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I want to get pierced - how much will it hurt?

Q:

My mom might take me to get my nostril pierced and I want to know; will it hurt badly and will I still be able to blow my nose? Thanks!

A:

I can speak from experience on this one as I have had both my nostril and my septum (the middle of the nose) pierced.

The answer to "can I blow my nose" is "yes" - after the initial healing period you should have no problems blowing your nose.

As to how much it will hurt, I can tell you that getting your ears pierced hurt more (I've done that too). Piercing the ears is usually done with a gun which forces the dull point ear ring through the ear. Nose piercing is done with a special needle that is very sharp. Since this needle is sharp it actually hurts less than forcing something dull through to make the hole. This is not to say that it won't hurt at all - it will - but it is one of those things that appears to be more painful than it really is. The bottom line: it will hurt more than a bee sting but less than getting your ears pierced.

Some essential piercing tips:
  • Go to a reputable place that specializes in body piercing, stay away from those accessories stores in the mall that also do some piercing - the more experience the person doing the piercing has the less it will hurt.

  • Check with your local health department for the names of any piercing parlors that have been cited for health violations in the past 6 months and stay away from those places. Consider asking for the names of the places which always pass - these are your best bets.

  • Be sure that the person doing the piercing takes a new needle out of a sealed package - a reputable place will show you the sealed needle (which should be surgical grade) before hand. Shy away from places that clean their needles in an autoclave. It is OK if the piercing instrument is cleaned this way, but the needle should be brand new out of the package.

  • Be sure that they clean the area to be pierced with hospital grade alcohol and/or iodine (which is brownish yellow in color and looks a bit like blood) and that the ring is also cleaned with one of these medical grade disinfectants.
It is great that your Mom will be there to make sure that everything is being done right - Mom's have a very reliable six sense when it comes to the health and safety of their children. Squeezing Mom's hand during the piercing could help with the pain and having the moral support of your parents is always cool.

Good luck!

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