You gave in when your teen was younger and allowed them to get their ears pierced, but as they grow through their teenage years it seems this once-cool piercing is no longer enough anymore. Nose piercings are a common next move for people who want to make a statement, and what group likes to make a statement more than teenagers?
The thought of your precious, darling child walking around with a huge nose ring in their face can be enough to scare any parent, but is it really as dramatic as we imagine? If you’re the parent of a child who has been incessantly asking about having their nose pierced, there are some things you’ll need to weigh up before you come to your final decision.
What Is A Nose Piercing?
When we heard the term ‘nose piercing’ it usually conjures out some images of a punk rocker dressed in all black, Mohawk on top of their head, and a bunch of safety pins sticking out from various holes in their face. It’s no wonder then that parents get scared straight when their teen starts talking about wanting one, but what’s the reality?
A nose piercing is usually done with a needle which is inserted through one side of the nostril, and it can pierce through the skin, cartilage or both. Once the hole has been made, a piece of jewelry is placed in the hole, with the most popular choices being either a ring or a simple stud.
The nostril piercing is the most common form, and if your teen is requesting one this is usually what they’re referring to. There are other types though, including a bridge piercing or high nostril pistol, so be sure to clarify what it is that your child wants before you agree or disagree on something.
The Safety Risks of Nose Piercings
One of the biggest areas of concern for parents is the health and safety risks that come with body piercings. Because this is a profession that’s largely unregulated, it’s difficult to tell who exactly will be performing the piercing and so you need to be sure that they’re qualified and hygienic.
When done correctly, the procedure is not harmful, and although it can seem like a lot it’s noninvasive and won’t cause any permanent damage. If they wish to take it out at a later date, they’ll usually be left with a barely visible dot where the piercing used to be.
There are some existing medical conditions that may factor in the suitability of getting a nose piercing. If your teen has diabetes, an autoimmune disease, hemophilia, or a heart condition, you will need to speak to a health professional before having the procedure done.
Once the piercing has been done, the aftercare is hugely important to ensure that it doesn’t get infected. This will include applying an antiseptic spray or cream and making sure the area is kept clean. All of these things will be discussed with the piercer if you decide to let your teen get one, so be sure that they understand the seriousness of it.
Other Things to Consider
In addition to the health concerns, there are other things you will need to consider before agreeing to a piercing. You’ll need to discuss this with your teen so that they see a nose piercing isn’t just something they are doing to alter their physical appearance, as it can have other consequences too.
For teenagers with jobs, it’s best to check with their employers on their stance on uniform and body piercings.
If your child is still at school, you will need to know what regulations are in place in regards to body jewelry. They may need to wait for graduation to do so.
Explain to your child that this is a procedure that has the potential to cause permanent scarring and damage. There may a hole left in its place or an infection could cause more scarring, so they have to be aware of the consequences.
Some states have requirements in place as to what age you are allowed to get a piercing, with under 16 years usually not allowed. Parents will need to accompany anyone under 18 years old for the procedure.
Ask the Important Questions
When your teen comes to you with the request to get their nose pierced, your first reaction might be one of shock. Once you’ve calmed down though, it’s a good idea to ask them more about their request so you can really understand when they’re coming from and why they have a desire to get a piercing.
Why Do You Want A Piercing?
This will be a good indication of how much they really want one, as they might only be doing it to fit in with others and not really want one for themselves.
Do You Understand the Consequences?
Explain the entire process, the pain of the procedure, possible complications, and what can happen with their job or schooling if they have a no piercing policy.
How Long Have You Been Thinking Of Getting One?
This tells you if they’re serious about their decision, and it may be a good way for you to buy some time if it’s only a new thought that they’ve had.
Are You Prepared to Go Through the Healing Process?
Sometimes nose piercings won’t look their best for weeks and they can come with some pain. Be sure that your teen understands all of these things before they commit.
Accept Their Independence
Depending on the age of your teen and how comfortable you feel about the procedure, there’s not always going to be a right or wrong answer. You’ll need to understand that a teenager who is closer to 18 may eventually go off and get the procedure done on her own when she’s of age, so it could be a losing battle.
In the grand scheme of piercings, this is one of that can be kept quite discreet. However, if as a parent you’re uncomfortable with it or have cultural or religious reasons for disagreeing, you can voice your concerns with your child. Teenagers use things like piercings as a way to express themselves, and as long as they’re using a smaller, discreet stud it’s likely that you’ll barely notice the jewelry on them.
Visit the Piercing Salon
If you’re a parent that has finally agreed to let your child get their nose pierced, it’s imperative that you visit the piercing salon to check it out. You’ll likely need to accompany your child anyway as there are legal requirements that insist a parent or guardian is present, but before the appointment, you will need to assess things.
A quality piercing salon should be able to answer any questions and concerns you might have, and when walking into the store it should be obvious that it’s a reputable place. There will be hygienic practices in place, all of their piercing gear will be sterilized, and they will have a good reputation. The easiest way to check this out is by looking at their social media accounts and reading the feedback that others have given.
Once you’ve inspected the salon and asked the relevant questions, you can make the appointment to have the procedure done. Find out if there’s anything you need to do or prepare for the booking, as there may be the need to bring in your child’s birth certificate for proof of age.
Share Your Thoughts Openly
There’s no way that we can stop our teenagers from growing up and reaching out for these forms of self-expression, but this is a decision that each family needs to make for themselves. Provided you have done your research on the potential health risks and trust the salon that will be doing the piercings, this can be a nice gesture for your child to show that you respect their growing need for independence.
Nose piercings might sound like a scary procedure at first, so it’s essential to talk openly with your child about their desire to get one and how you’re feeling about it. Open communication is an important part of parenting, and you may find that after some discussion your teen simply changes their mind about the whole thing, so that you don’t have to worry anymore.