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Published Wednesday, January 25, 2023

What Nose Piercing Should I choose?

You want a nose piercing, right? Who doesn't? They're cool as hell (Just ask Miley Cyrus, Lilly Singh, Demi Lovato, Mary J Blige or Jordin Sparks!)

But how to pick which one? There are many types of nose piercings to choose from, and the decision can be overwhelming. But don't worry, your Bodyartforms fam is here to help! In this blog post, we'll cover the most popular types of nose piercings, and some you may never have heard of.

When we're done, you'll have all the info you need to make the choice.


Nostril Piercings

Nostril piercings are the most common type of nose piercing. They can be done on either side of the nostril. Nostril piercings are relatively easy to heal and care for, and they look great with a variety of jewelry styles. You can get these on both sides too, and wear chains between them, across the nose. It's super gorgeous, and you can check out what it looks like here.

You can also check out our nostril jewelry collection here and get an idea of what you'd like to wear!


Septum Piercings

Septum piercings are done just below the cartilage in the center of the nose. There's a little divot you can feel between where your skin is and the harder cartilage above it. It's called the sweet spot and it's super smooth to pierce. Septum jewelry is also some of the most popular and versatile jewelry you can buy. Septum clickers can easily be used in other piercings around the ear, like helix, daith and lobe piercings.

They're also really popular and entering the mainstream. Many people don't even consider septums to be all that wild anymore because of how popular they are with celebs. They're also the easiest piercing to hide. We have a whole selection of hiders you can wear that will make this piercing invisible.

We also have a huge selection of septum jewelry that stands out! Browse these styles and build your wishlist before heading to get pierced. Thinking about all that sweet bling makes the healing process even faster! (Okay, maybe not, but it does help you get through it, lol)

They typically heal fast, and require very little aftercare.

Bridge Piercings

Bridge piercings are done through the soft fleshy part of the bridge of the nose, near the brow. Bridge piercings can be more painful than nostrils, but they heal relatively quickly and don't require much special care. Use a gentle cleanser daily. Also daily applying a saltwater rinse and then leaving it alone with those fingers will get you through it.

The bridge piercing can be prone to rejection. Esp after an injury, so if you snag it on a towel when drying your face or take a hard knock, your body can kick this one out. Typically rejection happens in the healing window, but on occasion it can occur down the road in a fully healed piercing.

This piercing looks stunning and is super notable because of its position on the brow. And don't worry about it drawing the eye. For a little while it'll feel like there's something there that wasn't before, but your brain will edit it out super fast and you won't even notice it anymore.

Plus, you get to watch everyone's eyes pop up there to look! It's super fun, and a great conversation starter.

The Unusual...

These piercings are less common, and may require you to have certain anatomy to get them. Make sure your piercer has lots of experience doing these piercings. Even a pro may have only done a few. Definitely ask before getting it done how many they've done, and maybe even ask to see pics. Many of these can be harder to heal, require more aftercare, and require super precise piercing because of symmetry (No one wants a crooked rhino piercing!) So asking before you take the plunge is highly recommended.


This is an ancient piercing, and we have a whole blog about its origin! [link, also verify this] But of course, in the old days it was a sharp piece of bone, not a barbell. Things have come a long way! Imagine a piercing that goes from one nostril to the other, and all the way through the nose in between and you're picturing a nasallang.

Because this piercing goes through both nostrils and the thick cartilage between, not the skinny sweet spot like a septum, it hurts. There's just no sugar coating that. And it can cause some breathing issues for folks whose nostrils have a tendency to get clogged, because the bar runs all the way through. So it's kind of another thing for the snot police to get hung up on.

Expect a longer healing time too, and a bit of hassle when blowing your nose. All in all, this is a piercing for people who love it, and if you get it, you'll never have to worry about respect. Just push one side and when folks see the other side move they will know where that bar is going, and they'll know you're a stone cold badass!

High Nostril

These require special anatomy! Just like a regular nostril piercing, but higher up, these piercings can be gorgeous and super notable. These can be especially striking on folks with more prominent noses. They can be paired with regular nostrils, and you can even string a second chain[link] between them! But about that anatomy... Yeah, you'll need some room in those nostrils for the piercer to get in there, and you'll need the room and flexibility to change out jewelry. So a finger will have to fit pretty high up there. You also need to have the skin for it. You can't pierce through the bone of the nostrils, so you need plenty of space below the bone to fit one of these in there! The piercing and aftercare is basically the same as a normal nostril. But you'll be joining the ranks of the few, the proud, the people with enough nostril room to fit this piercing in!


A straight up and down piercing at the front of the nose, resembling the rhino's iconic horn. You can even wear a barbell with spikey ends! This one does hurt a bit extra because the needle is pushing through a lot of nose. But it heals pretty quickly and doesn't require a ton of extra care. You mostly leave it alone to heal. And this is one that needs to be really symmetrical. You want it straight up and down. You'll also probably want a nose that's pretty straight. If your nose curves in a notable way, this piercing can draw attention to, rather than distracting from! But never fear, if your nose is crooked (mine is, broken it multiple times!) an Austin bar (see below) can be great. Rhino piercings can be prone to rejection (Just like the bridge), but they're also a super notable piercing. If you want to really stand out, a rhino piercing can be a great way to do it. And the curved barbells usually worn in this piercing are super customizable. Check those out here.

