So, you just got a septum piercing and you can’t wait to show it off to your co-workers on Monday, but then you realize that you’re in a profession that frowns on the public display of piercings and some other forms of body art.
That may not always be the case as you may have had a septum piercing for a while now and you’re wondering how you would hide it effectively out of the sight of your family members or your current/new employer.
Even though the prejudice against individuals with piercing and other forms of body art has reduced drastically especially over the past few decades, there are still some situations occupations that do not yet permit the public display of piercings, at least not during work hours e.g the military, law firms, the police, government officials, etc.
For whatever reason you’ve decided to hide your septum piercing, this article would walk you through the process and give you some additional tips about septum piercings that you may or may not have known previously.
Can you hide a septum piercing right away?
Hiding your septum piercing for whatever reason can be quite easy compared to most other non-clothed locations because their piercing itself is shielded from view by the ala of the nose.
It is generally not advised to touch your new piercing while it is still healing. Usually, you should let it heal for about 6-8 weeks before changing the jewelry or flipping up the septum retainer.
If it is paramount that you change your piercing or hide it before the healing is complete, I would advise that you avoid doing it yourself and visit your piercer to have them change it to a retainer or move it to avoid irritation and/or infection which would further prolong the healing time.
Can I hide my septum piercing in the military?
You really can’t/do not as a septum piercing doesn’t align with the principles and standards of the military. Also, the military conducts strict full medical checkups before recruitment and if you get caught trying to hide one, the punishment may be severe.
If you have piercings and you wish to join the military, you have to take out the jewelry before your application and allow the hole to close on its own over time.
Some branches of the military, however, may permit the bearing of piercings by its officers as long as you don’t have the jewelry on while in uniforms.
What is a septum retainer used for? – Can it be used to hide a septum piercing?
A septum retainer or simply retainer is a piece of jewelry, usually, horseshoe-shaped that is ideally used to temporarily keep the piercing hole patent during times when you do not want to wear your piercing jewelry.
The retainer can be flipped up with the arms of the horseshoe now facing inwards, which would effectively keep the hole open while rendering itself practically invisible.
Is it okay to put a retainer in a new piercing?
I would advise you to wait till the hole is healed completely. If you work/school at a place that doesn’t tolerate piercings at all, you would need to take it out and let the hole close on its own.
You can just as easily redo it when/if the policies on piercings change or you leave the establishment to one that is more tolerant of piercings.
Not like I recommend this in any way but a glass retainer can be used during a later stage of the healing phase because glass is generally way less irritating than metal or plastic materials. Glass, however, may be too heavy for the newly opened hole.
You are still very much in the healing phase within the first two months of the procedure and trying to switch out jewelry during this period can and will most likely affect the healing process.
How do I go about hiding my septum piercing (A step-by-step guide)?
Depending on your preference and how well you want to hide your piercing, two methods can be employed:
Hiding your piercing with a thin and discrete piercing ring
- Select the thinnest and most discreet piercing ring
- Keep the piercing ring in place for at least 6-8 weeks
- Conceal the piercing with a small piece of skin-colored tape
- Clean the piercing at least 3 times daily with normal saline solution
Hiding your piercing with a septum retainer
- Get a septum retainer after the wound has healed: between 6-8 weeks minimum
- Choose a retainer that is the same width as the jewelry that was used during the initial piercing
- Place the retainer in the hole the same way you would put in a regular septum ring
- Flip the ring to hide it inside your nostrils.
Do’s and Don’ts of new septum piercings
- Keep your septum clean by cleaning it at least 3-6 times daily with a saline solution throughout the healing window.
- Take care of your general health by eating healthy, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, getting quality sleep, minimizing stress, avoiding infection-ridden environments, etc.
- Take any blood thinners like aspirin, alcohol, caffeine and other forms of blood thinners as these could cause bleeding which may be hard to control.
- Cause physical trauma to the septum piercing. This can be in the form of nose-picking, heavy nose-blowing, intense facial contact with another individual, etc.
- Use any soaps including antibacterial soaps directly on the septum piercing. This is because soap can cause drying off of the wound which would slow down the healing process altogether.
- Smoke cigarettes at all or at least not excessively if you have to. This is because the nicotine which is the active component of tobacco in cigarettes causes the constriction of blood vessels, particularly the smaller ones that supply blood directly to the healing wound. Less blood means fewer nutrients and oxygen to the wound which would delay healing,
- Apply creams, ointments, or oils to your septum piercing because the oil-based nature or mere viscosity of these products can block the piercing thereby not letting it “breathe” which can adversely affect healing.
- Change your jewelry before the recommended time. This may dislodge the clot that has formed if done too early. Be sure to wait as long as your piercer told you to which is usually not less than 6 weeks.
Getting a piercing is an incredible and versatile way of expressing yourself or simply beautifying parts of your body. However, some environments do not look so fondly on piercing particularly on exposed areas like the head and neck (apart from the traditional ear piercings for women).
If you find yourself in any of these situations and you don’t want to let the hole close up due to staying patent, feel free to explore any of the methods described above to hide your piercing while still maintaining its patency.