Nose Piercing

Nose piercing is very attractive, and can accentuate the face, because the nose is the face’s most prominent feature; Leonardo Da Vinci believed that the nose set the character of the whole face.
Nose piercing was first recorded in the Middle East aproximately 4,000 years ago, it is mentioned in The Bible in Genesis 24:22 Abraham requested his oldest servant to find a wife for his son Isaac, the servant found Rebekah, and one of the gifts he gave her was a “golden earring” the original Hebrew word used was Shanf, which also translates as “nose-ring”This practice is still followed among the nomadic Berber and Beja tribes of Africa, and the Bedouins of the Middle East, the size of the ring denotes the wealth of the family. It is given by the husband to his wife at the marriage, and is her security if she is divorced.

Nose piercing was bought to India in the 16th Century from the Middle East by the Moghul emperors. In India a stud (Phul) or a ring (Nath) is usually worn in the left nostril, It is sometimes joined to the ear by a chain, and in some places both nostrils are pierced. The left side is the most common to be pierced in India, because that is the spot associated in Ayuvedra (Indian medicine) with the female reproductive organs, the piercing is supposed to make childbirth easier and lessen period pain.

In the west nose piercing first appeared among the hippies who travelled to India in the Late 1960′s. It was later adopted by the Punk movement of the late 1970′s as a symbol of rebellion against conservative values, and conservative people like parents and employers still don’t react well to it, so consider their reaction carefully before getting it done.

Nowadays nose piercing is gradually becoming more socially acceptable, and many celebrities have their nose pierced i.e. Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Sinead O’Connor, and Slash from Guns & Roses.
The original piercing can be done with either a stud or a ring. There is a definite spot on the nose for a stud, but a ring can be placed in various spots. I recommend that a piercing with a ring be done in the place for a stud, just in case you want to change to a stud at a later date.
The jewellery must be Hypo-allergenic, meaning that it should have no adverse affects on the body, so the only metals you should use are Niobium, Titanium, 18ct White & Yellow Gold, Platinum, or Palladium. Silver should never be worn in the nose during healing, because it oxidises inside the wound, and can cause allergic reactions, lumps, and can leave a permanent black mark on your nose.

Once the piercing is healed you can change the jewellery as easily as changing an earring, you can wear gold and coloured niobium rings and studs, studs set with gemstones, or studs with tiny shapes i.e moons, dolphins, hearts.
Before there were professional Body Piercers around, some people used to get their nose pierced using the Ear Piercing Gun. Now there is no excuse for this practice, all nose piercing should always be done using a needle, there are a host of reasons for this.
The Gun was designed to be sterile because of the no touch principle, no skin came in contact with the gun and therefore it was safe to be used repeatedly, because it is made of plastic it can’t be Autoclaved, and is therefore unsterile if the gun comes in contact with the inside of the nose. Potentially fatal micro-organisms (Staphyloccocus Aureus), can therefore be transmitted between customers, and as aproximately 30% of the population have residant colonies of Staph. Aureus in their noses, you have a 1 in 3 chance of developing a potentially fatal infection, because of the proximity of the nose to the brain.

The studs used in the gun were designed to pierce the flesh of the ear, the nose is quite thick cartilage, and in some instances the gun fails to pierce the nose on the first attempt. A needle produces a very quick, short, sharp pain, but because the studs in the gun are quite blunt they are forced through the wound by brute force, this results in trauma to the wound and it can cause pain for several days afterwards.

The whole reason for getting your nose pierced is for aesthetics, it is very hard to sometimes get the proper placement using the gun, and you have a very large unsightly stud in your nose. The needle method gives minimal pain, exact placement, and you can have a tiny stud inserted immediately.

