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Stretched Septum 101: What to Know Septum Stretching Piercings

stretching septum image

Septum piercing stretching (Septum Stretching) is the action of purposefully expanding the piercing hole of the nasal septum (between the left and right nostrils) to become enlarged so that new septum jewelry can fit into the stretched piercing hole.

Stretching a septum occurs within the thin tissue of the nasal vestibule called the columella which is initially pierced at the initial piercing needle sized diameter measuring out to be at the 14-gauge size, as that is the sized needle used by most professional piercers. The initial piercing plays a significant role in this process, and we shed light on its importance.

Septum Stretching is much easier when the piercing hole isn’t located in the cartilage due to it being what experts say is, "More difficult to stretch and more likely to form hypertrophic scars if stretched quickly," according to researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics (Committee on Adolescence, 2017). People stretching septums have questions on stretchability of septum piercings, how to stretch avoiding septum stretching pain and discomfort, along with finding the appropriate septum stretching jewelry to wear.

As a result, questions arise regarding which items to add to a septum stretching kit, how to avoid a septum stretching blowout, what are proper steps to septum stretching aftercare, and more. In this article, we evaluate the basics, the process and methods to stretch, the aftercare and precautions to know about along with more septum stretching tips to consider during your stretching journey.



Since the Plug Your Holes brand sells a variety of quality jewelry for stretched ears and septums on PlugYourHoles.com, this stretching guide is here to help you to stretch septum piercings properly.

👃 Septum Stretching Guide

The nose piercing dates back more than 4000 years ago originating in the Middle East and then catching on in India by the 1500s before reaching Western civilization in the 20th century, according to researchers at JAMA Dermatology (2013). Stretching the septum is the gradual process of increasing the size of a piercing in the thin wall of cartilage that separates your nostrils, allowing for inserting larger pieces of jewelry.

A septum piercing is a low-risk choice that can be easily maintained and leaves minimal visible marks if abandoned. After the initial healed piercing, when septum jewelry is removed, the piercing hole remains open.


Why Do People Stretch Their Septums?

People stretch their septums for various reasons - personal aesthetics, cultural traditions, or simply the desire for unique self-expression. Some enjoy the sensation involved in stretching, while others appreciate the wide variety of jewelry options available with stretched piercings.

Understanding how septum stretching works can help ensure a safe and successful experience, no matter your reason.


Stretching Your Septum: The Basics

The basics of septum stretching involves starting once the piercing is completely healed, only stretching up one size at a time, slowly, and doing salt soaks along with other aftercare measures while stretching.

Below are some of the basics to know before stretching:

  • Healing Time is Key - Don't rush into stretching your septum soon after getting pierced. Allowing adequate healing time (4 to 8 weeks) to ensure safer and smoother results as it reduces the risk of infection and other complications. Soak the piercing area with salt soaks starting with your first stretches up to a month into your journey, for proper healing.

  • Size Matters - The term 'gauged' refers to the measurement used for body jewelry sizes. Therefore, a gauged septum indicates that these areas have been stretched beyond their original size with appropriate jewelry.

  • Straight or Crooked? - Can you stretch a crooked septum piercing? Yes, but it may require more care and attention due to its unique positioning. It's best to consult with a professional piercer in the case of a crooked septum to ensure safe and effective stretching.

  • Enjoy the Journey - Understanding these basics make your journey towards achieving an elegantly septum less daunting and more enjoyable. Take it slow, stay persistent, and have a blast.

Stretching the septum involves gradually increasing the size of the piercing hole in the nasal septum by using larger jewelry, and can result in a dramatic change to your look.


How Does Septum Stretching Work?

The key to successful stretching requires an understanding how it works. When you stretch your septum, you're actually creating micro-tears in the skin around the piercing hole. These tears heal over time, forming new skin cells that accommodate larger jewelry pieces.

Stretching is a gradual process that requires patience and care. Experts recommend waiting at least 6 to 8 months between each stretch, and increasing the size of your piercing by no more than 0.5 mm at a time.

This careful approach to stretching ensures optimal septum healing time, reducing risks associated with improper stretching techniques such as tearing or infections. Stretching your septum too quickly can lead to issues ranging from mild to serious. Take your time, as rushing can lead to undesirable outcomes when it comes to gauging.


Gauging Septum: The Septum Stretching Process

Stretching the septum, also known as "gauging a septum", is a process that involves gradually increasing the size of your septum piercing. "Gauging" is simply the action of stretching to a larger size.

