Nose Rings Guide

Nose Ring Guide

Is Septum Piercing Really As Painful As They Say?

Septum piercing

So why  mention pain first when talking about septum piercing?

Septum Piercings are rumoured to be very painful. Read, for example, this septum piercing story and you’ll see that the very moment when the needle goes through the wall between your nostrils can be fairly painful indeed. But this is only true for a minority. In the majority of cases, the piercing is a simlpe pinch.

However painful, it doesn’t prevent thousands of people all around the world getting septum piercings and even stretching them to very large gauges!

And it definitely didn’t hold back the ancient warrior tribes from piercing their nose cartilages!

New Guinea, Solomon Island and Australian Aborigines performed septum piercings on young boys as a part of marking their transition into a manhood. Native Americans also wore septum jewelry. A tribe known for this type of a nose piercing was Shawnee and even their leader Tecumseh was depicted wearing a nose ring through his nose cartilage.

And Panama’s Kuna nation wears septum rings to this date, so as we can see this type of nose piercing has been popular in the past and will be popular in future thanks to the widespread body modification followers all around the world.

Another rumour about the Septum Piercing is that the piercing goes through cartilage.

When the septum piercing is performed (traditionally not smaller than 14ga), the very nose cartilage isn’t actually pierced! The needle goes right under the septum and passes above the base of the nose.

Yes, due to the location of the piercing hole, it is not always possible to get the septum piercing right – usually it will be a bit crooked on one side. However, in hands of a skillful piercer you’ll definitely get it sorted the best way possible.

And by the way, the beauty of a septum piercing is that it’s one of a few facial piercings that is invisible to the others, in case if you don’t want to. Just put a piercing retainer in the septum piercing, and no-one will ever tell that you have your septum pierced!

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65 thoughts on “Is Septum Piercing Really As Painful As They Say?”

  1. Got my septum pierced just a week ago now, and it was probably the worst pain I’ve had in a very long time haha
    I was ready for it because my piercer had told me it was going to be pretty intense. What i didn’t expect was the amount of blood, my god.
    It was like a waterfall down my face to the point where i could hear it dripping on the floor.
    But definitely worth it!

  2. Christina Swenn

    Just got my septum done this morning, and it was super quick, painless, and I absolutely love it!!! My eyes didn’t even water and all I felt was a pinch. πŸ™‚

  3. Kelly McGinnis MD

    I came across this site and had to post something on here. I am an ENT and first off septum piercing is dangerous. Think of your septum as a living, viable wall for your nose to keep its shape. When you pierce it , you are damaging and breaking down that living structure. That little hole that is pierced, over time can turn into a large hole and eventually collapse the nose. I have seen many cases of infection of this septum and not all cases are easy to repair. I have had so many young adults come to me after problems and are sorry they ever did this. Please consider this before you take a step to pierce.

    1. noseringsadmin

      Hi There,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      Septum piercings do not carry any more risk than any other body piercing (which is minimal when performed by a reputable piercer using properly sterilized instruments/jewelry).

      Septum piercings done correctly do not go through ANY cartilage. The biggest β€œchange” that can occur is if somebody decided to stretch their septum to a larger (much larger) size. The increased size could distort the appearance of the person’s septum.

      Like any other piercing, proper aftercare is paramount. If the piercing site is not properly cared for, as with any wound, adverse effects, infection, unnecessary scarring, etc. are much more likely to occur. Of course, there is always risk involved when dealing with body modification but as long as the piercing is done correctly and cared for properly that risk is minimal.

      The same goes for things such as extreme sports. There is always an added risk when doing such things but that risk is minimized when the correct procedures are enforced and followed.

  4. I pierced my septum in the bathroom of a Baptist church. (don’t ask lol) It was my second time piercing it because I was displeased with the placement from the first time around. The first time I pierced it was through the cartilage on the bottom of my nose, and it was honestly fairly painless. But the second time is a different story. I pierced it through the “sweet spot” which is the piece of skin between the septum bone and the bottom cartilage. And that hurt like a biiiach! Well, I’ve had my septum pierced for little over 4 months now, and its still super tender. Whereas the first time having it done, the tenderness dissipated within a couple weeks. It isn’t unbearable, but it gets annoying to have to be so cautious while kissing my boyfriend, or drying my face with a towel, or changing my shirt. But overall, it’s an adorable piercing and that alone is worth the hassle.

