Septum Piercing (And Re-Piercing, And Re-Piercing...)

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When I'm wearing it, my septum piercing is one of the first things people notice about me. I get a lot of lovely comments and questions about it from curious people or those who are considering having it done themselves, so I thought I'd put together a guide for you all to get the low-down. I'm not a qualified piercer, so this post is merely based on my own experience as a piercing-lover, and on things I've been taught by my piercers over the years. If you have anything more to ask after reading, just pop it in a comment - I'm always happy to talk about piercings!   

Does it hurt? All piercings hurt, in a way, but how you experience them very much depends on your own body and mind. I enjoy the process of being pierced, despite acknowledging that it's "painful" on an objective level. I like the feel of metal and of controlled, professionally-administered pain. Putting my masochism aside for a second though, I'd rank a septum as around a 7/10 on the ouchy piercing scale. It will make your eyes water, no matter how tough you are, so don't go and get your septum done while wearing false eyelashes, or even mascara if you can avoid it. I learnt that one the hard way.

How much will it cost? Mine was £15 in a tattoo studio in Pembrokeshire, but they can go up to around £30 depending on the location and jewellery you choose. To be honest, if they ask you for more than £25 including a piece of basic jewellery, I'd go somewhere else.

How long does it take to heal? For me it was about two months before I was brave enough to take my horseshoe out and try new jewellery. A septum piercing goes through a really thin membrane, not cartilage, so it's a quick healer compared to some other piercings. But don't rush it!

What kind of jewellery should I get? Always get stainless steel, sterling silver or gold jewellery. I've bought nose rings from places like Claire's that I assumed were stainless steel, and then had them go green and brassy and minging. Always check and double-check what material it's made out of. A regular septum piercing should be around 16g (g for gauge indicates the actual size of the hole) but make sure you ask your piercer, because they can vary. Obviously you will be able to wear things that are smaller (even though they won't hold your piercing at the right size for long) but you can't wear anything bigger until it's fully healed, should you wish to stretch it.

Will it close over quickly/how can I re-pierce it? I've re-pierced my own several times over the years, and it's easier than you'd think. If you haven't worn any septum jewellery for quite a while and it looks like the hole has closed over, sterilise a stainless steel ring (something sturdy that you can put some force behind) and get yourself in front of a magnifying mirror. With one hand, pinch your septum and pull outwards, so that the hole is as stretched out as it can be. Then take your jewellery and work it a little inside until you know you've found the right angle, and then gently but firmly push it all the way through, applying slow pressure. As you do this, you will see/feel the hole sort of re-opening, as if your jewellery is simply stretching it back open. Your eyes will water but it's not absurdly painful. When it comes out the other side your jewellery will have a bit of gunk on it, so just rub that off with a wet wipe or tissue and you're good to go. There shouldn't be any blood, but if there is, wet a bit of tissue with cold water and hold it there until the bleeding stops, and then clean it regularly as if it were a brand new piercing. 

How do people react to you when you have a septum piercing? Any change in our appearance will make people see us differently, and that's their loss, but that's how it is. Because it's a very visible piercing, I get a lot of comments on my septum, often from complete strangers. Comments include "you look like a bull", "doesn't it still hurt you though?", "I feel squeamish just looking at it", "what about when you have a cold?" et cetera. I also get a lot of random men telling me that they want to attach a leash to it and lead me around by the nose. So have a comeback prepared for that one.

Can I hide it for work/school? Yes, you can. Because it's all the way up inside your nose, you can get plain, short jewellery to hold the piercing for you, usually called a keeper. It depends on the structure of your nose, but I find that I can put in a regular spiked barbell, like you'd wear on an eyebrow, and it won't show at all.

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