Nostril Piercing



Nostril Piercing? You're probably wondering what it's like to live with a nostril piercing. The look you go for can range from exotic to charming to outrageous! While you're considering your options, take some time to mull over the reality of this body enhancement.

By Andres Rodriguez from Salt Lake City, United States of America (DeepBreath)

First, there should be no question of having it done by some inexperienced salesperson who's waving a piercing gun at a kiosk in the center of a mall! Your nose piercing should be done by a piercing professional at a studio or boutique that specializes in this technique-preferably with a 16-18 gauge needle. Here's why you need to run from anyone with a piercing gun:

  • Guns really cannot be properly sterilized, and even the tiniest droplets of blood from another person can infect you with HIV, hepatitis, MRSA, or other germs.

  • They punch through the skin painfully, and scarring is more likely to result. Scars can turn into thick purple ridges of skin alongside the piercing site that will never go away. Or you can end up with a piercing that is sunken into the skin. Just picture your jewelry peeking up from that hole-not a pretty picture!

  • Piercing guns place shorter pieces of jewelry into the hole that they make, and the jewelry is more likely to sink into the piercing. If the jewelry becomes lodged in the piercing site, you have yet another possibility of scarring and infection. A piece of jewelry that is too small can possibly interfere with the blood supply to the area.

  • Basically, a nose piercing gun puts an earring into your nose. The earring normally fastens to your ear because there's a backing that holds it in place. The backing doesn't work well in nostril piercings, and if you remove the backing you're likely to lose your jewelry and have the piercing close up.

Next, choose the jewelry that you're going to display in your piercing carefully, before the piercing is done: You won't be able to change it for quite a while. A nostril piercing can take four to six months to heal completely. Leaving your jewelry in place is the only way to guarantee that your piercing will heal cleanly and completely!

You can choose from several types of nose jewelry:

  • There are plain, full-circle rings to insert-simple yet elegant.

  • Some nose rings offer a stud-like gem on one end, and the other end is curled into a ring-this is actually called a nose screw.

  • Captive bead rings display a bead or gem on a semi-circle; the bead is held in place by the tension of the circle.

  • Nose bones and studs are tiny bars, generally with a decorative gem on one end and a bead that screws on the other end to keep it from falling out.

Your next concern should be finding a quality jeweler to provide your first piece of jewelry. Because you'll be displaying this one item for so long, consider buying a nostril piercing made from 22k gold. It is gold in its purest form-almost 92% pure-and nothing less than 22k or possibly 18k gold should be used in a healing piercing. A piece of jewelry made from 22k gold not only protects your piercing as it heals, it is also the most comfortable type of metal to wear in your tender skin.

Surgical-grade stainless steel is also very good for piercings. However, jewelry designs do not offer the same beauty as pure gold, and if you aren't totally happy with your selection, then you will not manage to leave it in without fiddling with it for six months!

Gold-plated jewelry should not be used. During the healing process, the gold will gradually wear thin, and your body fluids will interact with the metal underneath.

Silver should never be used for the same basic reason-your body fluids will cause the silver to oxidize, and you can end up with a permanent dark stain in your skin.

Metal alloys are also poor choices, because your body is more likely to be allergic to them. The skin sensitivity that you develop will drive you to remove your jewelry before complete healing.

If you remove your nose jewelry too soon, nostril piercings can close up very quickly. In extreme cases, they have been known to close up in less than a quarter hour! Your nostrils are lined with a protective moist tissue called the mucus membrane. If the mucus membrane has been pierced by a sharp object, the body's natural defense mechanism is to shut down that hole. You might not be able to pierce the same area again for as long as a year.

Last, you must learn proper aftercare and cleansing techniques. Always clean your nostril piercing site carefully, and never touch it unless you've washed your hands first! Use cotton swabs or balls and warm soaks made from water and sea salt (one-fourth teaspoon of salt per six ounces of water). Pat it dry with paper towels or napkins, because they carry fewer germs than towels.

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