Nose Piercing Healing Times: How Long Do They Take to Heal?
How long a nose piercing takes to heal is dependent on several factors, and your piercing may still be healing even after it seems like it’s completely fine.
Just because all the outward signs like redness and tenderness have disappeared, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are ready to stop the aftercare or replace the jewelry.
Consider the factors discussed in this article before you treat your nose piercing like it is fully healed to ensure everything progresses as well as it should.
How Long Does A Nose Piercing Take To Heal On Average?
Nostril piercings completely heal in about 2 to 4 months, and a septum piercing will heal in 3 to 4 months.
Because everyone’s body heals at a different rate, you can’t know exactly how long it will take your nose piercing to heal for sure, but you can get a pretty good idea of what kind of healing time to expect by looking at the averages.
You might think that pretty much anywhere on the nose should heal in about the same amount of time. That, however, is not the case. Each of the following types of nose piercings has a slightly different average healing time.
Nostril piercings usually take 2 to 4 months to heal, but can actually take up to 6 months if conditions aren’t right.
This is largely dependent on the type of jewelry initially inserted. A thicker type of jewelry will require a longer healing period.
It may be surprising, but a septum piercing can actually be the quickest nose piercing to heal.
If your nose anatomy is right, and the piercer is able to get the piercing lined up properly through the columella (the fleshy part just beneath the cartilage), then a septum piercing can heal in just 3 to 4 months.
Consequently, if the piercing ends up going through the cartilage, either because you wanted it to or the piercer messed up, then you’re looking at a substantially longer healing time. A septum piercing through the cartilage takes about 6 to 8 months to heal.
Bridge piercings are one of the less common nose piercings, but they have a fairly quick healing time. A piercing on the bridge of the nose takes about 8 to 12 weeks to heal fully. That’s a little less time than a nostril piercing.
Rhino piercings go through the tip of the nose vertically. They require the longest healing period of types of nose piercings. A rhino piercing will usually take between 6 to 9 months to completely heal.
Nasallang piercings often take about 4 to 6 months to completely heal.
Nasallang piercings are more complicated because they go through both of your nostrils and also your septum, so it’s always best to choose an experienced piercer for this type.
What Can Affect Nose Piercing Healing Times?
Several different factors play a role in how long it will take for your individual nose piercing to heal. Regardless of the average healing time, your body and your aftercare will determine how long healing actually takes. Here are some things to consider.
Picking at the skin or scabs
Picking at scabs or crust that forms on the skin around the piercing can irritate it or lead to additional sores on your skin. Pulling at the scabs or crust can rip the skin beneath, slowing healing time.
Submerging the piercing in water
Even water can contain bacteria. Therefore, except for when you’re cleaning your nose piercing, you should keep it out of water.
It’s okay to submerge the piercing in saline or salt water solution, but don’t go swimming with it until the piercing is healed. If you do go swimming, keep the nose piercing out of the water.
Playing with the piercing
Despite common misconceptions, you do not need to move or turn your piercing. It will heal much faster if you leave it alone. Playing with or touching your piercing only agitates the wound and slows healing time. Even worse, touching and playing with the piercing can lead to infection as bacteria are introduced to the area.
Catching the piercing on something
This isn’t something you would do on purpose, though if you accidentally catch your piercing on something, like clothing, then it can irritate the piercing, which often results in longer healing times.
Also if you’ve got a nostril piercing on a certain side, try to sleep on the opposite side to avoid compressing and damaging the piercing in your sleep.
Your cleaning regimen
Cleaning too little can increase the risk of infection, and infection will definitely slow healing time. On the other hand, cleaning too much can also be a problem, as can taking the piercing out too early.
Overcleaning can dry out the skin around your nose piercing and irritate it, and an irritated piercing not only takes longer to heal, but it can also lead to infection because the irritation reduces your skin’s ability to protect itself from bacteria. Using cleaning products that are too harsh can also delay healing times and cause further irritation.
Use a simple salt water (saline) solution, or choose to buy one of the many piercing aftercare
The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.
Contracting an infection
Just to be clear, if you contract an infection in your piercing, it will take longer to heal, along with making the whole healing process more painful than normal. That’s why it’s smart to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your piercer.
Reactions to the jewelry material
Some people are allergic to certain metals. In fact, it’s quite common to have a reaction to cheap metal alloys, especially those containing nickel. Metal allergies cause a lot of irritation for piercings and may even lead to infections as the resistance of the body tissues are suppressed by irritation.
Improperly sized jewelry
Some lesser-experienced piercers may choose jewelry that’s too small for a new piercing. When that happens, the jewelry can sink into the piercing itself and cause irritation that will increase healing time.
A new piercing often swells, and that’s why it’s important to pick jewelry that’s the right size. A piercing professional will be able to tell whether a particular jewelry piece is large enough to account for the swelling that will occur after piercing.
There are still some places that will perform nose piercings with a piercing gun. I cannot stress enough that piercing guns are the worst way to get any body part pierced, even earlobes.
Piercing guns cause more trauma to nose tissue compared to needles, and that means they’re more likely to form bumps or nose piercing scars, or get infected. It also means a longer healing time for your piercing. Needles are also much more sanitary piercing tools.
The type of nose piercing you get definitely makes a difference in how long it takes to heal, but many other factors also come into play. The bottom line is that by following tried and tested piercing aftercare procedures, and by keeping the piercing clean, you will give yourself the best chance possible for a quick healing period – regardless of which type of nose piercing you get.