What Size Needle For Nose Piercing? A Detailed Guide

Getting your nose pierced is an exciting experience! But before heading to the piercing studio, it’s important to understand what size needle is best for a nose piercing. The needle gauge and length can impact healing time, pain levels, and risk of complications.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: most piercers recommend using a 14 or 16 gauge hollow piercing needle that is 1/4 inch (6 millimeters) in length for nose piercings.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss optimal needle sizing in depth including gauge, length, and material. We’ll also overview the nose piercing procedure, pain and aftercare. Let’s get started!

Needle Gauge for Nose Piercings

When it comes to nose piercings, one of the most important factors to consider is the size of the needle. The needle gauge refers to the thickness of the needle that will be used for the piercing. Different needle gauges are suitable for different types of nose piercings, and it’s essential to choose the right gauge to ensure a safe and comfortable piercing experience.

In this guide, we will discuss the most common needle gauges for nose piercings and their purposes.

14 Gauge

A 14 gauge needle is one of the most commonly used sizes for nose piercings. It is a slightly thicker needle that provides a sturdy base for larger jewelry options such as nose rings or studs. This gauge is often recommended for individuals who want to make a bold statement with their nose piercing.

However, it’s important to note that a 14 gauge needle may cause more discomfort during the piercing process, as it creates a larger hole in the nose. Additionally, the healing time for a 14 gauge piercing may be longer compared to smaller gauge piercings.

16 Gauge

A 16 gauge needle is a popular choice for nose piercings due to its versatility and relatively less discomfort compared to a 14 gauge needle. It creates a smaller hole in the nose, making it suitable for individuals who prefer a more delicate look or who have a smaller nose.

The healing time for a 16 gauge piercing is generally faster than a 14 gauge piercing. It’s worth noting that many jewelry options are available in 16 gauge, allowing for a wide range of styles and designs to choose from.

18 Gauge

An 18 gauge needle is the smallest size commonly used for nose piercings. It is ideal for individuals who prefer a subtle and dainty look or who have a very small nose. The smaller hole created by an 18 gauge needle may result in a quicker healing time compared to larger gauge piercings.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that jewelry options for 18 gauge piercings may be more limited compared to larger gauges.

It’s crucial to consult with a professional piercer who can assess your nose anatomy and recommend the appropriate needle gauge for your specific needs and preferences. Remember, everyone’s nose is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Safety and comfort should always be prioritized when choosing the size of the needle for your nose piercing.

Needle Length for Nose Piercings

1/4 Inch (6mm)

When it comes to nose piercings, one of the common needle lengths used is 1/4 inch or 6mm. This length is typically used for standard nostril piercings. The 1/4 inch needle is a popular choice because it provides enough length to safely pierce through the nostril without causing excessive discomfort or irritation.

It is important to note that the actual needle length may vary slightly depending on the individual’s anatomy and the piercer’s technique.

Did you know? The 1/4 inch needle length is often recommended for initial nose piercings because it allows for proper healing and reduces the risk of complications. It is important to choose an experienced piercer who uses sterile equipment to ensure a safe and successful piercing experience.

5/16 Inch (8mm)

For individuals with thicker nostrils or those who prefer to wear larger jewelry, a 5/16 inch or 8mm needle length may be used. This longer needle provides extra room for the jewelry to sit comfortably in the nostril.

It is commonly used for piercings that require thicker jewelry, such as nose rings or studs with larger gauges.

Fun fact: The 5/16 inch needle length is also used for certain types of nose piercings, such as septum piercings, where the needle needs to pass through a larger portion of tissue. Piercers may also choose this length for individuals with a thicker nasal bridge or other anatomical variations.

Remember, choosing the right needle length for your nose piercing is crucial for a safe and comfortable experience. Always consult with a professional piercer who can assess your unique anatomy and provide the best recommendation for your specific needs.

Needle Material: Titanium or Steel

When it comes to nose piercing, one of the most important factors to consider is the material of the needle. The two most commonly used materials for piercing needles are titanium and steel. Both have their own advantages and it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Titanium Needles

Titanium needles are highly preferred by many professional piercers due to their hypoallergenic properties. Titanium is known for being biocompatible, meaning it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction or irritation.

This makes it an excellent choice for individuals with sensitive skin or allergies to certain metals.

Furthermore, titanium is lightweight and durable, making it easier for the piercer to handle during the piercing process. It also has a smooth surface, which can reduce the risk of tissue damage and promote faster healing.

Additionally, titanium is resistant to corrosion, which helps prevent the needle from dulling or becoming contaminated.

