Can A Septum Piercing Affect Breathing & Sense of Smell?

With life being so short, why not get a septum piercing? It’s relatively pain free and you can just take it out if you don’t like it. It’s a piercing that can be both masculine or feminine — you can rock it whatever way you want to!

As a general rule of thumb, septum piercings can not affect your breathing and sense of smell. The septum goes through the soft cartilage between your nostrils, and that area contains minimal amounts of nerves. With a limited amount of nerve endings there, it’s unlikely to have any influence over your breathing and sense of smell — or anything else.

 Septum piercings are great for first timers. The pain is tolerable compared to other piercings and it’s nothing pernament. But like any piercing — there are risks. Do septums have other health implications? Let’s move forward and guide you towards making a more insightful decision.

Can a Septum Piercing Cause Permanent Damage

Septum piercings are a staple amongst the younger generations for a reason. If you work with a qualified piercer, it’s not going to cause permanent damage.

The only time a septum piercing can cause damage is if there’s an infection. Even if an infection occurs, the symptoms are often mild. As long as the infection is treated in a reasonable amount of time, even an infection won’t be able to cause permanent damage. So, no — a septum piercing can not cause permanent damage if it’s done with a proper procedure and care.

Reducing the Chances of Infection

With infections being the only possibility at causing permanent damage, we have to stop infections before they can bloom. Here are safety tips that you should consider.

  • Never perform a septum piercing at home: It might save money using your own piercing kit, but these kits do not have all the proper equipment. Piercing at home may result in lackluster results and increases chances of an infection. Going further, some septum’s are just biologically incompatible with a piercing. An experienced piercer will know best.
  • Always ask for an unused needle: A piercing needle fresh out of its sterilization pouch is your best chance at avoiding an infection. Reusing needles is not the standard so don’t be afraid to ask for a new needle.
  • Never settle for a pierce gun: Not only will pierce guns apply unnecessary blunt force to your septum, but it’s inaccurate and dangerous. Pierce guns may harbor bacteria even if the needles are one time use. If the piercer is convinced that they need to use a pierce gun, that’s a big red flag.
  • Do check out the studio before proceeding: A clean and organized studio goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to ask the piercer to show you the piercing station before you commit to anything.
  • Always wash hands before touching: While the septum heals, you must always wash your hands before touching your septum. This greatly reduces bacteria from entering the healing wound. If possible, avoid touching the septum altogether while it heals.

Septal Hematoma Signs

Septal Hematoma is very rare — but it is the most likely candidate to cause permanent damage. It is caused by a formation of clotted blood after an injury. Poor piercing and/or unnecessary blunt force cause these hematomas to form. When the clotted blood gets infected, that’s when serious problems occur.

While many of the minor infections will self contain and cure itself, Septal Hematoma needs to be contained by a doctor. It’s entirely treatable and needs to be treated in order to prevent long-term and serious complications. We’re not trying to scare you, we’re just being honest about the possibilities.

Let’s look at the symptoms so you know exactly what to look for.

  • Congestion without allergies or colds
  • Swelling around the nose or under the eyes
  • Feeling of fullness or blockness in the nose
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding
  • Intense pain
  • Fever

You’ll be fine if you get it treated — the quicker the better. It can take hours to weeks for symptoms to appear so be on the lookout for the first few weeks. Remember, it is very rare and you don’t have to worry much about this problem. It never hurts to know the signs though.

Septum Piercings and Their Effect on Your Sinuses

Other than the possibility of an infection, a septum piercing will not affect your sinuses in any sort of biological way. As mentioned before, the best practice is to get it done at a sterilized and clean studio. If everything goes smoothly, your sense of smell and your ability to breathe will remain the same after the procedure.

A septum piercing might cause minor inconveniences but that’s going to be it. If you have chronic allergies and are always blowing your nose, you might want to skip septum piercings.

The Pain Level of Getting Your Septum Pierced

There was no way that we could write an article about septum piercing without mentioning the pain level.

As mentioned before, septum piercings are pretty beginner friendly. That’s largely because they don’t hurt as much as other piercings. It’s going to hurt but it’s only going to hurt for a minute or two — and it’s not very intense. While the nose remains tender for 2 to 3 weeks, the pain should resolve almost immediately.

A septum piercing hurts less than typical piercings because of the septum’s biological “sweet spot”. This area is filled with a membranous tissue between the cartilage and nose, and is not as sensitive to pain as actual cartilage. A majority of the population has this  “sweet spot” but not everyone. For those who don’t, it might hurt more — but it’s still going to be manageable.

How Long Does a Septum Piercing Take to Heal

If done correctly, a septum piercing will fully heal in 4 to 8 weeks. This is faster than a typical piercings since the septum is thin and requires little time to regenerate. But, like any other piercing, proper care will help you stay safe and keep the healing steady.

Septum Piercing Aftercare

Here are some tips to help with your septum piercing aftercare.

  • Keep the actual piercing clean: A piercing could be a potential bridge for bacteria to enter your septum. You need to clean the piercing 3 to 6 times a day by spraying the jewelry with a saline spray. Do not remove the jewelry since the spray is safe and even promotes healing.
  • Don’t apply soap or ointments to the wound: Let your body work its magic. Soap is drying while ointments clog up the pores. The septum heals pretty fast so all you really need to do is keep it clean. That can be done with a saline spray.
  • Don’t let any bacteria into the wound: As mentioned, only touch the piercing when necessary and always wash your hands. An infection will complicate the healing process and is easy to avoid.
  • Don’t change or remove the piercing prematurely: After the 4 to 8 weeks, you may want to hold off on removing the piercing for another week or so. The new tissue needs time to strengthen and putting force on it may set back the healing process. If you absolutely need to remove the piercing, you should consult with your piercer.
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NeilMed NeilCleanse Piercing Aftercare, Fine Mist, 6.3 Fluid Ounce
Dr. Piercing Aftercare - 36 Medicated Swabs Treat Ear, Nose, Belly, and Body Piercings - Each Swab Contains Cleaner Treatment to Care For A Peircing - Best Cleanser to Heal Pierced Ears… (1Pack)
Name
H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray
BRIOTECH Topical Skin Spray
NeilMed NeilCleanse Piercing Aftercare
Dr. Piercing Aftercare - Medicated Swabs
Size
4oz
4oz
6.3oz
0.8oz
4oz Piercing Aftercare Spray
Name
H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray
Size
4oz
BRIOTECH Topical Skin Spray, Pure HOCl, Tattoo & Piercing Aftercare, Sea Salt Cleansing Solution, Natural Saline Toner, Hypochlorous Acid Facial Mist, Skin Care Relief for Bumps Scars & Blemishes
Name
BRIOTECH Topical Skin Spray
Size
4oz
NeilMed NeilCleanse Piercing Aftercare, Fine Mist, 6.3 Fluid Ounce
Name
NeilMed NeilCleanse Piercing Aftercare
Size
6.3oz
Dr. Piercing Aftercare - 36 Medicated Swabs Treat Ear, Nose, Belly, and Body Piercings - Each Swab Contains Cleaner Treatment to Care For A Peircing - Best Cleanser to Heal Pierced Ears… (1Pack)
Name
Dr. Piercing Aftercare - Medicated Swabs
Size
0.8oz

The Takeaway For Septum Piercings

While septum piercings are not dangerous, there is a risk for infection. That’s why it’s so important to get your septum piercing done at a studio that upholds the newest safety standards. This will make getting an infection nearly impossible.

A septum is a great starter piercing and looks fantastic. Life is short, and you deserve a chance to discover who you are!

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