How Long Does A Nose Piercing Hole Take To Close Up?
Although nose piercings are popular, some of us regret ours soon after the deed is done. The good news is that it doesn’t take long for the nose to heal. No matter your reasoning for wanting to know how long it takes for a nose piercing to close, the exact time can vary.
As with any other wound in your body, it will heal with time. How much time that will take will depend on how long you’ve had the piercing. It’ll also depend on your age, the strength of your immune system and your body’s ability to regenerate skin cells.
How long it takes for a nose piercing to close isn’t an exact science:
- After a few minutes for new piercings
- After a few hours or days for less than one-year-old piercings
- Varies widely for older piercings
The Science Behind It
When you get your nose pierced, you’re essentially creating a tunnel through the skin. This small tunnel is called a fistula. During the healing process, your body produces skin cells along the piercing, starting from the outside in. Once these new cells have completely formed, they mature into a fistula.
Some fistulas mature thicker than others, depending on the body part. This depends on how thickly the interior of the nasal cavity is lined with mucous. During the final stage of healing, your body produces new skin cells to strengthen the fistula. This happens about a year after the initial piercing. If you remove your jewelry prematurely before the fistula has developed, the hole may close in a matter of days.
Once this fistula has matured, it can stay open for months or even years after you’ve removed the jewelry. When you remove the jewelry, your immune system acts fast to close that hole. This process is rapid for nose piercings because your nostrils are an essential entry point in your body.
The Hole Is Still Visible, but the Jewelry Won’t Go In
You still see the puncture, but it seems to have closed up from the inside. How come? If you recently got the piercing in the last couple of months, it can close up in less than a day. Why is this?
The inside of your nostrils are lined with mucous membranes that seal up quickly once the jewelry has been removed. The hole on the outside, however, will remain open longer. That’s because the outside of your nose has no protective lining and is drier. Don’t be surprised if the external hole stays open for years.
If you’ve had your piercing for years, you’ve allowed it to heal and develop a strong fistula. This can leave you with a semi-permanent hole on your nostril for years. It’ll become a tiny scar that resembles an enlarged pore. Fully-developed fistulas can grow to be strong and mighty and stay open for years.
I Need to Take My Piercing out, but I Don’t Want It to Close Up
Young nose piercings — less than a year — can close very quickly. Having it in for less than a year means the fistula is still thin and weak. Your nose piercing can close within a matter of minutes or hours.
Remember that you’re forcing your body to accept a foreign object within it, so your body will attempt to reject the piercing. When it realizes it can’t be rejected, it begins the process of growing the fistula around it. This is why it’s critical not to remove your jewelry during the first year.
If you need to remove it for surgery or an x-ray, you should insert an acrylic retainer in the hole. These invisible retainers will act as a placeholder and keep the hole open until the jewelry is reinserted. Be sure to wash your hands well before removing or reinserting jewelry. The last thing you want is a nasty infection.
Is It Safe to Re-Pierce?
Your nose piercing has closed up, and you really miss it. We’ve all been there. If your old piercing was scarred and you want to re-pierce that same location, it might be risky.
Scar tissue isn’t as strong as healthy tissue. If that scarring is because your body rejected the first piercing, don’t pierce it again. This can cause bacteria and oil to build up in the old location.
It might seem unbelievable that a piercing you’ve had for almost a year can close up in a few hours. Piercing your body isn’t a natural thing, so your body will do its best to try to remove the piercing from it. The healing process is a fight against your body’s instincts. Kind of cool, huh? That’s why it’ll jump at the first chance to close up the wound.
If your piercing is fresh, it can close up in a matter of minutes. If you’ve had it for less than a year, you can expect it to close up within a few hours or days. The inside of the hole can close up rather quickly, even if you’ve had the piercing for years.
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