Follow these guidelines to gauging and you'll be ready:

  1. Stretch Septums Slowly - A slow but steady approach helps prevent serious damage. Don't be a hero and try to skip sizes; your septum will thank you later.

  2. Gauge Septums With Appropriate Jewelry - Use appropriate jewelry sizes during each stage of stretching. Don't be cheap and buy low-quality jewelry. Your septum deserves the best.

  3. Lube Septums - Always use ample amounts of recommended lubricants before you stretch piercings. Don't be stingy with the lube, folks. It's your septum we're talking about here.

Don't be a daredevil and rush the process by attempting large stretches at once. Instead, aim for gradual increments of 0.5 mm each time you stretch your septum.

This piercing allows for stretching to various sizes, both large and small, and these particular types of piercings remain a popular nose piercing option because they can remain concealed, even when stretched.


Sizing-Up: The Septum Stretching Sizes

When it comes to stretching septums, understanding the correct sizes involved is crucial. Sizing-up refers to the process of gradually increasing the size of your piercing hole by using larger jewelry over time.

A septum can comfortably expand to a size of 15 mm to 20 mm, while others may find their ideal width at next size of approximately 5 mm (4g).

The standard gauge for a fresh septum piercing usually starts at 16-gauge or 14-gauge piercing, but this can vary depending on individual preferences and anatomy. As you progress with your stretching journey, you might move up to thicker gauges like 12G, 10G, or even bigger sizes.

Remember that each increase in Gauge Size should be done carefully and slowly - gradual increments are key for a safe and successful stretch. Depending on your goal size, you progress through many inbetween sizes during the journey.

Why Size Matters? The actual size of your septum can affect the overall look and feel of your piercing. A larger gauge can make a statement, while a smaller gauge can be more subtle. Selecting a gauge that matches your individual aesthetic and comfort is essential.


What are the recommended methods for stretching your septum?

There are several techniques for stretching your septum, including: using tapers, taping, and dead stretching. It's essential to research the various methods and select the one that suits you best.

  • Using Tapers - The most recommended method involves using a taper. A taper is a tool that gradually increases the size of the piercing hole, allowing you to stretch your piercing slowly without causing unnecessary trauma.

  • Taping - Taping involves wrapping layers of tape around your jewelry to gradually increase the size. This method is gentle and can be done at your own pace, but it can be time-consuming (wrapping tape around the jewelry) and requires patience.

  • Dead Stretching - Dead stretching involves inserting jewelry that is slightly larger than your current size without the use of tools. This technique can be efficient and speedy, however it necessitates some practice and may not be uncomfortable.

Improper technique can lead to complications, including tearing, infection, swelling, or even permanent damage. It is advisable to consider using a taper along with an ample amount of water-soluble lubricant for a smooth process when stretching the septum.


How to Safely Stretch Your Septum Piercing

The stretching process is accomplished by using a series of jewelry, and optionally: tapers, that increase the common piercing size over a period of time with use.

Utilize the taper method along with a generous amount of lubricant for ease and comfort is the recommendation for how to safely stretch the piercing.

If you're ready to stretch your septum, it's important to do it safely and correctly. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Prepare the Area - Before you start, make sure your hands and nose are clean. Use warm water and mild soap to clean the area around your piercing.

  2. Lubricate - Apply a generous amount of water-based lubricant to your piercing, and the taper if you are using this method-- as this makes the process smoother and less painful.

  3. Tapering - Slowly insert the taper into your piercing, following its curve until it emerges at the other side. Don't force anything, and if you feel any pain or resistance, stop immediately.

  4. Jewelry Insertion - Once the taper is through, insert your new jewelry from behind it. Ensure the jewelry is of a suitable size that provides ease when worn.

Remember, stretching your piercing should be done gradually over time. A discrete piercing to flip-up can be accomplished quickly, however, large-gauge piercings require more time and patience, for example.


When can I change my septum piercing?

When changing a septum piercing, you should await the standard 2 to 3 months after the original piercing.  Technically, 6 to 8 weeks is what most professional piercers recommend.


What materials are commonly used for septum stretching jewelry?

In the ancient times, popular materials for stretched septums included organic materials like bone, quills, and horn, which were the most effective with healed piercings. In modern times, silicone offers a discreet alternative, allowing the placement of multiple rings within it. Other materials include metals such as gold for rings.

Choosing the right septum jewelry while stretching is crucial to ensure comfort, safety, and aesthetic appeal. The jewelry should be made from high-quality materials to minimize the risk of irritation or allergic reactions. There are various styles available, including rings (e.g. captive bead), clickers, circular barbells, and horseshoes which can be selected based on personal preference and comfort. Also, some people may also choose to wear decorative single flared plugs or tunnels to showcase their septum.

