Septum piercings have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly among celebrities and pop culture icons. With all the exposure septum piercings are getting lately, we know a lot of our readers have been considering taking the plunge into the body mod, themselves. Because we love you, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to gather the information you’ll need to make the final decision.
In the sections that follow, we will cover the good, the bad, and the sometimes-ugly risks of the piercing, as well as how to ensure that your healing process goes well and the modification suits you throughout the course of the trend.
What is a Septum Piercing?
A septum piercing is a bold body modification that presents itself in the form of jewelry pushed through the septum, or middle section, of the nose (between the nostrils). It’s more daring than your typical nose piercing, but not permanent like a tattoo.
The septum piercing was originally a tradition of the ancient Mayans, who wore the jewelry as a sign of religious faith. Today, the piercing is a way to present yourself as a bold character. It boasts strength and individuality and a desire to step outside the expectative “norm” of society.
This is no doubt a statement that young people (and some not-so-young people) have been eager to make through the generations. If it sounds like the kind of statement you want to make, keep reading.
Does it Hurt?
All piercings hurt. They break the skin and puncture through a part of the body, so pain is pretty much a given. Is it unbearable pain, though?
I would say definitely not. However, it depends largely on the person. Everybody has their own level of pain tolerance. This is why it’s so hard to put a measurement on pain. Even when visiting emergency rooms, the triage team will often have you rate the pain you feel against the worst pain of your life, which doesn’t tell them much more than whether or not you are, in your own opinion, suffering. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to tell another living soul whether or not a piercing or tattoo or medical procedure is going to hurt.
What we can tell you, though, is that the pain has been likened to that of a regular nose piercing, with some stating that they barely felt pain at all, instead feeling simply like they needed to sneeze.
There is one precaution, though, that your piercer might not tell you about. If you have ever suffered a deviated septum, the piercing might be a more painful process than usual. Also, it might not look right, even after it heals.
If you have a non-symmetrical nose, this is probably a piercing you should just skip altogether. The risk of pain is higher and the possibility of it looking right is slim.
How Does it Heal?
Again, healing is as relative as pain. Everyone heals differently and some people (whether they admit it or not) are pickers. What we can promise, though, is that – if left alone – the piercing should heal fully within eight weeks without any infection or irritation.
You should also be careful and not change the jewelry before the healing process is complete. Doing so will put you at risk of infection and irritation.
Is it Hard to Care for?
Not at all. As mentioned above, all you really have to do is leave it alone. Don’t touch it. Don’t pick it. Don’t play with it. Don’t change it. Wash your face as normal and see a doctor if you start to notice signs of infection.
Some people have jobs that require them to flip their piercing up into the nose to hide it from customers. If you do have to do this, make sure you are keeping a close eye out for irritation and cleanliness. It is not advised to move the piercing at all, so this is already a risk- but it is unfortunately sometimes a necessary one.
Can it be Removed?
If you grow tired of the piercing or decide that it is uncomfortable down the road, it’s a really easy thing to remove. Some piercings require the assistance of a professional to take out, but the septum is not one of them. You can remove this piercing on your own and the hole will eventually close up again.
The longer you’ve had the piercing, though, the longer it will take to heal. In addition, if you have used weights to stretch your septum piercing, you may need cosmetic surgery to cut away the stretched tissue. If you aren’t 100% sure that you want to have a stretched septum forever, don’t start the process.
Otherwise, in the case of a normal piercing hole, removing the jewelry should not result in any long-term scarring or complications with breathing or appearance. If you are removing the piercing because of infection, maintain a cleaning regimen until the piercing closes and consult with your physician for antibiotics if needed.
With Proper Research, a Septum Piercing Makes a Bold Statement
Always research your piercings (and your piercers) responsibly. Remember that you get what you pay for- a clean, knowledgeable body modification artist is worth the higher price you’ll pay as opposed to cousin Jimmy’s friend in a house party basement.
Research the piercing shop you plan to visit, read reviews, and don’t be afraid to walk out if you get any kind of sketchy feeling during your piercing appointment. Remember this is your body they’re modifying, so you always get the last call.
When done incorrectly, the septum piercing can be a painful process that results in infection and suffering.
When done right, however, you can create a bold and beautiful statement and celebrate your individuality in a way that honors a lost society. A septum piercing will be your most noticeable facial feature, a conversation starter, and a way to let your personality speak without words.