Does it Hurt to get Your Nose Pierced (+ Other Common Nose Piercing Questions!)

I wanted to get my nose pierced for at least two years before I actually did it. I finally bit the bullet and got it done on a whim back in July. And I’ll tell you one thing, it was nothing like I expected.

Today I’m going to break down the whole nose piercing process: what to do before, during and after.

Does it Hurt to Get Your Nose Pierced? and other commonly asked questions about getting your nose pierced | College with Caitlyn

I wanted to write this because every time I would Google something about the topic, I had to go to multiple different sites to answer my questions. So I’m going to compile all of my nose piercing knowledge here for a one-stop-shop for you!

Where should I get it done?

Not Claire’s. Not that I think they even do nose piercings, but I just have bad memories getting my ears re-pierced there years ago.

Anyways, I got my nose pierced at a tattoo shop. It was hard for me to find a shop that just did piercings. However, most tattoo shops do piercings. Ask your friends with tattoos/piercings where they got their’s done and hit up Yelp.

The day I decided to get mine done I was literally in an Uber on my way downtown to meet a friend so I opened Yelp and searched tattoo parlors. People always post pictures there, so you can tell if it’s a super sketchy place beforehand. (Please don’t go to a super sketchy place.)

If you’re not as spontaneous as me, I would recommend calling a few places beforehand. That way you can price-check and get the best deal.

stud nose piercing

Which side should I get pierced?

I surprisingly didn’t spend too much time thinking about this question.

Someone once told me to get it done on the side I part my hair and that just stuck with me. Since I part my hair on the left, I got my left nostril pierced.

You can also decide the side by which side shows in pictures more. If you want to show it off, get it pierced on the side you face towards the camera more when you take a selfie. If you want it to be more discreet, then get it on the other side.

If you want, you can also get one of those stick-on gems and wear it on your nose to see which side looks more natural. I always thought about doing this, just never got around to actually trying it out.

How much does it cost?

Nose piercings are nowhere near as expensive at tattoos (#bless), but some places can get pretty pricey. The place I had originally planned to get mine done charged $75. I only paid $40 total at the place I got it done. That included the piercing with free jewelry (I got the free stud since I planned to change it to a hoop) and the tip.

For a ballpark range, I’d say anywhere between $35 to $80. It never hurts to ask for student discount, too!

Can I start with a hoop?

I’ve always wanted a hoop nose ring. But I got it pierced with a stud because it heals better that way. With a hoop, your hole would heal curved, and I’ve heard that causes more infections. My piercer also recommended I start with a stud even though I wanted a hoop.

If you do plan on switching yours out for a hoop after it heals let your piercer know! That way they move the hole further up your nose. This is important if you don’t want the hoop sticking off your nose, but rather a nice snug fit.

But to answer the question, yes you could start with a hoop. It’s just not recommended.

hoop nose piercing

How long will it take my nose piercing heal?

Honestly, I don’t have an answer to this question. My piercer said four to six weeks, but the guy who changed mine into a hoop said at least six months. I stop experiencing pain in about a week, and no issues with pressing on it or such after about two months. Which is why I made the guy do it even though it hadn’t been six months yet.

But after getting it changed it started to be tender again. So we’ll see how long that lasts this time.


I took the hoop out two days later because it hurt so badly. I’m going to wait for a couple more months before trying to get it in again.


I put the hoop in myself after three months more of healing. I also put it in wrong and my nose piercing grew back and I had to get it repierced. Always go get your jewelry changed by a pro if you’re unsure or it hurts for you to do it!

Okay, but does it actually hurt?

Heck yeah! Honestly, I don’t know why people ask this. You’re sticking a freaking needle through a piece of cartilage right where a nerve is. Of course, it hurts!

How much does it hurt? Well, I didn’t scream. I did, however, get the fattest tear to roll down my cheek. On a scale from 1 to 10, I’d say it was like a 9.4. Yes, it hurt more than getting a bikini wax.

You’ll also feel a dull pain for the next couple after you get the piercing. Over the next few days, my nose was a little sensitive to the touch, but it wasn’t excruciating or anything really worrying about.

How do I clean my nose piercing?

You can clean your fresh nose piercing with a cotton swab and salt water. But I found this left dried salt on my nose and took too long to make, so I used contact solution per recommendation from my piercer. I just carried around a little travel size bottle I had and a travel case of q-tips.

I dropped some solution on one end and used that to clean the outside, making sure to lift and move the piercing around during this process. Then I used the other side to clean the piercing inside my nose.

I’m not exactly sure how often you’re supposed to clean it, but I opted for every few hours the first few days. Then I lowered it to twice a day the next few days and then I stopped. Honestly, I have no idea if you’re supposed to stop cleaning it completely. Probably not, but I don’t have an infection so I don’t see the point of cleaning it religiously months after getting it done.

can you swim after a nose piercing college with caitlyn

Swimming after getting your nose pierced

After you get any piercing, you’re supposed to avoid lake, ocean, and pools. Basically ruining summer fun. Getting the “dirty” water in your newly opened wound could cause infection. The key word being could.

My friend got her cartilage pierced a couple summers ago. We went to the lake shortly after and soon her ear was infected and she ended up taking it out. However, I literally went to a lake house for three days less than 24 hours after getting my nose pierced and I had no issues.

I did put a band-aid over the piercing before getting in the water and always cleaned it right after getting out though. So either that’s the trick or I’m just extremely lucky.

What happens when I get a cold?

It’s honestly not too bad. There is a pro and a con of having your nose pierced while having a stuffy nose.

Pro: Sometimes the snot gets lodged behind your piercing. This is great because then it doesn’t drip down your face without your permission.

Con: When your snot dries it got stuck to your piercing. And sometimes it gets stuck to both your piercing and your nostril and when you try to get it off or readjust your piercing it hurts.

And no, it doesn’t hurt to sneeze. I was scared to sneeze after I got mine, but I honestly have never felt pain while sneezing.

If you have any more questions about nose piercings feel free to ask! I know I had a ton before I got mine done.

Would you ever pierce your nose?

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