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How to Relieve Septum Piercing Pain Quickly

How to Relieve Septum Piercing Pain Quickly – 5 Expert Tips

Getting your septum pierced can be thrilling but ouch, the pain afterward is no fun! If your new nose piercing is becoming irritated or infected, there are thankfully some easy ways to help your septum heal up fast and reduce the pain you’re feeling.

In this beginner’s guide, you’ll learn 5 expert tips on how to relieve septum piercing pain so you can get back to enjoying your edgy new look. We’ll also touch briefly on what does a septum piercing mean sexually.

What exactly is a septum piercing? In short, it’s when you get your “sweet spot” – the thin strip of cartilage between your nostrils – pierced for decorative jewelry like hoops and barbells. It looks awesome but boy, the upkeep while healing is vital!

If you start developing symptoms like swelling, redness, bleeding or pus, you could have an infection. Or if it just plain hurts, is embedded, feels tight or hot, you may be facing regular irritation bumps. Let’s explore 5 proven methods for how to relieve septum piercing pain before it gets worse!

The aftercare game is strong with septum piercings. By cleaning the piercing hole properly, taking anti-inflammatories, using warm salt water compresses and finding the right jewelry fit, you’ll be oozing punk confidence in no time with a healed septum piercing. We’ll also get into the meaning behind septum piercings and what the different ring sides could suggest sexually about the wearer.

So get ready to say bye-bye to the pain and discomfort! In a few weeks, you’ll have a badass septum piercing and can play around with cute jewelry. But first, let’s get through the crusty healing phase together…

Tip 1 – Proper Cleaning is Key for Healing

When healing a new septum piercing, keeping the area squeaky clean is vital for avoiding infection and speeding up healing so you can get relief from pain faster. Be prepared to clean the piercing up to 3 times per day, especially in the first month!

What Happens If You Don’t Clean the Area?

If you don’t regularly wash the septum area, dead skin and crusties will build up around the piercing hole and jewelry, blocking oxygen from helping it heal. Bacteria also grows, raising infection risks. An infected, unclean piercing leads to swelling, nasty discharge, bleeding and tenderness around the site i.e. ouch!

By learning how to clean your septum piercing correctly, you lower risks of complications and know how to relieve septum piercing pain through proper aftercare. The goal is keeping it fresh and debris-free while it heals quickly.

Supplies You’ll Need

Before starting, you need a few supplies:

  • Sterile saline solution – either pre-made wound wash or a salt mixture
  • Small cup or shot glass
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paper towels
  • Warm water

We’ll explore how to use these ingredients to keep your whole piercing area sparkling.

How to Make Saline Solution at Home Pre-made saline spray or wound wash is found at any pharmacy and great for convenience. But if you want to save money, make your own salt solution at home instead!

Here’s how:

  1. Boil clean tap water in a pot or kettle then let it cool slightly
  2. Add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of plain sea salt or non-iodized table salt and stir until dissolved
  3. Pour the mixture into a clean cup or shot glass and cover
  4. Keep leftover solution in the fridge but remix a fresh batch daily

Use this saline solution to directly soak your piercing the same as you would a pre-made spray. The main drawback is needing to make it everyday rather than a premixed bottle lasting for months.

Cleaning Your Septum Piercing

To clean the piercing:

  1. Cup some warm water in your hands then blow bubbles for 30 seconds to loosen crusties
  2. Soak a cotton pad in the saline solution then press it against both sides of the sweet spot for 5 minutes
  3. Alternatively spray premixed wound wash directly into each nostril twice soaking for a minute before wiping
  4. Gently wipe discharge away with swabs or paper towels
  5. Rinse by doing another saline soak or warm water bubbles blow
  6. Dry the area thoroughly with a paper towel by patting gently

Ideally clean your piercing immediately in the morning and before bed so debris doesn’t build up in your sleep. An extra midday cleaning session ensures maximum freshness too!

Getting Rid of Crusties

Don’t be tempted to pick off any hard discharge or “crusties” around the piercing site. This can disturb the fragile healing fistula and introduce bacteria into the wound.

Instead, soak crusties to soften them before rinsing away. If any remain stubborn, leave them alone and let them naturally slough off when washing or rinsing your face. Picking crusties can lead to scarring or bumps which ultimately extend the healing timeframe.

How Long Does a septum piercing Take to Heal?

With consistent cleaning, your septum piercing should stop being painfully tender within the first week. But full healing takes up to 6-8 weeks as the fistula finishes closing up.

Be diligent about proper aftercare during the first month so you can relieve septum piercing pain sooner and avoid messy complications. Proper cleaning really is key!

Tip 2 – Feel Better With Heat

When your new septum piercing is angry, swollen or sore, one of the best tricks is using targeted warmth to make it chill out and heal faster. Heat works absolute wonders to relax the ouch away!

What Does Heat Therapy Do?

It brings more blood flow to the pierced spot so extra disease fighters and cell builders can repair damaged skin and cartilage better. More blood circulation also removes waste like bacteria and germs so there’s less risk of pesky infections.

