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Nose Piercing: Benefits, Risks, and How-To Guide

Nose Piercing: Different Types of Piercings

Considering a nose piercing? This guide provides all you need to know: the different types, the process, pain expectations, healing times, and crucial aftercare steps.

Covering different types of nose piercings

  • Nose piercings come in various styles like nostril, septum, bridge, and high nostril, each offering a unique look.

  • Choosing which side to pierce can be influenced by cultural significance or simply personal preference, aiming to highlight your best angle.

  • Proper aftercare and patience are essential for a healthy nose piercing, with steps like using saline solution and avoiding harsh substances like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

At PlugYourHoles.com, we have been helping people with their nose piercing find the perfect jewelry for their piercings since 2006.  Now, let's first learn about about the various types of nose piercing options available so you can get started right away.


The Types of Nose Piercings

Explore the world of the nose piercing, and let’s start with the classic nostril piercing, perfectly perched on the curve of your nostril offering a timeless look.

For those seeking a central statement, the septum piercing gives an edgy touch without the commitment of a permanent alteration. If you’re looking for something a bit higher, the high nostril piercing sits closer to the bridge, elevating the traditional nostril piercing to new heights.

Moving further up the nose, you’ll come across the following nose piercing guidance:

  • Bridge piercing: akin to a miniature bridge connecting the eyes with a horizontal bar

  • Nasallang: piercing through both nostrils and the septum in one go

  • Septum piercing: piercing through the middle of the nose, between the nostrils

  • Vertical tip (rhino) piercing: piercing vertically through the tip of the nose

These piercings offer unique placements that stand out in a crowd and are for the bold and adventurous.

With options like the Austin Bar and multiple nostril locations, you’re sure to find a piercing that resonates with your individuality.

Choosing the Right Side for Your Nose Piercing

In the context of your nose, the piercing’s location holds significant importance. In Indian culture, the left nostril is often favored, believed to make childbirth easier and alleviate menstrual pain due to its association with reproductive health—a nod to ancient Ayurvedic medicine. While in some Western cultures, the side of the nose piercing might hint at your sexual orientation, such beliefs are thankfully on the decline as individual expression prevails.

In the end, your preferred side, whether it’s the left side or the right, could be the deciding factor, particularly if you aim to highlight your best angle in photographs. Whether guided by tradition or simply a matter of aesthetics, the choice is yours. Choose the side that feels right for you, and wear it with confidence.

Piercing Discomfort and Healing Process

Addressing the inevitable concern—the pinch. Most find that getting their nose pierced is more about feeling pressure than experiencing searing pain. A bit of bleeding is par for the course, but it’s nothing to be alarmed about. As for the healing process, patience is key. A nose piercing generally take 2 to 4 months to fully heal, with septum and bridge piercings on the quicker side of the timeline.

The healing process for a new piercing typically follows this timeline:

  • Week 1: Swelling and a rosy hue around the piercing

  • Weeks 2-4: Sticky discharge, a normal part of the healing process

  • Week 5: Redness subsides, revealing a healthier-looking piercing (still in the delicate stage)

  • Up to a year: Piercing continues to toughen up

Remember, everyone’s healing process is different, so it’s important to listen to your body and follow proper aftercare instructions until you are fully healed.

Aftercare Instructions for New Piercings

Diligent aftercare is the pathway to a healthy piercing. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Twice daily, use a saline solution to keep the area pristine.

  2. Swap out cloth towels for disposable paper ones to pat dry; they’re less likely to harbor bacteria.

  3. Steer clear of alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, as these harsh substances can irritate your skin and slow down the healing journey.

Your piercing is not a toy, so hands off! Twisting or fiddling with it can introduce unwanted bacteria and set back your healing. Also, resist the urge to take a dip in hot tubs or pools; they’re a bacteria’s paradise, and your piercing’s worst nightmare.

Common Issues and How to Handle Them

Even with your best efforts, complications may occur. An infection may announce itself with pain, redness, and a side of thick yellow pus. To combat this unwelcome guest, keep the area squeaky clean, apply a dab of antibiotic ointment, and introduce a cool compress to the mix for some relief. Should the situation persist, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics to send the infection packing.

Bumps are another uninvited issue, often resulting from excessive twisting, bumping, or improper sleeping habits. If you’re prone to keloids, those pesky lumps of scar tissue, you’ll want to be extra cautious, as they can be a bit more stubborn to deal with.


Nose Jewelry Options

Once healed, you can begin to explore a variety of nose jewelry options, including nose studs. Starting out, you’ll likely don a twist nose stud or a secure hoop, crafted from skin-friendly materials like gold or titanium. Twist nose rings are designed to stay put, with the former offering a snug fit.

If you’re after ease of use, there are several types of nose rings to consider:

  • L-shaped nose rings: These slide in smoothly with their right-angled post.

  • Seamless rings: These provide a complete loop around your nostril.

  • Clicker rings: These combine comfort with a secure closure.

  • Faux hoops: These give off the hoop vibe with the simplicity of an L-shape backing.

  • Flat back studs: These offer the versatility of interchangeable charms.

  • Septum Jewelry: These are inserted in the septum (between the nostrils).

When it comes to personal style, preferences and comfort levels can vary widely. Choose the style that suits your preferences and comfort level, whether it’s influenced by western culture or any other cultural background.


Cultural Significance of Nose Piercings

Nose piercing transcends being a mere accessory, it pays homage to centuries-long traditions and holds symbolic significance. In the Middle East, nose rings have historically served as symbols of wealth and status, particularly among Bedouin women as an emblem of femininity and tribal identity. Travel to South India, and you’ll find ‘mukhuttis’ or ‘nath’, ornate nose ring that often signal a woman’s marital status.

In India, nose rings are a hallmark of beauty and fertility, woven into the fabric of cultural and spiritual life, often linked to Ayurvedic practices. Across the African continent and in South America, the nose piercing serves as a beacon of beauty and status, sometimes paired with facial tattoos or scarification for a stunning display of cultural identity.

Making Informed Decisions

Nose piercing serves as a statement and an avenue for self-expression that should mirror your unique style. Think about how the piercing will integrate with your look and whether it resonates with your personality. 

Your choice of piercer is paramount—opt for a professional who can guide you in selecting the right placement, style, and size of piercing jewelry, steering clear of questionable DIY methods.


As we wrap up this journey, remember that a nose piercing can be a delightful addition to your style repertoire, with its rich tapestry of history and personal significance. By understanding the types, caring properly during the healing process, and choosing the right jewelry and placement, your nose piercing can be a smooth and satisfying experience. Embrace the adventure, armed with knowledge and a sense of excitement for the unique expression that awaits you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions we get about these piercings.


How long does it take for a nose piercing to heal?

The initial nose piercing can take 2 to 4 months to heal, with nostril piercings falling within this range, and septum and bridge piercings heal slightly faster, typically within 1.5 to 2.5 months.

Can I swim after getting my nose pierced?

No, it's best to avoid swimming, especially in pools or hot tubs, during the initial healing period because water can contain bacteria that may cause infections.

What should I do if my nose piercing gets infected?

If your nose piercing gets infected, keep it clean, use antibiotic ointment, and apply a cool compress. If the symptoms continue, it's best to see a doctor as you may need antibiotics. Take care!

What type of nose jewelry is best to start with?

You should start with high-quality metals like 14k gold or titanium, and twist nose studs or hoops are popular starter choices. Alternatively, you can also review the best types of septum rings to start with if you're piercing your septum. 

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