    1. noseringsadmin

      Hi Angela, you’re a really brave girl having pierced your own septum, personally I wouldn’t have guts for it! πŸ˜‰

      By the way – if you submit your septum piercing photo along with your septum piercing experience on this website I’ll send you a free septum ring!

      So basically just copy and paste this very same comment – if you don’t want to write a longer story – attach a your septum piercing photo when submitting the story and indicate your address so that I can post the septum ring – or any other body jewelry you may want – to your home!

      Any questions – feel free to ask!



    My septum its about to be one year old.. its beautiful, really love it.. i have pierced my body a few times (2 times in belly button, 3 times my tongue, 3 times my nose and the last one my septum) and i can say that septum hurts like hell.. i do almost faint .. and the worst thing is that 2 days after i caught a flu lol xD i dont know if i would do it again.. even all of these.. IT DOES LOOK GREAT! πŸ™‚

  6. I got my septum pierced on Thursday (it’s Sunday now) and I went in expecting the absolute worst pain possible. I have tattoos on both arms (a 1/2 sleeve on one), both calves from knees to ankles, my chest and my back.. so what was I really worried about? Well, I took a deep breath, let it out and by the time the breath was out, the needle was in. It wasn’t a big deal at all. I was more scared than anything. I’m a NYC public school Kindergarten teacher, so I have to keep it hidden. However, I didn’t opt for a retainer or flipping something up or down. My piercer and I went with a small, straight bar. It’s tiny, but it’s a 14g. I am cleaning it with sea salt and water, but using a ‘NeilMed’ sinus rinse bottle to flush it twice a day and doing the manual cleaning with cotton balls and the SSS once a day. It’s feeling fine, just a bit sore. Of course, I did just get a hole in my face.

  7. NO ! a septum dosnt hurt at all , i did it myself 3 times , and all you feel is a pinch , mine is healthy and clean , it didnt hurt and i have no problem with it , if you want to pierce it yourself , get all the supplies you need , and pierce the rubbery stretchy part , DO NOT PIERCE THE BONE ! try to pierce it as low as possible . good luck . (:

  8. Honestly, if a septum piercing hurts so bad to the point where you want to cry, the piercer did it wrong. The septum ring goes through a tiny patch of flesh in your septum; not cartilage. If it hurt, the piercer probably placed it wrong. Not to say it doesn’t hurt at all, however the pain level is…barely a 1. (from a scale to 1 to 10. 1 being least painful). I BARELY felt it. Literally. In 2 seconds she had the ring in and I was walking out the door. The only discomfort/pain you may experience during the procedure is the tightness of the clamp (once again, not bad at all) and when the needle goes through, it pinches your sinuses, making your eyes water (doesn’t. hurt.) The septum is probably the fastest healing piercing you could get.

  9. Got pierced a weekend ago, on a scale of 1-10, it hurt a 14. But it was my first piercing, the septum piercing and it was a 10g piercing, so it was larger than a starter. Yes it hurt, it hurt alot, so much so that I almost blacked out, sat up, the piercer asked if we should stop, and I said, no way. I wanted to earn it. I did, and he had to pierce again because the retainer would not go into the hole — I will say this, the piercer is certified and is a very experienced artist… I was prepared for some pain and boy was I in for a treat.

    It was completely worth it — go with someone, swallow the fear and have it done, you’ll smile every time you see the result (unless you have not so nice friends). I love it!

    Go for it!

