Septum Ring

Nowadays, there is almost no part of the body that you can’t pierce. You can get piercings of different sizes, shapes, and types, depending on your desires, personal style, and other factors.

What is a Septum Ring 1

In recent decades, nose piercings have generally been widely accepted. Although you have probably seen it on many celebrities, you may not be sure what is a septum ring or the procedure to get it. Still, this type of piercing becomes more and more popular.

History of Septum Ring

Piercings are a fashion choice today, but it hasn’t always been the case. Decorating different parts of the body this way has been part of many tribes’ traditions for thousands of years. For example, do you know that Otzi, the oldest European mummy, in addition to 61 tattoos, also had pierced ears?

When it comes to nose piercings, it had various symbolisms in different parts of the world because customs varied from one end of the world to another.

Warriors of the Asmat tribe in Indonesia wore septum rings made of the enemy femur or animal bones. Their septum piercing used to be up to 1 inch (2,5 cm) wide.

On the other hand, Mesoamerican tribes from Mexico to Peru used septum rings to intimidate enemies. That was also a way to show their masculinity, power, and warrior skills.

In Victorian England, women in mourning wore septum rings adorned with pearls that symbolized tears.

On the other hand, married women in India wore septum rings with amulet called bullaku/bulak to indicate their marital status. They decorated their jewelry with feathers, pearls, and precious stones.

In Nepal and Tibet, tribes believed that bulak had magical properties and could save them from diseases. Therefore, the decorated amulets on the septum ring were so large they covered the mouth.

Septum Ring in Modern Society

Septum Ring in Modern Society
Image: something borrowed

Piercings gained popularity among the US and European youth only in the second half of the XX century. With the emergence of the hippie movement, young people brought this tradition from Asia.

Luckily, there are no rules on wearing the septum ring or any other piercings in modern society. They are popular among members of both sexes and all generations. Although there are the opponents, they are not so numerous, and only a few of them look at this type of body decoration with disapproval.

Nowadays, a horseshoe septum is a bit more popular than the ring. Its advantage is in the possibility of instant hiding. You can always push the jewelry up and inside the nose if you have a job interview or plan to visit a traditional, old fashioned family.

Be careful and wait until the piercing heals before you try to hide it. Your nose will be swollen and sensitive in the first few weeks, and you don’t want to risk to tear the jewelry out.

Piercing Procedure

Piercing the septum means that the needle passes through a thin layer between the nostrils. Although there are more complicated piercings, don’t think that this procedure is simple.

Therefore, you need to make sure a professional body artist, experienced with septum rings, will perform the procedure. Plus, it is vital that the piercer puts new, sterile gloves and uses a new cannula.

Non-sterile equipment increases the risk of infection and diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Choose a studio with good recommendations and check the portfolio with the piercer’s works before having the septum ring done.

The first thing a piercer needs to do is clean the nose area well before piercing the septum. Then, he or she will use a medical clamp to hold the septum and a hollow needle called a cannula to penetrate the tissue. It is necessary to pick out a new, cleaned, and pre-sterilized ring before inserting it.

The level of pain you feel will depend on your pain tolerance. While some people describe it as a hard pinch, others only have the urge to sneeze and tears in their eyes. The good news is that everything ends quickly, in only a few minutes.

Healing and Aftercare

On average, it takes six to eight weeks for septum piercing to heal. Don’t be scared if your nose swells, bleeds slightly, or if you feel pain in the first week. It is a normal body reaction. The only thing that matters is to avoid taking off the ring in that period.

It is essential to maintain nasal hygiene and rinse it with a saline solution several times a day. You can buy it at the pharmacy or mix sea salt with distilled water yourself. Avoid using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as they can irritate the skin.

  • Rinsing the wound – Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before touching the septum. Regularly soak the piercing in the saline solution once or twice a day. One way is to dip the tip of your nose in a shallow container with the saline solution. Another one includes holding a soaked sterile gauze on the piercing for a few minutes.
  • Unpleasant side effects – It is perfectly normal for some discoloration, crusts, white discharge, or itching to occur around the wound during the healing period. Remember, you need to check with a doctor whether the infection has developed when noticing yellow or green pus, high fever, or intensified pain.
  • Septum funk – In some cases, you may notice a funny smell during the first weeks after piercing. Although it is not pleasant, the so-called septum funk is a usual occurrence. As long as there are no symptoms of infection, everything is fine.
  • Changing the ring – Once the piercing heals, you can pick out the new jewelry. Although many studios offer piercing replacements for free, you can easily do it yourself at home. Always wash your hands well with antibacterial soap and disinfect new jewelry before doing it.

Remember that some septum rings have a ball that you need to unscrew. Depending on the type of jewelry, it may take you a while, but removing the piercing is usually not a complicated process.

Risk Prevention

Risk Prevention
Image: something borrowed

Septum piercing entails certain risks, both during the procedure and during the healing period. Columella, a thin membrane that is usually punctured, is so thin in some people that it is impossible to pierce.

In this case, the piercer needs to pass the cannula through the cartilage, which will bleed and hurt much more. Plus, the healing time will be extended for two to three weeks.

An inexperienced piercer can easily damage blood vessels during the procedure and causes a septal hematoma. Risks include scarring but also tissue rupture. Fortunately, a potential scar won’t be visible from the outside, but an unpleasant feeling, itching, and pain will be inevitable.

During the healing period, avoid swimming pools, public beaches, and other places where you can infect the piercing with another person’s bacteria. Cuddling with a partner who has a sneeze or a cold is also not a good idea.

Try to avoid rubbing cosmetic products, such as day creams and moisturizers on the skin around the nose when using them to prevent dirt from entering the hole. The chemicals and scented oils in the cream can irritate the sensitive mucous membranes.

If you are prone to allergies to pollen, tobacco smoke, or dust, it will be wise to do the piercing when there are not so many allergens. It is not recommended for people with severe sinus infections to put on a septum ring at all.

Septum Jewelry Styles

The septum ring you choose should have an aesthetic effect, but it also needs to be safe. Nickel-containing jewelry can cause an allergic reaction in some people. High-grade titanium, 14K or 18K gold, and medical steel are materials entirely safe to wear.

As for the style, CBR (captive bead rings) are the most common choice for septum piercing since they are the easiest to route and remove. Plus, you can opt for pearl or a gem like amber and opal instead of a regular bead if you prefer that way.

If you want something more unique, like a septum clicker ring, you can find it in various designs. Choose among traditional oriental style and the glittering diamond chosen by many celebrities.

On the other hand, seamless hoop rings are subtle septum jewelry that won’t attract much attention. There is also so-called horseshoe circular and curved barbells, crescents, and piercing retainers.

Once your nose wound heals, you can get several types of jewelry and change them according to your wardrobe, mood, and occasion. Keep in mind that you can hide the horseshoe piercing inside your nose but not the ring.

Therefore, get the piercing restrainer, which keeps it open and wear it instead of the usual ring. It can be crucial in situations when piercings are not viewed favorably, like workplace or family gatherings.


Septum rings have existed for thousands of years and have different symbolism, depending on the people that used them.

This type of piercing has become increasingly popular in Europe and the US in recent decades. Once you decide to get the nose piercing done, let an experienced professional do the job to reduce the risk of infection. Enjoy!

What is a Septum Ring 2

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