Archive for Nose Piercings


Piercing Video: Sue’s Septum Piercing

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Hey there! Watch at Sue gets her septum pierced!

Money shot: needle insertion at 0:25


The Piercing:
James begins by cleaning the area and then finds the ‘sweet spot’ in the nasal septum. The sweet spot is an area of tissue in the nose, below the actual cartilage. He then marks the spot for placement. Clamps are then used to guide the needle and ensure a straight, correctly placed piercing. This feels like a bit of pressure or mild pinch. The needle is pushed through with a firm and steady hand. The actual piercing is a sharper pinch, which can be compared to popping a pimple. Everyone’s body is different though, so the experience will vary per person.
Once healed your jewelry options open up and you can find something to suit your style. Septum clickers are very popular piece and come in hundreds of choices. Here’s a few of our newest additions:



Taking care of a septum piercing is fairly simple. A mixture of sea salt and warm water is a gentle and natural cleaning solution in which to soak the healing piercing. For this particular area, many find it easiest to use a small shot glass and dip the end of the nose into the mixture and soak it for a few minutes. A cotton swab or q-tip can also be used. During the healing process you may find your nose is sore and tender, this is normal. Take particular care when dressing and undressing as this piercing may become caught on an item of clothing. Another common occurrence during healing is that it may smell. Don’t worry, again this is normal. Regular sea salt soaks will help but do not over clean as this can dry the skin. Products such as smelly jelly also assist in this problem.


A lot of us with nose piercings will jump around a bit, try a few different styles, and ultimately pick one or two go-to nose rings that fit well without very much difficulty.  But what happens when you find a bunch of nose rings you like, and most of them just plain don’t fit?

If you know your gauge size and the style you prefer but still find your nose jewelry sticking up or sticking out, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty.  Not every nose will be the very same size and not every piercing will rest in the same place.  So here’s a few common nose jewelry pitfalls, and trust us, most of them can be fixed.

Q: Instead of laying flat against my nose, why does my nose ring stick up leaving a gap?

nose rit fit issues

A: If the actual gem or decorative portion that’s visible sticks up, you need to look at the rise of your jewelry.  Rise is the length of the portion between the base of your nose ring’s gem and the curve, and many common nose screws or l-shapes have a rise of 6 or 7 millimeters.  For those with slightly thinner nostrils though, a 5mm rise might be needed for proper fit, so you should look for an item with that smaller measurement.

 nose jewelry length or rise measurement

Q: Why does the corkscrew part of my nose screw stick out at the bottom of my nostril?

nose screw sizing issues

A: If this happens it could mean you either have a slightly smaller nose than average, or that your piercing lays just slightly farther down your nostril.  Neither of these are a bad thing, but they can make wearing screw style jewelry a little difficult.  If switching to a nose bone style item is comfortable, that can be a quick and easy fix.  For those who would prefer to stick to screws though, trying an item with a less pronounced curve or one that doesn’t make a full revolution may solve the issue.

Q: I want to wear a nose hoop but my piercing is a little higher on my nostril.  How can I get a hoop that will fit without looking oversized?

nose hoop jewelry sizing

A: If regular hoops don’t seem to be quite big enough but larger universal circulars stick out too much, a good fix is getting a custom bend.  In this case, you can purchase a type of extra long, straight nose ring called a fishtail, and take it to your piercer to get a hoop custom bent for your unique nose.

Other nose ring questions?  Ask us in the comments!

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Body Jewelry Sizing Basics: Nose Hoops

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nose hoop jewelry sizing basics

In the market for a shiny new nose hoop?  Well before you buy, you’ll want to know exactly what size you need.  Here’s how to find out:


The gauge is the thickness of a body jewelry item, and directly correlates to the needle size used for your piercing.  Because there are so many different sized noses, nose piercings will also be done in different sizes.  The most common are an 18 gauge, and a 20 gauge.

 sizing hoops for different noses

Even though the number itself is larger, the 20 is actually the smaller size; for body jewelry, size goes down as the number goes up.  Nose piercings that were performed in eastern nations such as India may sometimes be a teeny 22 gauge, but for the most part 18 and 20 are our primary choices.


