Septum piercing

The fashion trends of the 90’s and early 2000s are making a comeback, and so do the piercings of that era. The septum piercing is a perfect example of this. While back in the days it was more for the rebels and punkers, this piercings are more accepted by the mainstream public now. Even on red carpets you can see celebrity’s like Zoe Kravits, Rihanna and Chloe Grace Moretz rocking a septum piercing.

Chloe Grace Moretz
Zoe Kravits

What is a septum piercing?

The name septum piercing suggests that this piercing goes through the septum. However, this is not true. This piercing is done in the ‘soft spot,’ a piece of skin between the septum and the tip of the nose.

(infographic: anatomie van de neus met de soft spot aangeduid)

Anatomy and septum piercings

While almost everybody can have a septum piercing, some clients will have a less pleasant experience than others.

While most people can have a septum piercing, it may not be a pleasant experience for everyone. Some individuals have a very small or even absent soft spot, making it insufficient to place the piercing there. In such cases, it’s important to have a conversation with your client. Placing a septum piercing through the cartilage is indeed possible, but it will be more painful for the client to undergo and will also take longer to heal. Therefore, it will be up to the client to decide if they want to proceed with this option.

Up to 80% of the general population has a deviated septum. This means that the septum cartilage, which divides the two nasal passages, is not entirely straight. Most people do not even know the have this deviation and a lot of times it is not even noticable and has no effect on the placement of a septum piercing. In some cases however, the deviation is more severe and the placement needs to be adjusted. When a septum is too deviated, there is no way you will be able to get a straight piercing, so again that is someting to talk to your client about.

(infographic: piercing op een scheef septum)

Types of septum piercings

The septum piercing does not have different types.

How to perform a septum piercing

There are actually 2 ways to perform a septum piercing. You can use a septum clamp (see topic “Hardware and disposables used while piercing”), or you can use a freehand technique. We will go over both here.

With a septum clamp:

  1. Put on a pair of non-sterile gloves.
  2. Examine the septum. Is it straight? Feel the inside of the nose with your pinkies to feel for the soft spot. Depending on what you feel, go over the options with your client (through the cartilage if there is no soft spot, placement on a deviated septum). Change to a new pair of non-sterile gloves.
  3. Do your first skin prep (see the topic “Sterile working”). No need to mark the piercing here as you will be using clamps to feel where you need to pierce.
  4. You can go straight ahead to the second skin prep (see the topic “Sterile working”) and use a cotton swab with a saline solution to clean the inside of the nose. We will not use any disinfectant on the inside of the nose because this might irritate the mucous membranes. Change into your sterile gloves.
  5. Explain to your client that it is very important that they tell you if the clamp hurts them. If the clamp is correctly on the soft spot, it should not hurt at all. Tell them not to be brave, if it hurts you need to know.
  6. Hold your clamp with the longest tube on the side of your piercing hand. open the clamp. Start at the back of the septum, pulling forward and closing the clamp in the same motion. You should feel the clamp sliding over the septum, onto the soft spot and catching at the tip of the nose. Hold your clamp with both hands in place and make a circular motion. It should feel flexible. Then hold the clamp in place with one hand, and with the other, move the tip of the nose. This should also feel flexible to manipulate. If it is stiff or hard to move, your clamp is most definitly on cartilage.