Nose Piercing Swelling

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 21, 2019
    Last Updated: March 17, 2022

Some swelling and discomfort is normal and expected as part of the whole nose-piercing experience. You’ve created an open wound in your body; it’s okay for there to be some pain and puffiness. You should always be monitoring your piercing and the surrounding area for unusual redness and irritation.

The difference between normal and abnormal is based on duration. If redness, swelling and itching persist for more than a week, you might have an infection.

Even if you don’t have an infection, you can still take advantage of existing remedies and treatments. These can help alleviate pain and swelling. A swollen nose is never ideal. Here’s how to treat swollen nose piercings and what to look out for in terms of infection.

A swollen nose piercing can be:

  • Red
  • Itchy
  • Uncomfortable

Is This Swelling Normal?

A little bit of swelling and inflammation — maybe even some bruising — shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. When your piercing is healing properly, these problems begin to lessen in intensity on their own.

If these symptoms persist and are accompanied by a yellow or green discharge and increasing pain, be on alert for infection.

The Little Red Bump

Don’t be scared. This raised bump surrounding the pierced area is normal. It can be one of three things:

  • Granuloma: A lesion that occurs about six weeks after the initial piercing
  • Pustule: Simply a pimple that contains pus. It may discharge a white or clear fluid
  • Keloid: A thick scar that can develop at the site of the piercing

These bumps can be caused by not cleaning your piercing properly or a fault piercing technique. They can also be because you played with your jewelry a bit. Dirty hands can transfer dirt and bacteria to the open wound.

There’s no need to be alarmed at the sight of these. They’ll usually clear up if you maintain good hygiene and follow your aftercare cleaning instructions.

If the bump is accompanied by an uncomfortable amount of pain or tenderness, you should monitor it for a couple of days. If these symptoms persist or get worse, contact your doctor and see if antibiotics are a good choice.

How to Treat a Swollen Nose Piercing

Whether you just want to expedite the healing process or fear an infection, these home remedies can provide instant relief and reduce swelling, as well as helping to soothe redness and itching:

  • Salt-water
  • Warm compress
  • Cold compress

Cleaning with Salt-Water

If you’ve been following your aftercare cleaning instructions, you should already be cleaning with salt-water or saline twice a day. It’s better to use a warm salt-water solution you can make at home. It’s less harsh than saline, and the warmth is more soothing for your nose. 

  1. Dissolve a teaspoon of sea salt in 32 ounces of warm water
  2. Soak a cotton ball with the saltwater
  3. Clean thoroughly around and under the piercing
  4. If there’s a bump, be sure to be extremely gentle not to irritate it
  5. Repeat this at least three times a day
  6. Continue twice daily throughout the healing process

If you’d rather not make your own salt water solution, pre-mixed sprays are also available.

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.​

Warm Compress

Warm things may not feel the best on a swollen area, but it can help increase the blood flow. This is essential to ensure there’s proper circulation. It’s also important because it can accelerate the healing process. You can alternate between using a salt-water compress and a chamomile compress.

Salt-water disinfects and draws out impurities, while chamomile can provide that much needed soothing effect. This can be done to treat mild nose piercing infections as well as just general discomfort.

Salt-Water Compress

  1. Soak gauze in the salt-water solution for a few seconds
  2. Wrap it around the infected area, if the pain isn’t too bad
  3. If your skin is very tender, you can just pat it on there and leave it for a few minutes

Chamomile Tea Bag

If the salt-water gauze is too harsh on your skin, use a chamomile tea bag instead:

  1. Steep the teabag in hot water for a few minutes
  2. Remove it from the water and let it cool off until it reaches a pleasant, comfortable temperature
  3. Apply it directly to the affected area until the tea bag completely cools. This should lessen the swelling and leave the skin cool and soft

Cold Compress

It goes without saying that cold compresses feel awesome on swollen or irritated skin. You can alternate between cold and warm to improve blood flow. Use an ice pack wrapped in paper towels and apply it in 30-second intervals.

If you don’t have an ice pack lying around, throw some ice cubes in a plastic sandwich bag. Wrap the bag in paper towels. Boom, makeshift ice pack!

Help Yourself Where Possible

Some swelling is expected with any new piercing, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t uncomfortable. If the swelling doesn’t seem to go away after a few days, you should be on high alert for an infection. Prolonged redness and increasing pain are also things you should be on the lookout for.

You can use these simple homemade remedies to alleviate these symptoms and accelerate the healing process. Maintain good hygiene and stop playing with your swollen nose piercing, and you’ll be just fine.

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