After figuring out your gauge, you’ll then need to know what diameter size you require.  Diameter for nose hoops is measured as the distance from inside edge to inside edge across the widest portion of the hoop.  Depending on how high up your piercing is and how large your nostril is, an incorrect diameter size can look a little funny, so this is actually pretty important aesthetically too.

 common diameter sizes for nose hoops

The two most common sizes here are 5/16″ (8mm) and 3/8″ (10mm), but those with larger noses may prefer a slightly larger ring, so measuring one that you already know fits properly is a good idea.  Alternatively, a piercer in your area can measure either your jewelry, your nose, or both and recommend a specific size for you.

Now all you need to do is choose the style of hoop you like best, and you’re all set.

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Watch as the lovely Lulu gets a fun new septum piercing.  Look for the needle insertion at about 37 seconds.

First the piercer cleans the entire septum and nostril area thoroughly, and then he uses his fingers to find the exact area where the piercing should rest.  There’s a specific bit of flesh that rests just below the actual cartilage of the nasal septum that’s known as the “sweet spot,” and this is where the piercing should be done.  (So a septum piercing isn’t actually meant to go through the septum cartilage itself, but rather just underneath.)

 a septum piercing being performed

Next, the spot where the needle should go through is carefully marked, and a pair of forceps is clamped on to align the tissue.  The hollow piercing needle is pushed through and corked, then chased with a staple-shaped septum retainer.  As with all piercings, the entire area is cleaned once more, and then our heroine is ready to rejoin the world with the addition of an awesome new mod to show off.

 a new piercing of the nasal septum

Septum piercings will require aftercare that’s similar to that of other facial piercings, and will take approximately eight to twelve weeks for initial healing.  Full healing should occur at around the six month mark, but can take up to a full year depending on the individual.  This type of nose piercing can be performed in multiples, stretched, and sometimes even pierced a second time through a healed stretched fistula, which is generally called a septril.  A variety of jewelry styles can be worn in the septum too including curved barbells, BCRs or other circulars, septum clickers, and a host of different retainers.

 clicker style septum piercing jewelry

For more cool up-close piercing videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and remember, a safe piercing is a happy piercing!


Nose Piercings: Saving the Rhino

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vertical nose tip piercing

The vertical nose tip piercing, or “rhino,” is a very unique contemporary piercing of the cartilage that comprises the front of the nose.  These piercings get their name from the resemblance of their shape to the nose of (you guessed it) the common rhinoceros.

 endangered rhinoceroses

Rhino piercings are interesting, they’re unisex, and they’re wearable long term when taken care of properly.  The standard nose tip piercing is done with a regular hollow piercing needle and normally extends from just under the tip of the nose, to the top of the rose, at or near the spot where the nose tip begins to curve.  They can be performed deeper though, as individual anatomy allows, extending as far as the top of the nose near the beginning of the bridge.

 different styles of rhino nose piercings

For regular rhino piercings a curved barbell is normally worn, while a long, flexible straight bar is often made use of for deeper variations.  Due to the piercing’s placement, a bioflex or bioplast barbell is a good option for both styles, as the nose sees a lot of movement from sneezing, tissue use, and facial expressions.  Aftercare is comparable to that of standard nose piercings, and a focus on avoiding makeup and limiting the risk of blunt trauma is generally encouraged.

 flexible bioplast bars

Besides being an awesome and unique looking piercing, the rhino is also a great aid for raising awareness of the dire situation that our real rhinos are in.  All five major species of African and Asian rhino are experiencing dwindling numbers, with the African Black Rhino and the Javan Rhino now facing critical endangerment.  At current numbers, it is likely that more than one of these species may become extinct within our lifetime.  To create an awareness initiative in your community, talk to your local piercers about group discounts for rhino piercings, post your rhino piercing photos with donation links, or visit your local Save the Rhino or International Rhino Foundation sites.

hill tribe woman with both nostrils and septum pierced

Most women who have their nose pierced probably know at least a little something about the cultural history of their piercing.  Nose piercing is believed to have begun amongst nomadic tribes from the Middle East, who then traveled through India, leaving it (amongst other things) behind to be adopted and become a part of the culture there.  The piercing of a woman’s left nostril in particular, is even incorporated into Indian Ayurvedic Medicine.

