Nostril piercings are the most populair piercings when we look at face piercings. I can honestly say I have never seen a nose that does not look good with a nostril piercing!
What’s in a name? :) Nostril piercings are piercings placed in the nostrils of the nose.
(infographic: anatomie van de neus en neusvleugels)
As with ears, noses come in different shapes and sizes. Luckily it is never the question if we can pierce a nostril, but where we will pierce the nostril.
When we look at the nose, we see a crease in the nostril. With some people this crease is more defined than with others. This crease is often used as a guide to place piercings. The most common placement is right below the crease. Inside the crease is often the placement that “feels right” for the client, but there is something to be said by avoiding an in crease placement. The crease is a place that has a lot of movement while flaring the nose, smiling, showing almost any emotion really. it is also a place where skin oils and dirt can build up and you don’t want any of that in a fresh piercing. That being said, with a little bit of extra care and cleaning an in crease nostril piercing can be stunning aswell.
Nostril piercings deserve in depth information about jewerly choice, as there are so many options available.
Perhaps the most common known jewerly used for nostrils are nostril screws. They have a unique shape, with the stud on one end, attached to a bar and ending in a coil. While they can actuaslly be used as initial jewerly for a nostril piercing, it’s not our favourite at all. These days the do not come pre-bent anymore, but more like a wire-type style that you can bend on your own to suit your client anatomy. They make a 90 degree bend that can put a lot of pressure on the piercing channel. There is also a fair amount of metal on the inside of the nose where boogers can attach and make for an uncomfortable feeling. When gravity does it’s job and the coil turns downwards, it is often visible outside of the nose.
Nose bones have the stud on one end, and a thicker part of metal on the back. it’s all one piece so no part of the piercing can come undone. The thing here is that with installment and removal, the thicker part needs to be forced through the piercing channel, this may cause the piercing channel to stretch out every time and tiny tears in the tissue can occur. Not very pleasant of course
Labret posts are the preferred jewelry choice for a nostril piercing. No need to “force” anything through the channel, no pieces of metal that can hang out of the nose. Just a labret and the top on, and that’s it. Because the back of the labret needs to be held to open or close the piercing, it can be a bit tricky to shove your fingers up the nose, but that’s a small price to pay for a quality piercing that is firmly and safely in the piercing channel. There is a type of foreceps that allows you to hold the disk of a labret which is ideal for removing and changing lebret posts in nostrils, but using this means you have to reprocess it after every use (see topic “Processing and reprocessing”) Up to you if this is worth it to you or not.
Let’s talk sizing for nostril piercings. Most people want a small stud or (eventually) a thin hoop in their nostril. For that reason, I usually pierce them at 18G (1mm). You can do them at 16G (1.2mm) without a problem, but the piercing hole will be a bit big for a thin hoop, or a small stud of 1.5mm. There is a chance that the stud will be pulled through the piercing channel if the client snags the piercing in this case. 7mm length is the minimum to allow for zwelling.
If you do high nostrils you have to take into account that the higher you pierce, the more the nostril will swell. For this reason, use a labret post of 16G (1.2mm) of at least 10mm length.
We will use a large receiving tube to perform nostril piercings, to catch the needle (see topic “Hardware and disposables used while piercing”).
(infographic: bevel 18G zorgt ervoor dat het ringetje mooi aansluit later)
A nostril piercing can take 6 to 9 months to fully heal. Clients should wait at least 4 months to switch to a ring. Because of the high movement of the nostrils, these piercings are very sensitive to irritation bumps (see topic “Possible complications”).
Also, snagging the piercing happens very fast. Think about while washing the face, removing glasses or blowing the nose. These can all cause irritation bumps. The use of face creams and make-up can also lead to irritations, so it is best to advise your client to stay away from these things for the first 2 to 3 weeks.