So you’re looking for a creative way to express yourself with body jewelry, but you’re not sure where to go from there. The earlobe has been done to death, and maybe you want to venture a little beyond, but nothing too drastic. A nose piercing may be the perfect solution for you. It’s cool and expressive, tasteful and discreet. So what do you need to know about getting your nose pierced? Here is the complete guide, along with some videos to show you how it’s done.

What is a nostril piercing?

Nostril piercings have grown in popularity over the past few years, primarily because they offer a great compromise between creativity and the constraints of society. These piercings are fashionable yet discreet, and can often go unnoticed in professional work environments where body piercings may be frowned upon.

Nose piercings can be done in quite a few locations – the most popular being the nostril, or fleshy part on either side of your nose. Before picking out that birthstone flower twist screw nostril ring, check out the guide below and find out all you need to know about nose piercings.

What kind of jewelry is used?

The most common jewelry used during initial nose piercings is a twist screw made of high quality surgical steel. Those that feature a small ball on the end are preferable; however, a small prong or bezel set gemstone is becoming more common. Avoid anything with glue on it because it interferes with the sterilization process. Captive bead rings and circular barbells are often used, as well. However, these are difficult to change without openers and closers or professional assistance.

The standard barbell size for a nose piercing is 18G & 20G; however, your piercer will pierce with a large needle (up to 14G) to allow for better healing. Never use jewelry smaller than recommended by your piercer, as there is more risk of rejection, tearing, and migration. Check out our “How to Measure Body Jewelry” guide if you need more information about standard gauge and lengths for specific piercings.

The length of screw twist jewelry will be 1/4-inch wearable length. This accommodates swelling and gives the piercing room to be cleaned easily.

If you’re getting pierced with a CBR or circular barbell, it should measure 5/16-inch or 3/8-inch depending on the size of your nostril and placement of the piercing.

What’s the process?

The process for nostril piercings is quick and simple, and should be over in about a minute. Your piercer will clean and disinfect the area, then use a marker to show you precisely where the nostril ring will be located. Once you’ve approved of the location, he or she will puncture the area and slip the jewelry in as a needle is threaded through the hole.

As with all piercings, this particular procedure can cause some discomfort, so be ready to have your eyes water a little. You’ll also find that the area has a tendency to swell in the hours after the procedure is complete, causing slight pain afterwards; taking over-the-counter pain killers can help with this.

What aftercare is involved?

The risk of infection, especially during the recovery time, is always there, so be sure to follow your piercer’s instructions, keep the area clean and be delicate with it during the initial healing process, which can last 6 to 8 weeks. It usually takes 4 to 6 month for the piercing to be completely healed.

Clean your nose piercing three times a day with a saline solution such as H2Ocean and a clean cotton swab. To do this, apply a cotton ball or cotton swab that has been moistened with cleaning solution to piercing to soften the dried lymph secretions (the technical for that annoying crust!) and gently wipe it away. You can do this on the inside and outside of your nose – just be sure to use a clean swab for each side. Many people find it helpful to do a soak in the morning and evening. Just moisten a cotton ball or two with cleaning solution and let it rest on the piercing for about 5 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a clean paper towel.

Always clean your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap before you touch your piercing. Avoid playing with the jewelry – moving it around destroys the delicate tissue. It’s best that you avoid touching it at all unless you’re cleaning it. Harsh anti-bacterial soaps applied to the piercing can dry it out and cause irritation so save that for your hands.

Your piercing is healed. Now what?

You’re free to experiment with different types of jewelry. There are a variety of styles available made from materials such as platinum, sterling silver, titanium, 14K gold, and bioplast.

Note: Standard earrings are not the right length or gauge for nose piercings and can damage the cartilage or cause complications, so be used to use jewelry that is specifically made for nostril piercings.

Twist Screws: This type of nose ring stays securely in the nose, while providing a flush fit against the skin. It’s the most common type of nose ring for those reasons. There are a wide variety of styles available, which means that there’s something for everyone.

Nose Bones: Nose bones are a post with adornment on one side and a small ball that is a slightly larger diameter than the post on the other side. When worn, it doesn’t fall out because of the small ball. Like a twist screw, they have a flush fit. These are best for healed piercings. While not for everybody, there is a loyal fan base of nose bone-lovers that swear by the look and the comfort.

L-Shape / Fishtail:
L-shaped nose rings have a straight post with adornment on the end that is bent at a 90-degree angle. Fishtails are similar; however, you or your piercer can bend them for a custom fit. They have similar adornment as the twist screws and nose bones.

Nose Ring Hoops/Captive Bead Rings (CBR’s):
Nose ring hoops are round jewelry that is placed in the nostril piercing. They tend to be more noticeable than a stud.

Piercing Retainers: Piercing retainers are a necessity for anyone who needs hide a nose ring. Discreet, clear dental-grade acrylic keeps your piercing open, yet you can hardly tell you have one. Perfect for those occasions when body piercing jewelry is not always welcome!


We have a large range of nose rings ranging from around $1.99 and up to several hundred dollars for high quality 14K gold diamond and genuine birthstone studs. Don’t think that diamond and gold nose rings are out of your price range, though. They start around $10.00 and go up from there.


  • March 25, 2019at9:50 pm

    How can i pierce my nose myself

    • Jessica Karam

      March 31, 2019at10:25 pm

      Hi Deborah,

      Please don’t attempt to pierce yourself. Go to a licensed piercer for this. A google search will help you find local piercing shops. You’ll want a clean, sanitized environment, as well as someone who is knowledgeable.

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