Wonky Septum?

Wednesday May 28th, 2008 @ 1:32 PM

Filed under: Nose

Hi! Apologies for the bad webcam picture, but its all I have right now.

Now, I got my septum pierced yesterday. All well and good, apart from on the right hand side, the exit hole appears to be too far forward. Essentially, my retainer is at two different places on each side. So, as you can (hopefully) see in the picture, we have a wonky issue going on.

Now my piercer told me its just an issue that happens with new septums and it’ll correct itself…but the nose is cartalidge and that doesn’t swell unless its infected as far as I know of! Should I take it out now, allow it to heal and then get it repierced, or should I wait and see if it will correct itself?

I’m also concerned and thinking I should take it out now because I can actually feel the outline of the retainer on the right hand side by running my finger along the outside of my nose. If I apply a little pressure, I can feel the whole bar (and a fair bit of pain!). Surely thats too shallow?

I’d be very grateful for any advice you could possibly give me.


A better picture would definitely be helpful in this case, but I’ll give it whirl anyway.

It does look like one side of the piercing is further back/forward than the other. Because of the quality of the picture, I’m not sure if it’s quite a bit further back/forward, or if the shadows are making it appear that way, and it’s only slightly further back/forward.

What your piercer told you about the piercing correcting itself is not totally out-of-whack. I have seen some septum piercings that look a little bit off right after piercing end up healing perfect straight. Septum piercings definitely do swell (even if they aren’t infected), and that swelling can sometimes contribute to the piercing appearing slightly off.

The key with all of that is the piercing being slightly off. If the piercing is way off to begin with, it’s not going to correct itself. In that case, the jewelry should be removed sooner-than-later, and the piercing can be redone in a couple of weeks. If you trust the person who did your piercing originally, I would suggest returning to them and discussing your options with them. They sholud be willing to redo the piercing at no charge.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 8 Comments

I just coughed up an O-ring

Thursday May 22nd, 2008 @ 1:07 AM

Filed under: Nose

Dear AskBME Staff,

I am so totally not joking with this one. I just stepped outside, coughed (someone’s mowing, and I’m allergic to lawn grass), and spat out an 8g O-ring.

To back up: I have a septum piercing that was needled at 8g at least a year ago; stretched itself to 6g; and will accept an 8g clear glass plug as a retainer without shrinking. This plug has no flares, so I’ve been using O-rings to keep it in place. Sometimes one falls off and stays in my nose such that I can, um, reach up and extract them. Sometimes one falls off into my lap. But both occurrences are fairly rare. I’ve been wearing this plug as a retainer to bed these last few days, since I currently share that bed, and kissing, etc. is more comfortable for me without jewelry that protrudes.

How did I SNORT an O-RING during the night and then retain it until just before 10 am (I’ve been up since 7:30)? If I can find the staple-shaped Ti retainer I was pierced with, I can switch to that, but do my amazing powers of snoring mean I’ll snort that, too? Worse, I’ve had this piercing for at least 18 months. How many O-rings may STILL be living in my lungs that I may have just assumed fell out on the pillowcase?

Please forgive my emphasis caps, but I’m just a little disturbed. Is this a sign from the universe to switch to the smallest-diameter segment ring I can find in that gauge? Snorting O-rings really can’t be good for my asthma.

It is allergy season in my part of the world, and I have got a goodly number of allergies, so if there were a time of year I would be snoring harder, this would be it. (Yes, I can ask the other person in the bed about this.)

Please, y’all, tell me I’m not injuring myself with O-rings routinely as I sleep. I’m a hypochondriac and I watch House (how about that season finale?), so please put my mind at rest if you can.




Sorry, I had to take a moment to have a good chuckle, c’mon this is QUITE hilarious in the grand scheme of things if you think about it ;)

For starters I’d suggest obtaining a slightly smaller diameter o-ring so its a bit more snugger on your plug. By having it a bit more tightly on the plug it means it’d have less chance of slipping off so easily.

