Why do people do nose piercing

The dangers of the perforated nose

DURHAM. Nostril, septum or bridge piercing are not invented by the youngsters of the 20th century. A golden nose ring is already reported in the Bible.

People in the Middle East to members of African tribes and the native Americans pierced their noses to place the strangest things there. These served not only as decorative accessories, but also had plenty of symbolic power.

In western culture, the nose ring arrived in 1913 - as Barry Ladizinski and colleagues from Duke University Medical Center in Durham report - in the form of the singer Polaire, who toured the United States with a pierced left nostril.

In the 1960s this fashion was adopted by the American hippies and eventually both the punks of the 1970s and the Goths of the 1980s discovered the nose jewelry for themselves.

Today, a nose piercing is usually no longer a reason for long family discussions. On the contrary, a small rhinestone also flashes in many a nut nose (JAMA Dermatol 2013; 149: 142).

Doctors against colleagues with a nose ring

In the medical field, however, a nose piercing does not seem to be so popular. Surveys have shown: Only 24% of patients consider such a piece of jewelry to be appropriate for their doctor.

And only 7% of the doctors themselves find that wearing a nose ring is compatible with their job. More than half of the medical professionals said in a survey that they would find such a piece of jewelery to be a nuisance to a colleague or a medical student.

But apart from fashion trends and personal preferences - a piercing does not always go smoothly. Complications can arise from the use of non-sterile instruments, inadequate follow-up care or bungling techniques.

For example, infections with Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and hepatitis viruses have been reported. In addition, there is always bleeding or the formation of scars and keloids. The development of granulomas and basal cell carcinomas in connection with a piercing has also been reported.

The problems that Ladizinski et al. in the "Notable Note" are by far not the only ones. For example, S. Strieth and A. Berghaus pointed out the problem of perforated cartilage (MMW-Fortschr Med 2006, 41: 41-43).

There is a risk of a septal hematoma, perichondritis or abscess formation, which can ultimately lead to deformities.

Piercing à la guideline?

Obstructed nasal breathing and unwanted breathing noises can also spoil the wearer's piece of jewelry. In addition, Strieth and Berghaus point out the long wound healing times with piercing jewelry perforations (nasal septum 6-8 months, nostrils 2-4 months and bridge of the nose 8-10 weeks).

Some countries such as New Zealand or France have tried to counter possible complications in advance. They have developed general guidelines that piercers should use as a guide in their craft.

Since nose rings may eventually reach the popularity of earrings, piercers and consumers alike should be prepared, Ladizinski et al., By better educating them about safe techniques, hygienic precautions, and potential risks.

In Germany, however, we are not operating in an unlawful area either. Providers of piercings must orientate themselves on the materials of EU directives. In addition, the Food and Consumer Goods Act (LMBG) as well as paragraphs 106, 107 and 113 of the German Civil Code apply to the protection of minors.

In addition, the European professional association for professional piercing (EAPP) has created a catalog of requirements with "guidelines for implementation and hygiene in professional piercing studios for certified EAPP members", as Ladizinski and colleagues report.