Getting a new nose piercing can be a super exciting time, but that experience can be ruined pretty quickly if it becomes infected.
Having an infection anywhere on your body is no fun and a nose piercing infection is no different. It can be painful, uncomfortable and embarrassing because unlike with other infections, you can’t hide it because it’s literally in the middle of your face for the whole world to see.
So, if you suspect that your nose piercing is infected or you want to know how you can avoid one when you go to get your nose pierced, then this is the place for you.
We are going to take a closer look at infections with nose piercings including the symptoms, causes, treatments and how you can avoid another piercing infection in the future. Check out all the handy information below to save yourself a lot of pain and embarrassment.
Symptoms Of A Nose Piercing Infection
Every time you have a piercing – no matter where on your body – the risk of infection will always be high.
Infections occur when a type of microorganism enters your body and causes you to feel ill and in pain. There are four main types of infections but the main one that affects piercings are bacterial. This means that when you have had your piercing done, bacteria has entered the open wound caused by your piercing and has begun multiplying in that area.
Your body will naturally react to this and over time, you will begin to show symptoms that your body is fighting off a bacterial infection.
So, when your nose piercing becomes infected, there are a range of different symptoms that are all clear signs that something has gone wrong. Some will show more than others and some will become clearer the longer the infection stays in your body. Ignoring your symptoms could lead to the infection growing stronger and stronger, causing permanent damage to your body and piercing.
So, it’s important that you recognize the early signs of an infected nose piercing so you can tackle the issue as soon as possible.
The Early Signs Of A Nose Piercing Infection
The most common early sign of an infected nose piercing is that the skin around your piercing is red, sore and perhaps swollen and hot to touch.
Now, a big issue with these symptoms is that they are already common signs that you have had a nose piercing. Of course your nose is going to be sore and red after you’ve had it pierced – that is a normal reaction, so it can be tricky to tell the difference between an irritated nose and an infected piercing. Because of this, many people ignore the symptoms of a nose piercing infection and write it off as just the common reaction to a piercing.
The main key to telling the difference is time.
Your nose will be swollen, red and painful immediately after your piercing. Over time, it should calm down and return to normal (except this time you have a sick new nose piercing).
However, if the redness and pain and swelling returns a day or two after your nose piercing, then this is a sign that it is infected instead. If so, you should start treatment immediately before things get worse.
Later Nose Piercing Infection Symptoms
If you are unfortunate enough to have not caught the infection early, then there are other more clear signs that will prove that you have an infected nose piercing.
These symptoms include more swelling, redness and pain. The area around your piercing will also look a bit shiny – this is a sign that the swelling is stretching your skin very thinly. Not only that but you may also notice some pus coming from your piercing – it will be discolored and probably smelly too.
If an infection is really bad, you may also develop a fever and begin to feel generally unwell. At this point, you need to see a doctor – it is a sign that your body is struggling to fight off the infection itself and the bacteria is spreading beyond your nose piercing. You may need prescribed antibiotics as a result.
How To Treat A Nose Piercing Infection
If you have caught your nose piercing infection early on and it’s only at the red, irritated stage then here is some advice on what you can do next to help your body fight off the infection before it gets any worse.
The first thing you need to do is to clean your piercing and the area around it. You may be tempted to remove your piercing but you shouldn’t just yet. Only when a doctor instructs you to remove a piercing should you actually do it. Early nose piercing infections can be treated with the piercing still in.
So, to start, you will need to wash your hands first. Nose piercing infections are caused by bacteria so handling your infected nose piercing with unclean hands will only spread more bacteria and make things worse.
Once you have washed your hands, you should then wash your piercing with warm water. Alternatively, you can use a warm, moist cloth. Do not use any kind of soap, alcohol or antibiotic treatment just yet – start out with warm water to make sure the area is clean. Dry your piercing with a clean cloth and pat it gently.
Most of the time, just keeping your nose piercing clean will help your body fight off the early infection with ease. Just wash your nose piercing a few times a day to keep it clean and to allow your body to fight off the infection. Try not to touch it throughout the day and keep a close eye on the situation.