  10. I pierced mine myself 3 days ago with a 12g hollow needle and it was painless. I’m a 15yr old girl, but I have a high pain tolerance & the pain is much more like a pinch, nowhere near the pain I experienced of piercing my nipples, cartilage, labret, or even stretching my ears which isn’t even a piercing. Taking care of it has been harder though, because I have mine flipped up and I’m cleaning it with q-tips I have to be very careful to not irritate the piercing too much and try to remove as much of the crusties as I can which is hard because I’m wearing a cbr. It looks really cool though so I’ll endure the 6-10 weeks of shard-like crusties:)

  11. I had my septum pierced a month ago. It will be gauged to at least a quarter inch, becase the ring is custom made and a quarter inch thick. It is gold and the inside diameter is about an inch. That makes the outside an inch and a half ! It can (and will) be closed permanently. It was my husband who really wanted it, but I like the idea too.
    Recently I had the side of my face tattooed with a string of colored flowers. It really an eye catcher ! I love it and my hubbie is nuts about it.
    The pain was quite tolerabel. The stretching causes some pain too but that goes away soon.

  12. when i got mine done i can honestly say that i felt it to be very painful. so much so that i grabbed my piercers trousers as the needle exited (don’t ask) as the exit is always the worst part. luckily, i know the piercer pretty well so we just laughed after he had pierced me. in comparison to my other piercings, the pain was on a similar level to my nipple piercings, which i found pretty painful too. I dunno, maybe i just have a low pain threshold, what a wuss ay!!!

  13. ok, so im 14 and i REALLY want to get my septum pierced. The thing thats worrying me is the pain because its 50/50. some say it hurt like hell and some say they felt nothing. Well im getting mine in two weeks so wish me luck xoxo

    p.s need to save up first πŸ˜€

  14. I had my septum pierced yesterday, Less than 24hrs ago, I’m not going to lie and say it didn’t hurt, because it did.. But the pain wasn’t unbearable, and it’s over so quickly. If you’re going to get it done, Just make sure you goto a piercer that knows what they are doing and makes sure they get it in the right ‘sweet’ spot. This morning when I woke up, It was a little bit crusty, but a clean with seasalt, warm water & a couple of Q-Tips took care of that. Its currently “flipped up” but I have flipped it down to show it off to a couple of people and am able to flip it up and down with very little if any pain at all. The main objective to the septum piercing is to keep it clean. This proves a little difficult considering its location, but Q-tips make reasonably easy work of this. Pain rating out of 10 would be about 4/10. My nipple piercings hurt a lot more. I highly recommend the septum piercing to anyone who is thinking about getting it done. Don’t be an idiot tho, Don’t do it yourself. Pay the money and get it done professionally by someone who is experienced with such piercings and know what they are doing.

  15. I pierced mine yesterday and it is SORE! I don’t know if I did it right or not because the ring is kinda long and instead of coming in it points straight out and leaning more towards the right. I don’t know how sore it is supposed to be. Can someone answer me ?

  16. So,I pierced my septum today in the girls bathroom.
    I must say PERSONALLY it didn’t hurt.
    You feel a slight pinch (barely noticeable) then you just feel the needle going through your skin then another slight pinch as it pops out the other side.
    Although it didn’t hurt… I almost passed out.
    surprisingly my eyes did not water at all but I did get really light headed to the point where my hands were shaking and I couldn’t see properly, I then had to convince my friend to quickly push it through the skin and get it over with.
    I really do recommend getting it done professionally as opposed to doing it yourself, but if you think you can do it, go for it!
    but seriously on a scale from 1-10 it was a 2.
    and that’s coming from someone with a terribly low pain tolerance…
    but to each their own.

  17. I got my septum pierced three days ago, The needle was a quick pinch & didn’t hurt nearly as much as I expected it to. As soon as the needle went it, my eyes started watering like crazy!! The jewelry being put in didn’t hurt at all for me. I went to a professional & highly recommend it, it costs about $60 for me but it was worth it since my piercer knew exactly what he was doing. It bled the first day & has some discharge throughout the days. It’s still quite sore & hurts pretty bad right now due to the fact that I got elbowed last night dead on my septum. But, i’m absolutely in love with the way it looks & have no regrets (:

  18. I agree with most of the other posters above; if you get it pierced by a professional who knows what they are doing, it will be very tame.