The magic combo of saline salt and gentle temperature together reduces swelling big time too. And we all know less pressure and swelling equals less pain! It basically tricks your body into focusing extra resources on fixing just that one spot quicker.

DIY Salt Soak Sitz Bath

This is a small scale version of sitting in a warm bath but zeroing in on just your nose. By directly soaking the piercing in heated salt water, you get a double whammy of warmth and antimicrobial mineral relaxation!


  • Shot glass
  • Cotton rounds
  • Small cup of warm sea salt water (1 cup water with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt mixed in)


  1. Heat up your salt water cup for 20 seconds until nice and warm
  2. Dip a cotton round in the mixture and squeeze out excess liquid
  3. Press soaked cotton firmly onto the septum piercing for 5-10 minutes
  4. Relax! The heat and minerals should start soothing pain after a few minutes
  5. Reheat salt water and redo compress if needed for more relief

This direct soak method ensures the piercing site absorbs all the benefits right where it’s needed most.

Warm Wet Washcloth

If homemade salt water feels like too much effort, a simple heated washcloth works wonders too. The heat pulls blood to the area while the moisture prevents irritation or sticking scabs.

What You Need:

  • Clean small washcloth
  • Warm water
  • Running faucet


  1. Hold washcloth under very warm sink water for a minute
  2. Wring out tightly so it’s damp but not dripping
  3. Let it cool briefly so it’s still nice and warm but not burning hot
  4. Carefully lay the warm wet cloth over your septum piercing for up to 10 minutes
  5. Reheat in 30 second bursts by placing back under tap if it loses temperature

The indirect ambient warmth and steam will relax the entire nose area for general relief while that sucker heals up.

How Long Should I Apply Heat?

Aim for 5-10 minutes of direct compression or ambient heating up to 3 times per day. Especially focus on heat sessions within the first month when swelling is worst.

The warmth signals tissue repair assistance without overworking the area. Too much heat can cause irritation so listen to your body. But used properly, it’s some sweet relief!

Stay patient as heat therapy works its magic to heal and reduce septum piercing pain fast. Then you can get back to happily flaunting your stylish new pierce!

Tip 3 – Pop a Pain Pill

Alongside heat and cleaning, over-the-counter meds are clutch for numbing septum piercing discomfort fast. They reduce inflammation causing all that nasty swelling and pressure. Less swelling equals less ouch!

What’s the Deal With Swelling?

It’s the body’s natural response to trauma aka getting your sweet spot stabbed. Fluid and blood rushes to the wounded cartilage bringing helper cells and antibodies. But too much causes pressure, tension and blood backup.

Swelling makes the new piercing feel tight, hot and constantly ache. So by decreasing the swelling response itself, anti-inflammatory meds provide direct relief by lessening the source.

Oral Medication Options

For optimal relief without needing prescriptions, the two main options are NSAID pills:

Ibuprofen (Advil)

Dosage: Take 200-800mg orally every 4-6 hours as needed

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Dosage: Take 325-1000mg orally every 4-6 hours as needed

These common over the counter drugs ease swelling and numb discomfort so you can function despite new bling pain. Ibuprofen tends to work better for piercing inflammation. But if stomach sensitive, acetaminophen is gentler.

How Do Anti-Inflammatories Help Heal Faster?

Along with directly numbing, NSAIDs help speed up the healing timeline so you deal with less overall swelling and pain duration.

The meds block certain pain signaling pathways that trigger inflammation. They also encourage more collagen formation needed to mend the piercing channel faster. More collagen equals quicker recovery!

So by interfering with future swelling signals plus providing building materials to mend skin faster, oral medication is vital for pain free piercing care.

Topical Relief Methods

If wanting to avoid pills, topical anti-inflammatory creams work too but slower. Look for hydrocortisone and lidocaine formulas targeting wounds, bites or rashes.

Apply a small dab directly onto the septum piercing 1-2x daily after cleaning for numbness between nose and jewelry. It won’t fully replace oral meds but offers a minimally invasive swelling reduction option.

Things to Avoid

Stay away from blood thinners and aspirin which prolong bleeding and fluid buildup. Also dodge topical antibiotics that breed resistant bacteria if overused.

And numbing sprays and gels should never replace cleaning as they just mask infection brewing under the skin.

With pill or cream anti-inflammatories plus sea salt soaks, the discomfort and swelling can finally chill out so you heal up! Then it’s just a matter of staying patient as meds work their magic to relieve septum piercing pain fast.

Tip 4 – Bling That Doesn’t Sting

Beyond aftercare, improperly fitted jewelry causes major septum piercing pain and complications. But finding the right shape, size, and material can prevent a boatload of problems. Time to go jewelry shopping right!

Barbells Over Hoops

Though circular horseshoe barbells look badass in photos, they aren’t ideal for new piercings. The constant shape means nonstop pressure in the same spot all day.

Regular barbells with ball ends allow far better healing airflow and distribution of pressure. Once healed, feel free to experiment with horseshoes. But stick to plain bars while mending for minimal irritation.

