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Nose Piercing: Process, Aftercare Tips, and Possible Complications

Nose piercing entails puncturing a person’s nose cartilage so they can wear jewelry such as a nose piercing stud or ring. If you want to know everything about this beautiful fashion statement, don’t stop reading.
A woman with a nose piercing

Types of nose piercings 

Nose piercing types depend on the part of your nose you choose to pierce. The seven types that are most popular are:

  • Septum piercings
  • Nostril piercing
  • High nostril piercing 
  • Vertical tip piercing
  • Bridge or surface piercing
  • Nasallang piercing
  • Septril piercing
 Nostril piercing

Before you settle on the type of nose piercing you want, make sure that you first do your research. Once you know exactly what you want, you can shop for the right jewelry that will fit your piercing.

Nose piercing: the process 

A young woman getting her nose pierced

The process of nose piercing sometimes involves sensitive, internal skin and can be more painful than a tattoo. Make sure you have optimum care. Once you’ve found a high-quality piercer that meets your standards, here are the steps you’ll go through on your piercing journey:

  • Sterilization: After you’re settled in, the first thing your piercer should do is put on sterile (latex) gloves. After that, the piercer will sterilize your cartilage or the spot you’ve chosen for the piercing. This decreases the chances of an infection.
  • Marking: Next you’ll choose the spot to be pierced. We’d recommend giving this some thought in advance. If the spot you choose is not recommended by the expert, the piercer will show you another safe spot, maybe around your septum or nostrils. The piercer will then mark the spot with a pen. Make sure the spot is exactly where you want it. This is your last chance to change your mind! 
  • Piercing: The safest tool traditionally used for piercing is a hollow needle — not a piercing gun. Hollow needles are cleaner and pose fewer chances of causing an infection; on the other hand, piercing guns can cause tissue damage. Although everyone’s threshold for pain is different, you should only feel a little twinge when the needle pierces your nostril. The whole process shouldn’t take longer than ten minutes. 

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Nose piercing aftercare 

You pierced your nose! Now what? A nose piercing requires more delicate care than ear piercings or tattoos. Your expert piercer will give you tips about nose piercing aftercare before you leave the studio, to prevent a nose piercing infection and accelerate the healing process.

Keep in mind that nose piercing aftercare begins the day you get the piercing. Here are some aftercare tips:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the pierced area.
  • Use bulb syringes or cotton balls to gently apply saline solution to the piercing for three minutes. Alternatively, you can try dipping your nose into the saline for a few seconds. You can buy this solution at the piercing studio or prepare it yourself by adding a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to a warm cup of water. 
  • If you have oily skin or acne, use a clean towel or cotton pad to wipe your nose gently so as not to irritate the piercing.
  • Stay hydrated and keep up a good diet to help you heal faster.
Woman using a cotton pad to clean a nose piercing to prevent a nose piercing infection

How to clean a nose piercing 

  • Your nose piercing is just like any wound, and extra prone to infections because of its location, so never go in with unwashed hands.
  • Use a cotton ball soaked in saline to clean the area gently. It may be a bit painful.
  • With a cotton swab soaked in saline, carefully rub out any crust attached to the piercing. If it is stuck too hard, soak the spot in saline again to soften. Never rub too hard or roughly.
  • Next, to speed up the healing process, moisturize your nose piercing with a combination of tea tree oil and coconut oil (both unrefined). Use a fresh cotton swab to apply twice daily.
  • Don’t resort to stronger antiseptics if you feel an infection is setting in; all you need is the saline solution. Try not to pick at the jewelry or rings because you may end up irritating the spot, resulting in a nose piercing bump.

How long does it take for a nose piercing to heal? 

Different types of nose piercings take different amounts of time to heal, and everyone’s healing time may vary. However, your nose piercing healing process should be complete in a few months.

A septum piercing will take at least six weeks to heal as long as the cartilage was not punctured by accident.

Bridge piercings should heal completely within eight to twelve weeks.

Nasallang piercings often take four to six months to heal because they are the most difficult to pierce perfectly.

Nose piercing bump 

A nose piercing bump can sometimes arise for a number of reasons, including:

  • Bad aftercare products (stick to saline and you’ll be fine)
  • The wrong piercing instruments, like a piercing gun
  • Infected nose rings
  • Accidentally bumping or jostling the piercing
  • Allergic reactions to jewelry, such as those made with nickel

Mild infections from the nose ring or bad aftercare can lead to blisters or a pimple-like bump near the piercing known as a pustule.

Keloids are thicker nose piercing scars that sometimes form near the piercing. 

Granulomas form when the tissue surrounding the pierced area keeps increasing in size. They aren’t infections themselves, but if you pick at it, the spot may become infected.

If you keep up good aftercare and the bumps still don’t disappear, consult a dermatologist immediately. 

Infected nose piercing 

Because a nose piercing creates an open wound in your nose, it is prone to infections caused by harmful bacteria and germs. When bacteria are allowed to accumulate in the nose, they can multiply and cause an infection.

Here are some things to look out for that may indicate an infection:

  • A strange bump on the nose, particularly around the pierced area
  • Redness on the nose that does not go away after a few days or is spreading

Nose piercings are painful, but the pain should decrease with time. If the pain or irritation is persistent, your doctor can determine if you have an infection and help you treat it properly.

https://graziadaily.co.uk/life/real-life/things-know-youve-got-nose-piercing/

https://piercingmania.co.uk/guide-to-nose-piercings

https://authoritytattoo.com/nose-piercing-care-and-healing/

https://www.healthline.com/health/nose-piercing-bump

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319999.php

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