A popular style of piercing that’s now coming into western mainstream modification, is the collective piercing of both nostrils and the septum tissue in between.  What you might not know, is that this too is appropriated from Indian culture.  This set of three coordinated piercings has been popular amongst hill tribes throughout India and Nepal for centuries, and some of them continue the practice to this day, like sub-groups amongst the Khond and the Jat.

The main vehicle for this new-found love of multiple nose piercings seems to be yet another cultural trend that’s been reborn: tribal dance.  Belly dance in particular, now practiced amongst a growing collective of young women in the United States, Australia, and the UK, has been a huge factor in bolstering the trend of nose and septum piercings worn together.

tribal dance's appropriation of Indian piercing styles

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Watch as beautiful BodyCandy friend Tara gets her nostril pierced by veteran piercer James.

After cleaning her nose thoroughly and marking the exact point he wants to pierce, James gets the hollow needle receiving tube ready, and gently double checks the placement with his finger.  Tara is told to take a deep breath, and as she exhales, the needle goes through.  Corking the pointed end for safety and ease, the piercer then presses the needle the rest of the way through, chasing it with a beautiful new nose ring.  The area is cleaned once more, and Tara is ready to walk away with her new piercing.

 Getting a Nose Piercing

The nostril is one of the most common piercing sites on the planet, second only to the human ear.  Because this part of the nose is primarily composed of cartilaginous tissue, nostril piercings tend to heal fairly quickly.  They require the same type of aftercare as other cartilage piercings, usually consisting of gentle cleanses and/or sea salt soaks.

Tara’s piercing is a beautiful addition to her other preexisting mods, and completes a fun and youthful look.

 the final look

Did you know?

In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, the nostril of a woman is pierced for much more than fashion.  It’s believed that nose piercings performed in certain spots can lessen the pain of cramps, improve overall feminine health, and even aid in successful childbirth. 


Septum Rings

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sweet spot or septum piercings

Septum Ring- any of many pieces of body jewelry worn in piercings of the flesh located directly beneath the nasal septum, often called “the sweet spot.”

Septum Piercings:

 regular, double, and stretched septum piercings

Several variations of the septum piercing exist, including multiple piercings, stretched piercings, and rarer combination piercings such as the septril and nasallang.

 septril and nasallang combination piercings


Standard septum piercings are generally cared for in the same manner as most common piercings, with some combination of gentle cleansings and sea salt soaks.  In this more difficult to submerge area, the use of cotton pads or pre-mixed sprays is often employed as an alternative.  Avoidance of makeup, nasal spray usage, and heavy smoke inhalation are all encouraged along with getting adequate rest, and taking extra care when clearing the sinuses with tissue.  Most septum piercings will show initial healing within approximately four to eight weeks, but high amounts of movement and nasal runoff can make fully healing this type of piercing a little difficult, sometimes causing it to take several extra months.  Persons who have persistent nasal allergies or chronic sinus inflammation should avoid this type of piercing altogether.

Septum Ring Styles:

Several different types of jewelry can be worn in the septum piercing including circulars (BCRs, horseshoes, etc.), specially shaped jewelry (tusks, mustaches, pincers…), septum retainers which come in a variety of materials and shapes, and even small curved barbells if the anatomy allows.

 specialized septum rings

Those who stretch their septum will often wear plugs made of natural material, such as bone or animal horn, but regular steel eyelets are also common.  One of the more recent stars in septum adornment is a more ornate piece referred to as a “clicker,” which mimics the look of the traditional Indian nathori, a decorative circular item worn in many tribal septum piercings in the region.