Also sure there is the chance you inhaled a o-ring, but there’s also the chance you simply swallowed it into your stomach, much like how you can inhale or swallow mucous(snot) from your nose that is lodged in your sinus cavity. Now let be make sure I am able to calm you down by saying if you had an actual o-ring in your sinus cavity, when awake, chances are you’d know. Personally I’ve had a the occasional o-ring and other stuff enter into my sinus cavity and it feels very noticeable pressure. It’s not enough pressure that you’d wake instantly up freakin out, but if you were awake and had it in your sinus, you’d know.

So relax and breath and put that Hypochondriac mind to rest ok, you’ll be fine. All you need to do is get a smaller diameter o-ring so it is snugger/tighter on your plug and will not fall off as easily.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 9 Comments


Friday May 16th, 2008 @ 2:12 AM

Filed under: Nose

I had my septum pierced roughly 5 weeks ago; I have recently found, which wasn’t there before, a small red lump above my left nostril piercing hole. I was wondering if you may help me to recognize what this may be.

This could be quite a few things, so troubleshooting the problem would be ideal.

1) What type of jewelry is currently in your septum?

2) What method of aftercare protocol are you using?

That’s the first step to figuring out exactly what the problem is…As it could be jewelry or aftercare related or even potentially that you have some type of foreign matter trapped inside the piercing and a good hot salt water compress or chamomile tea bag compress to help.

But first lets figure out exactly what jewelry you have in there and how are you treating the pierced location.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 1 Comment

Nostril Piercing Question

Saturday April 26th, 2008 @ 10:52 AM

Filed under: Nose

I am considering a nostril piercing. However, due to a very strict dress code in my future profession (lawyer), I will most definitely not be able to wear the piercing at work. Are there any images available of what a well-healed nostril piercing looks like with the jewelry taken out? And how long do such piercings usually take to heal to the point that they do not close up when the jewelry is taken out?

Also, are there any images available (or would anyone on BME be kind enough to show some) of what a scar from a nostril piercing looks like, if the piercing is allowed to close up? How noticeable are such scars, usually?

Thank you in advance for any responses.

To err on the side of caution I would allow between four and six months healing time, however, something to bear in mind with nostril piercings is that they do shrink up rather quickly upon removal of the jewellery. I have had mine for 18 years and still find that if I don’t have the jewellery in for a couple of days, it can be a stingy affair reinserting it.

As for scarring, well, it’s impossible to say for sure. If you follow good aftercare there’s every chance the hole will be barely noticeable once healed BUT everyone is different. If the piercing gets irritated during the healing time then the likelihood of visible scarring is increased. My advice? If you are seriously concerned about potential scarring, don’t get any visible piercing.

As for images - a good search should yield results.

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Posted by Tiff Badhairdo | Permalink | 13 Comments

Septum Blow-Out?

Wednesday February 13th, 2008 @ 4:22 AM

Filed under: Nose

Hi, I’ve had a 0-gauge stretched septum for perhaps half a year now, which I stretched over the course of about 2 years with little complication. However, I recently stretched up to a 00-ga, and though the stretch itself hurt less than many of the previous ones, my nose has been swollen for a few days and bled a lot when I cleaned it (the most my nose has acted up after a stretch is to be a little sore for maybe a couple hours, and has certainly never bled).

I’m worried that I might have torn the fistula, or worse, blown out my septum (I’m not even sure if that’s possible), but even with the aid of a flashlight I’m not sure what to look for. I also live in a small town where the resident piercing shops are rather shady, and it’ll be a couple weeks before I have the means to go to Toronto to visit my regular piercer. Is there any real way of telling if I’ve damaged my septum…or if it’s just because the 0 to 00-gauge jump is a bit bigger?

It could honestly be a few things to sort out. What I would honestly do is downsize back to the 0ga and do sterile saline solution soaks as if it was a fresh piercing. Then as soon as you make it to Toronto have your piercer look at it. (off-topic who is your regular piercer in Toronto and where are you currently?)

Also know that sometimes in certain sizes and in certain locations 6 months is still too soon to stretch and the body might require longer time. It’s weird that you did not feel any discomfort,etc yet you did the kind of damage that results in swelling and bleeding.

Definitely an interesting situation that I’d do as I said above, downsize to 0ga and mention it to your piercer.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 2 Comments

Stubborn bump.

