have crooked jewelry rather than piercing complications.

To clean the piercing, either spray it with a piercing aftercare solution or dip the piercing in a small cup filled with aftercare solution for about three minutes. You should do this 2 – 3 times daily. 

If you start to notice a buildup of snot, dead skin cells, or crusties around the piercing site, you can soak them away with clean water or saline solution. Do not pick at the piercing in order to avoid trauma.

Why can’t I get a septum piercing?

Although most people are able to get the septum piercing, some anatomies won’t allow for it. 

If you have a severely deviated septum, you might not be able to get your septum pierced. Your piercer will be able to take a look and let you know if it’s possible.

Rarely, some people don’t have the thin area of skin between the cartilage and the tip of the nose (the sweet spot). If this is the case, you might not be able to get the septum piercing. Cartilage takes a lot longer to heal (up to nine months or more) so if you don’t have the thin area of skin, healing will be more complicated.

woman with a nostril piercing

If you have a deviated septum or don’t have a “sweet spot,” then you might not be able to get your septum pierced. Instead, consider a nostril piercing.

If your nose isn’t your favorite feature, you might want to reconsider getting the septum piercing. Keep in mind that piercings tend to draw attention to where they’re located. If you’re self conscious about the way your nose looks, then you should consider whether or not you want to draw the eye to it.

Allergies could impede healing since you’ll need to wipe and blow your nose throughout the day, which will move the jewelry around quite a bit. If you’re an allergy sufferer, it’s a good idea to get your septum pierced outside of allergy season.

Septum piercings are fantastic, but as with any piercing, you want to make sure that it’ll be a look that you love. Consider whether you can commit to the healing period, make sure that it won’t interfere with your job, and remember that you’ll need to consistently keep it clean throughout the entirety of its life to avoid the infamous septum stench. If you know that you can commit to these things, then the septum piercing could be for you.

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