I was disturbed when I searched the title of this piece into my search engine text bar, and mainly because the answer that was most viewed and read was written very much out of ignorance and error. I’ve had my nose pierced four times (something always caused the need for it to be removed that was job related) and my current nose ring has been in quite awhile now. I love body expression through piercings and tattoos and dress, and I like when people are informed correctly so as they are not frightened to get something as simple and sweet as a nose piercing. As I said I have a nostril piercing, two stretched earlobes, two standard ear piercings above those, and a left ear helix (or cartilage) piercing. This in no way makes everything I write or say correct, but I do believe an experienced pierced person is more eligible to write a pros and cons article than a piercing virgin.
The first time I had my nose pierced, it fell out in the shower later that night because I’m naturally blonde and used a loofa on my face… Yes, I really did. Anyways, it snagged the nose stud right out of my nose and it went down the drain. I was angry but only at myself for being so stupid.
Two days later I went back to my local piercer and he had to repierce my nostril due to the closing of the tissue. That stud stayed in about a week before it fell out in my sleep. Now, I thought I was doing something wrong, but after talking to a few other professional piercers, apparently the stud my former piercer used was much too small for the size of my nostril and wasn’t the best type for a fresh piercing. So I waited a few months, let it completely heal, then on a family trip to Shreveport, LA, I decided to go to a shop I’d heard of back in Texas that was supposed to be pretty good. And they were. Everything was done swiftly and correctly and clean, but only one thing… I had too much scar tissue from the previous two piercings blocking the fistula (or the hole the needle makes) for the stud to go in. They gave me my money back and a coupon if I wanted the other side done, but I decided to wait again because obviously this was some sort of sign that I wasn’t meant to get a nose ring just yet.
Not too long ago, after doing extensive local research on piercers in my area, I went to a piercer in a nearby city that I had gone to with my best friend a few months prior to get her nostril pierced. She did, and I was very impressed and pleased with the piercers technique and piercing capability. We left and of course the area around the nostril swell up a bit and was red, but that is very normal. I got mine a few months later and I still have it! I’ve even switched to a nose hoop since that was the original plan anyhow. Its great, healed, and fine. So now I’ll tell you things I had to consider before having my nose pierced… 4 times.
1. Workplace/school nonacceptance.
-My friend was just hired at Starbucks, and although I’ve heard it depends on the manager, she had to put a retainer in her nose while behind the barista counter. Nose piercings, or any type of piercing for that matter, can effect your ability to get a job or retain it; this is highly dependent on your field, of course. Make sure before you get any type of piercing or changes to your body that is visible to others (i.e. tattoos, extreme hair cut/color, etc.) that it is acceptable at your job or school.
-Now, of course this isn’t something you should totally expect, but it is definitely something to consider and be prepared for. Improper care and treatment of your piercing can result in infection and permanent scarring and removal of the ring or stud. Not only that, but as you read from my past experience, the scar tissue that can develop from mistreatment can make it hard or impossible to repierce the area. To keep from getting infection, follow these simple guidelines often:
*ALWAYS wash your hands before cleaning or handling your nose piercing. This is not necessary after the proper healing time, but still a good habit to form. Bacteria from your hands can cause unwanted germs in the fistula and ultimately infection.
*Use anti-bacterial, non-scented hand soap as the primary cleaner for your piercing.
*NEVER use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide; this kills necessary bacteria for healing and dries out surrounding skin, which can cause irritation and infection.
*Invest in a pre-mixed sea salt solution or mix your own at home using a simple method. The sea salt solution is one of the most single important things for your new piercing, as it is best at promoting healing and killing unwanted bacteria and germs. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and hold on the pierced area for 5-10 minutes to insure cleanliness.
*Leeeeeave the initial stud innnnnnn. This seems simple, but trust me; once you get it pierced, you’ll be itching to change the stud or ring to fit your personal style. But taking the stud out can cause some problems. I deal with having extremely fast healing skin. This is a very good thing, it means my body is doing its job, but its bad when I go to take the stud out for 5 seconds, only to return with the new ring to a closed hole. Not everyone is like this, but other than the hole closing too fast, the risk of infection is doubled as is the risk of damage to your new piercing. The recommended, minimum time of a standard nostril piercing is 6-8 weeks, but most professional piercers will tell you to wait even 3 months, just to be sure.
3. Type of ring/stud for initial piercing
-I saw that some people that have been pierced wish the piercer would have used a bone or “straight” stud, and while I can understand why someone would think that is more comfortable, let me tell you that the first few weeks of healing are not about comfort. If you want comfort, don’t get it pierced because you’re in for a few days or even weeks of inflammation, itching, swelling, and just discomfort in general. None of it is too terribly awful, obviously, or the number of people with nostril piercings would be dramatically decreased. The safest, most reliable form of stud that your piercer should use initially is the nose screw type. This type might be a bit harder to get in and to remove, but its better to have to go back to your piercer to have the stud changed than using a straight or L-shaped stud and it falling out and you losing your money and having to have the nose repierced. The nose-screw is the most reliable-to-stay-in stud, and I recommend you find a piercer that uses this method.
4. Piercing Method
-I also read that a person writing an article recommended that you go to a piercer that uses a piercing gun on your nose because it cuts the time in half….? Yeah, it cuts the time in half. But it also causes permanent scarring of the tissue in the nose cartilage, prolongs healing time, encourages infection, and hurts a hell of a lot more. The ONLY thing a piercing gun is acceptable on is the ear lobes. Not even the ear cartilage is good for a gun. Just because Claire’s uses piercing guns on cartilage doesn’t mean its correct. I had my cartilage pierced as a girl at Claire’s because I didn’t do any research and I was young and even a year later I would feel pain if I pressed the area around the piercing. The bottom line: If your piercer is going to use a gun rather than a piercing needle on your nose, you get the hell out of that place and find a real piercer who knows what he/she is doing. NEVER USE A PIERCING GUN ON YOUR NOSE OR ANYWHERE BUT THE EAR LOBES.
So, to give a brief overview of the pros and cons. The pros? You get a cute, sexy piece of jewelry in your nose if you take care of it; stud OR ring. Cons? Well, like any piercing, there are risks, but they’re not guaranteed. You could be passed up for a job or get a crazy infection, but if you follow the instructions above or the advice of a good, professional, trusted piercer, the risk of infection should be minimal. As for the job thing: If you’re in the process of looking for a job, I don’t suggest you get your nose piercing just yet, because who knows if your future employer will accept nose piercings? Wait until you have a steady job and that your workplace allows the piercing. Other than that…. I don’t know any other bad things about having a nose piercing.