April 29th, 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.
January 19th, 2013
I received a message from a piercee who couldn't figure out why her old, established piercings were acting up:
I have several piercings all different ages some for as many as 10 years or more and not had any problems. Recently they have all began to migrate and reject and I don't understand why. Can you tell me why this would happen all of the sudden and at such volume after years of no problems at all?
Are you experiencing some kind of excessive stress right now? That can cause problems with healed piercings. If not, I'd suggest a visit to a doctor for a thorough check up. After a long history of stability, if your piercings are acting up that could indicate a health problem of some sort. Here is some information on how stress can affect you.
Please keep me posted!
She did just that, and contacted me again about three months later:
I emailed you a while ago regarding my migrating piercings. After some observation and doctor visits it was in fact due to high stress levels as you suspected.
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.
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 17th, 2011
I received this message from a girl who is interested in having her nostril pierced. She apparently hadn't been asking the right people this question:
When you first get your nose pierced can you get a ring in it or do you have to get a stud then let it heal and change it? Everybody tells me you can't get a ring first.
I'm just confused and wanted to know from the best. (: A
October 3rd, 2011
I got this message from a woman who is unhappy with the placement of her nostril piercing:
After reading your impressive profile I feel a little silly with my question. But due to my vanity :), here goes: I am a 45-year-old mother of three. My husband and I lived in Switzerland back in 2000 where piercing was huge (or at least seemed more acceptable). I had always wanted my nose pierced (nostril) but was a little fearful (pain/infection/scarring). So, for the past 10 or so years I have just worn stickers or magnets.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, my 8-year-old daughter and I had a date to get her ears pierced (and my nose!). Yay!
We went to a highly reputable piercing studio, but to my disappointment they weren't that great with placement. They did put a dot on my nose, and at the time I questioned the placement but since they were the "pros", I trusted their judgement.
Oh Elayne, I could kick myself. Who knows maybe I just need to get used to it, but every time I look in the mirror, the peircing looks like it needs to be picked off. It just seems too close to the tip of my nose.
It seems when I'm talking to people they can't take thier eyes off my nose. Whereas before, I was looked in the eye and maybe given a positive comment about my "peircing").
I'm now debating to just take the thing out (before it scars) and start over, or just forget about it all together. Sigh.
Questions: If I do decide to try a re-do, do I need to wait for this peircing to completely heal? Also, I have been cleaning it thoroughly in the morning with surgical soap, and saline in the evening. I'm wondering if it will scar and look funny with a new peircing beside it. I just want to move the peircing 1.5 - 2mm back.
Anyhow, I'd love to hear your feedback.