Nose piercing: Healing, Cleaning, Infections, Foods & More

You might have already decided to get a nose piercing or just finished getting it. What are the next steps? How long does the healing process take? What do I do should any infections arise? Are there any foods I should avoid? These are only some of the questions you might be asking yourself.

We got you covered! In this article, we will walk through everything you should know about post-piercing. A few things may concern you, such as the healing process, dealing with infections, and cleaning the area.

nose rings

How long does it take a nose piercing to heal & aftercare?

The average healing time is two to four months. You will feel soreness and tenderness during the first three weeks. However, the healing timeframe may differ depending on several factors.

Nostrils will heal within two to four months, while the septum will take at least three to four months. It is dependent on the piercing type. The following are rough estimates.

Nostril

The nostril has an average healing time of four to six months. It is dependent on the jewelry type. A large ring will take more time to heal, while a small one can close quicker. 

Septum

septum nose piercings

The septum averages two to three months of healing. It is the thin layer between your two nostrils and is more delicate. It hurts more, but it heals faster because of fewer body tissues.

Rhino

The rhino area has a healing time of six to nine months. The tissue surrounding this area is thicker, taking longer to recover. 

Bridge

The bridge takes two to three months of recovery. This type involves very little tissue, making the healing time faster. Any jewelry in this area passes through a small portion of your skin between the eyes. 

Nasallang

Nasallang is more complex than the others because it passes through both nostrils and the septum. We highly recommend seeking a professional for it. Generally, the Nasallang takes four to six months of recovery.

Aftercare Process

Similar to a tattoo, a nose piercing is an open wound that requires safe aftercare attention. More risks are involved because it is between the eyebrows and upper lip. The veins in this region connect to the sinus cavity, which may link to serious issues without proper care. An infection, scarring, or bleeding are the common problems you will encounter with improper aftercare.

The priority after the procedure is minimizing infection risks. Getting an infection will lead to scarring or jeopardizing your entire health. Most issues will prevent you from using your jewelry, which defeats the purpose of getting one.

Before touching your jewelry, always wash your hands. Only soak your jewelry in saline solution if the wound is still healing. At this time, you must stay away from baths, pools, saunas, and hot tubs. Rings will likely take more time to recover because they can get hit or moved more often than a stud. 

Signs of a healing nose piercing

There are three main stages of healing for nose piercing. Many would ask questions if something they are experiencing is normal or not. It is tricky to know if the recovery is progressing or if there is an issue.

The three stages are the inflammatory, proliferative, and maturation phases. The surrounding areas may differ per person per stage, so one may not exactly look the same as another.

Inflammatory Stage

The inflammatory stage will likely last a few days to weeks, depending on how your body reacts and how fast it can deal with the inflammation. Your body begins working as soon as the procedure finishes. It works to seal the wound and create new tissues.

Blood will clot the area of the piercing. Afterward, the red blood cells will assist in creating collagen, a tough fiber responsible for growing skin. Unlike cutting yourself with scissors or a knife, the body cannot seal the wound because of the jewelry. It wants to start the granulation process, but it cannot.

As a result, the body tries to reject the foreign object. It results in an inflammation of the area. It forces the jewelry out, causing tenderness and pain with the inflammation. The pain will intensify if you touch it. Redness, warm sensation, and bleeding may accompany these symptoms.

Proliferative Stage

selection of nose piercings

The proliferative stage starts when the body creates a fistula. It is a tube or tunnel of tissue that grows from the outside and connects to the center. This phase does not show open wound signs. For example, it will no longer bleed, inflame, or tender to the touch. However, it has not fully healed and is still susceptible to infections.

As the fistula forms, you will notice a yellowish discharge of waste, dead cells, plasma, or lymph around each piercing hole. Some people may worry, but this is a good sign! The yellow discharge signifies the body is creating new scar tissues. The ring may loosen or tighten while tissues are forming around it.

We do not recommend moving the jewelry because the fistula may dislodge. It is uncommon for it to feel sore or tender during this stage. If you do encounter it, there might have been some trauma. It may need extra care. 

