Monday, August 23, 2010

Septum Piercing Dangers

By Chandramita Bora

Septum piercing falls in the category of nose piercing. Nose piercing in general, involves piercing of the skin, as well as the cartilage of any part of the nose. Out of all types of nose piercing, the most common and the popular one is nostril piercing, followed by septum piercing. In fact, septum piercing is rapidly gaining popularity in recent times. However, any kind of piercing involves certain risks or dangers, and so is the case with septum piercing as well. So, people considering to pierce their septum must be aware of the various septum piercing dangers, before making a concrete decision. In this article, we are going to have a brief look at septum piercing, and the risks associated with this piercing along with a few tips on nose piercing aftercare.

Septum Piercing: An Overview

The septum or nasal septum is the cartilaginous wall that divides the two nostrils. The cartilage is however, usually not pierced. It is the thin strip of very soft and flexible skin, just between the cartilage and the bottom of the nose, where septum piercing is mostly done. Piercing the skin instead of the cartilage can greatly minimize the pain, as well as other discomforts associated with this type of body piercing. Septum piercing can be done with piercing needles or guns. As far as jewelry is concerned, you can use captive bead rings, circular barbells, plugs, tusks, curls and septum retainer.

Dangers of Septum Piercing

All types of body piercings, including septum piercing, are associated with the risk of contracting certain blood borne diseases like hepatitis, from the needles and piercing guns used in the procedure. This type of septum piercing risk can be avoided by getting the piercing done by a reputed piercer, and making sure that the piercer uses only sterile single-use needles. The next common risk associated with almost all types of piercing is the risk of infection and pain. This can be minimized greatly, if piercing is done on the soft and flexible skin that lies between the cartilage and bottom of the nose. As far as infection risks are concerned, it can be managed with proper piercing aftercare.

Apart from these usual septum piercing dangers, this piercing can sometimes lead to 'septal hematoma'. As mentioned already, septum piercing usually involves the soft fleshy portion of the septum and not the cartilage. An injury to the soft tissue within the septum can disrupt the blood vessels to cause the accumulation of blood and fluid under the lining. Nasal septum hematoma can eventually cause nasal congestion, and interfere with breathing along with causing pain and inflammation. If not treated immediately, the condition can ultimately cause formation of a hole in the septum, leading to nasal congestion. Sometimes, that part of the nose may collapse, resulting in a cosmetic deformity, known as 'saddle nose'.

Septum Piercing Aftercare

Septum piercing takes a few weeks to heal completely. Septum piercing healing time is usually about 6 to 10 weeks, and during this period, a lot of care needs to be taken to lower the various septum piercing risks. The most important part of septum piercing aftercare is regular cleaning of the piercing and the area around it. You can clean the piercing twice daily with the help of an antibacterial soap. Use a cotton ball soaked in water to wet the piercing. Then take a few drops of antibacterial soap on your hand and work on a lather. Apply this to the piercing and gently rotate the jewelry, so that the soap can get into the piercing hole. Also try to loosen up and remove any crusting with the help of the cotton ball. Let the piercing soak for about 2 to 3 minutes, after which rinse off the soap with plain and clean water.

After cleaning, do not forget to dry the piercing with a clean tissue. Towels should be avoided for drying a fresh piercing, as they can not only harbor infectious agents like, bacteria, but can also pull the jewelry or irritate the piercing. Do not use table or Epsom salt, hydrogen peroxide, betadine, methylated spirit and Neosporin on the piercing. Along with proper cleaning, be sure to avoid touching the jewelry or the piercing site with unwashed hand. Also do not remove the jewelry until the piercing has healed completely and avoid irritating the piercing during this period. You can read more about nose piercing care instructions.

To sum up, a lot of care needs to be taken to avoid septum piercing dangers or risks. Therefore, before opting for septum piercing, it is better to do some preliminary research about this piercing, weigh its various pros and cons and finally have a discussion with an expert professional, in order to get a better understanding about piercing aftercare. A properly done piercing can significantly reduce the possible risks associated with the procedure. After the piercing, if you observe any signs of serious infection such as, increased swelling, pain, redness or unusual discharge, make sure to visit your physician as soon as possible. 

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