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A Guide to Nostril Piercings

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Nose piercings—nostril piercings in particular—are wildly popular right now. While it's tempting to just go into any old piercing shop and get one because they're cute, they're still a piercing. And as with any kind of piercing, you should be sure to educate yourself on the process and the risks, and choose an experienced piercer with high safety standards.

Placement of Nostril Piercings

Nostril piercings are piercings that go through the soft cartilage that surrounds the outside of the nasal passages (also known as the outside of your nose). The piercing can be placed anywhere on the nostril, even in the dimple. However, it's important to know that the anatomy of your nose can make different locations look better or worse, so it's important that you're absolutely sure about the placement before making it official.

Your piercer should place a small dot on your nose to show where they're going to insert the needle, and it's your job to really look at it and decide if that location is good or not. If you're intending on wearing a ring, maybe buy a fake one to experiment with placements.

Nostril Piercing Healing

Nostril piercings are very simple, and don't cause that awful much pain. It's actually the healing time that can be the most difficult, because of all the germs and bacteria that are ever-present in your nose. Allergies and colds can aggravate it, but also just everyday life can too. Get a runny nose during winter? Blowing your nose will be difficult during the healing process, but it's not impossible.

It's truly essential that you follow the aftercare guidelines given to you by your piercer. Be very careful to keep this piercing extra clean, both inside and out, to avoid infection. People who wear makeup need to be especially wary of this—foundation can get in and you can suffer as a result.

Choosing Jewelry

When selecting jewelry for your nostril piercing, consider the healing process. Although most people want to wear a tiny jewel, not a ring, a captive bead ring (CBR) is much more conducive to healing.

In terms of jewelry, nose bones are okay if you don't ever want to change the jewelry (because the end of the nose bone has to be forced through the flesh in order to remove it). Nostril screws and fishtails are okay for nasal piercings after they're already healed, but can cause more problems than they're worth during the initial healing process. They're loose, are prone to falling out, and the thin wires can poke the inside of your nose.

If you're going to wear a nostril screw or fishtail once it's healed, then you'll only need an 18 gauge piercing. Most nostril gems come in 18 gauge, sometimes even as small as 20 gauge. See what your piercer has available and get your piercing sized accordingly.

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