If you plan on buying your nose jewelry online, then it's very important to know which gauge you wear. Wearing the wrong gauge is not only uncomfortable, but it can cause problems with your piercing. For example, let's look at nose studs.
Wearing Jewelry That's Too Thin
Jewelry that is a smaller gauge than your piercing will fall out easily, potentially getting lost along the way. Since the post is smaller than your piercing, you may also find that some studs will end up rotating a lot due to being "loose" in your fistula -- especially if you're trying to wear a 22-gauge stud in your 18-gauge nose piercing! Jewelry that rotates upside down won't cause damage, but it will get annoying constantly checking to see if your charm is right-side up.
Wearing jewelry in a smaller gauge for long periods of time may cause your fistula to tighten, so unless you're intentionally trying to size down I wouldn't recommend doing it.
Wearing Jewelry That's Too Thick
On the other hand, if you purchase a stud in a gauge that's too large you most likely won't be able to get it in. It's incredibly important to avoid forcing it in -- if the jewelry isn't inserting easily into your nose piercing, stop. Forcing jewelry that's too thick to go in will damage your piercing by causing micro tears during the stretch. Once this happens, you will have to treat your piercing as though it's "fresh" again and allow it time to heal.
The best way to avoid both of those situations is to learn how to measure piercing jewelry! It isn't hard, promise.
How to Measure the Gauge of Your Nose Ring at Home
You will need to use a caliper to measure the gauge of your jewelry -- digital ones are the easiest to read. Inexpensive calipers are easy to come by, and you will use it more than once if you plan to continue ordering your jewelry online.
The gauge is the measurement of how thick the wire is for a nose ring or how thick the post is on a nose stud. To measure either one, gently close the jaws of the caliper onto your jewelry so that you don't mar the finish. Make sure you're measuring in millimeters!
These are the common sizes for nose jewelry:
- 22 gauge = 0.64mm (approximate)
- 20 gauge = 0.81mm (approximate)
- 18 gauge = 1.02mm (approximate)
- 16 gauge = 1.3mm (approximate)
Alternative Way to Figure Out What Gauge Nose Ring You Wear
Not interested in measuring your jewelry yourself? Aside from buying a bunch of jewelry and trying on different gauges, the only other way to figure this out is to ask your piercer what gauge they used for your nose piercing. Once you find out, write the gauge down and keep it somewhere safe so you don't forget!