    My ear lobes hurt worse than the septum piercing πŸ™‚

    I will tell you what has been a little painful though, stretching it! Working on 4 gauge right now πŸ™

  19. I’ve had mine done twice, and, it did hurt but only for a few minutes.. the pain goes away rather quickly.. But, just like any other fresh piercing, there is a bit of swelling in the healing process and just be careful you don’t knock your nose within the healing period and it will be fine. They really don’t hurt as much as you anticipate trust me πŸ™‚

  20. Okay, so I’ve had mine pierced for about 2 months. I went to a local tattoo shop, and got it done. The pain was a small pinch. People make the pain out to be something totally over exaggerated. However, mine did bleed, and walking to my car afterward, I almost passed out.. this is normal. But, everyone has different pain tolerances. Hope all goes well.

  21. Got my septum pierced ages ago. Didn’t hurt at all, didn’t bleed and healed quite quickly. I love it so much! If it hurts when they pierce it, they’re doing it wrong.

  22. I got my septum pierced roughly 3 weeks ago, by a professional seasoned piercer and some people say that it doesn’t hurt- but with my experience it hurt like a MOFO. I have numerous tattoos (which tattoos don’t hurt like piercings) I’ve had cartilage pierced, tongue, and I have a microdermal implant in my chest right below my jugular notch & on my upper manbrium bone & that hurt too- but I have a high pain tolerance, so it wasn’t bad. Back to my septum piercing… He did not use a clamp b/c he said he didn’t believe in them & my nose isn’t small and after the actual piercing he was putting in a 14g captive ball ring and I swear it took him like 10 minutes, that’s where the pain elevated.. prodding and poking around the fresh piercing to try to maneuver the jewelry in to place. Holy freaking bajesus – my eyes wouldn’t stop tearing- constantly the whole time he was trying to get the jewelry in. Lets just say it felt like I was getting a piercing for like 10 minutes. It was HELL- & I’m pretty tough. The septum piercing turned out very straight, but after 3 weeks it seems as though the underside of my nose is getting more & more sore, unless I never realized it til now.. who knows. I love it though. Would I do it again… I THINK so.

  23. sir i will tell you that i pierce my body for sexual thrills and pleasure. i agree, i have pierced my ears many times and its fun, ive grown immune to it. i did my septum myself also. with a 16g hollow needle, and i have the PROFESSIONAL regulation pliers to cut off regulation. i wanted it, i went for it.

  24. Never do any piercings yourself! That can be SUPER dangerous and could lead to serious injury and harm. If you want the best results, go to an experienced piercer who is willing to answer any questions you may have. The only piercing I would say is somewhat okay to do yourself is an earlobe piercing (NOT cartilage) but even fit that I would still recommend you have it dine professionally. Better safe than sorry! And never let anyone scare you our of getting a piercing. If you want it, go for it .

  25. well i have had my septum done for about 3 years now once a month a gage it i just put in a 0 gage and yes it hurt like a bitch but when i first got it done it didnt hurt at all my eyes only watered for about an goal is to get a 00 gage through my septum that should be fun.but its really tender right now and is still swollen alittle but hey it comes with the price of getting pierced.but all in all if your thinking about gageing it just to let you know when you get down to a 2 gage it starts hurting bad and like i said gageing my nose the other day to a 0gage hurt like a bitch but looks awsome.

  26. I got mine done yesterday and I won’t lie, it hurt. I could stand it though, for me it was probably about a 5/10. The truth is though, that everyone handles it differently and everyone’s body is different. There’s really no way to know until you do it. I love mine though and it was definitely worth the discomfort I felt. I think my piercer may have nicked the cartilage (I can’t tell yet, but it feels pretty high up in the front) but it doesn’t hurt today-only if I smack it on something. The worst part for me was putting the actual jewelry in. The piercing itself though was about what I expected.

  27. so i was reserching this alot, and i got mine done, i have a lip and now my septum, on a scale to 1-10 10 being life sucks cause it hurts so bad, 1 being a pinch, it was about a 6-7 . not gonna lie, it does hurt like a bitch when your getting it done, but i have a very low pain threshold and it could be due to my age (14 year old male). but it looks awesome and is easy to maintain, good luck ! c:

  28. I got my septum done about 3 months ago, and i cannot be happier!
    i have a VERY low pain tolerence, but my septum didnt hurt HALF as bad as i thought it would!(: i have my ears done twice, my rook, and a hand web. personally, id compare the pain of the septum to an earlobe piercing. Mine didnt bleed at all, and so far its been easy to take care of(:
    if you want a septum piercing, DO IT! its a gorgeous piercing on a man or a woman! have fun and good luck!(:

  29. Just got mine done 10 minutes ago. The piercing will make your eyes water but its really not bad. Its still a little soar, but not a big deal at all. I got mine 14 gauge and i think most people go 16 gauge and I have a phobia of needles so if i can bare through it i think most people could. Just make sure you have a good piercer and I can’t stress that enough.

