Questionably professional septum piercing
I unfortunately don’t have a picture of this piercing-gone-wrong despite the fact that it was done on myself, but I at least have the story - it’s a long one, my apologies!
I went to Barry Louvaine’s House of Living Art in SW London, England because it was highly recommended to me and I had had two piercings done there before - my labret and my nostril, which is now retired. After deciding I wanted to get my septum done, I thought I’d go to the place I trusted, so I went to Barry Louvaine’s without a second thought.
The woman who did my piercing originally told me they didn’t have any circular barbels, but she had a curved barbel (like the kind they put in eyebrows), and this would be just fine. I was just turned 17 at the time I think, and although I thought I knew about piercings, I thought it would be best to trust her advice - she was the professional, right? So I nodded my head and said yes, that was fine. (And believe me, beyond bad choice of jewellery, it just gets worse.)
She sat me down in the chair, was really deadpan and monotone when telling me about the sterilisation and was generally quite unsettling. She told me that septum piercings shouldn’t be placed towards the front of the nose, it was normal to have a septum piercing more towards the middle. She knew best - I nodded, said yes, that was fine. Everything seemed fine to me - I was excited and nervous to be getting my new piercing. The clamp she was using was actually pretty fucking big, not a septum clamp like I expected, and when I asked why she said that she’d done this plenty of times before, only beginner piercers used septum clamps, she could get it straight. She knew best.
The clamp turned out to be too big for my nose, but (despite my pain at having this clamp forced into my nose and from the feel of it pushing out at my nostrils), she carried on and didn’t try and get a smaller clamp (I think she may not have had a smaller clamp, but looking back on it, she should have said to come back when they had sterlized more of their equipment).
Now, here’s the worst part - she pushed the needle through my nose, and I swear it took a full 10 seconds to eventually pop through all the cartilage. I had tears streaming down my face, and when I got up to look in the mirror and see my new septum piercing, it looked fine and I was pleased, but I swear it must have been the rush of endorphins, because when I got home it was anything but good. Forgive me, because despite all the googling, I couldn’t come up with the terms for the anatomy - so, I’ll just go by this. The piercing wasn’t actually as high up as I had wanted it, and was crooked - not only was it crooked at about a 20 degree angle so that one end of the jewellery was closer to the tip of my nose than the other, it was also uneven and slanted downwards on one side. If it couldn’t get any worse, it was incredibly shallow - if I ran my finger along my septum, from the tip of my nose to my philtrum, there was a very noticeable bump against my finger.
I went back and demanded to have it repierced - the piercer shrugged (note she never actually introduced herself, which I actually found quite rude - but that’s just me) and said that it didn’t look wonky at all, and if I came back in 2 months once it had healed and it still looked wonky, she would re-do it for me. With the amount of pain I was in, I wasn’t having any of that - I took it out two days after it was pierced, and I had to soak my nose in warm water for about twenty minutes before the bar (which was 1.2mm, and I’m still not sure if that’s a bad thing) would even budge. After I finally got the bar out, I was pissed off, down £35, and still in a lot of pain.
I have since had my septum piercing re-done, and I haven’t gone back to Barry Louvaine’s since. (They are, however, a world-reknowned tattoo studio, and the tattoo artists have always been pretty cool and plenty friendly while I’ve been waiting, and I will not fault them on their cleanliness.)