Septum Piercing

double septum piercings

Septum piercings, as well as other nose piercings, are extremely popular as facial piercings go. Many people today sport rings in their nostrils, but some are choosing other variations, such as piercing the septum, or bridge of the nose.

What is a Septum Piercing?

The septum is a very important part of the anatomy of a human nose. This portion of the nose is composed of three distinct parts, two of which are made of bone and a third which is comprised of cartilage. The word septum derives its name from Latin, and means "something that encloses", or a partition. The septum in the nose separates the two nasal cavities into nostrils.

When talking about a septum piercing, people are generally speaking of piercing the small gap of skin that comes just before the cartilage area. There are some who do get the actual cartilage pierced, but this is not recommended or common.

septum piercing

History of Piercing the Septum

Contrary to what many people believe, septum piercing is nothing new. It was practiced by many Native American tribes throughout history, including the Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa and Shawnee tribes. These types of piercings were usually found on the leaders of the tribe.Additionally, septum type piercings have been found historically on animals, especially bulls, as a way of marking different animals for farm reasons.

Getting Pierced: Septum

There are several different types of jewelry that can be worn in a piercing through the septum.

  • A standard CBR (captive bead ring) is an obvious choice, but it does tend to look more like a bull's ring and cannot be hidden.
  • A circular barbell is another popular choice, and this also has the advantage of being able to be flipped up into the nostril in order to hide the piercing.
  • A tusk, or straight barbell, may also be worn through the septum. This is not very common, although it does emulate some tribal customs.
  • Finally, a septum retainer can be worn for those times when the piercing cannot be seen at all. This type of jewelry is shaped like a staple and has short ends, allowing it to be flipped up into the nostril more easily than a circular barbell.


The septum area of the nose is filled with many nerve endings, so the initial pain of this piercing can be quite intense. After the jewelry is placed, however, the septum tends to heal easily and painlessly, if it is kept clean. Try not to irritate the piercing with excess tugging, fiddling or nose blowing. Most people find that their septum piercings heal within six weeks to three months.

Different types of septum jewelry.

Larger Septum Jewelry

This piercing can also be performed with larger gauges, or stretched up to a larger gauge with the use of tapers. Larger and heavier jewelry will take longer to heal, as well as be more painful - it is advisable to think about whether you want to have a large gauge hole in your septum before getting this done.As with any mucus membrane (nose or lip), septum holes will close quickly without jewelry in them, so make sure not to leave out your septum ring for long periods of time.

Septum Piercing