Many of us have a piercing somewhere on our body- often in our ears. Nose rings are another popular piercing and are a pretty normal thing to see someone with. Nose piercings were first worn thousands of years ago by people in the Middle East and also in India. There has even been reference to a nose ring in the Christian Bible. In Western culture, this facial piercing was popularized in the 20th century. Émilie Marie Bouchard, a French singer, wore a nose ring in 1913. In the '60's the trend was adopted by hippies and in the 1970's and '80's people belonging to goth and punk subcultures also joined in. Now, you likely know quite a few people who have one, and even professional wear them in the daily workplace.
I have always loved the look of a small stud or a thin little ring in the nostril, I think it looks feminine and is just another way to wear pretty jewelry as a means of expression. For long I've thought about 'one day' getting one and for about year I've been sure of wanting one. So last week I decided to go down to a local (professional) piercing and tattoo shop and got another hole put in my nose.
I have always been super scared of needless, anything from injections to piercings freaks me the heck out, so I was understandably nervous. Luckily the piercer and a supporting friend told me there was nothing to worry about. First, you pick out the jewelry; I wanted a rind but my piercer only pierces with corkscrew studs as it is easier and less painful to put in and some believe that it doesn't take as long to heal as rings do. Rings are also more prone to developing keloids/ hypertrophic scarring (which are fixable so don't worry). My piercer then put latex gloves on, cleaned the jewelry (I chose a small green diamond stud) and my nostril with rubbing alcohol. She then marked my nose with a marker so that I could check ifI was happy with the placement where the stud would be.
Next my piercer against sanitized my nostril and explained the process to me and asked if I was ready. I closed my eyes (I would advise this to avoid getting a frights and jerking your head at the wrong moment) and she counted to three and pierced my right nostril with a hollow piercing needle from the top through to the bottom. She left the needle in my nose for a few seconds to grab the jewelry off of the tray and as she pulled the needle through she screwed the jewelry in. Nose studs don't have 'butterfly backs' to keep them from slipping out since the shape of the jewelry prevents that.
Now here's the thing everyone wants to know: what's the pain like? If you've gotten your ears pierced and can remember that sensation; it's quite substantially less sore than piercing your lobes or ear cartilage. I have a very low pain tolerance (so I feel pain easily and it effects me a lot) and this wasn't too bad. I'd say about a 4/10. When the needle goes through, you will feel a little pinch, but there is more a feeling of pressure (because the needle is going though thick skin and soft cartilage). The most painful part is when the jewelry goes in since it has to be twisted in because of the corkscrew shape, and again there is quite a lot of pressure. You will feel the piercing is tender for around an hour, maximum maybe a day depending on how you heal. The healing is a lot quicker than getting your ears pierced in the beginning. I could twist mine, push the top out and pretty much 'man handle' it after around 2-3 days and washing your face isn't an issue, just don't use a washcloth around your nose as the fires could hook around the stud and pull it out (which happened to me and I had to figure out how to put it back in while panicking about the hole closing...).
In terms of care, I made a mixture of saturated salt water and some surgical spirits in a small jar.I pinch the end of a q-tip/ ear-bud and saturate it in the solution and pop my stud out a little pit and just clean around the hold and on the underside of the gem(use your thumb to pop the stud out a little, just the straight part of the stud use to create a gap between your nose and the gem on the stud - please DON"T take out the whole stud, it will hurt). also clean the inside of your nose, where the hole it - just look up and you'll see the inside of your nose in the mirror easily. The piercing takes about 2-9 months to fully heal depending on your body. You can ONLY put in a different stud or rind AFTER it has healed, otherwise it has a huge chance of getting infected of developing keloids. If you're not sure if it has healed go to your piercer and let them check, and if it's still tender/ sore it's definitely not healed yet. You can also ask your piercer to change jewelry for you, but there are some great youtube tutorials to help you along if you're confident.
So let's talk Keloids. Keloids, or hypertrophic scars are little bubble shaped scars or a ring of raised skin that develops around the piercing and if you don't treat them right away they will grow continuously and they can get noticeably very large. If you notice one starting to develop (inside or outside your nose) simply take a little bit of pure tea-tree oil on a q-tip/ ear-bud and rub it all over the keloid twice a day. The keloid should minimize and disappear within 1-7 days and this works with all piercing keloids, not just on your nose. If you're nose starts getting very swollen, red or pussy (gross, right?) then go visit your doctor right away. Some people just don't do well with piercings, so try and find a solution asap if something bad happens or if you're worried about something.
Always remember to get your nose professionally pierced at a professional, hygienic and reputable salon or by a trained piercer under sanitary conditions, using gloves and disinfectant. DON"T ask your buddy from down the block do it just because you want to cheap out, it's probably going to be botched and you'll need to spend lots of money on medical bills afterwards... Always choose surgical steel, sterling silver, gold or platinum plated sanitary jewelry. Get pierced with a hollow piercing needle only; and it's a good idea to bring along a friend or a family member for some moral support. If you're still living with your parents or they financially support you, or if you're under 18 years old please tell them, it's just the right thing to do. And if you have any questions contact a professional piercer who can help you out.
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster xxx