Do Nose Piercings Close Up? We Asked Beyoncé's Piercer

Spontaneity is cool and all, but before you go googling "nose piercers near me," please search "how long does it take a nose piercing to close?" first. The answer might actually surprise you. Before taking the plunge and getting a new piercing (of any kind, really), you should know what you're going into.

Unlike a tattoo, a piercing isn't permanent, but a nose-piercing hole isn't something that will go away without a trace if you decide you don't like it anymore. If you have an existing piercing and want to know if your nose piercing will close up overnight or you're just considering getting one but want to do a little more research first, we have you covered. We decided to enlist the help of a pro: Brian Keith Thompson owns Los Angeles-based Body Electric Tattoo and counts Beyoncé, Emma Stone, and Jennifer Lawrence as his regular clientele.

To break it all down, we asked the professional piercer to share what you need to know before you pierce your nose — from what you should do when you think your nose piercing closed to how to close a nose piercing when you're tired of it. Read ahead for a crash course in everything nose piercings.

Do Nose Piercings Close?

Commitment-phobes, we'll start with the good news: "All nose piercings are going to close," Thompson says. The not-so-good? "You are going to have some kind of scar, depending on how long you wore your jewelry. The longer you wore the jewelry before closing the piercing, the more pronounced the scar will be."

That means that if you get a nose piercing and have instant buyer's remorse, your risk of scarring isn't too high. "If you get your nostril pierced and remove the jewelry in a week, you will have little to no scar — just a small spot," Thompson says. But if you keep it for years and decide to take it out later, you'll be left with a permanent mark.

How to Take Out a Nose Ring or Stud

When you're tired of your piercing, simply remove the jewelry. You'll be left with a hole in your nose for a little while until it closes over.

How Long Does It Take a Nose Piercing to Close?

As for how long it takes for nose piercings to close, that depends. Generally, the longer you've had the piercing, the longer it takes to close. Whereas an hours-old piercing could start to close immediately, a years-old piercing could take much longer. Make sure to connect with your piercer if you think your piercing is taking longer than normal to heal or you're concerned about scarring.

Why Do Nose Piercings Close?

When you first get a piercing — nostril, septum, or otherwise — your body will rebuild the wounded skin around your jewelry. "This is called a fistula, and it's a small tunnel," Thompson says. When you remove your stud or hoop, "your immune system acts quickly to close the hole." That's because your nostril is an "entry point — a very crucial part of your body that helps you breathe and control your sense of smell."

This means that, unfortunately, nose piercings just don't work for certain people. "Some people experience trouble healing their nostril, because their immune system is overactive," Thompson says. "Your body sees the jewelry as a foreign object, because it is. For some people, it can be a problem from day one."

"Your body sees the jewelry as a foreign object, because it is."

Do Septum Piercings Close?

"The septum is a little different," Thompson says. The pro explains that professional piercers — not your classmate operating out of a high-school bathroom — are trained to find the "sweet spot" on a septum. "Nine times out of 10, I am able to get jewelry back in a septum hole that hasn't had a hoop in for a while without repiercing," Thompson says. So if you get your septum pierced, keep your jewelry in for a year, and then take it out, "you will probably be able to get the jewelry back in."

Do Nose Piercings Leave a Scar?

TLDR: yep. In Thompson's wise words, "You should go into all piercings knowing that you will have a scar. You have to think about the future before you get a piercing. If you're getting pierced at 18, you might not care about a scar, but consider how you're going to think about it at 30, or 40."

A little bit louder for the folks in the back: "What you do to your body today, you pay the cost later," Thompson says. "While nose piercings won't leave a big, gaping hole, all piercings leave scars."