For stretching jewelry, there's a broad selection of materials to pick from when stretching septums. Metal options like brass, steel (stainless), and gold also remain popular due to their timeless appeal and durability. Whether you opt for a simple gold clicker ring or an ornate design complete with gemstones depends on your personal style preferences.


Gold Septum Piercing Jewelry

A gold clicker septum ring is sometimes the only type of item desired since it's timeless, elegant and durable. After the jewelry is inserted, make sure to check that it's secure and comfortable.


More Septum Piercings Jewelry

Septum jewelry comes in many more materials which are body safe, stylish and durable. Whether its ornate septum rings or something more pronounced to spice it up, use the septum jewelry available during each phase of stretching.


It's essential to pick out superior-grade jewelry in order to stay away from any risks of of metal allergies or other potential issues ranging from mild to serious. Always purchasing from reputable sources can help you to reduce concerns when it comes to jewelry choices. The material of your stretching jewelry should reflect not only your fashion sense but also ensure comfort during the healing process after each stretch.

Body piercing jewelry options range from Body Piercing Jewelry Horseshoes, certain shape jewelry of particular designs to jewelry kits. For septum jewelry used for Nose Piercing Body Jewelry, you can find a discreet piece that can be hidden or an Earring Hoop Piercing Ring, a set of gauge septum circular barbells, Silicone Tunnels, a variety of 14G-6G Septum Pincher options to larger Plug Stretcher Expander options. Prices range from $14.99 for a Rose Gold Roped Steel with Opalite Gem Septum Clicker to a Spiral Spiked Barbell priced at the lowest price of $7.99.


The Timeline Instructions for Stretched Septums

As a general rule, wait a minimum of 6 to 8 months between each stretching session and only increase by 0.5 mm increments to prevent potential harm to your piercing. Stretching a septum from 16g to 6g, with the suggested 6 to 8 month intervals, can approximately take up to 3 years to reach the desired gauge size. However, achieving a fully healed initial 6g septum may only require 6 months from the time of your first healed piercing!

If you're wanting to expand your piercing, it's essential that the process is done correctly. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Wait to stretch (after initial piercing)

Patience is key, wait at least 4 to 8 weeks after getting your initial piercing before you start stretching. You might wait a couple of weeks more just to make sure ample time for your septum to heal properly.

  1. Stretch Gradually

Don't rush it, and stretch only by 0.5 mm increments each time, waiting another 6 to 8 months between stretches.

  1. Follow Aftercare Steps

After each septum stretch, adhere strictly to stretching aftercare. This includes cleaning with saline solution twice daily for two weeks post-stretch, avoiding harsh soaps or chemicals on the area, and not twisting or flipping the jewelry unnecessarily.

By following this methodical approach, you'll minimize potential risks.

Patience and careful aftercare are crucial to avoid unwanted complications. Don't rush into it without proper knowledge and preparation.

It is crucial to stretch the septum slowly and carefully to avoid risks such as tearing, infection, or developing an uneven septum. Proper aftercare and hygiene are essential for successful stretching.


Caring for Stretched Septum (Maintenance and Aftercare)

The healing time for a piercing varies from person to person. On average, a septum piercing typically heals within 4-8 weeks, allowing for jewelry change. However, it can take up to 8 months for the piercing to fully mature.

For post-stretch care, immerse the affected area in a saline solution twice daily for at least 2 weeks following the stretching procedure.

The key to reducing your healing time lies in cleanliness and care. Always remember these important steps for aftercare with your septum:

  • Cleanliness is paramount - Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your nose or jewelry.

  • Avoid unnecessary movement of the jewelry - Do not twist or flip it unless absolutely necessary. If flipping is required, use warm water to soften any crust beforehand.

  • Avoid harsh cleaning agents - Steer clear of soaps containing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine as they can be too abrasive on the sensitive skin around the piercing site. Instead, stick with saline solutions for a gentle yet effective cleansing routine done twice per day.

The first two weeks are particularly important when starting to stretch; this is an essential part of your stretching aftercare regimen. Make sure to exercise caution and take all necessary precautions when stretching your septum.

Paying attention to these simple but effective septum healing tips will help maintain the health and longevity of your septum piercing conducive to the natural healing process. If you experience any discomfort or adverse reactions, attend to the resolving the condition promptly.


What is the proper aftercare routine for stretched septum?

