Nostril piercings in general are pretty popular. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, you might be interested in a highly unusual variation: the forward nostril piercing, also called a mantis piercing.
What is a Mantis Piercing?
The mantis piercing, also called forward nostril piercing, is actually two separate piercings: one per nostril. After a successful mantis piercing, it looks like you have two tiny jewels on either side of the tip of your nose.
In a typical nostril piercing, the piercing needle goes through the side of your nostril. But with a mantis piercing, it goes through the front of the nostril.
The exact placement of a mantis piercing depends on your anatomy. The piercing goes straight through the front part of each nostril. For some people, the two studs look very close together near the tip of the nose. For others, the studs are spaced out far enough that the piercing looks like an Austin bar.
It is new, rare, and bold
Even if you’ve done your research on facial piercings, you may not be familiar with this one. The mantis piercing is relatively new. It’s still quite rare. And while it looks bold, it’s much less painful than some other bold piercings (like the nasallang).
It also heals fairly quickly; it usually takes a little longer than a nostril piercing. Nostril piercings in general take about 4 to 6 months to heal completely, so the mantis piercing will usually take around 6 to 8 months to heal completely (2 to 3 months for an initial healing process).
Pros and Cons of the Mantis Piercing
Piercings are a highly personal choice. So before you decide whether to get a mantis piercing, it’s wise to consider some of the pros and cons.
- It’s rare and bold enough to make you stand out.
- It’s one of the safer piercings to get, as it’s not especially prone to infection.
- It heals very easily and relatively quickly.
- It can snag on clothes or towels, and that hurts!
- It can make it harder to blow your nose if you’re sick.
- Just like with any piercing, there’s some risk of infection.
- Since it is quite new and rare, it can be difficult to find an experienced piercer.
- You have a limited selection of nose jewelry.
Mantis piercing pain
Everyone has different tolerances for pain, but one of the main advantages of an mantis piercing is that it’s not very painful.
Mantis piercing healing
Since the mantis piercing is actually a thicker nostril piercing, it heals fairly quickly. It only takes around 2 to 3 months to heal (6 to 8 to heal completely). And it might take longer if the percing keeps catching on things.
How much is a mantis piercing?
Prices will vary widely based on location. But a mantis piercing usually costs about $40-$80. You are recommended to choose high-quality metals like titanium for your piercing even though it costs even more.
Do Mantis Piercings Look Good?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that’s especially true with piercings. Different people will have different opinions of the mantis piercing.
However, thanks to its interesting location and often-delicate look, the mantis piercing is appealing to many people. If you’re seeking a piercing that’s beautiful and rare, the mantis is a great one to consider.
Potentail risks of the mantis piercing
1. It snags on clothes or towels
Another potential problem (that’s not unique to mantis piercings) is the piercing snags on things. Be very careful when getting dressed, drying your face with a towel, etc. Especially with a newer piercing, snagging it on something can really hurt!
Typically, a raised red bump around the nose piercing is a sign of infection. Make sure to properly clean the piercing, as mentioned below, and to control the bump — if it worsens, you could develop a severe systemic infection.
And as a side note, with bumps or other signs of infection, don’t remove the piercing! That can cause the hole to close, sealing in the infection.
3. Swelling and irritations
Like any other piercing, be mindful of the risk of swelling. Swelling is normal and can last up to a month after the procedure.
At first, you might experience pain, blood, tenderness, and bruising. The piercing stays tender, sore, and swollen for several weeks as the healing process begins. With appropriate aftercare, the swelling goes away after about one month.
If cleaned inappropriately, touched with unclean hands, or disturbed constantly, the piercing can get infected and increase in swelling. Proper aftercare is vital.
What Gauge and Length is a Mantis Piercing?
The mantis piercing is essentially a nostril piercing that points forward. So in many cases, the gauge is the same as you’d see with a more traditional nostril piercing: 18G (1 mm) or 20G (0.8 mm).
As for length, that really depends on the size of your nose. Most piercers will choose a short stud or other piece of jewelry. You need enough length to accommodate any initial swelling, but a too-long piece of jewelry will almost certainly irritate your nose.
What Type of Jewelry Is Used for a Mantis Piercing?
Usually, you will see labret studs (with a 2.5 or 3 mm disc on the back) used for mantis piercing jewelry.
Labret studs give you the look of a more traditional nose stud, and the piece at the bottom helps prevent the jewelry from slipping out of your nose.
Labret studs also have another advantage: the bottom part of the jewelry can stay in place as you change the top part. That lets you change the type of jewelry at the top of the piercing without removing the piercing itself!