Friday February 8th, 2008 @ 1:50 PM

Filed under: Nose

Roughly 1 month ago, I snagged my 1 month old nostril stud on my sheet, and developed ‘the bump’. I immediately began chamomile tea compresses 2-3 times a day and did that for 2 weeks without noticing any real change. 2 weeks after snagging it, I was at my piercing shop buying some jewelry and one of the piercers told me that I should be doing sea salt soaks for about 20 mins daily, so I started doing the sea salt soaks along with one chamomile tea soak a day, and washing my piercing once a day with Neutrogena soap. It started to get better at first, but then it actually got much bigger. After a full week of the sea salt soaks, after I got out of the shower one day the bump burst and started oozing pus, which I squeezed out and then cleaned. I kept doing the sea salt soaks for another week (2 weeks total) without noticing a change. I went to see my piercer again and they told me to try helichrysum water , which I have been using 3 times a day for 15 mins each time since Monday, and it would definitely clear up in 2 weeks. The bump got a hard covering on it which flaked off when I scratched my nose yesterday, but nothing else has changed. I’m going to keep doing the helichrysum water compresses for another week, but if nothing changes, what’s my next step?

Here’s a picture of the bump. I have a 14g nose elbow in it now.

Well, you’ve certainly been through a wide range of things you could try…and there are probably lots of other things you could try. However, my instinct is that none of the other things you are going to try would be the magical solution either.

You probably aren’t going to like my advice, but I would suggest you take out the jewelry, let things settle down, and have it re-pierced at a later time. While it’s true that “the bump” isn’t uncommon with nose piercings, yours is different in a couple of ways:

1) The sheer size of it. While I have seen a few larger than yours, it’s definitely larger than “average”
2) Yours seems to have obviously been caused directly by some trauma

Given the length of time you’ve been dealing with it, and the myriad of things you’ve tried, and nothing has produced much improvement, I think removing it is your best option. One you remove the jewelry, you will have gotten rid of the thing that is irritating your body and keeping it from healing the bump. Things should start to settle down quickly.

I have to admit, I’m not sure exactly what type of jewelry a “nose elbow” is…or at least I’m unfamiliar with that term.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 5 Comments

Captive Bead Rings

Thursday February 7th, 2008 @ 7:08 PM

Filed under: Nose

My question is multi-part. I have a septum piercing at 10 ga and I’ve always worn the same captive bead ring in it. The ring is pretty big, I’m thinking 1/2″ in diameter and I’m looking for something smaller that would look more balanced but I’m a little confused on a pretty obvious topic.

How is a 3/8″ 10ga+ captive bead ring possible? if there’s only 3/8th of an inch in the center diameter and the bead takes up part of that room what type of piercing could that possibly fit? How would one go about even getting the bead into such a small ring? Would a 3/8th inch ring be right for a septum piercing? I want small but it seems a little too small…

Thanks, I’m a bit clueless the only place I can get jewelry from is online and I’ve never seen a variety of CBRs with this size included before in person.

I’ll do my best to explain how the magical-ocity of the 10ga 3/8″ CBR works. The diameter of the CBR is measured by the diameter on the inside of the widest part of the ring. So, when a company makes the CBR, they have to decide what size bead they will put on the ring. With that decided, they make the ring 3/8″ (or whatever inner diameter), with the gap that will accommodate the size of bead they will put on it. The beads are typically available in 1/8″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″ 1/4″ etc. As long as the bead isn’t so large that it keeps the bead from remaining a circle, there isn’t an issue. Most commonly in 10ga 3/8″ captive, a 5/32″ or 3/16″ bead would be used. There is a bit of leeway to go with a bead that is bigger or smaller than the original bead and not misshape the ring. Doing so may alter the precise diameter of the ring, but it’s not often enough to make a significant difference.