Get The Right Gauge

Septum piercings are generally done at a 14g-16g, the higher number indicating a thinner diameter jewelry shaft. If the 14g starter jewelry feels too snug, size up to 16g for a more comfortable fit.

A reputable piercer should have sized you appropriately from the start. But if swelling persists past the first week with a tight feeling barbell, changing the gauge can offer big relief.

Material Matters

Quality jewelry shouldn’t contain nickel or sterling silver which commonly causes allergic reactions. The best metals for sensitivity are implant-grade titanium, 14k gold or niobium.

Plastic should never go inside unhealed piercings as it harbors more bacteria. But once mended, swapping in cute plastic barbells likely won’t cause issues beyond possible odor.

Length Issues

Excessively long starter bars help offset initial swelling but become cumbersome. If the excess length allows too much irritation room or feels constantly bothersome, downsize the jewelry once past the worst swelling around 4 weeks.

Too short bars place pressure on the new piercing hole before it toughens up while healing. But overly long bars increase movement risks. Find the Goldilocks sweet spot through trial and error.

When To Seek Help

If swelling is severe with pressure and embedding into the nostril despite 8+ weeks of diligent aftercare, it may require professional help. See your piercer or doctor for a longer barbell to relieve the tension.

Leaving excess swelling and painful embed long term can cause permanent scarring and trauma called a “collar of death”. So nip it ASAP!

With properly measured bars, nose bones and cartilage eventually adjust without discomfort. Then it’s just a waiting game as quality jewelry does its job to help new piercings mend beautifully.

Tip 5 – Let It Heal Already!

The final pain relief tip is embracing hands-off healing known as LITHA: “leave it the hell alone!” Beyond basic care, excess touching delays mending and keeps that sucker tender.

What is LITHA Healing?

LITHA stands for “leave it the hell alone” and simply means resisting the urge to fiddle with or overclean new piercings. Allow nature to work her magic without interference!

This technique speeds up recovery by minimizing irritation and bacteria exposure from too much handling. The less trauma, the faster tissue repairs itself with minimal swelling.

Why Avoid Touching It?

Those fun new nose rings sure are tempting to play around with huh? But every poke and prod introduces more germs and agitates the wound channel delaying closure. Even gentle movements tear microscopically so best just don’t touch!

Remind partners and friends that admiring your edgy look is reserved for eyes only at this stage! No pokes or playful flicks until it toughens up without pain after a few months.

Washing Rules

Forget laborious sea salt soaks – simply let water cascade over or around the septum piercing hole while bathing or showering. When drying off afterwards gently pat, don’t scrub crusties.

Meticulous cleaning is crucial at first. But by week 3, standard face/body washing and occasional targeted dries is sufficient until healed around 2 months.

Sleep Positions

Try your best not to sleep directly on the piercing itself, especially in fresh stages. Travel pillows with cutout face holes take pressure off if a side sleeper. Or place a soft bandaid over the septum tip for cushioning.

The less smushing and friction overnight minimizes embedded risks and irritation bumps. Wake up ready to start another day of hands-off LITHA healing!

When Can I Play With It?

Once past the first month with minimal swelling or tenderness, start slowly testing jewelry spins and up-down movements yourself. See how it feels but stop immediately if painful pinching resumes. Maybe try again in another week or two.

By 6-8 weeks, a healed septum should rotate freely while being “played with” and cleaned normally without discomfort. Just don’t go tossing and flipping it repetitively all day quite yet. Baby steps!

Let LITHA Do Its Thing

Give the puncture site ample time and space to regenerate tissue and close up without interference. Avoid premature pokes before a seasoned septum forms to relieve residual pain.

Then after a couple months begin gently enjoying your new bling once the sensitivity fades. But hands off completely at first is best!

How to Relieve Septum Piercing Pain – The Nose Knows Best

Getting your septum pierced is thrilling but dang, that post-puncture pain is nasty! Thankfully with some diligent TLC, you can relieve irritation fast and get back to grinning proudly about your edgy new look.

In review, here’s what we’ve learned helps a septum heal beautifully with minimal pain and fuss:

Proper saline solution cleaning 2-3x daily removes gunk allowing oxygen flow to heal the wound bed faster. Those pesky crusties and bacteria don’t stand a chance! Warm salt water compresses reduce swelling and increase blood circulation so less pressure and ouch.

Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen help numb while decreasing the body’s inflammatory response altogether. Topical hydrocortisone cream eases surface level irritation too.

Find the right balance of snug yet movable septum jewelry. Implant-grade metals like titanium prevent reaction within the extended healing period.

And finally, put those fidgety hands away with LITHA no-touch healing for at least a month! Let your body focus energy on mending skin tissue rather than battling constant interference and germ introduction.

Before you know it, the sensitivity becomes a distant memory and you’re left with the perfect hassle-free septum piercing. Then it’s your choice whether to decorate it with badass spikes or cutesy shapes. And whether you want any secret sexual symbolism behind toggle direction, but that’s your call!

Have patience using these tips and the discomfort melts away so you can enjoy this epic piercing sooner. Take good care of that nose!

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