Unfortunately, sometimes this method will not always work and the infection can grow worse. If this is the case, then try cleaning your piercing with salt water instead.
Salt water is a great way to fight bacteria plus it’s very cost-effective and it naturally promotes healing. Because it’s all natural, it’s not harmful to your skin like some chemicals can be and it’s very effective at killing bacteria that has gotten into the open wound caused by your piercing.
If your symptoms are not relieving themselves within a few days of this treatment, then it’s time to visit the doctor. Some infections are a lot more stubborn than others so you may need medical help getting rid of it from your body. While you are taking this antibiotic course, you should still continue to wash your piercing frequently to help speed up the recovery process.
However, if your symptoms are gone but you still have antibiotics to take to finish the course, then you should finish the course as prescribed by your doctor. This is because the infection may not have fully gone away and by ending the antibiotic course early, you have not killed off the bacteria fully – only given it the chance to grow and become immune to the antibiotics, making it more difficult to get rid of the second time around.
Finish your antibiotic course completely and you should have a healthy nose piercing. Keep washing your nose piercing until it is fully healed (this can take a few weeks because infections slow down the healing process).
The important thing to remember is to not touch or handle your piercing with unclean hands and definitely don’t try squeezing the pus out from your wound. A lot of people believe that getting rid of the pus means you are getting rid of the infection, when that’s not actually true. Instead, you are just spreading the bacteria and allowing it to infect other areas. If some pus comes out when you are washing your piercing then that is fine – just clean it away as quickly as possible and pat it dry afterwards.
How Do Nose Piercings Get Infected?
Nose piercings can become infected anytime between from the moment the piercing happens until it is completely healed.
They occur when harmful bacteria enters the open wound caused by your piercing. These bacteria can come from anywhere – it could be on the needle the piercer used, or on your hands when you touched it afterwards. Either way, bacteria enters through the wound and into your body. There, it begins to multiply and spread.
Even if you and your piercer try their best to limit the risk of infection, sometimes it happens anyway – but that doesn’t mean you should take steps to avoid your nose piercing becoming infected.
How To Avoid Your Nose Piercing From Becoming Infected
When you go for a nose piercing, the piercer will usually instruct you on the appropriate aftercare you should do afterwards and how you can help reduce the chances of infecting your new nose piercing. However, your ability to restrict the chances of a nose piercing infection begins way before you even step into the room.
Before you go for your nose piercing, you should carefully research where you want to go. Some piercers are not only more qualified than others, but they know how to properly sanitize their needs and equipment and are trained to take all the steps they should do to help keep you safe.
So, make sure that your piercer is qualified and genuine before you book an appointment. It’s always recommended that you go with a professional piercer rather than try to do your own piercing. This is because they will have the appropriate tools and skills to be able to do the piercing as safely as possible.
Once your piercing is done, you should follow the aftercare instructions given to you. They usually mean washing your piercing regularly with salty water to help kill any bacteria in the area. Make sure you wash your hands first before cleaning to help reduce the chances of exposing your piercing to further bacteria.
When drying your nose piercing, make sure you use something that does not leave behind fibers. These can gather bacteria and make it easy for bacteria to access your piercing. Use paper towels or dry clothes instead of materials like cotton swabs or wool.
You will need to keep your nose piercing as dry as possible until it is fully healed. This is because bacteria travels easily through water so if you expose your new nose piercing to bacteria found in the ocean, swimming pools or even in your bathtub – you could end up with an infection. You should also try and limit the amount of sweat you produce too. Try and keep cool and avoid any strenuous exercise. Ideally, you should avoid taking part in sports too because a lot of rough physical contact could lead to you damaging your new piercing.
Other than these steps above, there is not much you can do to prevent a nose piercing infection. All you can do is follow the aftercare instructions and make sure that your piercing is someone who follows the hygiene regulations put in place by the law. Remember not to touch your piercing unless your hands have been washed and keep it dry unless you are specifically cleaning it.
And that’s everything you need to know about nose piercings and infections!
Don’t let the threat of infection spoil the joy of your new piercing. Follow our advice above so you can enjoy a safe, clean piercing experience and show off your new nose piercing the moment it’s done!