Nose piercings, if done professionally, make you the coolest human ever. But if you miss the recommended aftercare guidelines and the piercing area gets infected, it is HELL. You know what? Infected nose piercing takes a very long time to heal – say 2 to 5 months.
If you are one among the infected nose-piercing victims, this blog is for you. Learn more about how to deal with an infected nose piercing, healing time, and healing stages. Here we go!
Nose Piercing: An Overview
Our nasal cavity is formed by the nasal septum which divides the nasal tunnel. The septum is a wall made of cartilaginous tissue.
Usually, the slender skin between the cartilage and the bed of the nose is where the piercing is done. When skin is pierced instead of cartilage, it can reduce the pain and other risks associated with body piercing.
Nose piercing is achieved by an 18-gauge needle or a nose gun. Nose piercings look good on all noses irrespective of their nose shapes. A few metals used in the nose rings are safe but they could cause allergy or sensitivity to some people. The risk of infection increases due to water contact in swimming pools and other public water bodies.
Nose piercings are not basically wound enhancers, but lack of aftercare may lead to wounds or infection. Are you confused about how to deal with an infected nose piercing? Here we make it easy for you!
How To Deal With Infected Nose Piercing?
Dealing with nose ring infection is troublesome and for some, it is a nightmare. Here we have put up some steps – initial finding through primary symptoms, secondary symptoms and certain countermeasures that could prevent worsening your infection and to HEAL FASTER.
Swelling, redness, bleeding, and bruising for a few weeks. This is managed by following the instructions of the person who performed the procedure. This normally goes away on its own with no or minimal care.
In some cases, there could be associated itching, sepsis, crustation, dry skin, thickened skin, and skin discoloration which may take a long time to heal. There could be serious issues like nose bumps. A bump from a nose piercing could be a keloid, granuloma, or pustule.
Some symptoms could be due to nose piercings infected inside. Predominantly, they are:
- Persistent pain.
- Tenderness at the site.
To prevent increasing the risk of deterioration of the wound and to decrease other symptoms as well:
- Do not touch the crust to drain pus or eliminate it.
- Do not touch the infected area.
- Do not prick or squeeze the area.
- Apply salt solution for primary wound spread prevention.
- Do not remove the jewelry by yourself. Instead, consult a physician. Removing it may close the piercing and hide the infectious microbes inside which may breed aggressively.
- Be cautious before swapping jewelry out of interest. If the nose piercing was done prior to 6 or 8 months, swapping the jewelry should be done by the jeweler. Doing so by yourself may result in the tearing of the skin.
- You may be allergic to the metal used for piercing or for the ornament you wear. Get it checked and change it if needed.
- Keep the pierced site clean. This will prevent infection build-up. Use a hygienic cloth dipped in antiseptic solutions like isopropyl alcohol, diluted hydrogen peroxide, betadine, etc., and gently wipe the site.
- Use a topical antibiotic. Aside from cleanliness, infection prevention can be achieved by using antimicrobial creams or solutions.
- Use hot, warm compresses with tea tree oil or chamomile oil.
- When you are in the shower, rinse the area with soap and water.
- If pain is unbearable, use OTC painkillers.
- Finally, consult a physician to get the area examined. If necessary, your doctor may perform irrigation and debridement of the area and prescribe oral antibiotics.
Nose Piercing With A Hoop
Nose ornaments or nosewears are available in different geometry, each one catering to the wearer’s likes or dislikes. A nose hoop is a round or ring-like structure contrary to a nose stud which is linear or small rod-type.
There are different styles in hoops, like seamless ring, captive bead ring, faux hoops, etc.
The disadvantage about piercing the nose with a hoop is that it can take longer to heal. It could accumulate dirt.
However, an advantage of hoop is that it has room to accommodate swelling. Due to this, wound-spread will be minimal. There is a little chance of things or fabrics getting caught on it.
It is not usually recommended because hoops are harder to heal. A hoop can move a bit more and a lot more frequently. Therefore, the chance of bacteria or germs entering and getting enveloped in the area is higher.
Studs give a clean appearance to the face as they are relatively small. Piercing with a stud would enable quicker healing. After the nose piercing has healed completely, hoops can be exchanged with the previous nosewear but not advisable as an ornament to begin with.
Nose Piercing Healing Time
Nose piercings take a long time to heal. It depends on the zone of piercing in the nose.
Pierced nostrils take around 2 to 4 months to heal. A pierced septum takes around 4 months to heal. However, they do not take longer than 9 months, in general. Some complex piercings, depending on the anatomical location on the nose where it is done, require more time to heal.
Such piercings are listed below:
Nostril Piercing: 6 months to 1 year. It depends on the thickness of the hoop or the stud you use.
Bridge Piercing: 2 to 3 months. The piercing travels close to the eye area. There is very little skin involvement. Therefore, healing time is considerably less.
Austin Bar Piercing: 2 to 3 months
Nasallang Piercing: 4 to 6 months. This is a technique involving nose piercing on both sides, ie., hitting the septum as well as both nostrils. In comparison to others, this is a more intricate procedure to be done.
Rhino Piercing: 6 to 9 months. The longer time is because of the thickness of the tissue on the upper nose region.