If you choose to use threadless studs, you may need to face a slight disadvantage. Since the top part (with the jewel or stone) slides into the bottom part, it can be hard to hold it in place. Most piercers do this by slightly bending the jewelry.
But perfecting that bend is an art in itself! A bend that isn’t deep enough may result in the top part falling off. An exaggerated bend may make it difficult or impossible to change or insert the top part of the jewelry.
- They heal relatively quickly
- They don’t cause much discomfort when resting your head
- They aren’t extremely noticeable
- They can come out more easily than nose rings
- If not cleaned regularly, they can get infected
And thanks to the amount of nose tissue the piercing needs to pass through, barbells or rings are not generally used for mantis piercings.
Choosing the right jewelry type is important to the success of your piercing. Be sure to talk to your piercer about the benefits and drawbacks of different jewelry types so you can select the best one for you.
Recommended materials for the mantis piercing
1. Implant-Grade Titanium
Titanium is an element that is completely hypoallergenic, so it’s probably the best material for lip piercings, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Implant-grade titanium is the purest form and will not change or corrode if it’s exposed to skin or bodily fluids. Implant-grade titanium jewelry is durable, hypoallergic, lead-free, nickel free, and non-corrosive.
Implant-grade titanium is often marketed as ASTM F-136 titanium. Compared to ASTM F-136 titanium, G23 titanium is not an implant grade of titanium.
Price Range: About $10-$20.
- Approved by the Association of Professional Piercers
- Won’t cause allergic reactions
- Is scratch-resistant and won’t fade
- Not as valuable as gold, silver, or platinum
- Doesn’t sparkle quite as much as other metals
2. 14K or 18K Gold
If you’re looking for a glittering, valuable metal for your lip piercing jewelry, either 14K or 18K gold may be your answer.
It is also one of the best metals for lip piercings that are highly recommended not only by piercing experts but also doctors. Its excellent quality of being inert makes it suitable for first piercings.
However, gold is a fairly soft metal, so it doesn’t stand up to scratches and excessive wear. Compared to 14K gold, 18K gold is more prone to being affected by everyday use as it is softer and is closer to being pure 24K gold.
Both of these metals include other metal types in order to make them stronger. In order to avoid skin reactions, look for nickel-free metals.
Price Range: About $30-$200.
- One of the most valuable materials
- Will not easily tarnish
- Offers plenty of sparkles
- Is easy to engrave or use to set stones
- May contain non-hypoallergenic metals
- 18K gold in particular is not very scratch resistant
Platinum is a precious metal, so it’s one of the pricier options on the list. It’s completely hypoallergenic, so it’s safe for even very sensitive skin. Its brilliant luster makes it a good choice for those seeking a sparkly, high-end look.
Price Range: About $40-$200.
- Hypoallergenic and non-reactive
- Has a brilliant shine
- Is a very valuable material
- Is a lot heavier than other metals
- It’s uncommon, so your jewelry choices might be limited
4. Surgical Stainless Steel
Lots of new piercings are done in stainless steel. This material is affordable and typically doesn’t cause reactions. However, it contains a small amount of nickel, so if you have a nickel allergy, it might be best to choose something else.
It is incredibly resistant to corrosion and will keep its shine for years.
If you’re considering steel, 316L or 316 LVM steel is probably your best choice. Both names stand for the same surgical steel material, but the “VM” stands for”vacuum melt,” or the way the steel is produced.
Price Range: About $10-$40.
- Very affordable
- Common enough that you’ll have plenty of jewelry choices
- Extremely durable and resistant to damage and corrosion
- May cause reactions in those with nickel allergies
- Not considered as valuable as some other materials
How to care for a mantis piercing?
- Take care to avoid contaminating the piercing.
- Avoid touching it or applying makeup very close to it.
- Avoid getting in water that might be dirty.
- Clean your piercing twice per day using a saline/salt solution or a piercing aftercare spray.
- And of course, make sure to avoid snagging on clothes or towels.
- Don’t move the piercing before it heals. Pulling on a piercing early in healing is painful, but it also can get in the way of healing or damage the piercing itself.
How to clean a mantis piercing?
- Make a salt solution by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of salt with one cup of water. Stir the solution until it dissolves. As an alternative, you can buy ready-to-use piercing aftercare sprays. If you see signs of infection, you can also use antiseptic solutions, such as betadine, isopropyl alcohol, or diluted hydrogen peroxide.
- Soak a cotton ball in the solution and dab it around the piercing site. Don’t remove the jewelry!
- Take clean gauze or tissue and pat the area dry.
Your piercer should give you detailed instructions on keeping your piercing clean once the piercing has been placed.