DIY septum piercing
So, I had been wanting to get my septum pierced for a while. I always thought they looked edgier than nostril piercings with the added bonus of being able to easily hide them. I'm a nurse so easy hideability is essential for any body modifications that I choose to undertake. My nostril piercing was a big hassle having to constantly change it to a clear one or take it out when I was working. I wanted a piercing that was further outside the norm than most people go for, one that had the flexibility to wear a variety of different style jewelry in, and one that would be simple to conceal for the times when I needed to look more professional. A septum piercing seemed perfect.
I did my research online, asked a few friends who had them about the pain of the procedure and the healing time, and finally made my mind up to do it. I called ahead to a local piercing studio and made an appointment to come in later that night. I psyched myself up, got my partner Shawn and friend Amber to go with me, and headed off towards the studio.
Unfortunately when we got there the piercer did not have the jewelry that I wanted at that time (I needed something tiny that I could easily flip up into my nose and all he had were 14g and above horseshoes that I wasn't sure would fit-- my nose is quite small). So I decided to get a different piercing then, but that's a different story.
A few months later after the piercings I got at the studio were healed I was hanging out with some friends and doing some piercings for them. I occasionally do free piercing for close friends with IV catheters from work. They work great for piercing, come in sterile packages in a variety of sizes, and are very effective for uncomplicated small gauge piercings. I had just finished a tragus piercing when I thought, why not pierce my septum?
So I got a clean catheter, my spare jewelry box, some alcohol swabs, and gloves and headed toward the bathroom. I flipped on the overhead light and set to cleaning the 16g horseshoe I selected with alcohol. While that was cleaning I looked in the mirror and flared my nostrils to visualize the spot I wanted to pierce. I pinched the skin beneath the hard cartilage inside my nose and felt around for the thinest part, figuring that would be the easiest spot to pierce. Having found the spot I wanted to pierce I swabbed my septum with alcohol, opened up the IV catheter packaging and snapped on some gloves.
Taking a deep breath I lined the needle up on the right side of my septum and pushed. OWWW! Too high! The needle barely made contact with the skin when I realized I was a bit too high and was hitting the hard cartilage. I pulled back, held a papertowel against the profusely bleeding and throbbing area for a few minutes and rethought my decision to do this.
After a few minutes of talking myself back into it, I set up for my second attempt. I swabbed the area again and lined the needle back up on the right side, this time a bit lower. I sucked in a quick breath and slid the needle through cleanly and slowly feeling three distinctive pops as the needle broke through the skin, travelled through the soft cartilage, and came out on the other side. I released the breath I didn't realize I was holding and blinked back the tears that had sprung to my eyes.
Holding the needle still against the throbbing in my septum I checked the placement in the mirror. Liking where it was I pulled the needle back leaving the plastic catheter in place. With a quick snip of some handy bathroom scissors I cut off the excess part of the catheter that had the luer lock access port on the end. I inserted one end of the jewelry into the catheter and pushed it and the catheter through the other side. I took a breath and stabilized the jewelry as I pulled the catheter off the end of the little horseshoe.
I spun the tiny ball onto the exposed end of the jewelry and admired my handiwork. My nose was red and slightly swollen and there was a small amount of blood on the ring but overall it appeared to be a successful attempt at DIY piercing. The ring moved easily even with the swelling and I was able to flip it up with some trial and error maneuvering.
It's been almost a year since piercing my own septum and I have since pierced two friends septums (one successfully, the other healed crooked due to swelling and was removed) and have gauged my own to a 14g (which does, surprisingly fit up inside my nose). I eventually let my nostril piercing heal up because it was too much of a pain to hide and the septum was so easily undetectable at work. Overall it was a good experience and one that I would not hesitate to do again.
End note: DIY piercing is not for everyone and the best way to ensure your piercing turns out the way you want it is to go to a professional and have them pierce you. Only pierce with sterile needles and properly cleaned or new jewelry. DIY piercing should not be undertaken if you have no idea what your doing, no knowledge of human anatomy, or you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You could seriously hurt yourself or someone else.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2009
in Nose Piercing