How Long Does It Take For A Septum Piercing To Close?


Septum piercing has quickly gained popularity because of its edgy yet quirky look. But the biggest concern of people who have this piercing or are thinking about getting it is: do septum piercings close up? And if they do, how long does it take? This unique piercing is done on the sweet spot inside the nose, between the cartilage and the bone, that separates the two nostrils. Therefore, there are moderate chances of it closing up unexpectedly. Keep reading to find out how long it takes for this type of piercing to close and get insights on the various factors that are responsible for it. Let us dive in to learn more.

Do Septum Piercings Close?

Like other facial piercings, septum piercings can close up if you do not let them heal properly. These piercings take about 4-6 months to heal completely, and you should wait at least a year before changing or removing the metal ring. If you remove it a few weeks or months after getting the piercing, it is bound to close up abruptly. If the piercing hole is left empty during the natural healing process, your body starts rebuilding the skin at the site of the perforation, just as it would in case of any other wound. Even if you take out the septum ring after the healing process, the chances are that the hole will shrink in size.

Mellow DeTray, a blogger, shared her failed experience with septum piercing. In her blog, she wrote, “The piercer gave me a photocopy of instructions for care, and told me I could switch out the jewelry in 4 weeks. The paper said 4-8 weeks, so I conservatively waited 5 weeks to switch from the rather large ring he used to a smaller one that I felt fitted my face more. I couldn’t get it in. Even though the new jewelry was smaller, and I had waited even longer than he had told me, my piercing was effectively gone. I cried. I went into the shop later that day; the same piercer was working. He couldn’t get it in either, and assured me that it was my fault (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip

Avoid cleaning a septum piercing with soap as it dries out the skin, which may plug the piercing.

Septum piercing closure depends on when you first take out the ring after the procedure, and it may vary from person to person. Let us take a closer look at it in the following section.

How Long Does It Take For A Septum Piercing To Close?

While septum piercings may close up if you take out the jewelry early in the process, you do not need to worry about the piercing closing right away. However, removing the ring immediately after getting the piercing may result in it closing up within a few minutes. The septum piercing will close up overnight if left without jewelry. It passes through a mucus membrane which tends to shut the hole relatively quicker than a regular body piercing. This is because the membrane has a faster rate of tissue regeneration and decreased inflammatory response compared to skin wounds (1).

The length of time it takes for a piercing to close depends on several factors. Some of them are discussed in the following section.

Factors Affecting Septum Piercing Closure

Several factors influence the duration of healing and closing process of your piercing. Let us discuss them below.

1. Time

The closure of a piercing is directly proportional to how long you have had the piercing. A fresh piercing will close up quickly compared to an old piercing that is in place for years.

2. Body’s Response

How fast a septum piercing closes depends on the body’s response to wound healing. Every individual reacts differently. Some people heal faster than others. Hence, the perforation may close up more quickly in some individuals. Anecdotal evidence suggests septum piercing may close up faster in healthy individuals as opposed to those with a weaker immune system or underlying medical conditions.

3. Age

Age influences the healing process in an individual. Young people have a better defense against infections (2). Hence, they are likely to recuperate faster from any wound, including piercings.

4. Lifestyle Choices

The lifestyle of a person largely plays an important role in it too. A healthy diet can improve healing (3). On the other hand, smoking and nicotine consumption reduce blood flow to the piercing site, which may slow down the healing process (4).

5. Thickness Of Jewelry

The size of your septum jewelry also plays an important role in the odds of the piercing closing up. A stretched septum piercing or a thicker ring creates a larger wound, which takes a longer period of time to heal and close.

While many factors influence the closure of the septum, following certain preventive measures can help you keep it open. The next section sheds light on some of them.

How To Prevent A Septum Piercing From Closing

If you do not want your nose piercing to close up prematurely, perform the following steps.

