The nose is among the most popular body parts to have piercings – next to the ear. Nose piercings add a touch of personal style to individuals and can accentuate the nose.
However, nose piercings can be problematic – they come with the risk of infection, especially when the piercing is still new. You should treat an infected nose piercing as soon as you see it to avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor.
This post will help you know how to clean nose piercings, what causes nose piercing infections and how to deal with them.
Let’s dig in!
How do I clean a nose piercing?
Cleaning your nose piercing for the first time can be tricky as the area will be tender and painful. However, cleaning the area is necessary as it will help soothe it and reduce swelling and pain.
Experts recommend cleaning your nose piercing site at least twice daily until it heals fully. Here are a few things you need to clean your nose piercing correctly:
- Cotton balls
- Saline solution (or simply salt water)
- Paper towels
- A mug, small bowl, or eggcup to hold the saline solution
Then, you can proceed to clean the nose piercing as follows:
- Add small amounts of saline water to the bowl/mug/eggcup
- Then, soak the pierced area in the bowl with the saline solution, and leave it for about 3-5 minutes.
- Rinse your piercing site with clean water and dry it using a clean paper towel
- Alternatively, you can dip a Q-tip or cotton swab in a warm saline solution and apply it to the piercing site for several minutes
These items will help remove crusted or dried lymphatic blood or fluid from the piercing site or jewelry.
Before cleaning your nose piercing, first wash your hands using liquid soap and warm water. Dry your hands using clean paper towels before cleaning the piercing.
When cleaning the nose piercing open wound, avoid products like:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Isopropyl alcohol
Getting a nose piercing is relatively easy and fast. However, the healing process can take longer – up to several months.
The nose piercing aftercare is a vital part of the healing process, with proper cleaning being the first step. A professional body piercer is likely to recommend the following guidelines:
- Avoid touching the piercing site except when cleaning it.
- Clean the piercing area at least twice a day using saltwater
- Moisturize the affected area using coconut oil or diluted tea tree oil
- Clean the site with gentle, unscented soap after the piercing has fully healed
Piercing aftercare is vital as it prevents infections and other complications, such as piercing bumps, nasal trauma, and scarring.
Nose piercing risks
Yep, piercing your nose makes you all cute, but it’s associated with varying risks and possible complications. For instance, poor nose piercing aftercare services is likely to lead to such problems as nasal trauma, nose infections piercing bumps, etc.
Let’s go through some of these risks:
Nasal piercing infection
If you fail to clean your nose piercing correctly, the site will possibly become infected. And when this happens, your nasal piercing will take longer to heal.
The infection may also lead to complications, such as nose bumps and scarring. A nose bump is among the most prevalent nose piercing infections and warrants a more comprehensive discussion.
Nose piercing bumps:
Once you get a nose piercing, you’ll likely have some swelling, bleeding, redness, or bruising for weeks. And as the piercing heals, you might feel itchy around the pierced area, whitish pus might ooze from the site, and a small crust may form around the jewelry.
The piercing may take as much as six months to heal completely. If your piercing sites worsen and the symptoms increase, you could be having an infection.
If it’s a nasal piercing bump, you might have any of the three things:
- An abscess – is a pimple or blister that has pus
- A granuloma – a lesion that occurs about six weeks after piercing
- Keloid formation – a thick scar around the piercing site. This is also a common problem for ear piercings
These bumps may result from several things, including:
- Allergic reaction to the jewelry
- Poor piercing technique
- Using the wrong products for piercing aftercare
- Touching the piercing site with dirty hands
If you have a nose piercing bump, do not drain pus or remove the crust, which can worsen the condition. Instead, use the correct nose infection treatment methods (discussed below) to prevent further irritation and treat the affected area.
This is an injury to the nose and the surrounding areas that support your nose. Common types of nose traumas include fractures, nosebleeds, injuries to the inside of your nose, and obstruction by a foreign object.
This condition is characterized by pain in and around the nose, blood coming from the nose, trouble breathing, etc. Visit your doctor if you get a nose trauma due to your nose piercings.
Changes to nose shape
If your piercer doesn’t piece correctly or the nose infection isn’t treated, this may change your nose shape.
Here are the best ways to deal with an infected piercing:
Change your nose jewelry
Most jewelry is made using metal nickel, which can trigger an allergic reaction in some people, making the bump form. You may also experience the following symptoms:
- Discolored skin
- Intense itchiness
To deal with the infection, you should try using other hypoallergenic jewelry materials, including:
- Stainless steel
- 18- or 24-karat gold
If you have a fresh nose piercing, consult your piercer regarding the best type of metal to use. Also, have them help you swap the jewelry to avoid complications like tearing the nose tissue.
Use sea salt solution
A sea salt solution is a natural way to keep the piercing site clean, help it heal faster, and reduce swelling that’s causing unsightly piercing bumps. To use this solution:
- Dissolve ⅛ to ¼ of a teaspoonful of sea salt in 1 cup of warm bottled or distilled water
- Rinse the piercing with the solution
- Dry it using a clean paper towel
Ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly before touching the piercing area to reduce the risks of infections.
Observe proper aftercare
Following the piercing aftercare instructions should prevent tissue damage or an infection that could lead to a bump. Your piercer should advise on how to take care of your piercing area, which involves cleaning it regularly.
Here are a few nose piercing aftercare tips:
- Clean the piercing site at least twice daily using a saline solution
- Do not remove the jewelry before the pierced area and the surrounding skin is healed
- Avoid moving jewelry
- Cover the nose piercing with waterproof dressing when swimming
- Avoid cosmetics, lotions, or hair care products around the piercing site
Use tea tree oil
Some piercing connoisseurs recommend using tea tree oil to dehydrate and shrink a piercing bump. And although there is limited research to show its effectiveness, most people have used tea tree oil to treat infected piercings.
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to warm water and use it to clean the fresh piercings. You can buy the product from a local store or online.
Apply warm compress
Trapped fluid under your skin can lead to a bump, but pressure and heat will help drain it gradually. You can make a simple warm water compress by soaking a clean washcloth n hot water.
Then, apply the warm compress to the piercing and hold it with gentle pressure for several minutes. Do not try to force the bump to drain, as this can cause further irritation and scarring.
How can I prevent nose piercing bump?
Tissue damages and infections are the leading causes of nose piercing bumps. Going to an experienced and reputable piercing studio is key to safe piercing free from infections.
The Association of Professional Piercers has a directory with a list of trusted piercers to help you make the right piercing studio. Also, observing the aftercare instructions listed above will help avoid infections.
When do I seek medical attention?
Although redness and minor swelling are expected, seek medical care if:
- You have an uncomfortable level of throbbing, much pain, and a burning sensation around the piercing site.
- You have an extreme redness or unusual tenderness at the piercing site
- You have an unpleasant odor with yellow or green pus coming from the piercing site.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, visit your piercer for further guidance. They may recommend the best treatment methods or refer you to a medical professional for treatment.
The bottom line
After a new nose piercing, piercing aftercare should begin and last until the nose is fully healed. Learning to clean your nose piercings is vital, as cleaning prevents infection and other complications, like nasal trauma, scarring, and difficulty breathing.
This post explains everything you need to know about nose infections, including what causes them and how to deal with them. Good luck as you purpose to use it to have faster healing on the nose piercing.