  30. I did mine myself, everyone tells me its the piercing that hurts A LOT. I control pain very well i cant say then, it didn’t hurt really, only part that hurts is when the needle goes in & then out. but its more like a pinch. your eyes will tear because its your nose i guess.

    my septum hurt sometimes while it was getting healed but dont all piercings hurt a little while they’re sore?

    so The pain from 1 – 10 its like a 6 πŸ˜€

  31. im 14 and have had 11 piercings: 3 on my right lip, one on the left, 2 labrets, madonna, monroe, septum, nose and bellybutton.. all done by myself. My septum was 99% PAINLESS. i didnt tear up at all. it looked amazing and didnt hurt to flip it or move it around.

  32. I have 2 piercing my septum and my tongue done and for someone that has a low pain tolerance these piercing hardly hurt at all.I had 2 piercers that talked me through as what they were going to do and eased my fears. I’m glad I did my homework to find such a good tattoo/piercing parlor,cause I will for sure go there again.

  33. When I got mine done it was a pinch, watery eyes and the needle was through. The pain came when the ring was going in. So, the ring was in the end of the needle and when the piercer was pulling it through, the ring slipped out of the needle while it was going through my nose so I had the tip of the jewelery halfway through my septum. The piercer gave me two options, to either take it out and wait for it to heal to try again or pop it the rest of the way through. I took the better decision and had him pop it through, which hurt, but not as bad as I thought it would.

  34. I had my septum pierced the other day and apart from a sharp pinch it really wasn’t that bad. I got told it hurt a whole bunch so i’d prepared myself for the worst but I was presently surprised by how little it hurt.

  35. My Friend Who Is Experienced In Peircing People. Did My Septum Peircing Two Weeks Ago. And My Mom Has No Idea That I Have Any Peircings When I Acctually Have 12 And They Are Difficult Enough To Hide As It Is And Its Wayy Too Difficult For Me To Put Makeup ON MY Nose Because The Bottom Of My NOse Hurts And Im Afraid That Mym Mom Might Find OUt About My Paircings Without All Mym MakeUp On. Any Idea’s :’) xx

  36. “When the septum piercing is performed (traditionally not smaller than 14ga), the very nose cartilage isnÒ€ℒt actually pierced! The needle goes right under the septum and passes above the base of the nose.”

    Not so.

    Some piercers may pierce this membrane, but it is not technically a true septum piercing. By definition the septum is cartilage.

    Mine for example, definitely goes through the septum cartilage.

  37. Got mine done last night.. 17 y/o girl. No prior piercing experience except my ears. Guy did a good job, although it did hurt. A little sore this morning, but don’t regret it. πŸ™‚

  38. the next day it didnt really hurt and in a week i changed it without a problem and it looks great! im not sure, maybe he went to the cartilage.?

  39. i have 16 tattoos and a half sleeve, 3 peircings and went from a standard earing directly to a 0 < none of that hurt… my septum was the WORST PAIN ive ever felt my eyes watered terribly and i got light headed and almost passed out

  40. For the guy talking about Pushin Ink in Exeter Guildhall,
    I have had several piercings (septum included) done there and also a full sleeve. I have never had anything wrong with work done by them or piercings, i think it is wrong that you have slagged them off publically, surely if it was wrong you would have gone back into them and sorted it out not just bitched about them.
    Even my mum has had her tragus done by him and 2 tattoos and was so happy she plans on going back for more!
    Not being funny, but for all we know, you could just be another tattooist/piercer trying to lose them business by putting us off.
    Seriously, grow up dude. You’re an ass and i would honestly recommend him to anybody.

