Originally posted January 20, 2021
Septum piercings – those rings hanging down from the center of the nose – have been a popular accessory over the last few decades. As someone who is considering it, You might be wondering, “Are septum piercings safe to do?”
The septum is the thin wall that divides your right and left nasal passages. It is made of cartilage, and most people have a thin strip of tissue and skin called the columella that sits in front of the cartilage. Most people who get a septum piercing get the columella pierced. The cartilage can be pierced, but it hurts more and has a longer healing time.
While some pain is associated with a septum piercing, it is usually minor and brief. If you have an experienced piercer, you might not feel more than some temporary discomfort. However, prolonged pain from your piercing could be indicative of an issue.
Septum piercings are possible with a deviated septum, but they might not look perfectly symmetric.
You will likely experience mild tenderness in the tip of your nose for about a week. During the healing process, avoid touching the nose ring or adjusting it too often. Use saline solution to clean it two or three times a day. Avoid using alcohol or iodine to clean it. While it can heal in as little as two or three months, it could take as long as six to eight.
While you should try to leave it in as long as possible, you can swap nose rings after six to eight weeks if the piercing is well-healed.
While risks are low if you get a septum piercing from a reputable piercer, there is still a risk of developing a infection, allergic reaction to the metals in the piercing, a septal hematoma (when the blood vessels break and blood collects in the septum), and scarring. Bloodborne diseases like hepatitis, tetanus, and even HIV are a risk if unsterilized needles are used.
Signs that there is something wrong include increased pain or pressure, swelling, redness, discharge, foul smell, and a fever or chills.
As with other piercings, once you remove the nose ring, the hole will usually close on its own. There is always a small risk that the hole from the septum piercings will persist. This could cause nasal crusting or drainage.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a septum piercing problem, or are concerned about your nose’s health, schedule an appointment with a CEENTA ENT doctor. They will help ensure that the only concerns you have with your piercing are those of fashion.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. You can now schedule an appointment online with any of our more than 40 ENT doctors in North and South Carolina. You can also schedule through myCEENTAchart or by calling 704-295-3000.
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