One of the longest standing piercing modifications is the nose piercing. Studs and rings, worn both in the curve of the nostril or through the septum, between the two nostrils at the base of the nose, are found in cultures around the world. Brides in India can be seen with ornate gold rings connected to heavy matching earrings with ornate chains. Tribesmen in the deepest Amazon wear bones or bird feathers through enlarged septum piercings.
The most common place for piercing the nose is through the curve of one of the nostrils. Placement can be anywhere along the nostril, depending on the preference of the wearer. Usually a cork is inserted into the nostril to catch the needle end, and a straight needle is simply pushed thorough. It is important for people to find reputable piercers and not allow tools like ear piercing guns to be used. The reason that piercing guns should not be used for ANY form of piercing is that these tools are not sterlilized and this leaves them capable of transmission of body fluid-borne diseases and infections, including hepatitis and HIV.
Nostril piercings are healed with either a stud-style piece of jewelry or a ring. Studs are kept in place either with small backings like stud earrings or a style of stud from India called a nostril screw. The short post ends in a half circle turn, so the jewelry screws in then pops down, staying in place. This old style has become very popular again due to its comfort and security.
The next most common placement for a nose piercing is through the septum, the piece of tissue that separates the two sides of the nose. It is important to avoid the main piece of cartilage in the end of the nose and to go thorough the softer tissue. Placement should also be considered when selecting ring-style jewelry so that the initial piercing is not placed too low. Most often a small ring is worn in this piercing. A U-shaped septum retainer can be worn by those who are healing new piercings, or who have to hide their septum piercing for work or familial-business. The ends are flipped up into the nose and the tiny wire becomes unseen, but keeps the piercing open. Barbells, tusks and spike-style jewelry are crafted for this piercing, but it is better to reserve these jewelry styles for established piercings or occasional wear.
Nostril and septum piercings can take between six and twelve weeks to heal. Maintaining general health and well-being during this time can both support and speed healing. Fresh piercings should have stainless surgical steel or 14k or 18k gold jewelry in them, with sterling silver being better for an established piercing. Changing pillow cases more often during the healing period and trying to avoid sleeping on the piercing are also advised.