The most common needle gauge for a nose piercing is 18. Twenty or 22 gauge is for individuals who want smaller holes. Typically, 16 is the largest gauge used for nose piercings, though jewelry for this size is not common.
Nose piercings done with needles usually produce better results than those done with piercing guns. The material used in nose rings is likely to be hypoallergenic, so rings tend to heal better and avoid infection more than studs. Rings should be left in place for at least six weeks to allow tissues to heal. During this time, the area must be kept clean and dry.