Nose Rings are Expanding, Too

June 7th, 2010

Nose rings are gaining popularity as an acceptable form of body jewelry.  No longer is it a piercing only appropriate for rebellious punk rockers or hippies.  With its increasing fame, the types of nasal piercings have expanded beyond the traditional nostril piercings.

Conventionally, a “nose ring” implied that a person had pierced the cartilage on either the right or the left side of his or her nose. Initially it was popular among women but has expanded to male fans as well.   In recent years, the idea of a nose ring has expanded to include both a septum piercing and a bridge piercing.

The septum is the hard cartilage wall between each of the nostrils and is typically pierced toward the bottom so that it penetrates the softest cartilage.  Usually a horseshoe shape ring is worn in this piercing with a ball screwed to each end.  Sometimes, this piercing is “gauged.”  To gauge a piercing means to gradually increase the size of the hole by forcing slightly larger rings into the piercing every six to eight weeks.  This is done in primarily earrings and septum rings, but could actually be accomplished in any piercing.  Many claim that the process is not painful, but that there is some discomfort when the larger size is pushed through the piercing.

The bridge piercing is the most recent addition to the nose ring family.  It pierces the skin at the very top of the bridge of the nose, almost between the eyes.  It’s generally a small piercing because of the lack of skin available at that part of the nose.

Nose rings were originally made from bones, sticks and feathers.  In modern times, however, people have shifted to more sanitary materials like BioFlex, titanium and sterling silver.  Most often, nostril nose rings are pierced with an 18 GA or 20 GA needle.  That’s roughly the same size as a standard earring post.

Septum piercings are generally done with a larger needle, 14 GA or 16 GA and bridge nose rings are usually 16 GA or 18 GA.

T.C. Kuster

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