Re-Opening A Closed Nose Piercing Hole

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 15, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

If you have a nostril piercing less than six months old, the hole can close inside the nostril in as little as a day or two, meaning that you might have to re-open it yourself, or go to your piercer again to get the hole reopened professionally.

Since a nose piercing is done on cartilage and not skin, as soon as you take out your nose ring, your body starts to repair itself. The outside of the nose piercing will stay open for several weeks, but to put your nose ring in again, you might have to puncture your skin. 

Re-open your nose piercing by:

  • Washing your hands
  • Sanitizing the piercing and jewelry
  • Lubricating the jewelry
  • Gently reinserting the jewelry into your nose

1. Wash Your Hands

Don’t skip this step! It’s essential to keep your piercing and hands disinfected to reduce the risk of infection.

Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap or mild soap and warm water. Any bacteria from a cloth towel can infect your piercing, so always use a paper towel to dry your hands.

2. Keep it Clean

One of the most crucial tips to re-opening your nose piercing is to always start with cleaning your nose and the jewelry. This will help you to curb any infections that might occur. Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide may damage the jewelry, and they can also dry out the piercing, so it’s best to avoid these solutions for sanitizing. 

According to the Association of Professional Piercers, a saline solution is the best way to clean your nose and the jewelry. If you don’t have a saline solution, don’t worry, it can easily be made at home, or bought pre-mixed. 

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.​

Cleaning the Piercing

Clean your nose using a cotton swab or a Q-tip with the saline solution:

  1. Dab around the outside where the piercing is, and underneath inside your nose with the saline solution
  2. Allow your jewelry to sit in the saline solution for 5–10 minutes to sterilize it using the method below

Cleaning the Jewelry

Make your homemade saline solution easily by using items you already have in your kitchen. You need the following:

  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, non-iodized 
  • 1 cup of warm bottled water

Use the following steps to clean the nose jewelry:

  1. Allow the salt to dissolve in the water
  2. Use the mixture to clean the nose and the jewelry
  3. After cleaning, carefully dab dry with a paper towel. Don’t use a cloth towel as it can contaminate the area or your piercing

3. Inserting the Jewelry

Lubricate the tip of the ring or nostril screw with a drop of soap or oil and place it in the piercing. Sometimes, skin will have grown on the underside of the nose because your mucous membrane will start to repair itself after you take out your nose ring. If it has, it’s usually just a thin layer. You’ll have to pierce through this layer. It shouldn’t hurt, but if it’s not slipping in easily, don’t force it. 

If you can’t get it in yourself, make a trip to your piercer. They’ll likely use a taper to re-open the hole, which looks like a blunt needle. This is commonly used for stretching piercings and widening the gap. It should be relatively painless and won’t feel like you’re getting a new piercing. 

Removal Caused by Infection

You might want to remove your piercing because it’s infected. Try to refrain from removing the piercing. If you see any of the following symptoms, clean the area immediately and twice a day:

  • Green or yellow pus
  • Swollen and red
  • Feels hot to the touch

Keep using the saline solution and clean the infection gently. If you remove the nose ring at this point, you might cause the infection to get trapped inside, which can lead to an abscess. 

If you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, take a trip to your piercer and ask them to change out the piercing to relieve pressure. 

Always maintain your aftercare, especially if you have an infection. Most infections will clear up in a few days, but if it doesn’t clear up, go to your doctor. If you develop a fever or chills, make an appointment to see them immediately. 

Healing Time for a Nose Piercing

The standard time for a nose piercing to heal is about two to four months. If you’ve done everything right and used your aftercare correctly, you won’t likely have any issues to deal with when you want to take out your ring for a day or two.

Remember not to take your piercing out before the skin has healed properly. Doing so will delay proper healing and increase the risk of infection. Revisit your piercer if you’re unsure if the skin has healed.


Since your nostrils try to repair themselves after taking jewelry out, your nose piercing will sometimes close quickly. If you follow these easy steps to re-open it and you don’t have an infection, you needn’t worry about it being a painful process. As long as you’re smooth and steady with your hand, it should be a breeze.

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