Austin Bar

Sometimes called a horizontal rhino, this piercing is named after the famous city. Hey, we're just north of there! An Austin bar is just like a rhino, but sideways. It has all the same healing notes, can reject more often than septums or nostrils, and like a regular rhino, getting the piercing exactly level is super important. If this one is crooked, you'll really notice it. The big advantage of an Austin bar over a rhino is that it's horizontal, so if your nose curves a bit to one side or the other, this piercing won't show it as much as a rhino would.


Just a dot at the bottom of the septum area, this piercing belies its complexity with its simple look! You not only need to already have your septum pierced, but it'll need to be stretched to create some room. This piercing goes up from below the septum area and pierces into the stretched part. A barbell is then worn which you can just see the tip of. Once it's healed up, though, you can throw your septum stack back in and stun folks with the beautiful jewel in the center, your septril! These aren't crazy painful, but if you're getting one, you've already done your septum and stretched a bit so you already know! You're a nose piercing pro and this is probably a walk in the park for you.

Common Nose Piercing Questions:

How painful is a nose piercing?

Honestly, not that bad. Of course, our famous Yes, It Hurt! stickers might disagree. But while it does hurt, it only hurts for a second or two, and the pain is often more like a burn than a sharp owwie. Well, there's a sharp ouch right when the needle goes through. And that needle may look pretty big when it's coming close to your face, but it's also super sharp and that really helps. In general, piercings that go through cartilage hurt a bit more because it requires more pressure to push through. But if you choose a pro piercer (And you absolutely should!) the process will be quick. And of course, it'll depend on your pain tolerance. One reason people often think nose piercings are painful is because they saw a friend or a YouTube video or TikTok of one being done and the person getting the piercing cries. No worries! That's an involuntary response because of the needle poking your nose. It brings tears to the eyes through the same reflex that big sneezes or a hard bump on the nose can.

What is the correct side to pierce your nose?

People getting nostril piercings are often really concerned about which side to get them on. If you get it on one side, does it say something about you? Rumors from the old days swirl around the internet. Is a nostril piercing on the right side a signal of your sexuality? Nope! Those are all just BS. People get pierced on one or both nostrils just based on their personal aesthetics. Your best bet is probably to choose your best side. Take a few selfies to see which is your favorite, and don't forget that some cameras will mirror the shot! If you want to be absolutely sure, take a pen and put a little dot on the nostril where you're thinking of putting it.

You definitely don't want to pick your favorite side and then find out your cell camera mirrored you and you're now pierced on the other side! And don't worry, your piercer will put a little dot there too before you get the piercing. You'll have another chance to really look at it before taking the plunge!

How long does a nose piercing take to heal?

This varies from piercing to piercing, with septums being super fast (often healed in a month or two) to something like a nasallang (A year or two). Nostrils are closer to the middle easy side around two to six months.

How do I care for a nose piercing?

Daily salt water rinses or soaks can help a lot, but the biggest thing is to leave it alone. Your fingers are the fastest route to infection, so always wash your hands before touching the area, and mainly don't touch the area. Your body knows how to heal, so letting it do its work is the best thing.

Don't over wash the area or use a harsh cleanser either. Remember, less is often more when it comes to healing! A daily wash with a gentle cleanser should do the trick.

Also note that redness, swelling and soreness are super common in the early weeks after a piercing. It's not necessarily an infection and doesn't really require you to do anything. Most of the time you'll want to do a gentle saline cup bath or just leave it be.

What do I do about bumps around my nose piercing?

Don't mess with them, and don't worry too much about them. Little bumps are super normal, and some people's skin just reacts that way naturally to irritation. You have just had something needled through there, so it makes sense the skin would be a little PO'ed. Relax, take a deep breath and keep healing. Most bumps disappear after a few weeks. If they're big, or sticking around a long time, take a pic and send it to your piercer or stop in to see them. They'll know the difference between normal bumps that go away and the kind that don't. (Hint: almost all of them go away) Checking in with your MD is always a good option as well.

I don’t want to be saying negative things about medical doctors that would drive people to not see one. There’s liability risks in doing so. If someone had a real issue and they take this advice we could get sued for their medical bills from not seeing a doctor. It’s better to actually advise people to see an actual doctor over someone with no education. That’s why literally everyone does this on videos and articles.

What do nose piercing infections look like?

Redness and swelling after the normal few weeks of redness and swelling you'd expect from a piercing. That's assuming you haven't accidentally tugged or bumped it. Doing that to a healing piercing can cause, you guessed it, redness and swelling.

A bad smell or weird discharge (aka puss) are your biggest signs of an infection. Time to contact your MD. At this point, you can also check in with your piercer and get some advice from your doctor.

And of course, if you're worried about anything during this process, follow your gut. Checking in with yourself is often the best policy when you're making a decision here. If it's time to call your doctor, it may be time to remove the piercing and let it heal up. You can always try again, or do a different piercing.

The Bottom Line...

So, which type of nose piercing is right for you? If you're not sure, or need more help, ask us! You can reach us by emailing, or DM us through any of our social channels. A lot of people also find it really helpful to browse jewelry. We've got tons of customer images to browse through so you can see what the jewelry looks like. Want to take a spin around our nose jewelry section and see for yourself? Take a look right here. There are a lot of gorgeous choices, but ultimately, the decision is up to you!