What Hurts More, Nostril Or Septum Piercing?

While most piercers can cause pain and some discomfort due to a needle being pushed through the skin, the pain level can largely depend on where the piercing is located and the individual’s pain tolerance. Are you thinking about getting your nostril or septum pierced but don’t know which one is more painful?

A nostril piercing is seen as more painful than a septum due to the presence of a “sweet spot in the septum,” which is known as the skin membrane from the cartilage of the nose. However, not everyone has the “sweet spot,” which means that a septum could become more painful depending on the person.

A nostril and a septum piercing look good on almost everybody, and it’s no wonder you’re thinking of getting one! Read on as we discuss which one between the two hurts more and what you can do during the piercing process to make it more bearable!

The Pain Level Of A Nostril Piercing

A nostril piercing is the most well-known style and the style many people think of when they hear the word “nose piercing.” A nostril piercing goes through the center of your nostril on the desired side and leaves you with a wide range of different types of jewelry to wear.

Like any piercing, you will feel mild pain with a nostril piercing. However, the pain will be minimal when done by a professional and experienced piercing.

Piercers will often compare the pain of getting a nostril piercing to the pain of getting your eyebrows waxed or after getting a shot. The pain can be described as a combination of pressure and sharpness.

Still, it is over fairly quickly. When a nostril piercing is done by a professional, the pain of the piercings is usually over less than one second after the piercing procedure.

During the first one to three days, you may feel some tenderness and mild soreness, but it’s typically so mild you won’t even notice it unless you bump or scratch your nose during your usual day-to-day activities.

The Pain Level Of A Septum Piercing

Sometimes referred to as a “bull ring,” a septum piercing punctures through the cartilage wall dividing the two of your nostrils.

Depending on the individual’s pain tolerance, septum piercings could be painful, and this becomes especially true if the septum deviates. It usually feels like an intense sting, prick, or pinch.

However, you can calm your nerves slightly because usually, a septum piercing’s pain level is little to none. This is thanks to a part in the septum referred to as the “sweet spot,” which is found in a membrane of skin going up from the cartilage of your nose.

This is where a piercer will stick the needle through for a septum piercing. If you have this “sweet spot,” your septum will heal much faster, and it would be far less painful than piercing through cartilage.

However, you may want to sit down for this one: Not everybody has this sweet spot. For those that are really determined to get a septum piercing with a deviated septum, also known as a crooked septum, it would change the entire outcome of your piercing experience.

A deviated septum will not only have a significant influence on the time it will take to heal, but it will also increase how painful the piercing procedure is.

As a result, this means that not everyone is technically the perfect candidate for a septum piercing, but this would only be the case if a septum is extremely deviated.

Your piercer will be able to notice and will likely either warn you or turn you away. However, a deviated septum will usually only change the angle of the septum slightly, and it would be much more painful, but it will still come out looking as good as ever.

As for the rest of you, you can rest assured that your septum piercing will be a walk in the park!

Why Does A Nostril Piercing Hurt More Than A Septum?

You may now wonder why a nostril piercing will hurt more than a septum. Well, in simple terms, your nervous system works to protect you, and this is why you will have much more nerve endings on the outside of your body than on the inside.

This is especially the case with the inside of your nose, which is packed with nerves. However, there are not many nerve endings in the specific part where piercers will pierce you for your septum.

This is not the case with your nostrils. A nostril piercing will hurt up to ten times more than a septum piercing, and on a scale of one to ten, most people only rate the pain of a septum piercing at a two or a three.

Easing The Pain During A Nostril Or Septum Piercing

It doesn’t matter how hard you tell yourself that pain is for the weak before getting your nostrils or septum pierced. It will hurt! However, there are a few simple things you can practice to make sure your experience is as tolerable as it can be.

Many piercers will advise you not to show up on an empty stomach and not drink too many caffeinated drinks before your appointment.

They will also strongly advise you not to drink alcohol before getting pierced, and they have the right to refuse to pierce you.

The best advice would be to relax your body and carefully listen to what your piercer instructs you to do.

If you’re wondering if a numbing agent may save the day, many piercers recommend not using any numbing sprays, ointment, or gels, as they are not as effective as you think.

The risk of an allergic reaction also increases when numbing agents are used, and to many professional piercers, they are simply not worth it.


Deciding to get your nostril or septum piercing is not as big a decision as you may think. The best piece of advice for you would be to simply go for it, enjoy it, and follow your cleaning routine provided by your piercer as well as you can.

Relax, take a deep breath, and remember: Pain is beauty, and beauty is pain!

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


Similar Posts