Septril Piercing : 4 to 6 months
Septum Piercing : 3 to 4 months. Nasal septum is a delicate structure. Piercing the septum can have painful issues compared to nostrils where piercing hurts less. Therefore, postoperative aftercare in septum piercing should be more genuinely followed to promote healing.
Nose Piercing Healing Stages
Also known as an inflammatory phase, this is the time period when pain, warmth, and mild bleeding are experienced greatly. In the initial days, the cells in the pierced area are replaced with new ones. First, the blood starts to clot and the tissue around the holes and the ornament hardens. Collagen, a protein, is replenished in the nearing area by white blood cells.
Also known as a proliferative phase, in this time period, there would be more tenderness. This phase starts months after the swelling and erythema (redness) start to disappear on the top of the skin.
This is the final maturation period. Several months after the piercing is done, if you wish to remove or change the jewelry, it can be done. Piercing would remain open after this.
What Are The Indications Of A Healed Nose?
To tell if your nose piercing has healed, you need to monitor it closely. Sometimes, superficial healing may be falsely present as a fully healed tissue with infection spreading underneath. You may be tempted to change the ornament. This is why ensuring complete healing is essential.
One or too many symptoms such as discharge, swelling, redness, or soreness are indications of an active wound. Over a period of time after nose piercing, the absence of all of these signs should signal that the wound is healing without complications.
Ideally, visiting the person who performed your nose piercing to ascertain the healing status is advisable. If required, consult your physician or if required a dermatologist before actively going for changing and swapping an ornament of your will.
How To Expedite Nose Healing?
Getting the nose piercing done by a well-trained professional with extensive experience, can ensure the wounds are healed quickly.
Note: After any type of nose piercing, or piercing in general, it is common to have a slight discharge, irritation, bruising, sensitivity, etc. However, infectious wounds can give rise to different intensities of side effects. If prolonged itching, soreness, tenderness, greenish-yellow liquid discharge, the emanation of foul odor, etc., over the infected site show up, immediately consult your physician.
What Are The Ways To Remove Nose Piercing Scars?
Nose piercing is a form of a wound inflicted intentionally with a purpose on the skin. Like all wounds, reparation of skin by collagen generation helps in scar tissue disappearance.
A scar can be formed due to:
- Sensitivity to the nosewear material.
- Fluid collection.
- Inflammation or granulomatous tissue formation caused by viruses or bacteria.
Oftentimes after piercing, a small bump forms over the pierced area. It is also a sign of good healing.
- Try a silicon-based gel over the scar, suitable to your skin constitution.
- Consult your dermatologist to check if a corticosteroid injection is warranted. This can shrink the scar.
- Collagen injection near the piercing site by a cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist can smoothen the scar. If it is widespread, obstinate, and aesthetically displeasing, a skin rejuvenation treatment can be considered.
- As a last resort, surgical excision of the scar tissue is another option. After removal, skin from another site is transposed on the site, as skin grafting.
If the scar is very tiny, makeup hacks can solve the problem.
If the scar is minor, the following over-the-counter solutions with ingredients available at home or, commonly called ‘kitchen solutions,’ may come in handy:
- Baking soda
- Aloe vera
- Lemon juice
- Sandalwood and rosewater
- Soaks using sea salt, chamomile and tea, and tea tree oil
- Vitamin E cream
Nose Piercing Aftercare
How long does nose piercing take to heal depends on the parts of the nose pierced, ie., nostrils, septum, or both the septum and nostrils, etc.
Until the time your nose has healed completely:
- Wash your hands clean. Before dabbling with your nose area or the nose stud or ring, make sure that your hands are clean.
- Use saline solution over the pierced site.
- Whenever the area is moist or wet, pat the area dry.
- Stay away from swimming pools. Also avoid lakes, waterfalls, and rivers.
- Do not attempt to change or move the jewelry.
- Be cautious when sleeping. Sleep only on surfaces where you do not hit your nose while asleep.
- Consult your doctor immediately if you have signs of yellowish-green discharge, persistent or recurrent fever, redness around the site, swelling around the site, pain, and tenderness around the piercing area.
Only a completely healed nose piercing lets you enjoy the whole benefit of piercing. Fighting an infection for too long periods can take away the joy of it. Sometimes, the pierced hole may close by itself if not monitored carefully. This can force you to undergo the procedure again.
Nose piercing sites can heal only aided by your health, sleeping habits, and active lifestyle. It is limited by a lot of factors like the crucial location of piercing, aggressive activity (picking or playing), type of jewelry worn, the piercing technique used, etc.
The nose is positioned in the “danger triangle of the face.” It is linked to the sinuses and due to this microbial attack is easy which can affect other regions of the face too.
Therefore, adhering to the practices outlined above and following up with your dermatologist is significant.
Q. What are the white bumps seen after nose piercing?
A. They are a type of pustules. They are hard and come with some tenderness. Many times, the skin around the pustules is red or inflamed. They appear due to clogged pores. Some nose piercing bumps appear without white color also that is a pimple.
Q. How safe is nose gun piercing?
A. Safety and efficacy is doubtful. Piercing needles can be sanitized and sterilized. The same cannot be said of nose guns used for the same purpose. They can cause harm to the tissues in and around the piercing site in the nose, along with increased probability for infection.