- Before you get a nose piercing, there are a few things to know.
- One is what happens to the pierced hole after you take out the jewelry.
- While your nose piercing will close up, it will leave a scar.
Spontaneity is cool and all, but before you go googling "Nose piercers near me," please search "Do nose piercings close up?" first. The answer might surprise you. Brian Keith Thompson owns Los Angeles-based Body Electric Tattoo and counts Beyoncé, Emma Stone, and Jennifer Lawrence as his regular clientele. You might also be wondering: does that answer change depending on what type of piercing you get or if it's a nostril piercing or septum piercing?
To break it all down, we asked the pro to spit some truth about what you should know before you shoot a needle into your schnoz - from what happens when you take out the nostril jewelry to how long it takes for a nose piercing to close.
Do Nose Piercings Close?
Commitment-phobes, we'll start with the good news: "All nose piercings are going to close," Thompson says. The not-so-good? "You are going to have some kind of scar, depending on how long you wore your jewelry. The longer you wore the jewelry before closing the piercing, the more pronounced the scar will be."
That means that if you get a nose piercing and have instant buyer's remorse, your risk of scarring isn't too high. "If you get your nostril pierced and remove the jewelry in a week, you will have little to no scar - just a small spot," Thompson says. But if you keep it for years and decide to take it out later, you'll be left with a permanent mark.
Why Do Nostril Piercings Close?
When you first get a piercing - nose or otherwise - your body will rebuild the wounded skin around your jewelry. "This is called a fistula, and it's a small tunnel," Thompson says. When you remove your stud or hoop, "your immune system acts quickly to close the hole." That's because your nostril is an "entry point - a very crucial part of your body that helps you breathe and control your sense of smell."
This means that, unfortunately, nose piercings just don't work for certain people. "Some people experience trouble healing their nostril, because their immune system is overactive," Thompson says. "Your body sees the jewelry as a foreign object, because it is. For some people, it can be a problem from day one."
Will Septum Piercings Close Up?
"Your body sees the jewelry as a foreign object, because it is."
"The septum is a little different," Thompson says. The pro explains that professional piercers - not your classmate operating out of a high-school bathroom - are trained to find the "sweet spot" on a septum. "Nine times out of 10, I am able to get jewelry back in a septum hole that hasn't had a hoop in for a while without repiercing," Thompson says. So if you get your septum pierced, keep your jewelry in for a year, and then take it out, "you will probably be able to get the jewelry back in."
Do All Piercings Leave a Scar?
TLDR; yep. In Thompson's wise words, "You should go into all piercings knowing that you will have a scar. You have to think about the future before you get a piercing. If you're getting pierced at 18, you might not care about a scar, but consider how you're going to think about it at 30, or 40."
A little bit louder for the folks in the back: "What you do to your body today, you pay the cost later," Thompson says. "While nose piercings won't leave a big, gaping hole, all piercings leave scars."