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Nostril Piercing and Stretching Experiences

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The first time I pierced my nostril it was on impulse. I knew absolutely nothing about piercing or aftercare - I was fourteen years old. It was the whole lemming mentality (all my friends were doing it, so I should too.) It was unpleasant - as well it should have been, since I was being so incredibly stupid! I sat in a friend's bathroom and had her shove an earring stud through my nose. It was completely by chance that it went through the right spot (I was told the placement was perfect a few months later by a professional piercer). It bled all over the place and hurt like hell. No gloves were used, and there was no sanitation of the hands or jewelry whatsoever. The same stud had just been used to pierce someone else's nose minutes before. I kept an earring in it for a few weeks until my parents took me to get a CBR. I went to Hellbound in Allentown, PA. They told me the smallest gauge they had was a 16. Not knowing what they were going on about, I had my nostril pierce stretched to fit the ring. The stretching wasn't very painful at all. They just rubbed some petroleum jelly onto the ring and slid it into my nostril. It felt stingy but not exactly painful - more like a pinch. Unfortunately after this ordeal was over, the piercer didn't explain anything to me at all, including aftercare. They basically took my money and tossed me on my butt. Quite honestly I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone. I can't believe I was lucky enough that it didn't infect or I didn't catch a disease from the piercing stud. I had that piercing for a few years before I had to take it out and let the hole close. (This was not by my choice.) I had enrolled in boot camp, and no body piercings were allowed - this included earrings, and I lost some of the cartilege piercings in my ears as well as the nostril hole closing up. This upset me to some degree, but I understood the rules, so...

Three years later I decided to get it repierced to celebrate my graduation from boot camp. I went to Bodystain in Columbus, OH, where they were very nice. I chose my jewelry from the case in front. I had decided on a smaller gauge - an eighteen. They asked me if I had a valid ID which miffed me somewhat. I'm carded everywhere I go. Apparently I look awfully young. After all that was established I went to the back and sat down in a reclining chair. The room was in the back of the studio - out of the way of the reception area. The piercer put on a pair latex gloves after laying out the needle and jewelry on a paper towel. He leaned my head back and positioned it, and dipped the needle in what looked like vaseline. He put a dot on my nose but didn't like the placement. After doing it a few times he showed it to me in a hand mirror - it looked ok. He didn't tell me anything about breathing techniques though, so I was inhaling when he pushed the needle through. Not good. It hurt quite a bit - probably because he was piercing through scar tissue from my previous pierce. My eyes were shut tight and I saw white light flash. Then the needle was through; I could feel the tip of it tickling the inside of my nose. He then threaded the needle with no difficulty. My nose was numb at this point, so it didn't hurt a bit. It bled much less this time, thank goodness! My nose was a little swollen when I left the studio, but I was feeling really happy about my new mod.

The people at Bodystain were helpful and talked me through the aftercare. I learned NOT to use peroxide or alcohol on my fresh piercing (which I had done before). I also learned the importance of leaving it alone to heal - I thought rotating it would be helpful - but turns out it isn't. I washed it out with antibacterial soap twice a day, morning and night. It was a little sore at first and I was paranoid about it. I kept thinking it was going to rip out or infect; of course it didn't. I remember not being sure what kind of soap to get, and calling the piercing studio after I'd left. They recommended Lever 2000 antibacterial. I let my nose heal up for a week before I decided to go back and change the jewelry. I thought the diameter was too big; I wanted something smaller and more subtle. I have definite butterfingers, so I went back to the studio and asked them to switch it for me. (Remember: the bead is smarter than you!). There was no problem changing the jewelry so early other than some tenderness for a few hours afterward.

I chose to get my nostril pierced the second time because I really liked the way it looked. It was aesthetically pleasing to me, though my family didn't seem to appreciate it nearly so much. I'm planning on keeping this piercing permanently, unlike some others that I have. It symbolizes a major point of pride in my life - and an inner feeling made corporeal.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 July 1999
in Nose Piercing

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