What I Learned from Getting a Nose Piercing

I got my nose pierced just over a month ago, and I thought I'd share my thoughts and some things I learned. Although we live in the age of everyone posting every thought they've every had, I felt like I couldn't find enough to read or watch about nose piercings. Before I get into what I've learned, let me explain the process.

I went to The Body Bar Piercing Studio for my piercing. For all you VA Peninsula guys and gals, there are several locations to choose from. All of them have great ratings, and everything was clean and organized. Despite my anxiety, they made me feel incredibly comfortable and relaxed. I was pierced with a standard 18 gauge stud (18 gauge is the equivalent of a 1 mm nose ring... more on this later). Here's a few things I've learned in the month I've had my nose pierced:

1. Placement Matters!

When I was asking friends where they had gotten their piercings, one friend suggested the Body Bar, and a specific piercer. She mentioned that he took time to really place the ring in the right spot, where as some others would mark and go. Be sure you're comfortable with the placement of your ring. Ask for a mirror if they don't give you one, turn your head around, and be sure you like where it'll be. I specifically asked my piercer to put it in a place that would hide any kind of leftover dot or mark if I took the ring out. You could even buy a fake nose ring and wear it around for a few weeks to get a feel for where it'll be placed. 

2. Cleaning is so, so, so, SO Important.

This girl obviously did not clean her piercing...

When I got my cartilage done over the summer, the piercer specifically told me to only clean twice a day (I really don't know the science... oops.). When I was talking with my piercer about my nose, he drilled the cleaning process into my head: 1/8 tsp NON-iodized salt + 1 cup of  purified, distilled, or boiled water. No tap, no water from the rain... NOTHIN'. I cleaned about 3 times a day, but you can clean up to 5 times a day if you can. You can also soak the piercing in the saltwater solution for up to 5 minutes to be sure it's clean. There were, however, a few days where I would only clean once or twice, and I definitely noticed a difference. I started getting a tiny, almost pimple-like bump. This is NOT a keloid (which you'll only get if you're genetically prone to them), but it's avoidable if you're cleaning properly. The bump, from my experience, is really just junk gathering up in, under, and on your piercing. If you do get a lil' bump, be sure to clean at least 4-5 times a day, and soak it at night if you're able. 

3. People Didn't Really Notice...

I thought getting a piercing right smack in the center of my face would have been more life-changing, but I noticed that a lot of people didn't see it until it was pointed out. If I mentioned it, someone would notice. It was honestly kind of nice. I was worried the ring would take away from people looking at me when I spoke, but life honestly went on as normal. There were a few people that noticed right away, including my older brother, Alex, who decided to full-on poke my piercing 3 days after I had gotten it done without realizing there was an actual part of the ring inside my nose... Yeah, ouch.

4. I Noticed More Piercings

I guess when you're in the piercing club, you notice your club buddies more. I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention or what, but the week after I got mine, it seemed like everyone and their mother did too. Maybe piercing your nose unlocks an unused part of your brain?? Who knows. But honestly, it's a lot more common than you may think. It made me feel a lot better to see professors, professionals, and normal adults walking around with a stud. One of my biggest worries was that I'd get it done and have to take it out as soon as I graduated college for a job. But teachers are the coolest in the world, and there are several I know with some cute hoops and studs (Teaching is seriously the best! Do it!)!

5. It's Fun.

Yes, it's so important to think about getting a piercing before you get it, especially if it's right in the middle of your face. BUT... it's really just exciting and fun to do it. If you think you can keep up with the care, I definitely recommend it to everyone. I've always wanted a tattoo, but that's still too permanent for my 21 year-old self, so I found a compromise with a piercing. My family was a little skeptical at first, but this is/will be the most rebellious thing I do in college, and I feel like they're all very okay with that! I'm so excited to change my stud out for something different in a few weeks. Although I'll most likely use a super tiny stud for everyday, there are adorable studs and hoops for every personality and taste. 

Let me know your experience with piercings in the comments! I think my nose is definitely the most adventurous piercing I'll get!

HCXO