April 30th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who was considering a nostril piercing:
Hi. I really like your site and you seem to be really good at what you do. I would really appreciate it if you could mark the location of a nostril piercing that would look the best on me. Thanks a lot.
I've marked a dot for the "traditional" spot in what I call the "pleasing triangle" placement. And I have also included a second image with the triangle sketched in for you, too.
This is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
Nostril Piercing: Placement
The traditional placement for a nostril piercing is at the crease line on the side of the nose. A big smile accentuates this feature to help pinpoint the spot. This area is often thinner than the rest of the nose, so it may heal faster and feel less tender when pierced. The jewelry will rest in a natural niche, where it nestles most gracefully. I find it aesthetically pleasing when the placement of the piercing forms a relatively equilateral triangular shape with the opening of your nostril, from end to end.
March 10th, 2013
Here's a recent consultation I performed for a woman who needed assistance with determining the best placement for a nostril piercing:
I have a placement dilemma. For years, I’ve secretly admired nose piercings but was too afraid to get a piercing of my own until about 4 months ago. I was initially apprehensive due to being employed in a white collar work setting and being over 40 years old. I did tons of research and decided to go for it-especially after learning that there is a variety of “discreet” jewelry, to avoid having to remove my piercing while at work.
Upon arriving at the tattoo/piercing studio, I had already envisioned where I wanted the placement on my left nostril to be. I assumed that by requesting that the placement be madenear the lower part of my nostril & back-it would be an ideal way for the placement to be discreet.
Well, after looking at my placement over and over again. I feel that I did not choose an ideal or flattering spot for the piercing. I have since taken out my nose jewelry to let the piercing close, so that I can have it re-pierced.
Elayne, I have enclosed some pictures for you to assess the “best” placement location.
I've indicated what I believe would be the best placement for your nostril piercing on the photos you provided. One shows just a small circle for the placement I would describe as an ideal aesthetic for your anatomy. Let me know if you have additional questions.
September 5th, 2012
I received a message from a woman whose nostril I pierced. Unfortunately, they started to give her a hard time about wearing the jewelry at work. So she got in a clear quartz crystal retainer and concealed it:
Hope your well and your travels are treating you good. Well, today is one day shy of three months from the initial nostril puncture piercing. Yay! I have pulled it off. I still have the clear retainer being covered with a hole punched micro pore skin tone bandage, but is it safe to remove now without risking the piercing site from closing? If I can remove it when having to be here at work Wed, Thurs and Fri and replace it Friday evenings upon arriving home?
Please advise when time permits.
I'm glad to hear that it is still in and that the tape has been working for you with the retainer.
Unfortunately, 3 months is the minimum time that can be expected for the piercing to epithelialize and no longer be an open wound--though it can certainly take longer for initial healing to take place. Some find the piercing takes 6-9 months or so to heal!
August 1st, 2012
I received a message from a woman who had a nostril piercing problem:
I have been having difficulty accepting the placement of my nose piercing lately. When I first got it pierced back in march it was placed perfectly and I was completely happy with it. About a month ago I woke up with no piercing and a tiny bump covering my piercing hole. I just used another nose stud to push through the bump to save the piercing, and although it worked I think I "re-pierced" it tiny bit off from the original opening of the hole. Now to me my piercing sits back a little too much and also tilts back a little. I just would really appreciate your opinion on whether I should take out the piercing and let it close to get it re-pierced again by a professional. Thanks so much!
If you hate it every time you look at it, then that would be a reason to take it out. If you go back and forth sometimes feeling fine about it, then it might be best just to let it stay.
July 22nd, 2012
I received a message from a woman who got her septum pierced and she was not happy with the placement:
My question is quite similar to another that I saw on your blog who also got a wrongly placed septum.
I went to a known and recommended piercer on Wednesday, but she placed the septum incorrectly.
The piercing has been placed in the thick cartilage above the 'sweet spot'.
So it's very high up my nose and not aesthetically pleasing.
My question now is: do I immediately take out the piercing? Can that damage the cartilage (I read somewhere that it can splinter if you take it out)?
It still hurts. Also cause the piercer readjusted the needle after poking it. Which means I have a small second wound under the piercing.
I'd love to get it repierced in the right place, I can find my 'sweet spot' very easily, so I'm sure there's enough room. How long should I wait to get it redone?
I'm really disappointed about this experience. I hope you can give me some advice, 'cause I'm a bit lost now.
Sorry to hear about your piercing. If you're not happy with the placement (and I understand why you're not), then you should take out the jewelry ASAP. Don't worry about "splintering the cartilage"--that sounds like an urban myth to me.
May 26th, 2012
I recently got a question from someone who got a septum piercing that didn't get placed in the correct location:
I got my septum pierced today and I have to say it was the most painful piercing I've had in a while. I was expecting a small quick pinch through the skin below the nasal cartilage, but instead it was an excruciating needle push through the thicker skin near the tip of my nose. It doesn't hurt now and I love the way it looks, I'm a just wondering if maybe the piercer did wrong? Or of I will have any problems with healing?
Thanks so much,
December 30th, 2011
I got a message from a piercee who was concerned about the placement of her nostril piercing:
Hi Elayne, I just got my nostril pierced a week ago, but I'm experiencing the same problem P. had with nostril piercing placement. Although I had initially questioned the placement of my piercing, I went ahead with it anyway because I knew that my piercer was experienced and therefore trusted his judgment.
But since I've gotten my nostril pierced, I've been extremely self conscious about it, thinking I might look stupid because it may not be in the most flattering position for my face. I've even found myself looking at peoples' noses and imagining where a potential nostril piercing should be placed, and more often than not, it looks best along their crease. To my surprise, the placement of my nostril piercing, though unconventional and awkward at first glance, has kind of grown on me (it looks a bit weird straight on, but the profile view is not too bad). However, I know that a few millimeters can make a big difference, as you mentioned to P. I was hoping that with your experience, you could help me settle my indecisiveness.
October 25th, 2011
I was asked to provide some information about risks of piercings specifically as regards teenagers (14 and up). Below are the questions and answers:
Q: What are some associated health risks that teens may be more exposed to when their piercing is healing?
A: Some teens pierce themselves or have a friend do it, or go to a piercer who is unethical (piercing minors without parental consent). In all of these situations, the risk of infection is MUCH higher than if they go to a professional studio and get pierced by a qualified practitioner. Sterilization equipment is expensive, and it is required for safe piercing. The piercing "kits" that are advertised as sterile do NOT provide everything needed for a safe piercing. These situations are all recipes for disaster. One of the likely problems is that the piercing won't end up in the right spot. When this takes place, it doesn't look good, and it won't heal well. Piercings that are not placed properly to the individual anatomy have a tendency to become irritated or infected; the can migrate and reject, and cause tissue discoloration and/or excessive scarring. Poor quality jewelry can cause the same problems. And teens are frequently on a tight budget, which means they often buy jewelry that is poor in quality