rose gold plated body jewelry

First things first: there are five basic types of nose ring.  These are the nose bone, nose screw, l-shaped nose ring, nose hoop, and fishtail.  Of these five types, the first four are ready to be worn right out of the package.  The fifth, the fishtail, is made to be taken to a piercing professional and custom fit, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.  What we’ll do first is briefly discuss the three measurements that you’ll be interested in fit-wise when purchasing a nose ring: the gauge, length or diameter (depending on what style you choose), and gem or decoration size.

 the basic nose ring types

Gauge is the thickness of the item, and as you’re probably already aware, is extremely important to the fit of the item.  Most nose piercings will be performed in either a 20 gauge, or the slightly larger 18 gauge.  There are a few exceptions for those who were pierced in particular parts of the world (such as India, where tiny 22 gauge piercings are common), or have larger noses and chose to be pierced a size or two larger, but for the most part the common gauges are what you’ll be working with.

 standard nose ring gauges

The length of the item is measured from the base of the gem or decoration to the beginning of the curve, bend, or bulbous end; a portion of the item often referred to as the “wearable surface.”  This is the part that will actually be worn inside the piercing, and generally measures between 5 and 7 millimeters.  Unless the nose is either very dainty or larger than average, any of these sizes are likely to fit to a degree, but for a truly perfect and comfortable fit, getting your ideal length measured at your piercer is a good idea.

 measuring length or diameter for fit

Diameter is measured instead of length for nose hoops, and will always be the distance across the inside edges of the hoop at its largest point.  Here again knowing your best measurement is useful, as hoops that are two small may not fit and those that are too large might fit but look a little odd.

The gem or decoration size of a nose ring is often overlooked, but depending on the look you want and the size of your individual nose, this measurement can actually be rather important.  For persons with petite noses, standard 2mm sized gems can look a little bit oversized, and for those who have larger nostrils, a tiny micro nose ring may not garner the notice that you’d like.  The gems/settings on nose rings start as small as 1.2 to 1.6mm (called a micro nose ring) and go up to about 3mm in size.  Decorative shapes can be even larger, sometimes measuring up to 6 or 7mm (about 1/4″) wide.

 nose ring gems and decorations

Finally, for those that either want or require customized fitting, the fishtail is a wonderful option.  Fishtails are made with an extra long 19mm (3/4″) straight length so that an experienced piercer can insert and custom bend them for you, removing any excess.  Due to their length and shape, these items cannot be worn as is.

 how to use fishtail nose rings

For more about jewelry sizing, visit our Jewelry Sizing Category, and always buy smart.

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names and locations of nose piercings

Erl: the bridge piercing is also called an Erl (sometimes spelled as “Earl”), after the man who popularized it, character actor Erl Van Aiken.

Austin Bar: a horizontal piercing of the nose tip can be simply called “nose tip piercing,” but is often referred to by its other name, the Austin Bar.

Rhino: similar to its horizontal cousin, the vertical nose tip piercing has earned a popular name as well.  The moniker “rhino” is a clear reference to the appearance of the piercing itself, mimicking the look of a rhinoceros tusk.

Third Eye: the vertical version of the Erl piercing is a bit less popular, but with a name like “third eye piercing,” it’s bound to gain a few spiritualist fans.

Septum: although it’s called a septum piercing, this piercing generally doesn’t actually go through the nasal septum, but rather the tissue below it, known as “the sweet spot.”

Septril: for those who have stretched their septum piercing, the septril makes a unique new accessory.  This piercing goes from inside the stretched fistula of tissue around the septum and emerges on (or under) the tip of the nose.

Nostril: the nostril piercing has become so widespread that it’s often referred to simply as “nose piercing” instead.  The nostril is actually one of the most popular piercing locations worldwide, second only to piercings of the ear lobe.

Nasallang: a rare and interesting contemporary piercing, the nasallang actually combines multiple piercings into one by connecting them with a single barbell, much like the industrial ear piercing we know and love.  The jewelry in this case enters through one nostril, passes through the nasal septum, and exits through the other nostril.

High Nostril: a high nostril piercing is differentiated from a standard one because of the interesting look it provides being further up the nose, rather than resting in the indentation of the nostril.