Nose Piercing Vs. Septum Piercing: Which Is Right For You?

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Body piercings have long been a form of self-expression and a way to enhance one’s appearance. Among the myriad of piercing options available, nose piercings and septum piercings stand out as popular choices. Both styles offer unique aesthetics and can add a touch of personality to your look. However, deciding between a nose piercing and a septum piercing requires careful consideration of your preferences, pain tolerance, lifestyle, and overall aesthetic goals. This piece will talk about the main differences between these two types of piercings to help you choose the right one for you.

Understanding Nose Piercings

When it comes to face piercings, nose rings are one of the most popular and useful. They involve puncturing the soft cartilage or the fleshy part of the nose to create an opening for jewelry insertion. Nose piercings come in several variations, including nostril piercings and bridge piercings.

Nostril Piercing

Nostril piercings are arguably the most popular type of nose piercing. They are located on the outer side of the nostril and can be positioned on either the left or right nostril, or both. Nostril piercings offer a wide range of jewelry options, from studs and rings to screws and hoops, allowing for customization to suit your style.

Bridge Piercing

Bridge piercings, on the other hand, are less common but distinctive. They are placed horizontally across the bridge of the nose, usually between the eyes. This type of nose piercing can be quite eye-catching and is ideal for those who desire a unique and unconventional look.

Understanding Septum Piercings

Septum piercings, often referred to as “bull ring” piercings, involve piercing the thin wall of skin and cartilage that separates the two nostrils. The jewelry is inserted through the pierced area, allowing it to hang down and frame the tip of the nose. Septum piercings can be adorned with various styles of rings and retainers, offering flexibility in terms of aesthetics.

The Pain Factor

One of the most significant factors to consider when choosing between a nose piercing and a septum piercing is the level of pain associated with each procedure. Pain perception varies from person to person, but there are some general differences to keep in mind.

Nostril Piercing Pain

Nostril piercings are typically considered less painful than septum piercings. The pain is often described as a quick, sharp pinch that lasts for a brief moment. Since the needle passes through a thinner section of cartilage or soft tissue, the discomfort is usually milder.

Septum Piercing Pain

Septum piercings tend to be more intense in terms of pain. This is because the needle must pass through a thicker and more sensitive area of the nose. Many individuals describe septum piercing pain as a burning or stinging sensation that can last longer than the pain associated with nostril piercings.

It’s essential to keep in mind that the pain is relatively short-lived, lasting only during the actual piercing process. Aftercare is crucial for both types of piercings to minimize discomfort during the healing period.

Healing And Aftercare

Proper healing and aftercare are essential for any piercing to avoid complications and infections. Both nose piercings and septum piercings require diligent care during the healing process, which can take several weeks to several months.

Nostril Piercing Healing and Aftercare:

  • Two times a day, clean the piercing with saline solution to keep it free of germs and other things that could get stuck in it.
  • Avoid touching the piercing with dirty hands.
  • Until the piercing is completely fixed, don’t swim in pools, hot tubs, or natural sources of water.
  • Be cautious when changing or removing jewelry to prevent irritation.

Septum Piercing Healing and Aftercare:

  • Clean the piercing daily with a saline solution.
  • Rotate the jewelry gently to prevent it from sticking to the surrounding tissue.
  • Be careful not to irritate your nose when you sneeze or blow it.
  • Avoid wearing clothing or bedding that may catch on the jewelry.

The healing time for nose piercings and septum piercings can vary, but it’s essential to follow your piercer’s instructions and be patient throughout the process. Neglecting aftercare can lead to complications such as infections, keloids, or hypertrophic scarring.

Aesthetic Considerations

Another crucial factor in choosing between a nose piercing and a septum piercing is your aesthetic preferences and how each style complements your face.

Nostril Piercing Aesthetics

Nostril piercings are versatile and can be customized with various types of jewelry, including studs, rings, screws, and hoops.

They can be placed on either side of the nose or on both sides for a symmetrical look.

Nostril piercings tend to be subtle and can enhance facial features without being overly attention-grabbing.

Septum Piercing Aesthetics

Septum piercings offer a bold and edgy look, making them ideal for those who want to make a statement.

The jewelry choices for septum piercings include circular barbells, captive bead rings, and septum retainers.

Septum piercings can frame the tip of the nose, creating a unique focal point on the face.

Consider your personal style and how you want your piercing to complement your overall look. If you prefer a more understated and versatile option, a nostril piercing may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you want a piercing that stands out and adds a touch of rebellion to your style, a septum piercing might be your choice.

Lifestyle Factors

Your lifestyle and daily activities can also influence your decision between a nose piercing and a septum piercing.

Nostril Piercing Lifestyle Considerations

  • Nostril piercings are generally well-suited for active individuals as they are less likely to get caught on clothing or equipment.
  • They are less conspicuous, making them suitable for professional settings with strict dress codes.
  • Nostril piercings are relatively easy to hide with makeup or retainers if needed.

Septum Piercing Lifestyle Considerations

  • Septum piercings can be more prone to getting accidentally bumped or caught, especially if you engage in contact sports or activities that involve close contact with others.
  • Some workplaces may have policies against visible facial piercings, so consider whether a septum piercing aligns with your career goals.
  • Septum piercings are less discreet and may draw more attention in conservative or formal environments.

Long-Term Commitment

Both nose piercings and septum piercings are relatively easy to remove if you decide you no longer want them. However, it’s important to note that the healing process may leave behind a small scar, especially for septum piercings due to the thicker tissue involved. Consider your long-term commitment to the piercing and whether you are comfortable with the possibility of a faint scar remaining.

In summary here are the key differences between nose piercing and septum piercing

CriteriaNose PiercingSeptum Piercing
LocationOuter side of the nostril, left or right, or bothThin wall of skin and cartilage between nostrils
TypesNostril Piercing, Bridge PiercingSeptum Piercing (commonly known as “bull ring”)
Jewelry OptionsStuds, Rings, Screws, Hoops for NostrilCircular Barbells, Captive Bead Rings, Retainers for Septum
Pain LevelGenerally less painful, described as a quick, sharp pinchTends to be more intense, described as a burning or stinging sensation
Healing TimeSeveral weeks to monthsSeveral weeks to months
AftercareClean with saline solution twice a day, avoid swimming, be cautious with jewelry changesClean with saline solution daily, rotate jewelry gently, be careful when sneezing or blowing nose
AestheticsVersatile, subtle, enhances facial featuresBold, edgy, creates a unique focal point
Lifestyle ConsiderationsWell-suited for active individuals, less likely to get caught, easy to hide if neededProne to accidental bumps, may not be suitable for certain workplaces, less discreet
Long-Term CommitmentRelatively easy to remove, leaves a small scarRelatively easy to remove, leaves a small scar


Choosing between a nose piercing and a septum piercing ultimately comes down to your personal preferences, pain tolerance, lifestyle, and desired aesthetic. Nostril piercings offer a versatile, understated look that can be customized to suit various styles, while septum piercings provide a bold and edgy appearance that can make a statement. Both piercings require proper aftercare to ensure a healthy healing process.

Before making your decision, consult with a professional piercer who can provide guidance based on your individual anatomy and preferences. Whichever piercing you choose, remember that it’s a form of self-expression, and the most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable with your choice. Whether it’s a subtle nostril piercing or a striking septum piercing, embrace your unique style and enjoy the transformation it brings to your appearance.

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