Second-Go Septum Stretching
Six months ago, I got my septum pierced for the second time. I had a very clear goal: I wanted it to be large enough to wear several tiny 16g rings in one hole. I thought 10g would be a nice goal, large enough for two rings, and figured my very experienced piercer would be able to do that easily. However, I was only able to have it pierced at 14g. For reasons discussed in that story, (link), I could not get it pierced larger than that, and would be forced to stretch.
I was very, very tentative about stretching, even though I have large stretched ears, because of how tough the septum tissue is. My first piercing was also constantly painful, so I had some doubt. But I was determined, and decided to keep a diary of my septum experiences.
Tonight, more than four months since my initial piercing, I stretched from a 14g to a 12g. Not a big jump by any means, but I have never had anything but bad experiences with septum piercings and I was very nervous.
I bought a set of pincers to help with the stretching process, and was very intimidated by the jumps in size. I always do slow and easy ear stretches, giving them time to acclimate and just inching the taper through over a series of hours. I didn't think that was really possible with the pincers, and figured that I needed to do it in one push.
First, I removed my old jewelry, which was a trial, it was so tight. Then I carefully inspected my nose with my fingers for any pain, bumps, etc. Finding nothing, I did a massage with hot water and washed it and my jewelry thoroughly. Taking a deep breath, I lined it up and pushed... And met no resistance. It went completely through with no pain and no feeling of stretch. Shocked, and a little suspicious that I accidentally used the same size ring, I compared sizes- it is most definitely bigger- and still suspicious, I checked the receipt from the purchase. It was definitely a 12g. Now I am totally suspicious and unsure, though relieved. But huzzah for a good stretch!
I have successfully stretched to a 10g. To be honest, I am a bit shocked right now. It was very, very easy. The last few days, I have been routinely taking the 12g pincer out, cleaning it with Dial soap, and doing a Vitamin E Oil massage for a bit before putting it back in. I also have been idly playing with the jewelry, turning and twisting and tugging on it. I could actually feel how much room there was when I tugged on it- it felt like it moved a lot- which is how I decided to try to stretch again. Just like last time, I cleaned and oiled my nose and the new pincer, making sure I was all relaxed with hot water, and just slid it in, keeping an O-ring on one side so I'd know when I needed to stop. It was just so, so nice and easy. I felt a feeling of more fullness, as the pincer is just a tad heavier as well as thinker, but no pain or sensation of stretching or anything.
I have to say, I was expecting way more trouble with stretching my septum. I think, if I feel the sensation that indicates I can safely stretch again, I'll go up to an 8g, before going to get the few thin rings put in.
I have decided I want to fit three rings in my nose, and to do this I need to stretch to a 6g. I thought this would be easy, since the last few stretches have went so well, but I was wrong. My nose has been pretty sore and tender recently, and stretching has not been progressing. I've been cleaning in the shower and oil massaging, but I guess I haven't been tugging on it as much since it is a bit sore. I notice that when I go out in the cold and come back inside and start moving it, the piercing seems to be tight and achy. I hope I don't have to wait till the spring to stretch again. I think I'll start doing mid-day cleanings, so I'll be giving it attention twice a day.
I successfully stretched to an 8g today, but it was very different that previous stretches. As I mentioned before, after my previous stretches my nose was pretty sore. For the last month, I have removed my jewelry and washed my septum in the shower every day, then oiled it right after as part of my routine. I had a few false starts stretching this one, because I expected it to be like the other two and it just to slide in, no need to push. I found out I was wrong.
Today I decided to give it an extra night wash. I had been playing with the jewelry and noticing the extra room that indicated the possibility of stretching- that weird give when it is pulled down and the sound it makes. I went and gave it a thorough Dial soap wash, noticing that there was no more soreness at all, neither at the holes themselves (the scar tissue is also gone) nor when I pushed the tip of my nose. After a very soapy massage, I dried off and oiled my fingertips, then did a hole massage with them. I then oiled the 10g jewelry and worked it in and out, getting the oil inside and tugging on it to loosen the skin.