Steel Needles

Steel needles are another popular choice for nose piercing. They are known for their strength and durability, making them suitable for various types of piercings. Steel is also readily available and more affordable compared to titanium.

One advantage of steel needles is that they can be sterilized at higher temperatures, which can help eliminate any potential bacteria or pathogens. This makes them a reliable choice for piercers who prioritize sterilization.

However, it is important to note that some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to certain types of steel. It is recommended to choose high-quality surgical-grade stainless steel needles to minimize the risk of any adverse reactions.

The Nose Piercing Procedure

Getting a nose piercing is an exciting decision, but it’s important to understand the procedure beforehand. Here is a detailed guide on what to expect during the nose piercing process.

Marking and Cleaning

Before the piercing begins, the piercer will first mark the exact spot where the piercing will be placed. This is typically done with a surgical pen or a small dot of ink. It’s crucial to choose an experienced and professional piercer who understands the correct placement for a nose piercing.

Once the marking is complete, the piercer will thoroughly clean the area using an antiseptic solution. This step is crucial to prevent any infection during the piercing process. They may also use a sterile wipe or swab to ensure the area is completely clean.

Inserting the Needle

After the cleaning process, the piercer will prepare the needle for insertion. The needle used for nose piercings is typically a hollow needle, specifically designed for this purpose. The size of the needle depends on personal preference and the thickness of the nose cartilage.

The piercer will gently insert the needle through the marked spot. This may cause a brief moment of discomfort, but it is generally quick and tolerable. It’s important to remain still during this step to ensure accurate placement of the piercing.

Jewelry Insertion

Once the needle is successfully inserted, the piercer will swiftly remove it and replace it with the chosen jewelry. The jewelry can vary in style and material, ranging from a simple stud to a hoop or a captive bead ring. The piercer will carefully insert the jewelry and secure it in place.

It’s crucial to follow the aftercare instructions provided by the piercer to ensure proper healing of the nose piercing. This usually involves cleaning the piercing with a saline solution and avoiding touching or rotating the jewelry for a certain period of time.

Remember, the nose piercing procedure should always be done by a professional piercer in a clean and sterile environment. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to consult with your piercer before getting the piercing.

Pain Levels and Aftercare

Managing Pain and Discomfort

Getting a nose piercing can cause some level of pain and discomfort, as it involves puncturing the skin and cartilage. However, the pain experienced during a nose piercing can vary from person to person. Some individuals may describe the pain as a slight pinch, while others may find it more intense.

It is important to note that pain tolerance is subjective and can be influenced by factors such as individual pain thresholds and anxiety levels.

There are several ways to manage pain and discomfort during and after a nose piercing:

  • Anesthesia: Some professional piercers may offer the option of using a local anesthetic to numb the area before the piercing. This can help minimize the pain during the procedure.
  • Deep Breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths can help relax the body and distract from the pain. Inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling slowly can be particularly effective.
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relief: If the pain persists after the piercing, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken according to the recommended dosage to help alleviate any discomfort.

Remember, it is important to communicate openly with your piercer about any concerns or fears you may have. They can provide guidance and support to ensure your experience is as comfortable as possible.

Aftercare to Promote Healing

Proper aftercare is crucial for promoting healing and preventing complications after a nose piercing. Here are some essential aftercare tips:

  • Cleaning: Clean the piercing twice a day using a saline solution or a sea salt solution. This helps remove any debris or germs that may have accumulated.
  • Avoid Touching: Avoid touching the piercing with dirty hands to prevent infection. If necessary, only touch the piercing after washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Avoid Makeup and Perfumes: Avoid applying makeup or perfumes directly on or around the piercing, as they can irritate the area and delay the healing process.
  • Avoid Changing Jewelry Too Soon: It is recommended to wait until the piercing is fully healed before changing the jewelry. This typically takes around 8-12 weeks for a nose piercing.
  • Avoid Submerging in Water: Avoid swimming or submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as pools, hot tubs, and lakes until it is fully healed to reduce the risk of infection.

Following these aftercare guidelines can help ensure a smooth healing process and reduce the risk of complications. If you have any concerns or notice any signs of infection, it is important to consult a professional piercer or a healthcare provider.


When getting your nose pierced, the needle sizing and material can impact the piercing experience and healing. Most piercers recommend a 14 or 16 gauge titanium or steel needle around 1/4 inch long. Proper aftercare is also key for minimizing infection risk and discomfort during the healing process.

With the right needle gauge, length, jewelry and aftercare, you’ll be rocking your new nose ring in no time! Just be sure to do your research and work with an experienced, licensed piercer. Happy nose piercing!

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