After stretching your septum, it's crucial to follow proper aftercare procedures for a healthy healing process. This includes cleaning the piercing regularly, avoiding harsh chemicals, and not changing the jewelry too soon.

Remember, stretch the septum safely and carefully.


Septum Safety and Risks

Stretching the septum can sometimes lead to risk for complications, if not done correctly or carefully. Some common issues include tearing of the tissue, infections, development of keloids or scar tissue, and an uneven septum.


What are the potential risks associated with septum stretching?

To ensure healthy healing and avoid complications like infection or blowouts (where the inside of the hole comes out), it's crucial to follow proper aftercare practices such as regular cleaning with saline solution and avoiding harsh soaps or alcohol on the area.

Avoid the following potential hazards associated with stretching septums:

  1. Allergic reactions: Certain types of piercing jewelry, particularly those containing nickel, may trigger allergies in some individuals.

  2. Infections: Skin openings can provide an entry point for bacteria, resulting in infection.

  3. Septal hematoma: A collection of blood within the nasal septum can be caused by facial injury or trauma.

  4. Bloodborne diseases: The risk of contracting illnesses transmitted through blood is a risk to avoid.

  5. Scarring: Avoid permanent marks on the skin due to improper stretching by using proper stretching techniques.

  6. Tearing: Avoid damage to the septum caused by excessive stretching with proper timing and technique of stretching.

If problems do arise, it is essential to seek advice from a healthcare provider to address the issue promptly and avoid further harm to the septum.


What are the signs of an infected stretched septum?

Be mindful of the following infection risks while stretching:

  • Experiencing soreness and sensitivity in the pierced area.

  • Bleeding from an older or recent piercing (in extreme situations).

  • A raised bump or lump at the piercing location.

  • Pain and inflammation in the septum (common and expected during the initial two weeks).

To minimize the risk of complications, stretch slowly and patiently, use high-quality jewelry and tools, and maintain proper aftercare routines.


Does it hurt to stretch your septum?

The process of stretching can cause discomfort potentially lasting for several weeks or even months.

Many people wonder if stretching their septum should hurt, and while some discomfort is expected during the process, it's essential to monitor any complications that may arise.

For instance, septum soreness or bleeding after stretching might indicate a problem that requires medical attention. In some cases, patients may experience edema or a septum that still hurts, which could necessitate therapy or further problem-solving.

Although septum stretching is not as invasive as plastic surgery or cardiology procedures, it's crucial to follow proper guidelines and use saline for cleaning to prevent damage and minimize the risk of complications.

Additionally, be cautious when making significant jumps in size, such as a septum stretch from 8g to 6g, as this can increase the likelihood of discomfort and issues like blowouts.

Ultimately, understanding the potential risks or seeking professional advice can help ensure a smoother stretching experience.


What should you do if you experience pain or discomfort during the septum stretching process?

During the process of stretching, if you experience intense, unbearable pain, it's an indication that your body isn't prepared for the stretch. In such cases, it's best to halt the process and allow some time before attempting it again.


Downsizing of Septum Piercing Stretching

Downsizing refers to the process of reducing the size of a septum piercing hole. This can be achieved by gradually wearing smaller jewelry pieces, allowing the tissue to shrink and heal over time. However, unlike ear stretching which might shrink to original size (depending on how far stretched) after stretching, the septum may not return to its original size, depending on how much it has been stretched. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair a severely stretched septum.


Will a stretched septum close?

Once your septum has completely healed, you can progressively stretch it to a bigger gauge; however, keep in mind that this is a lasting change and the septum won't revert to its initial size as stretched earlobes might.

Learn more about how long it takes for a septum piercing to close ahead of time so you're aware of the potential risks.


Final Tips for Stretched Septums

When it comes to body jewelry brands and shops, it's important to do your research and choose a reputable source to ensure the quality and safety of your jewelry. The Piercing Stretching 101 Guide was developed by Plug Your Holes to help you along your journey to stretchen piercings, and we continue to add new knowledge and studies as they become available. With the proper knowledge, you can stretch your piercings, like the septum, with improved confidence while maintaining a healthy stretched septum.

Remember, stretching your septum piercing can be a fun and unique way to express yourself, but it's important to approach it with caution and care. Now go ahead and rock that septum like a boss.

Disclaimer: Any statements made within this website are based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, along with extensive research and practice. No products produced, manufactured, marketed, or distributed are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and should not be misconstrued as medical advice. If you suspect a medical emergency, seek professional attention. Consult your physician before beginning any piercing stretching, if you suspect any concern based on personal circumstances.