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Does Getting Your Nose Pierced Hurt?

By Pam Goldberg Smith ; Updated July 18, 2017

Getting your nose pierced is a big decision. Facial piercings are not easily hidden and take longer to heal than ear piercings. While there may be some pain, it depends on a variety of factors. You can minimize your risk of pain by choosing a licensed piercer, selecting the right jewelry, and performing all necessary aftercare.

The Right Piercer

Choose a professional, trained piercer for the least painful experience. Licensing varies by area but check with the Association of Professional Piercers for their list of members. Visit a clean, well-lit salon that uses sanitized or disposable equipment. If equipment is sanitized or disposable, you should see the piercer remove it from a sealed plastic pouch. The piercer should always wash his or her hands and put on gloves before a piercing.

The Right Jewelry

Plated jewelry often contains nickel and can cause painful allergic reactions. Instead, choose steel, titanium, or 14 or 18 karat gold. The jewelry should be a ring, rather than a stud, to allow sufficient movement for cleaning. To prevent trauma to the area, the ring's diameter must not be too large.

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The Process

Though piercing guns are used for the ear, nose piercings must be made with a needle; it's not as quick and painless. A hollow needle is carefully inserted into the nose, followed by the ring. The tender nose may swell, leak pus and bleed, and the fluids might create a crust.

Aftercare

To avoid redness, swelling, and pain due to infection, clean your nose piercing as directed by a licensed piercer: generally once to twice daily for at least eight weeks with a saline solution or antibacterial soap. Wash your hands before touching the area. Reduce the potential for injury by avoiding sports, swimming, and tanning beds and paying careful attention when putting on or removing clothing. Avoid using beauty products on or around the pierced area.

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