Can You Get Paralyzed from Piercing Your Nose?

When it comes to body modification, nose piercings are a popular choice. They’ve been a part of human culture for centuries, and today, nose piercings are a common form of self-expression. However, like any body modification, there are risks involved. One common concern among those considering a nose piercing is whether it can lead to paralysis. In this article, we will delve into the topic of nose piercings and their potential risks, addressing the question: Can you get paralyzed from piercing your nose?

 The Anatomy of the Nose

Before we discuss the risks associated with nose piercings, it’s important to understand the anatomy of the nose. The nose is a complex structure that serves multiple functions, including breathing, filtering air, and providing our sense of smell. Using an earring as a nose ring, also known as “Earring as a Nose Ring?” can pose potential complications due to the intricacies of nasal anatomy.

 External Anatomy

  • Nostrils
    • The openings of the nose.
    • The primary location for nose piercings.
  • Cartilage
    • The firm, flexible tissue that forms the shape of the nose.
  • Nasal Bones
    • The upper part of the nose consists of bone.
    • Piercings in this area are not common.

Internal Anatomy

  • Nasal Passages
    • The pathway for air to enter and exit the lungs.
  • Mucous Membrane
    • Lines the nasal passages and helps to filter and humidify the air.
  • Nerves
    • Numerous nerves run through the nose.

 The Art of Nose Piercing

Nose piercing has been practiced for centuries in various cultures. It’s not just a form of self-expression but often carries cultural, religious, or social significance.

 Types of Nose Piercings

  • Nostril Piercing
    • The most common form of nose piercing.
    • Piercing is typically done through the side of the nostril.
  • Septum Piercing
    • Piercing through the cartilaginous wall that separates the nostrils.
  • Bridge Piercing
    • A piercing on the bridge of the nose, usually through the skin.
  • High Nostril Piercing
    • Placement higher on the nostril than a standard nostril piercing.

 Piercing Methods

  • Needle Piercing
    • Most professional piercers use a sterilized needle to create the hole.
    • Reduces tissue damage and promotes healing.
  • Gun Piercing
    • Not recommended for nose piercings.
    • Can cause complications and tissue damage.

Potential Risks of Nose Piercings

While nose piercings are generally considered safe, they are not without risks. It’s essential to be aware of these potential complications:


  • Nose piercings can become infected if not properly cared for.
  • Signs of infection include redness, swelling, pain, and discharge.
  • Good hygiene and proper aftercare can minimize the risk of infection.

 Allergic Reactions

  • Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to certain metals used for nose piercings.
  • Nickel is a common allergen in piercing jewelry.
  • Choose hypoallergenic materials like surgical steel, titanium, or niobium to reduce the risk.

 Keloids and Scarring

  • Keloids are raised, thickened scars that can develop at the piercing site.
  • Individuals with a history of keloid formation may be at higher risk.
  • Proper aftercare and avoiding trauma to the piercing can reduce the risk of scarring.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage is a significant concern when it comes to nose piercings and the possibility of paralysis.

  • Proximity to Nerves
    • The nose contains numerous nerves, including the infraorbital and nasopalatine nerves.
    • A piercing that goes too deep or is misplaced can potentially damage these nerves.
  • Potential for Paralysis
    • While rare, nerve damage during a nose piercing can lead to temporary or even permanent facial paralysis.
    • Paralysis can affect the muscles of the nose, lips, or even the entire face.
  • Expert Piercing
    • To minimize the risk of nerve damage, it’s crucial to choose a professional piercer with experience in nose piercings.
    • An expert will ensure correct placement and technique.

How to Minimize the Risk of Nerve Damage

Minimizing the risk of nerve damage during a nose piercing is essential. Here are steps you can take to reduce this risk:

Choose an Experienced Piercer

  • Research and choose a reputable and experienced piercer.
  • Ask for recommendations and read reviews to ensure you select a skilled professional.

Discuss Placement

  • Have a consultation with your piercer before the procedure.
  • Discuss the precise placement of the piercing to avoid nerves and minimize risks.

 Use the Right Jewelry

  • Opt for high-quality jewelry made from materials less likely to cause allergic reactions.
  • Choose a size and style that is appropriate for your anatomy and the desired location.

 Follow Aftercare Instructions

  • Proper aftercare is crucial for a successful healing process.
  • Clean the piercing regularly and avoid touching it with dirty hands.

Case Studies

To illustrate the potential risks associated with nose piercings and nerve damage, let’s look at a couple of real-life case studies:

 Case Study 1

Patient A, a 22-year-old female, decided to get her nostril pierced at a local piercing studio. Despite the piercer’s experience, the piercing was placed too deeply, unintentionally piercing the infraorbital nerve. A few days after the procedure, the patient experienced numbness on one side of her upper lip and the area under her eye.

 Case Study 2

Patient B, a 19-year-old male, wanted to get a septum piercing. He opted for a piercing gun, believing it would be quicker and less painful. However, the force applied by the gun caused trauma to the nasal cartilage, leading to nerve damage. He developed partial facial paralysis, affecting his ability to smile.

 Recovery and Rehabilitation

If you experience nerve damage or paralysis after a nose piercing, it’s essential to understand the recovery and rehabilitation process.

Seek Medical Attention

  • If you suspect nerve damage, consult a medical professional immediately.
  • They can diagnose the extent of the damage and develop a treatment plan.

 Nerve Regeneration

  • Nerve damage from a nose piercing can be temporary in some cases.
  • Nerves can regenerate over time, with proper care and treatment.

 Physical Therapy

  • In cases of more severe nerve damage, physical therapy may be necessary.
  • A therapist can help you regain control and function of affected facial muscles.

 Psychological Support

  • Facial paralysis can be emotionally challenging.
  • Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to cope with the psychological impact.


 What are the different types of nose piercings?

  Nose piercings include nostril, septum, bridge, and high nostril piercings.

 How can I minimize the risk of nerve damage during a nose piercing?

  Choose an experienced piercer, discuss placement, use high-quality jewelry, and follow aftercare instructions.

 Can nose piercings cause infection?

  Yes, improper aftercare can lead to infections, but good hygiene minimizes the risk.

 What is the potential risk of nerve damage during a nose piercing?

  Nerve damage is rare but can lead to temporary or permanent facial paralysis.

How can I cope with facial paralysis if it occurs after a nose piercing?

 Seek immediate medical attention, consider nerve regeneration, undergo physical therapy, and seek psychological support.


Nose piercings are a popular form of self-expression and body modification. While they are generally safe, there are potential risks to consider. The risk of paralysis resulting from a nose piercing is low but not non-existent. It’s crucial to prioritize safety by choosing an experienced piercer

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