Guide to Nose Piercings: Nostril, Septum
When you hear about a nose piercing, chances are you think of a nostril piercing, which is the most common, or a septum piercing, which is the second most common and looks like a bull ring between the nostrils. You'd be correct on both counts, as either type falls into the category of "nose piercing." In addition to the nostril and the septum, there are several other variations of piercing that and decorate the nose.
The standard nostril piercing is a very tiny adornment typically done with a small, 20-gauge needle. Although it is usually always pierced with a stud, after the wound is done healing (it usually takes about 4-6 weeks) this can be replaced with a different stud or a hoop if you so desire. I have had my nostril pierced twice. The first time I had to take the stud out for work and then lost it so the hole closed up; I then got it re-pierced last year, and I can honestly say it heals the quickest out of any piercing I've experienced -- and I've had quite a few: tongue, belly button, multiple ear cartilages, and a few unmentionables. Aside from ears, a nostril piercing is the easiest to deal with, and the body tends to take very well to the jewelry.
A variation on the standard nostril piercing is the double nostril piercing, where both nostrils are pierced. Matching jewelry is usually worn in both holes.
High nostrils are a nostril piercing that is typically done much higher up, towards the bridge of the nose. When a high nostril piercing is combined with a double nostril piercing, the result is an upper nostril piercing. Still with me?
A septum piercing, also called the bull-ring piercing, goes through the nasal septum at the middle of the nose. According to bmezine.com, "The nasal septum is the cartilaginous tissue dividing wall between the nostrils. Generally, the cartilage itself is not pierced, but rather the small gap between the cartilage (also known as the "sweet spot") and the bottom of the nose." The septum is normally pierced with a 14-gauge needle and can take up to 1-3 months to heal completely.
Some people are fond of stretching, or gauging, their septum piercing. While gauging is a common technique in the piercing world, excessive stretching of the septum can create an unsightly dropping effect.
The same tactic of stretching or gauging is sometimes applied to nostrils as well.
A more extreme type of nose piercing is the nasallang, a combination piercing that consists of a pair of nostril piercings with a septum piercing at the same level located between the two. It appears to be all one piercing when worn with a barbell when in fact it is three separate holes.