Throughout this phase, precaution and care are necessary to avoid infections or any issues arising. Care will involve consistent cleaning and limiting contact from it.

How do you know if the proliferative stage is over? The discharge should stop, and the piercing’s edges pull inward. 

Maturation Stage

The final stage is maturation, where the fistula walls expand and thicken. The risk of damaging your piercing is less at this stage. Moreover, removing it for a short time will not close it. The maturation stage takes a few months to some years to reach, depending on location and health.

The piercing may close if you remove your jewelry, even after the healing process is over. We do not recommend stretching it until the fistula is larger than the jewelry.

How It Closes

Some people may find it interesting. If you remove your jewelry, your body will try to join the fistula scar tissues. It begins closing at the tunnel’s center, explaining why your jewelry will not go through. When the fistula connects, your body will fill the tunnel with tissue. If you would like to prevent it from happening, do not remove your jewelry for a long time. 

How do you heal a nose piercing fast?

Most people prefer it to heal fast. So how can you make it heal fast? Here are a few things to consider for fast recovery.

Trust a professional piercer.

nose piercing gun

If you want it to heal fast, we recommend having a professional do the procedure. Look for a place with a good reputation and reviews. You can also ask your friends and colleagues for recommendations. Moreover, doing your own research will go the extra mile. Taking the effort and time to visit a professional will yield better results after the procedure.

These professionals will offer expert advice on how to care for it. Here are a few things to look out for before getting one:

  • Hollow piercing needle – Professionals use this type because it is easy to control and hygienic.
  • Avoid the gun type – Aside from the needle, the gun type is another device some use. We recommend avoiding it because it causes more pain. Moreover, they are inaccurate, harder to clean, and cause blood-borne health issues.

Use clean hands

Clean your hands before touching or cleaning the area. Wash it with anti-bacterial soap before and after touching it. The combination of dirt from your hands, facial oil, and fluids from the wound may lead to issues. 

Leave it on

This advice is likely the most common one. Do not remove it for at least six to eight weeks. If your piercer says otherwise, you should follow their instructions. Remove it if you think an issue with the jewelry will cause more harm than good. If you want to change jewelry while the wound is healing, reach out to your piercer before doing anything. 

Regularly clean it

Be very gentle when cleaning the surrounding area because it is very delicate. Use a q-tip or a cotton ball to wipe off any crust or fluid secretions.

Do not use peroxide or alcohol to clean because it will also kill the healing cells surrounding the jewelry. The safest way to clean it is using a saline solution, such as the Base Labs Aftercare Spray. It uses the best ingredients for your healing wound. Moreover, you can use it in different applications, such as:

  • belly button
  • earrings
  • and even tattoo.

It also has a spray-on application, preventing you from rubbing or fiddling with the area.

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What should you clean a nose piercing with?

You can make your own solution at home. You can do an effective and gentle saline solution by dissolving sea salt with water. Soak a q-tip or cotton ball into the solution and gently pat around the area.

Otherwise, you can soak your nose in a bowl of saline solution. If you prefer soaking, we recommend doing it for five to ten minutes daily. Rinse it with clean water to remove excess solution.

To make your saline solution, you will need the following:

  • 1 cup / 8 ounces water distilled water
  • 1/4 teaspoon iodine-free sea salt

If you prefer store-bought solutions, we recommend the following.

Urban ReLeaf Solution

The Urban ReLeaf solution contains several minerals and vitamins for faster and smoother healing. Tea tree oils aid fast-healing, while vitamin E and aloe vera nourish and moisturize the skin. 

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Dr. Piercing Aftercare Medicated Spray

The spray contains aloe vera that soothes a swelling area. It also keeps your skin hydrated, so it does not dry or cracks. The spray is in a small bottle, so you can quickly pack it and take it wherever you go. 

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What do you do with an infected nose piercing: Seeing a bump?

After the procedure, you may notice bleeding, redness, swelling, or bruising for several weeks. It is normal and part of the healing process. As it begins to heal, you will also experience white or yellow fluid secretions around the area, itching, and crust formation.

