Nose Piercing Healing Times - How Long Do They Take To Heal?
How long a nose piercing takes to heal is dependant on several factors, and your piercing may still be healing even after it seems like it’s completely healed.
Just because all the outward signs like redness and tenderness are gone, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are ready to stop 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?
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.
On average, a standard nostril piercing takes about 4 to 6 months to heal. Among the various types of nose piercings, this is about the middle of the road on healing time.
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.
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.
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 6 to 8 weeks.
That being said, 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.
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. That is, regardless of the average healing time, your body and the things you do during the healing period can make the process take more or less time. Here are the things to consider.
Picking at the skin or scabs
You’ve probably heard it a dozen times, and hopefully your piercer will remind you, but keep your hands off your piercing. 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.
Also, your fingers don’t need to be anywhere near a fresh piercing, except when you’re cleaning it, and even then you need to wash your hands first so you don’t introduce additional bacteria to the wound.
Submerging the piercing in water
Even water can contain bacteria. So except for when you’re cleaning your 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.
Exposing the piercing to sunlight
Excessive sun exposure can irritate your piercing and increase healing time. You should not apply sunscreen to a new piercing. But do limit the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight. That means no sunbathing or swimming outside until the piercing is healed, if you want your piercing to heal as fast as possible, and getting a sunburn can definitely increase healing time.
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 is introduced to the area.
Catching the piercing on something
This isn’t something you would do on purpose, but if you accidentally catch your piercing on something, like clothing, then it can irritate the piercing, which often results in longer healing times.
Your cleaning regimen
This is one of the big factors that you have control over. Following appropriate cleaning and aftercare routines is the best way to heal your nose piercing as fast as you possibly can.
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. Over cleaning can dry out the skin around your nose piercing and irritate it, and an irritated piercing not only takes longer to heal, it can also lead to infection because the irritation reduces your skin’s ability to protect itself from bacteria.
Finally, using cleaning products that are too harsh to your wound 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 products currently on the market, which are specifically designed to help heal a new piercing as quickly and as effectively as possible.
My Favorite Piercing Aftercare Product
The best piercing aftercare product I've ever had the pleasure of using up to this point is the H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray.
Not only is every single ingredient completely natural, but the spray works brilliantly on all skin types (including sensitive skin) and comes in a very generously sized can.
Many users of the spray advise that when using it from the very start of the healing process, it appears to decrease healing times and helps to reduce any lingering pain/soreness.
Read more about the H2Ocean Piercing Spray here. Have a quick look at some of the customer reviews and you'll see why it's one of the most popular piercing sprays on the market.
Your general health
Everyone has a different ability to heal. If you tend to heal quickly from small wounds or illnesses, then it’s likely that you’ll also heal your nose piercing quickly. Additionally, it can make a difference what other ailments you’re getting over while your piercing heals.
If you have a cold, flu, or other medical issues, your nose piercing may take longer to heal simply because your body is dividing its focus. That’s why it’s best to wait to get pierced until you’re experiencing relatively good health and don’t have any other medical procedures coming up.
You can’t predict whether you will get sick or injured, but you can take measures to ensure good general health after you get your nose pierced. That includes eating healthy, avoiding excess stress, and getting plenty of sleep.
Contracting an infection
You’ve already read about several actions that can lead to an infection in your nose piercing. Just to be clear, if you contract an infection in your piercing, it will take longer to heal. That’s why it’s smart to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your piercer.
Reaction 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 worn down by irritation.
Improperly sized jewelry
If you go to a reputable body piercing studio and have a trained piercing professional do your piercing, then this shouldn’t be a problem. However, some less 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. But if your jewelry does sink into the piercing, go to a reputable piercing studio to have an appropriate piece of jewelry placed in it.
Everyone’s body reacts to a piercing differently. Sometimes your body tries to fight the piercing, and bumps or scars may form. If you get a piercing bump, it will take a while for the bump to heal and allow the rest of the area to heal completely. In most cases, a piercing bump can be cleared up with gentle aftercare and good hygiene.
In the event that the bump doesn’t go away, you may want to check whether it is a keloid scar. Keloids are scar tissue that spreads beyond the area of trauma, and they require medical treatment to be removed.
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.
Some people think piercing guns are less painful because of how quickly the piercing is performed. But over and over again, people who have multiple piercings say that a piercing needle hurts less than a gun.
Piercing guns cause more trauma to the nose tissue, and that means they are more likely to form bumps or scars, or get infected. It also means a longer healing time for your piercing.
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.