Nostril piercings can be worn for adornment and beauty and in some cultures, symbolize a social status. From punk rockers to women proudly displaying their marital status, nostril piercings are seen all over the world and each has a different story behind it.
How quickly you can change your nose ring depends on how well you take care of the piercing. Keeping your hands, which are laden with bacteria, away from the piercing as much as possible will help immensely. Carefully follow your aftercare sheet given to you by your professional piercer. Clean the piercing daily and avoid irritants like alcohol and other harsh products. Leave your jewelry in at all times, for piercings can shrink or completely close up within minutes, regardless of how long you have had the piercing.
A nostril piercing can take six months to a year to completely heal. This varies from person to person, for everyone has a different rate of healing due to the piercee's overall health. Immune system, diet, exercise and stress level can all factor into how well the body will heal the wound. It is safe to change your jewelry around the six-month mark, or when all swelling and irritation from the piercing has ceased.
Once your piercing is healed, go to a professional piercer to have your jewelry changed. A professional will be more skilled at making the process painless and quick, and will provide a clean environment instead of you trying to do it at home. Ask the piercer to show you the different types of jewelry available for your nostril. The types are a ring or a nostril screw. Rings and nostril screws come in a variety of colors, and also in sparkly jewels. Pick the jewelry that you find the most attractive, and have the piercer change it for you. From this point on, you can change your jewelry as often as you like, switching colors and types as you please.
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If you have a job or attend a school that does not allow nostril piercings, another type of jewelry is available. A retainer is a clear piece of jewelry that comes in the materials of glass or acrylic. It hides the piercing from view while still keeping the hole open. Your piercer can provide this piece for you for work, school or even if you have to undergo a medical procedure that does not allow for metal-based jewelry.
Always consult a professional piercer with concerns about your healing piercing. Do not try to change your jewelry yourself the first time. Ask your professional piercer for tips and suggestions on how and when to change your jewelry.
Maude Coffey retired after 10 years working as a professional body modification artist in the tattoo industry. She is certified in principles of infection control and blood-borne pathogens. Coffey received additional training and classes, such as anatomy, jewelry standards and aftercare, from the Association of Professional Piercers. Coffey aims to educate about safe tattooing and piercing practices while writing for various websites.