It can take six months or more to recover. If you notice a bump developing, there could be a problem. The bump can be because of one of the following:

  • Granuloma – A lesion that occurs about six weeks after the procedure
  • Pustule – A pimple or blister containing pus
  • Keloid – A thick scar developing around the area

A few things will cause this bump from happening:

  • Touching with dirty hands
  • Allergic to the jewelry
  • The technique to pierce was poor
  • Using incorrect aftercare products

Do not remove crusts or pus because it will worsen the symptoms. The bump will heal with treatment. It should also prevent further irritation from occurring.

Here are five tips we recommend to alleviate a nose bump.

Change your jewelry

Manufacturers often use nickel, which may trigger an allergic reaction in some people. It causes a bump to form. Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Thickened or dry skin
  • Blistering and redness
  • Itching

We recommend the following metal types if you are sensitive to nickel.

Clean your piercing at least twice a day

Cleaning it twice or thrice a day will not only prevent bumps but can also take it off. A professional may provide better recommendations for you. Before touching the area, always disinfect your hands with water and soap. 

We advise against using any products that contain the following ingredients:

  • Triclosan-containing soaps
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Betadine
  • Hibiclens
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Use sea salt soak or saline solution.

Instead, use sea salt or saline solution when cleaning your piercing. Do not forget to wash your hands with soap and water. 

Use chamomile compress

Chamomile contains ingredients that help wounds to close and heal faster. It stimulates the skin to restore itself. The alternate use of chamomile and saline solution may be more effective. 

Apply tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antifungal agent. It makes it useful when dehydrating nose bumps. It also boosts the recovery process, reduces inflammation, and drives away infection. 

We recommend the Base Labs Piercing Bump Treatment for fast removal and healing of your bumps. 

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Here is a step-by-step guide to cleaning your nose piercing and keeping it in its healthiest shape. 

How to clean nose piercing?

  1. Clean it at least twice a day.

  2. Prepare a salt solution by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt with one cup / 8 ounces of distilled water.

    Otherwise, you can purchase a saline solution over the counter.

  3. Wash your hands using soap and flowing water.

  4. Soak a cotton ball or q-tip in the solution.

    Gently press it around the area for three to four minutes.

  5. Pat dry the area using clean tissue paper.

  6. Optionally, you can apply lavender oil to promote healing.

Meaning of right side nose piercing

A right-side nose piercing generally promotes masculine energy, but women can also pull it off. We recommend piercing your nose’s side depending on your hair position and head shape. It also has a spiritual meaning.

  • The right side of the nose attracts good luck into one’s life.
  • It will help you find love.
  • You will get a boost in self-esteem.
  • It enhances your intuitive abilities.

Foods to avoid after nose piercing

Avoid some food items after getting a nose piercing to prevent aggregation of symptoms.

  • Large size – Large food items can cause physical damage. Biting an apple may touch the piercing, causing nasal trauma.
  • Crunchy – Avoid peanuts or nuts because of the vibration they can have. 
  • Spicy – Spicy food may heat up your body, causing your mucus membrane to irritate.
  • A hot drink or steam – Steaming or hot beverages release vapor, slowing healing time.

Nose piercing bump won’t go away.

If the bump does not go away, we recommend seeing a dermatologist. It may be a granuloma, pustule, or keloid. 

FAQ

The following are frequently asked questions revolving around nose piercings. 

How do you tell if your nose piercing has healed?

It has healed if you longer experience flaking skin, redness, swelling, soreness, and fluid discharges. 

When can I change my nose piercing?

Wait for it to heal before you can change it. It may take an average of eight or more months. 

Does Claire’s do nose piercings?

Yes, they do. Setting an appointment before visiting the store is recommended. 

Do nose piercings hurt?

You may experience some discomfort during and shortly after the procedure. Redness, soreness, and tenderness may also be evident for up to three weeks. 

Do nose piercings close easily?

Nose piercings take a few months to close.