  • Clean your piercing regularly with a cotton ball and saline solution for faster healing (5).
  • Avoid unnecessary touching and clean your hands with water and antibacterial soap before touching the area to keep the piercing healthy (5).
  • Refrain from fiddling with your ring and try to avoid snagging it in your clothes. This will increase the overall healing time and the chances of the piercing getting rejected by the body.
  • Wear hypoallergenic jewelry materials such as titanium, stainless steel, or niobium to prevent allergic reactions.
  • If you plan to go jewelry-free for a while, try tapering (increasing the size of the piercing using large pins) or keep wearing the ring at regular intervals to keep the hole open.
  • Wear a curved retainer to prevent the hole from closing.
protip_icon Quick Tip

If you do not want your septum ring to hang down, turn the ends of the circular barbell on the inside of your nose to keep them out of view.

If your piercing has closed on you even after following the preventive measures, the next subhead will guide you into the next step you need to take.

What To Do If A Septum Piercing Closes?

If your septum piercing has closed, you need to contact your piercer. It might be that your hole has started to shrink. However, do not try to force jewelry through the hole by yourself as this can damage your skin and infect the piercing. Visit your piercer to see what they can do. If your piercing was mostly healed, they may be able to stretch it gently with their tools, and you may not need to get re-pierced.

You might need to re-open the septum piercing in case it closes. In the following section, we share how that process works to put you at ease.

How To Re-Open A Septum Piercing If It Closes

At times, a piercing may appear to have closed from the outside but the hole may still be there. In such a case, a piercer uses a taper (pins to stretch the piercing to a larger size) to re-open the closed septum piercing. However, re-opening may cause the development of scar tissue in the form of a lump or bump. It may also increase the possibility of infection or complications. Always approach professional piercers for this and do not attempt the re-opening yourself.

If re-opening closed piercing is no longer possible in your case, you may need to get your septum re-pierced. The thought of re-piercing may be scary but below we have shared things you need to know before getting re-pierced.

Is It Possible To Re-Pierce A Septum Piercing?

If your septum piercing has closed up, you might need to re-pierce the area again. Consult a reputable piercer to assess the situation. They will tell you when the site will be ready for the piercing procedure again. You need to give the initial piercing time to heal completely before getting it re-pierced, which might take approximately 4 to 6 months.

When your piercer gives you the go-ahead, prepare yourself for the re-piercing. The scar tissue at the site will be thicker than the regular skin and might hurt more compared to the first time. The healing period may be the same but you need to exercise extra care of septum piercings during this period. However, if you decide to not get re-pierced, you can adorn faux septum piercing jewelry, like clip-on septum rings. They sit on your skin and give the same look as the real piercings.

A septum piercing makes for a great style statement, but it can close up if you do not take proper care of it. Although it takes 4-6 months to heal, septum piercing jewelry should be removed only after a year. Removing the piercing ring early in the healing process may cause the hole to shrink in size or close up quickly. In addition, your body’s response to wound healing, your age, lifestyle, and habits, and the size gauge of the jewelry also influence the closure of the piercing. With proper aftercare practices, you can prevent them from closing up on you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if my septum piercing is closing?

If you are wondering if your piercing is closing on you, check for any physical changes at the hole. If you feel it has shrunk in size or a thick skin or bump has started to grow over the opening, your nose piercing may be closing. Also, notice if you feel mild pain while wearing the jewelry.

Is it normal for a septum piercing to close during illness or infection?

Your septum piercing does not get affected when you fall sick. They are more resilient than you may think. However, if you have caught a cold, be gentle when blowing your nose and use a clean and soft tissue. In addition, keep the piercing dry and your nose clean.

Key Takeaways

  • The mucus membrane in the nasal septum quickens the process of piercing closure when no septum jewelry is present.
  • If the piercing shrinks, the piercer may use the tapering technique to re-open it.
  • For re-piercing, the wound needs to heal completely from the outside and inside.

If you let your septum piercing heal completely and take proper care of it, you can prevent it from closing up. The video below discusses how to clean your septum piercing. Click play to know more.

Personal Experience: Source

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