Explore the Art of Septum Stretching: Process and Aftercare

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Septum stretching allows you to express your unique individuality and wear different styles and sizes of jewelry. However, it’s essential to do so with utmost safety. If you’re thinking of taking the edginess of your septum piercing to the next level, this guide is for you. 

We’re sharing tried and tested methods to stretch your septum, the stretching process, and aftercare tips to give you a hassle-free experience.

What is septum stretching?

stretched septum piercing


Septum stretching is the process of gradually widening the septum piercing to accommodate larger jewelry pieces. Unlike other stretched piercings, the septum demands careful attention and patience due to its location in the nasal tissue between the nostrils. 

It’s important to note that while stretched septums can shrink, they typically maintain their size exceptionally well. They can remain at 10G or 8G for years, even without wearing any jewelry. Therefore, consider it a permanent modification because you can’t tell how your body will react if you change your mind.

Why do people stretch their septum?

Septum stretching appeals to people for a bunch of reasons. While it’s a fantastic way of self-expression, it can help people flaunt more elaborate jewelry options, from huge hoops to daring plugs.

Other reasons behind this body modification might be cultural significance and spiritual devotion. Moreover, the desire to challenge societal norms may also drive individuals to stretch their septums. So, overall, septum stretching represents a fusion of art, a sense of identity, and individuality.

How to stretch your septum

Here are three common ways to stretch your septum.

Visit a professional piercer

Visiting a professional and reputable piercer is always the safest option. Someone experienced with nose piercings, specifically septum stretching, will offer expert guidance and assist you throughout the process. Professionals use implant-grade jewelry and tapers, ensuring a smooth transition. 

Your piercer will sterilize all equipment, lubricate the taper, and guide it through your piercing. They will swiftly replace the taper with the chosen jewelry. You’ll also get in-person advice on post-stretch care to promote healing. So, follow their aftercare instructions diligently for a healthy, stretched septum.

Use a taper

If you can’t access professional assistance, you can stretch your septum at home safely using a taper — a cone-shaped bar that helps with gradual and even stretching. 

Apply lubricant to the taper with clean hands and gently push it into the piercing with the jewelry pressed against it. Keep pushing the taper until the jewelry gets into the piercing. The jewelry (plug or ring) should be one gauge size larger than the piercing.  

Ensure to use a water-based stretching lubricant. Some natural options include emu and jojoba oil. Also, keep tissues handy, as you may get teary-eyed. Wait 4 to 8 weeks between stretches for proper healing.

Consider a dermal punch 

This method isn’t “stretching” per se, but it gives you a similar result, faster than traditional stretching. A dermal punch removes a circular section of skin and some cartilage simultaneously.

This technique involves forcefully pushing a sterilized dermal punch through your septum to create a noticeable hole. You’ll skip the lengthy stretching process and move directly to your desired gauge. 

💡 Take Note: In some states, only licensed professionals may use a dermal punch. Check the laws in your state to be sure.

Septum stretching vs stacking: What’s the difference?

septum stacking


When it comes to septum modification, there are two distinct approaches – stretching and stacking. Both offer unique results. 

Traditional stretching involves inserting a single, larger jewelry piece in the septum piercing every one to two months, resulting in a perfectly circular hole. 

Stacking involves inserting multiple small rings in the septum piercing sequentially over time. Typically, an 18G ring is used first, followed by thicker ones like 16G or 14G. It’s crucial to insert them correctly, either in front or behind existing rings, to avoid discomfort.

The choice between these two methods can significantly impact the final shape of your piercing. While traditional stacking results in a circular hole, stacking produces an oval-shaped piercing.

The septum stretching process

You might feel nervous about embarking on this path of self-expression. And while this nose piercing comes with some discomfort and challenges, it will also be quite rewarding and help you achieve your personal aesthetic goals.

Is it normal to bleed when stretching a septum?

There are quite a few blood vessels present in the septum area. So, there can be some bleeding during the process. However, it should be minimal.

Is septum stretching supposed to hurt?

Septum stretching will cause discomfort, which you might have to endure for weeks or months. However, sometimes, a stretch can initially be painless and straightforward, then feel sore a few days later. 

Septum stretching aftercare

To make sure your stretched septum piercing heals properly, follow these easy aftercare tips:

  1. Get gentle saline soaks: Soak it twice daily (morning and night) in a saline solution to keep the area infection-free and promote healing.
  1. Avoid harsh chemicals: Chemicals like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide can irritate the tissue and cause complications.
  1. Be patient: Wait a month or two before attempting another stretch. Even if you feel that the area is not as sensitive, it’s possible that the piercing is not fully healed. 
  1. Use clean hands: Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching or handling the stretched piercing.
  1. Protect the stretched area: Be mindful of any clothing or accessories rubbing against the piercing since this can irritate it. 
  1. Eat healthy and stay hydrated: Maintain a healthy and balanced diet and stay well-hydrated to support your body’s natural healing processes.
  1. Consult a professional: If you encounter any unusual symptoms during the healing process, seek advice from a professional piercer or healthcare provider.

How long does it take for a stretched septum to heal?

The healing time for a stretched septum can vary depending on factors like the size of the stretch and how well you care for it. Typically, the initial stretch may take several weeks to a few months to heal.

Frequently asked questions

If you’re still unsure whether you should stretch your septum piercing, we’re answering common questions to help you decide. 

How long should you wait to stretch your septum?

During the first few weeks of getting the piercing, it’s common to experience swelling and discomfort; for this reason, experts recommend waiting for a minimum of six months before attempting to stretch.

How long should you wait between septum stretches?

It is advisable to wait at least six to eight months before considering another stretch. Also, each session should stretch the septum by only 0.5 mm to prevent potential piercing damage.

Will a stretched septum close?

While septum piercings can shrink, it’s quite common for a septum to maintain its size for an extended period, even if you don’t wear jewelry. So, a stretched septum won’t close on its own.

Can you stretch your septum with a pincher?

Yes, you can stretch your septum with a pincher. Pinchers are safe, but it’s important not to force the stretch.

Can you stretch your septum with coconut oil?

Yes, you can use coconut oil as a lubricant to help with septum stretching. It’s a safe and natural option to make the taper slide through the piercing more easily. However, it’s important to ensure the coconut oil is free from contaminants.

Will you dare to stretch?

Septum stretching might be challenging, but it can be gratifying if done correctly. This journey of self-expression not only allows you to level up your look but also lets you make a bold statement. 

However, it’s also important to remember that safety and patience are the key factors in this process. This guide will simplify this process and let you confidently flaunt your stretched septum.

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