Nasal septum piercing

A nasal septum piercing is less common than nostril piercings. The nasal septum is the cartilaginous dividing wall between the nostrils. Generally, the cartilage itself is not pierced, but rather the small gap between the cartilage and the bottom of the nose, typically at 14ga (1.6mm) although it is often stretched to a larger gauge. The nose has many nerves running through it and as a result, nose piercings can be painful, although it varies by individual. This piercing heals within a month and a half to three months also depending on the individual. Stretching to a larger gauge is incredibly painful and it is advised to wait a month between stretches. If you go past a certain point, usually about 8mm, the cartilage gets forced towards the top of the nose, which can be uncomfortable. Another disadvantage to a stretching procedure is the undesirable fish-like smell that comes with it.

There are many types of jewelry generally worn in a septum piercing. Captive bead rings (CBRs) are rings that close with a bead in the centre. horseshoes (as shown in the picture) have two beads which screw on. Additionally, one can wear a “tusk” which is a straight or shaped piece of material which is generally tapered on either end. Pinchers are another popular piece of jewelry worn in this piercing. For large gauge septums many choose to wear plugs, as they don’t weigh their noses down particularly in the healing process. This allows for the piercing to not be damaged by the sudden movement of the jewelry.

Another option is a septum retainer, which is staple shaped. This type of nose piercing is particularly easy to hide when desired, for example to comply with a dress code. A septum retainer makes it possible to turn the jewelry up into the nose, thus concealing it.

Septum piercing was popular among certain Native American peoples in history; the Shawnee leaders Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa, for example, had such piercings.


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