How To Treat An Infected Nose Piercing

How To Treat A Nose Piercing Infection

If you finally got that piece of jewelry in your nose, but it’s become infected, you’re in the right place. This has happened to many of us, despite our best efforts to keep the piercing clean. While this is common, it’s still very unwanted, and you obviously want it to go away as soon as possible.

Treat an infected nose piercing by:

  • First knowing the signs of an infection
  • Using either soap or a sea-salt solution to treat the infection
  • Cleaning three or four times a day instead of two
  • Knowing when to see a medical professional about the infection

The Signs of an Infected Nose Piercing

Knowing what to look for to determine if your nose piercing is infected is the first step in treating the infection. The earlier you notice the infection, the easier it will be to clear it up. Catching the infection early will also save you either pain or a funky looking piercing in the long run.

After your nose is pierced, there’ll be some irritation and redness. The area will also be sore because you just had a needle shoved through your skin. All of this is to be expected, but there are some clear signs that something funky is going on with your piercing:

  • Redness
  • Bumps
  • Swelling and pain
  • Discharge

Skin Redness

This is a tricky symptom because it’s perfectly normal for the skin to be red after a piercing. The key is watching for redness that isn’t going away, as well as with a combination of the other symptoms below.

Another sign is red lines coming from the pierced area instead of just general redness. Both of these can be signs that the piercing is already infected or on its way to becoming infected.

Piercing Bump

Another worrisome symptom is a piercing bump. This can start to ooze fluid be painful, which is an even more apparent sign that it’s infected. Be watchful for these on or even inside the piercing itself. 

A piercing bump is one symptom that even if it’s not technically infected, it still needs to be taken care of. The bump could be tissue damage or even an allergic reaction. It needs to be looked at by the artist that did your piercing and maybe even a medical professional. The bump not only needs to be fixed for cosmetic reasons, but for health reasons as well. 

Swelling and Pain

While initially after the needling going through a part in your nose, it may feel as if you got punched in the nose — but it shouldn’t look like it! It also shouldn’t continue to feel that way.

Mild swelling is normal and is to be expected, but it should go down in a few days. Ice on the piercing should reduce both of these symptoms. If they continue, an infection may have already started.

Fluid Discharge

One of the most common signs that a piercing is infected is discharge leaking from the area. Discharge is common for a few days to a week while the area is healing. The problem arises whenever the discharge either changes color or has an odor to it. That’s when you need to pay more attention and start treating for an infection. 

A piercing having discharge can lead to a crusty scab covering the area as well. A scab on a piercing doesn’t just look ugly but can be painful as well. If your piercing does get a scab, it’s best to not pick at it because it can scar and increase heal time.

Treatment of an Infected Nose Piercing

If the infection is caught early enough, there are some at-home remedies that can easily heal the infected area. If the infection doesn’t clear up with these remedies, it’s best to see a medical professional for treatment. An infection happens whenever bacteria enter the piercing hole and begin to multiply.

The purpose of these treatments is to successfully ‘flush’ the bacteria out of the piercing hole and disinfect the area. 

Wash the Infected Area

To remove germs and bacteria, we generally wash our hands or other body parts. The same applies to an infected nose piercing. This may seem like a simple treatment, but it’s crucial. The steps to do this properly are as follows:

  1. Wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap — this one from Dial is popular
  2. Wash the piercing area thoroughly with a cotton pad or q-tip
  3. Blot the piercing with a clean cloth or a disposable towel — don’t rub it
  4. Repeat this 3–4 times a day 

Sea Salt Solution 

If you aren’t feeling the traditional soap and water treatment, you can either make a sea-salt solution or purchase one. Sea-salt is a natural antiseptic and helps to kill the bacteria living in your piercing.

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used 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 generously-sized can. 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.

If you want to save money, you can make a solution easily at home:

  1. Mix roughly 1.25ml of sea salt — this can be found in most grocery stores — into one cup of warm distilled or bottled water
  2. The water must be warm to dissolve the salt
  3. Pour or spray over the piercing, being careful not to get it in your nostrils
  4. Pat dry with a clean towel or cloth

Don’t use rubbing alcohol on the infected piercing because it makes it harder for the skin to heal. The goal for treating the infection is for the piercing to heal well — rubbing alcohol would prolong that.

When to See a Doctor

If the infection symptoms last more than two weeks, it’s time to visit your doctor ASAP! This is also the case if the signs of infection continue to worsen. You’ll notice the symptoms worsening if things like pain, redness and swelling increase. If you get a fever, then don’t delay. A fever is a sign that the infection is spreading, and this can be detrimental to your overall health. 

Your doctor will more than likely prescribe an oral antibiotic, which will knock the infection out quickly — you and your piercing will be good as new! It’s essential to take the antibiotics for the length of time prescribed. If you stop mid-dose, the infection will have a chance of coming back. 

The Nose Knows

If your nose piercing is showing any signs of infection, it’s crucial to start the treatment process as soon as possible. Doing so will limit the time bacteria are allowed to throw a party in your nose. If left untreated, an infected nose piercing can lead to more severe complications on top of ruining a perfectly good piercing.

Treatment for infected nose piercings is simple and can be done right there at home. Alternatively, you can grab an affordable product online if you don’t have any sea salt at home.