When I tried the 8g jewelry, it did not slide right in. I almost thought to take it out, but I pushed a little even though it didn't feel ready in the same way ears do. Ears feel stretchy and loose, and when they don't, it is time to stop. The septum isn't like that. It is tougher, so it requires a bit more handling- or at least this did. I very, very slowly pushed it in. It was a strange feeling, because it hurt a little, but not in the way that a bad stretch feels. Nothing felt like it was tearing or ripping, it only felt like it didn't want to stretch but it was ready to. When I finally hit the o-ring that meant it was completely in, it stung. But even then it faded. As I sit here now typing this, there is a light throbbing that gets my attention, letting me know that it is there and something is different. But other than that, there is no pain. It was just a different stretch than usually.
On a side note, I wear pincers because they are like tapers and septum jewelry at once, and I don't have to deal with increasingly large CBR/ circular beads to deal with. However, as the gauge is going up, the diameter is going up too. I find that the bigger the jewelry, the more nose dirt keeps getting caught in it, and the more I can feel it touching my nostrils. This one feels particularly intrusive because it is almost touching my upper lip and the rim of my nostrils. My goal is to wear three very small 16g seamless rings in my nose, but god, this jewelry makes it so hard to stick to that goal.
I did it. I finally reached my goal of a 6g septum. I ordered 3 seamless rings this week, and was so excited that I decided to try to fit them into my 8g septum. It didn't work, of course- I could only fit 2 of them in. I was so excited to get rid of the huge pincers that I wanted to like it, I wanted to be okay with only 2, not the three, but the more I looked at it, the more I knew I would just wait.
So, I took them out and prayed I could stretch soon. I noticed pretty quickly that I had extra room from the 8g, so spent lots of time working at it, and took extra care while oiling it, even going so far as to oil the ring and tug on it a little to loosen it up.
This morning, I went to clean and oil it, and decided this may be the day. So, I went and got the pincer, and slowly started to inch it through.
When the tip was visible in my nostril, it stopped. Remembering last time, I pushed a little. It hurt, so I paused, keeping it moved in the slightest bit. It stopped hurting, so I pushed a little more, paused, waited for the pain to fade. I did this until the ring was completely in, put the o-rings on, and am not letting it sit. This stretch was different than last time. I can feel that it was not as ready, because it is still stinging as I write this afterwards. My nose feels achy, a low throb that I don't remember happening last time, and has been running non-stop. I figure that I'll give it a day or two to recover before I start cleaning it and removing the jewelry and such, and maybe after a week of it calming down I'll get the rings put in.
Additionally, for anyone trying to do what I did, it is very hard to keep control of multiple pieces of jewelry in the same piercing. When I was too excited to wait, I was able to get one of the seamless rings closed perfectly, but the other was so hard because of the first ring being in the way. I am definitely going to a professional for getting all three of them put in, and put in perfectly.
So, all in all, I hope anyone considering stretching their septum can learn something from my experiences- namely, it isn't as scary as you think, and it's important to care for your nose the same way you care for ears. Slow and steady is important, as well as not giving up and just going with the flow of each separate stretch. I, personally, am so pleased, even though it did take me a good few months to get here.
I bought a set of three segment rings and headed over to get the jewelry installed today. My nose has been endlessly sore when the jewelry is in, but I think that may be because my nose is so small that the pincer is rubbing against the septum cartilage; I've heard something like this can happen, when you stretch so much you've used all the available soft tissue and it starts to rub against the tougher cartilage. I'm sure my small nose didn't really present much usable room, and probably would not have been able to handle a larger stretch. Luckily for me, this problem was fixed with the addition of three smaller, thinner rings. The piercer got them in for me in two seconds, everything was perfect. And they look great! No more pain! I am extremely satisfied. The only small this is, I have noticed that sometimes they hang weird; I wanted them to be a tied affect, so you can see all three at once. The first two do that, but the third one hangs at the exact same height as the second, so they look like one thick ring. I think the best way to combat that is to put a slightly larger ring in for the third ring. But that is very minor, and I am just glad that everything worked out, and this journey is at an end.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 Feb. 2011
in Big Septums, Septum Piercings