It is very common to wear a 3/8″ diameter ring in septum piercings, so the 10ga 3/8″ would likely work well for you. In fact, some people wear even smaller jewelry. Keep in mind however, not every size is going to fit everyone. So, if you want to be sure the piece you are going to be will fit, you may want to stop into a shop and have a piercer take a quick look for you.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | Comments

Nose bump

Sunday January 27th, 2008 @ 9:54 AM

Filed under: Nose

Help! I’ve had my nose pierced for 15 months. I love it, but I keep getting this blood filled growth right next to the piercing. If it’s infected why is there only a tiny amount of white gunk? It started like the 3rd month I had it. I’ve talked to the guy that pierced me a few times. He said that I was over cleaning my nose and that it would go away if I only cleaned it once a day and got lots of sleep. It’s been clear lately, but now it’s back! Is he right? Do I just need more sleep? Today I blew my nose and it opened. It took a minute or so to stop the bleeding. What do I need to do to stop this from happening? It doesn’t hurt, but it’s very ugly and annoying! Do I need to take it out and let it heal? I don’t want to, but if it stops this from repeating again, I will. Thanks for your help.

The “nose bump” happens to a large percentage of people when their nose is healing. Most commonly it shows up around the 1 month to 2 month mark, but it will sometimes show up later. The bump typically goes away after a bit of time, as your piercing heals up and becomes a little “tougher”.

The bump is not an infection…it is a build-up of fluids and skin cells that gather around the edge of the piercing. Most often, the bump is a sign of irritation…your body is unhappy with something that is going on with your piercing. Over-cleaning could be the source of irritation, but so could cleaning it with something too harsh and/or touching it too much and/or lots of other things. Getting plenty of sleep and taking good care of your body in general is a good idea when trying to heal a piercing, but I doubt that’s what’s going on in your case.

If you’ve had the piercing for 15 months, and you are still getting the bump occasionally, I would start to look at the jewelry as the potential problem. If you are wearing a nostril screw type of jewelry, it’s likely that the jewelry needs to be adjusted so it fits your nose better. If it’s too loose, it will move around which can irritate your piercing. It is also more likely to get caught on towels, shirts and bedding, which can irritate it. If the jewelry fits too tightly, that can cause a problem as well. Although, generally, if it was fitting to tightly, you would have more of a consistent problem. If you’re wearing a ring, they can be prone to getting knocked around, since they stick away from your nose, which can cause a problem. In that case, you may want to consider changing to a nostril screw/stud for a while.

It could also be that your body isn’t happy with the material the jewelry is made of and/or the quality of the jewelry. If you’re currently wearing jewelry made of stainless steel, you might want to consider changing to a titanium piece of jewelry. What you are describing isn’t a typical allergic reaction, but it could be that a slight nickel sensitivity is keeping the piercing from settling down. I’m not really sure how to advise you on the quality of the jewelry, but many piercing studios use low-quality, inexpensive jewelry that isn’t polished very well. That can definitely lead to prolonged healing and healing difficulties.

Hopefully some of this helps to at least put you in the right direction of trying to figure out what the problem is.

Good luck!

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 2 Comments

septum scar

Friday January 11th, 2008 @ 7:14 PM

Filed under: Nose

so i got my septum pierced a few weeks ago and it seems to be healing well. the thing about it is it’s a little low on the right side, this was done intentionally because my nose is a bit crooked on the inside, and in order for the piercing to lay proper it was pierced at a downward angle.

i’ve started to notice that there is a slight bump on the right side and looked into it and read that it’s most likely scar tissue, now i don’t want to have it redone as it seems to be completely fine other than the slight bump, it doesn’t hurt or look too strange (unless you’re holding my nose open and looking up at it).

my question is will it cause any other issues besides create a small bump, and will it be okay if it’s not bothering me? i just want to make sure it won’t continue to grow and take over my nose to the point i’ll need to have it surgically removed :P

The bump shouldn’t cause any other problems. It’s also possible, once the piercing heals a bit more and “toughens up”, the bump may end up going away. Many bumps that show up during the initial healing phases of a piercing end up going away once the piercing heals a bit more and isn’t as easily irritated.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | Comments


Tuesday January 8th, 2008 @ 8:22 PM

Filed under: Nose

How big do you have to stretch a septum piercing before getting a septril piercing?

There isn’t necessarily a size you “have” to be at, but it obviously needs to be big enough to be able to get tools into. I would guess that 0ga or 00ga would be the minimum to make it reasonable to do the piercing.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 2 Comments

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