Source: “Life Threatening Staphylococcal disease following ear piercing” Pediatrics Vol 46 pp. 301-303 (July 1970)
Even provided that you have the piercing done properly with a needle, have proper jewellery and look after it properly you may still develop a problem with healing; this is because the nose is cartilage and it doesn’t heal in the same way as flesh. The most common problem is small lumps which form around the piercing, these are called granulomas and usually occur because the piercing has been knocked or the jewellery has been taken out and re-inserted damaging the wound.
The best course of action to heal Granulomas is to apply hot compresses to the wound once or twice a day. Put a clean paper towel under hot tap water, make sure that it’s not hot enough to burn the skin, but hot enough to penetrate the wound. Leave on till the heat dissipates, do this twice a day. If that doesn’t work the best course of action is to remove the jewellery for a short period of time to allow the wound to heal. when the lump goes down (usually 4-5 days) the jewellery may be reinserted, however, if the lump starts to come back it’s best to leave it heal and have it re-pierced at a later date.

If you develop any problems come and see me, I will help you free of charge that is the service that you pay for when you get the piercing, don’t be embarrassed to see me it’s my job to help you!
Many people want to get their nose pierced, but feel they can’t because of the reaction of their parents or employers. Trying to hide it by taking it in and out just leads to delayed healing and infections, so I have developed a trick to help people get their nose pierced without letting anybody know. The piercing can be done with an invisible stud (a normal nose stud covered with flesh coloured nail polish). Once it’s healed this can be changed at night for a normal stud.

If the stud comes out the hole will close up very quickly, in less than a day in the first 2-4 weeks. If you stud comes out you must call me or come and see me as soon as possible and I will re-insert it for you, don’t attempt to do it yourself as you will damage the piercing.
The biggest cause of people’s studs coming out is drying their face with a towel they rub their face dry and dislodge the stud, you must pat your nose dry as long as you are wearing a stud. Other reasons are scratching their nose in their sleep and pulling tight clothes over their head.
The piercing usually takes approximately 8-10 weeks to heal, you must follow these instructions carefully or you could have trouble getting it healed. If you have any problems you should come and see me or ring me immediately so I can help you. Small problems left untended become large problems.
DO clean the piercing every day in the shower, soak a cotton wool ball or tissue in Saline Solution (available at any chemist) or 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt or table salt dissolved in a 1/4 glass of warm water. Place the wet cotton wool ball or tissue on the piercing and soak for 3-4 minutes until any crusting is removed, be careful not to pull the stud out!
DO remove any crusting from the inside of the stud/ring by cleaning it with a cotton-wool bud soaked in salt water. Be gentle, don’t rub it roughly as you may cause the stud to come out. Any crusting must be removed from a ring before you turn it or you can damage and inflame the piercing.
DO dry the piercing afterwards carefully by “patting” not rubbing the piercing dry with a clean tissue, piece of paper towel or toilet paper. Don’t rub your face dry with a towel as they harbour bacteria and can pull the stud out.
DO use Lavender oil as it promotes healing and lubricates the wound reducing tenderness. Apply a small amount with a cotton-wool bud after cleaning then move the jewellery so it gets into the wound, if you have a ring rotate it gently. Remove any excess with a tissue as leaving it on can cause the skin to become irritated. It may be purchased at supermarkets (medicine section) or at chemists and must be marked (BP) or medicinal grade.
DO remove it at night so you don’t lose the stud, but not till it’s healed fully.
DO use B-vitamins with a Zinc supplement as this promotes healing.
DON’T pick at or pull at the scab as this can cause lumps to form, and cause infections.
DON’T remove the jewellery in the piercing till it’s healed, pulling it in and out can delay healing and cause infections and lumps.
DON’T replace the jewellery with a sleeper during the healing phase, as they have tiny hinges which tear the inside of the wound and cause inflammation and lumps. Silver sleepers are especially dangerous as they oxidise in the wound which causes “Argyria” a permanent black mark in your nose, they can also cause to allergic reactions.
DON’T remove the jewellery from the piercing for more than 1 day for the first 6 months, or it will close up.
DON’T get make-up, cleansers, sun tan lotions etc. directly on the piercing, when using hairspray cover the piercing with your hand.
DON’T use alcohol, Tea Tree Oil, metholated spirits, or betadine to clean the piercing as they are all harmful to the delicate tissues forming the scar, and can cause lumps to form.

© Cheyenne Morrison, One Tribe, Australia 98

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