Much like other aesthetic jewelry piercings, nose piercings can give a spunky and chic statement to your style. They rank as one of the most popular styles, with statistics roughly showing that over 19% of women have a nose piercing.
However, nose piercings have their own set procedure of care and upkeep, as well as potential risks for modifying your body in such an obvious place. Before you decide to go through with a nose piercing, let’s discuss the pros and cons.
What are the Pros and Cons of Nose Piercing?
Pros of Nose Piercing
1. Style: If you’re looking to make a striking style statement, nose piercings are great and who doesn’t want a little sparkle on their face? It can be a unique way of expressing yourself beautifully if this is what you want.
2. Variety of Nose Jewelry: There is a wide variety of nose jewelry to choose from. You can use nose studs, nose pins, nose hoops, etc. to adorn your face and enhance your beauty.
3. The simplicity of Piercing Procedure: Depending on the piercing, the procedure is very simple. Not to mention that it heals relatively quickly when you take proper care of the piercing. If you decide to make a change and remove the piercing, it’s as simple as taking the stud out. It won’t take long to heal and reseal.
Cons of Nose Piercing:
1. Get Ready for Some Bias: Now, similarly, one should be wary that nose piercings may come with a negative disposition from some people. Some employers may even disapprove of the style and might even request that you remove it.
2. Time to Heal: As previously stated, it may take some time for the piercing to heal depending on the part of the nose where the piercing is done. Simple nose piercing can heal within 4-6 months and other types of nose piercings (like rhino piercing) could take as much as 6 – 9 months to heal.
Also, nose studs often fall out during sleep further making it more difficult for the piercing to heal quickly.
3. Risk of Infection: There is usually a high risk of getting your piercing infected without proper care and maintenance. The piercing can become infected, causing pain and in the worst cases, disfigurement. In addition, while it isn’t necessarily a con, having metal put in your face is a new experience for everyone and can cause even simple, everyday actions, like sneezing or blowing your nose to feel different.
Things to Know Before Nose Piercing
There are several things you need to know before getting a nose piercing. Obviously, getting any kind of piercing can be intimidating, which makes it all the more important to communicate with anyone else you know who has a nose piercing, as well as communicating with your local piercing shops to learn about pricing (usually ranging from $30 to $80) and availability. Some of the things about nose piercing you need to be aware of before getting it done include:
1. Check Out the Piercing Shop Before Scheduling Appointment
It’s also recommended to visit shops before you actually make an appointment. If it doesn’t feel sanitary or comfortable, don’t feel compelled to stick with it; take your time and figure out what is best for you.
2. Prepare Yourself for Some Discomfort
The nose piercing is considered one of the least painful, depending on its location on the nose. For some people, it’s the same as plucking an eyebrow hair and for others, it’s more intense than the ear lobe. You will have to relearn how to do things like blow your nose and deal with skin issues facial acne or pimples.
You might think it’s intuitive that having a foreign object in your nose would make things feel…weird and awkward at first. Nevertheless, you’ll never truly know until you’ve gotten pierced.
3. Consult Your Doctor if You’re Not Sure
Additionally, If you’ve gotten surgery on your nose, such as a rhinoplasty previously, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a doctor, as well as wait a minimum of three months before getting a nose piercing.
4. Prepare for a New Normal
Your nose piercing will fall out during sleep, all the time and at some point, you will accidentally rip it out, which will hurt…severely. It’s all a matter of getting used to the new situation. People are going to ask about it and some may even judge you. It’s important to remember that although it may have been more acceptable several decades ago, nose piercings are still seen as a sign of rebellion in some areas and are met with disapproval. Just know that no matter what, it was your choice and you’re the one who has it, not them.
The Nose Piercing Process
Getting your nose pierced should be a very sterile process. The piercer should be wearing gloves and right after, your nose should be sterilized thoroughly. Then marking should be the next step and this involves pinpointing where the piercing will go.
Please note that any piercing parlor should be using a traditional needle for piercing and not a piercing gun, which can cause tissue damage and is not considered the most sanitary piercing process when compared to a needle. After the piercing is done and the jewelry is inserted, any blood is wiped away and the piercer will provide instructions on treating the piercing going forward.
Nose Piercing Aftercare Tips
There are several tips that you can implement to help you have a better nose piercing aftercare experience. This should make it easier for you to adapt to the new experience of wearing nose jewelry and it may even help the piercing to heal faster. Some of the aftercare tips for nose piercing that may be helpful include:
1. Proper Cleaning
Maintaining constant cleaning and care of your piercing is necessary not only for proper healing, but also to avoid infection. The safest and most effective method for cleaning your piercing is by using a saline solution (saltwater) or your own homemade saltwater solution, which should contain ¼ teaspoon of salt and 8 oz. of water. The piercing should be washed several times a day by filling a small cup with the solution and submerging the piercing into the water for 60 seconds.
