Do Nose Piercings Hurt? (March 2024)

Do Nose Piercings Hurt? What to Expect

Did you know that around 20 percent of women and 15 percent of men have some sort of nose piercing? This once-elusive type of piercing has grown in popularity over the last couple of decades and shows no signs of slowing down.

Have you ever thought about getting a nose piercing? You may be asking yourself, do nose piercings hurt? Here is a brief overview of the procedure and aftercare for this fun and unique piercing.

Piercing Types

Before you get your nose pierced, you need to decide on the type of piercing that you want. The pain level and healing time will depend on which piercing you choose.


The most popular type of nose piercing is the nostril. The piercer will ask you which side you want your piercing on. Then they will use a needle to place a stud or a hoop into the side of your nose through the nostril.

Both the stud and the hoop are great options for your beginner’s nose piercing. A stud is easier to maneuver, but it can come out more easily than a ring in your nostril.

Nose rings need to be rotated on a regular basis, especially during the healing process. This will prevent skin and tissue from growing around the piercing.


Although they were once relatively unknown, septum piercings have gained popularity over the past few years. This is when you have a hoop inserted through your septum or the area of your nose between the nostrils.

In terms of pain, the septum piercing hurts more than the regular nostril piercing. This is because the septum is a very sensitive part of your nose. However, it does have a quicker healing time.

Some of the most popular types of septum jewelry include a curved barbell, a horseshoe retainer, clickers, rings, and pinchers. Your piercer will likely give you lighter jewelry to start, and you can move on to more elaborate rings when your piercing heals.


Perhaps one of the rarest types of nose piercings, the rhino piercing is a curved barbell that goes through the front of your nose, with studs on the outside.

Because this piercing goes through a thick layer of cartilage, the process can be more painful than other types of nose piercings. In addition, it might take longer for the piercer to break through to ensure an even placement.

Look at Piercing Shops

If you want a less painful experience for your nose piercing, you should find a reputable piercer to get the job done. A good piercer will minimize your pain and complete the process quickly and easily.

It is a good idea to ask family and friends for recommendations. You can also look at online reviews to see what customers have said about the piercing procedure that you want.

Look for commentary on the pain level, professionalism, and how well the piercer listens and responds to their client’s needs. If you see a lot of reviews discussing unnecessary pain, then it may be time to consider a different piercing shop.

In general, piercing with a needle is much safer than using a gun. Especially when it comes to cartilage, a piercing gun can shatter the cartilage in the nose and cause lifelong damage. Most reputable piercers will use a needle rather than a piercing gun.

Piercing Procedure

When you go in to get a nose piercing, you will sign a waiver from the piercing shop. Then, you can pick out the jewelry that you want for the initial piercing.

You may want to ask your piercer what type of jewelry they recommend as good starter jewelry. Since you will have the same jewelry until your piercing heals, you need to choose carefully.

After you choose your jewelry, the piercer will sterilize their equipment and work with you to mark where you want the piercing. Double-check beforehand to ensure that the location is exactly what you desire.

The time it takes to do the piercing depends on the specific piercing procedure. For a simple nostril piercing, it should be over relatively quickly and have less pain.

If you want something more complicated, like a rhino, it may take the piercer a bit longer to move the needle and jewelry into the correct position slowly. The slower the needle, the more pain you are likely to experience.

How Long Does It Take for a Nose Piercing to Heal

The healing time for a nose piercing can vary from person to person, but on average, it takes about 2 to 4 months for a nose piercing to fully heal. During the initial healing period, you may experience some swelling, redness, tenderness, and discharge around the piercing site. It’s important to follow proper aftercare guidelines to promote healing and prevent complications.

Here are some general tips for nose piercing aftercare:

1. Cleanliness: Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the piercing. Clean the piercing twice a day with a saline solution or a mild, fragrance-free soap recommended by your piercer. Avoid using harsh cleansers or alcohol, as they can irritate the piercing.

2. Avoid touching or twisting: Try to avoid touching the piercing unnecessarily. If you need to adjust or clean it, do so with clean hands. Avoid twisting or rotating the jewelry, as it can disrupt the healing process.

3. Avoid irritants: Avoid exposing the piercing to irritants such as makeup, lotions, or perfumes. They can introduce bacteria or cause irritation.

4. Be cautious during activities: Be careful during activities that may pose a risk to the healing piercing, such as swimming in pools or hot tubs, using saunas, or participating in contact sports. These activities can introduce bacteria or trauma to the piercing site.

5. Choose the right jewelry: Initially, it’s recommended to keep the original jewelry in place to allow for proper healing. If you want to change the jewelry, consult with your piercer to ensure it’s done at the appropriate time and with the right type of jewelry.

It’s important to note that healing times can vary depending on individual factors, such as your overall health, immune system, and how well you follow the aftercare instructions. If you experience excessive pain, prolonged swelling, severe redness, or any signs of infection, it’s best to consult with a professional piercer or healthcare provider for further guidance.

How Bad Does a Nose Piercing Hurt?

You may still be wondering, do nose piercings hurt? With this guide, you can go into the procedure knowing what to expect before, during, and after the piercing.

Would you like to learn more about body modifications and fashion? Take a look at the Fashion section of our site for more ideas and inspiration.

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