Septum Piercing 101: All Your Questions Answered

A year ago, I got two cartilage piercings in my right ear. I truly thought that at that point, I was done with piercings. I mean, I had nine at that point! What else would I pierce?!

But, as anyone who is into body modification will tell you, they are addictive. as. hell. 

I started wearing a nose hoop as a fake septum, just to get the feel of what it might look like if I were to get it pierced. I got some good reviews, but it tickled to wear and I wasn’t very consistent, so it was obvious it was fake (lol).

I tend to be a liiiiiiiittle impulsive. So one Tuesday morning, I called my friend Marisa, and we went to get my septum pierced two hours later.

The wait was two hours long, but I suppose that’s the price you pay for a new body modification (and $45 plus tip). Luckily, the tattoo shop we were in was really interesting, covered in vines and little Buddhas. There was also a koi fish pond inside, too. Rap music was blaring from an artist’s chair down the hall, and tattoo drawings plastered the walls.

Finally, the guy brought me back into the ~piercing room~. Now, as I previously wrote, this was my tenth piercing. I’m not like, a piercing newbie or anything. But in my eyes, this was my first #edgy piercing (I don’t really consider my nostril piercing to be edgy, considering everyone and their mother has it pierced). He marked my nose, then slid a needle through. It felt really special, lol. Are your eyes watering yet?

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After he slid the needle through, I sat there for a few seconds as he prepared the piercing I’d preselected.

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I knew enough not to wear makeup, because piercing the nose makes the eyes water. And boy, were my eyes watering. It literally looked like I was sobbing.

He slid the jewelry through the new piercing, and that was that! I paid and left with a new piercing.

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I got it pierced with a small, silver hoop that was flush with my skin.

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Let me address some questions I was asked frequently after getting my septum done.

Did it hurt?

Yes? I mean, relatively, yes. Of course sliding a needle through any skin on your body is going to hurt. But what I didn’t know about the septum piercing was that they don’t pierce the cartilage of your nose–they pierce the skin between the cartilage on the front of your nose, and the harder cartilage that supports the inside of your nose. So it didn’t hurt nearly as bad at my ear cartilage piercings or my nostril. I would say it hurt a little more than my six earlobe piercings, but that’s just because it was on my face and a little stranger of a feeling.

How long was the healing period?

I changed my piercing after four weeks. I went back to the place I got it pierced to purchase new jewelry and had a pro do it for me. The actual healing period is about six weeks, I believe. It stopped hurting after about a week or so.

How did you clean it?

In the past, I’ve had to use salt water soaks three times a day for weeks or months. This time, the piercer just told me to get a Q-tip wet with warm salt water and just rub it on the piercing, and then wash off the salt water mix. So basically what I’d do is wet a Q-tip, dip it in the salt (NOT!!! Table salt!!!), and then get the Q-tip wet again. I’d clean the blood or whatever off the piercing, then I’d cup some warm water in my hands, and dip my nose in the water. Then I’d just dry off my nose.

What size is your piercing?

16g. I got it pierced with a size closer to 18g (which is smaller than 16g), so when I went back in to change the piercing, the guy just had to gauge the piercing a little. That essentially means he had to slide a slightly bigger needle through my piercing, in order to make it the proper size.

Will you ever be able to have a job with that piercing?

I know that a lot of people ask this question out of actual curiosity. When people ask this condescendingly, it’s actually really offensive and rude, FYI. I am currently an employee at six places (yes, you read that right. I’m not active at all six places, though.), and only two of those six places ban face jewelry. In this case, I have two options: flip up the jewelry if I’m wearing a curved barbell, or just take it out. It won’t close in an eight-hour shift.

To this question, I also respond with if a workplace doesn’t appreciate how I choose to express myself, do I really want to work there? You tell me. My ability to be professional with clients and perform well in the workplace is literally 0% affected by a piercing in my nose.

Finally, as more and more millennials become the bosses, I think that this weird avoidance society has regarding visible piercings and tattoos will go away. Think about how rebellious it used to be to pierce your nostril…and now literally everyone has that piercing. So.

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Peep the gold clicker!!

SO there ya have it–my septum experience, from beginning to end! I’ve changed my piercing a couple times, and I’m not 100% sure yet that I’ve found the jewelry for me.

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Gold curved barbell

What do you guys think about body modifications? What about body mods in the workplace? Drop a comment below!

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