Septum piercings are a fun way to express your unique style and love for piercings and, just like any other piercing, require proper care to have a successful healing process. And while this type of piercing doesn’t require as much time as some of the other locations need, you still want to ensure that you are using the correct products to provide a short healing period and have a healthy piercing.
If you don’t know where to commence, please continue reading this article to so you are fully prepared to ensure you the healing of your piercing goes as smoothly as possible.
Septum Piercing Basics
For those who don’t know what a septum piercing is, the name says it all. It is a piercing located in your nasal septum, the thin wall of cartilage running down the center of your nose which separates your right and left nostrils. Many artists refer it as the “sweet spot.”
Your artist can choose multiple ways of piercing your septum, such as freehand, using clamps to secure the correct location or using a receiving tube. Make sure you get a licensed professional to do the piercing, especially if you have a deviated septum, to avoid having a slanted piercing as a result.
The pain of a septum piercing can vary from person to person, depending on your pain tolerance. Still, typically, everyone tends to get watery eyes when they get pierced due to our body’s natural response to secrete tears when our nose gets pierced or pinched.
What Causes a Septum to Dry Out?
As with any new piercing, you need to properly clean it to avoid an infection until is has completely healed. However, excessive cleaning can cause problems as well, and is the leading cause of your piercing becoming dry and sore. Using soap, alcohol, creams, and ointments to clean your septum piercing can cause your skin to feel irritated and dry as they contain harsh chemicals that can delay the healing. It’s also recommended that you clean your piercing no more than twice a day, to avoid your skin becoming moisture-less and tender.
One of the most common methods recommended to clean a septum piercing is using what is a called a salt soak. Using too much salt can cause your nose to become dehydrated. If you are treating your piercing with the salt soak and are experiencing dryness, try cutting back a bit on the amount of salt you are using in your mixture.
How Do You Keep It Moist?
Your piercer can suggest purchasing a saline-based solution found in tattoo shops and piercing parlors called H20, which is pretty much the same as a saltwater soak that you can do at home if you wish to make your own. If you buy it at the shop where you get your piercing, you’re probably going to pay a higher price. Amazon (Click here) typically has the best price, from what I’ve found.
You can also make your saltwater solution at home by combining 1/8 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of warm water. You should do this for at least one month to have an efficient healing process.
If the dryness becomes too bothersome for you, you can try soaking your septum piercing for about 2-3 minutes with the solution and gently pat dry with a paper towel or a q-tip. If your septum is developing crust, this will help soften the crust so you can properly cleanse the piercing.
There are varying opinions as to its effectiveness, but some believe adding a drop of Tea Tree oil to your salt/saline soak can help the healing process. Tea Tree oil contains antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that can help your piercing heal up nice and quickly. It’s is also a very thin solution as opposed to those discussed in the next section.
Can You Apply Vaseline Oil or Coconut Oil?
While many individuals swear by adding oils to their piercings to maintain them moist, I highly suggest that you avoid using any oils (note: this does not include tea tree oil as mentioned above) on the septum piercing. Applying thick oils can cause the site to get clogged and trap germs inside, which can lead to infection.
Applying vaseline or coconut is not suggested as this blocks the oxygen from entering the piercing and allows the bacteria to generate.
What Products Can You Apply To The Piercing?
If you’ve read online about septum aftercare, you have probably seen some people suggest adding a saline rinse spray to your cleaning routine asides from the saline soak to aid in your piercing’s healing phase. You can choose to do the saline rinse spray once a day and follow it with a soak before bedtime if you prefer to clean with both solutions. Personally, I’ve never included this as part of my aftercare.
If you do decide to use an additional form of cleaning to your aftercare, make sure the product you use does not include the following items to avoid irritation.
- Antibacterial soap
- Hydrogen Peroxide
How Long Does The Drying Last?
While this may vary depending on person to person, you can expect the dryness to continue for about four to five weeks. It all depends on how good you maintain your cleaning regimen and how cautious you are while cleaning the piercing. It’s also important to notice early signs of your nose becoming dry and scaling back on the number of times you are cleaning your piercing or changing the solutions you are using to something that is more gentle on your skin.
Overall, you can expect your piercing to heal within 2 to 3 months; however, it can take anywhere between six months up to a year to properly heal for some individuals.
Once the piercing has starts to heal, you’ll see that it becomes less and less tender when you touch it. You’ll also start to see less signs of crust forming or any secretion coming from the area.
Getting an infection will delay the healing process. Some signs of infection to look out for will be if the area is red and warm to the touch, if blood or pus is coming from the site, and if you develop a fever. If any of these signs occur, you can try cleaning the area with the saline soak up to 3 times a day. If the condition worsens, contact your doctor so they can recommend you some antibiotics to fight the infection.
Ultimately, to avoid your septum piercing becoming infected, always make sure you never touch the site with dirty hands. Try to avoid swimming in pools, hot tubs, or jacuzzi’s as these places tend to hold the most bacteria and can cause significant complications. And, remember, whatever you do, don’t play with your septum piercing or twist it around while it’s healing to avoid it getting infected.
Once the piercing has fully healed, or it’s been about 6 to 8 weeks since you pierced it, you can go ahead and change the jewelry piece and wear something that matches your style more. If you have any doubts, make sure always to contact your professional piercer as they have all the knowledge needed to assure your septum piercing heals nicely!