  41. I had my septum pierced yesterday, and it feels fine now. Everything I have heard about the pain has been different, personally it was a lot more painful than my nostril piercing. I have two surface piercings on my lower stomach and it hurt more than them, however it was very brief. My eyes watered a lot but it’s not sore. The only thing that hurts now is the inside of my nostrils burns like it is too dry when I rinse. I hope this goes away soon. I guess everyones experience is different but it’s not too scary. Good luck!

  42. Just recently my very experienced friend pierced my septum, or the soft tissue below my cartlidge. I can’t say that it looks nice actually because we were in the high school bathroom and two girls snitched on us. I have the retainer in my pocket. As my experienced piercer friend was in the middle of piercing my nose it did sting. But it completley felt the same just 2 seconds later. Your nose bleeds probaley 5 minutes, but thats it. Although, I might hurt some for me because of the situation I was in. But if you want a septum, get it professional.

  43. I got my septum pierced about 5 months ago (1.6mm). I have had many piercings – earlobes (with a gun), nostril (with a gun), earlobes again which I stretched to 10mm, Industrial/scaffolding (1.6mm gauge needle) a helix/cartilage (with a gun) and my central labret (bottom lip – 1.2mm)

    I also have a tattoo across the top of my back from shoulder to shoulder.

    My septum was the most painful of them all, I have a very high pain threshold, but the clamp was uncomfortable and I felt a very sharp sting and there was blood and my eyes were constantly streaming. The pain was over very quickly, but was intense.

    I later noticed that the piercer had done the piercing wonky, going through my septum at one point and exiting lower (not parallel to entry point)
    This may be why it hurt so much, but the pain was quick, it is an easy piercing to look after and looks very nice on some people so I’d recommend it.

    I am not trying to scare people off, I am being truthful and I think it was more the shoddy parlour

    NEVER go to “Pushin’ Ink” in the Guildhall in Exeter, Devon, UK. This is where I had it done, I have also seen people with shoddy artwork and heard stories although they may be rumours.

  44. I got my septum pierced yesterday and it was just a pinch and my eye teared up a little. I even had the needle in sitting there for a couple of minutes while my friends took pictures of me and I’m a chick! I love it and can’t wait to replace the retainer with an awesome ring!^^

  45. Ok I like really want a septum ring but my mom won’t let me get one so I’ve decided to pierce it myself but I don’t know how so does anyone have any advise ???????

  46. it really doesnt hurt,much less pain then a normal nostril piercing ,less painful then nipple and medusa.

  47. So a guy with no septum piercing talking about how painful a septum piercing is?
    Something wrong there I think…
    I had mine pierced a week ago and it was without a doubt the least painful piercing I’ve ever had, quick pinch and it was over. I personally found my nostril piercing to be a painful one and assumed my septum would be worse thanks to stories like this and on other websites.
    Stop scaring people, alot of them would look great with this piercing if people like you didn’t put them off.

    1. Thanks for all your comments. I’ve made a couple of updates to this post with all your comments in mind. The last thing we want to do is discourage people from getting piercings. Hope you approve!!

  48. ok… miscommunications about septum piercings. 99% of the time i DOES NOT go through any cartilage. If you take your fingers and pull on the very front inside your nose you will realize there is some skin in front of the cartilage… the piercing goes here at the very top. The only reason it would ever go through the cartilage would be if you don’t have very much and it nips the cartilage or if you have an inexperienced piercer who thinks its supposed to go farther back than it is. Septum piercings should be one of the least painful piercings every. Cartilage piercings hurt… this however is NOT a cartilage piercing.

    Experience: professional piercer with more than 25 piercings

  49. i had my septum pierced and it really wasnt that bad

    people say “it hurts so bad, it bleeds a lot”

    well then they must not have had a very good piercer

    mine was very quick, like a fast pinch, it stung a bit and my eyes watered, kind of like popping a pimple in your nose

    but it didnt hurt nearly as bad as every made it sound

    it was actually one of the least painful, and the easiest to heal

    i love i very much! and i advise you dont let anyones pain stories deter you from getting a piercing, it’s very quick and it’s over

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