2. Avoid Using Hydrogen Peroxide and Alcohol
Hydrogen peroxide and alcohol-based cleaning agents may be too harsh on the piercing and it may derail fast healing. It is often best to avoid using them. If an infection develops and cleaning the area does not improve the situation, it is advisable to talk to your doctor and have it medically treated.
3. Use Pain Relievers to Ease Mild Pain and Discomfort
You can use mild painkillers like Tylenol, Aleve, and Ibuprofen to ease any mild pain or discomfort you may get from the piercing especially during the first few days after it is done. This should only be for a few days (2-3days at most) after which you should be generally okay.
4. Avoid Fiddling or Frequently Touching the Piercing
After the piercing, you really should let the pierced area rest as much as possible. Frequently touching the piercing can further agitate the area and lead to bleeding. This can be treated with diluted tea tree oil but it may increase the healing time in the process.
Also, activities like swimming, applying moisturizer and makeup around the area, and removing the nose jewelry, will definitely result in tampering with the piercing. Try as much as possible to minimize these activities so that they don’t result in piercing complications.
5. Watch Out for Signs of Infection
The signs of infections are discharge, redness, and swelling. One of the most common signs of infections is a large bump. These common infections may result in a temporary scar tissue that occurs when the piercing is caught on certain things. Consequently, the tissue is disrupted and a large infected lump may appear.
6. Watch for Signs of Allergic Response
The nose jewelry you have after a piercing may result in an allergic response which is a sign that your body is rejecting that particular jewelry metal. Piercing allergy signs include redness, swelling, itching and burning sensations among others. It is advised that you use surgical quality stainless steel jewelry for nose piercing jewelry after the piercing is done.
Surgical quality stainless steel is less likely to cause allergy than any other metal. You can wear any other metal jewelry of your choice after the piercing has healed.
The Popularity of Nose Piercings
Nose piercings come with a long cultural history, spanning several thousand years. While in the West, nose piercings are seen as a statement of defiance, many cultures use it as a sign of following and adhering to tradition.
The tradition of nose rings can be traced back to 44,000 B.C in Australia, where aboriginals wore hand-carved nose ornaments pierced through their septums. There are even references to nose rings in the Old Testament on several occasions like a wedding gift, a tradition that has continued in some parts of the world to this day. By the 1500s, the trend had migrated to India and become a part of everyday life.
For example, Indian women often get their noses pierced for wedding ceremonies as a sign of honor to the Goddess Parvathi. A nose piercing in India also symbolizes the coupling of a woman and thus no longer being single, fertility and sexual health. In North Africa, the larger the nose piercing, the more wealth and higher social status a person has. Pakistan and Nepal also have included nose piercings into their culture.
Additionally, for scientific and medical reasons, disciplines of Eastern alternative and holistic medicine that claim, similarly to acupuncture, that certain pressure points can be triggered by a piercing, resulting in health benefits. In recent history, nose piercings have become more a symbol of independence and rebellion through the punk and goth movements in western culture throughout the 1970s and ’80s.
How Painful are Nose Piercings?
Like any needle piercing your skin and cartilage, yes, nose piercings hurt. Of course, the pain varies depending on the location and the amount of pain is greater than that of an ear lobe piercing, as the number of nerve-endings is much higher. If anything, you’ll experience more discomfort after piercing than pain, especially if your piercer isn’t qualified.
Nose piercings will hurt within the first few months of them being done. Other than accidentally ripping out the piercing or swapping out jewelry, probably the most painful thing to happen to a piercing is infection.
Necrosis can also result from infection, which is the death of the tissue in the nasal wall, causing potential deformity. Septal Hematoma includes symptoms of pain, swelling, and difficulty breathing. This is caused by blood collecting between the perichondrium and the nasal septum.
Perichondritis is also an infection that is caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa inflaming the nose cartilage, leading to tissue death. Although it is incredibly rare, there is a chance of an ill-fitting ring being inhaled during sleep, leading to choking to death. This is why it is extremely important to be diligent about after-care and check up on your piercing.
In conclusion, always know that there are several pros and cons of nose piercing, but you can always take steps to mitigate the disadvantages and risks that may come with having a nose piercing especially if this is something you really want to have.