Infected Nose Piercing Causes: Signs, Abscess, Cleaning, Aftercare, Products

How do you know if your nose piercing is infected? Get insights on the signs a healing nose piercing, how to heal a nose piercing fast. Know more about nose piercing infection that won’t go away and more about nose piercing keeps getting infected, how to clean an infected nose piercing and aftercare products.

How do you Know if your Nose Piercing is Infected – Signs

  • It is very important to observe the piercing and notice any abnormalities that may be taking place. It may be easy to control an infection when it is in its early stages than when the condition is critical. Therefore, it is very necessary to get enlightened on some of the common signs and symptoms of an infection that includes the following:
  • Redness, swelling and tenderness are the initial signs of an infection. However, it is normal for a new piercing to become red, tender and swollen for the first few days after the session. When these symptoms are accompanied with some hotness and does not go away after two weeks, then it may be an infection.
  • Presence of yellow or green discharge from the affected area is also among the first symptoms of an infection. The discharge is normal during the first week after the session but when it persists for more than two weeks then you should get worried. The discharge may produce a foul smell. Yellow or green discharge is normally caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Persistent pain and aching. Infected piercing may become painful especially when you touch during cleaning. The pain may be accompanied with an itchy feeling that causes an urge to scratch. Itchy piercing is an indication of a healing process but when it becomes persistent, then it may be an infection.
  • Bleeding is not normal for older piercing. It is normal for a new piercing to bleed for a while after the session. It may also occur when an injury causes trauma to the piercing. Bleeding may not necessarily be a result of an infection but it increases the chances of an infection by delaying the healing process.
  • Formation of bumps and abscess is also a common sign of infected nose piercing. An abscess may be formed as a result of accumulation of pus and blood in the pierced area. Your body may also react to foreign objects to cause this symptom.
  • The affected area becomes hypersensitive and causes a burning sensation. It may cause irritation as a result of allergic reaction. Your body may react to the jewelry by causing the irritation. Other skin care products and make ups may also cause irritation on the area that delays the healing process.
  • Experience of fever, nausea and chills are also signs of a serious bacterial infection. You are supposed to visit your doctor right away for treatment since they are signs of a chronic infection.
  • Delayed healing process. Although the healing process may vary from one person to the other but when it is delayed for a longer time it may be as a result of an infection. Some people may take 1-3 month to heal while others may take up to a year. However, you are supposed to be free from piercing discomforts after three month from the session.
  • Excessive crust on the piercing can also be an indication of an infection. It is normal to have moderate crusting for the few days after the session. Persistent and excessive crusting should worry you.

Infected Nose Piercing Causes

Nose piercing infections are caused by bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms. Infections usually result from poor nose piercing care. There are various factors that contributes to an infection, they include the following:

  1. Unsterilized piercing tools

Unsterilized piercing needle may contain bacteria that can cause an infection. You are supposed to ensure that all the piercing equipment’s are thoroughly sterilized using alcohol. The areas around the nose should also be cleaned using antiseptic detergent to kill the bacteria before the session.

  1. Touching the piercing with contaminated hands

Hands are constantly contaminated with different germs, touching the pierced area before washing them may transfer the germs to the pierced area.
You are supposed to resist the temptations of touching the piercing with dirty hands. You are only supposed to touch the piercing during cleaning time only and after washing hands using anti-bacterial soap and running water.

  1. Using public swimming pools and hot tubs

You may notice infected nose piercing bump a few days after swimming in contaminated public pools or using hot tubs. Such facilities may harbor different bacteria, fungi and other pathogenic micro-organisms that can cause an infection. Cover your piercing with a water proof bandage if you have to use such facilities.

  1. Using wrong piercing jewelry

Selection of a wrong jewelry may cause allergic reaction that may trigger an infection. It may delay the healing process, cause migration or rejection of your piercing. The material used to make the jewelry or the size may cause a reaction with your body. You need to select high quality jewelry.

  1. Injuries to the piercing

An injury may cause trauma to your piercing that may delay the healing process. You are supposed to be very careful when participating in sporting activities that may injure your piercing.

How to Clean an Infected Nose Piercing

It is important to keep your nose piercing clean. You are supposed to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your professional piercer strictly to prevent infections, migration rejection and to reduce the healing period. However, if your piercing is already infected, there are various cleaning tips you can use to control the infection. They include the following:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly

Your hands should be clean before touching your nose piercing. Wash them thoroughly using antibacterial soap and running water. Dry them using a clean paper towels. It helps to prevent the transfer of germs from your hands to the pierced area.

  1. Prepare your cleaning solution

Prepare a salt solution by mixing a ¼ teaspoonful of sea salt in a cup of warm water and stir well to mix. You can also buy a readymade salt solution from a drug store or chemist. You are only supposed to use non-iodized salt when preparing the solution.
The salt solution is effective on how to clean an infected nose piercing fast. It helps in killing the micro-organisms that causes infection.
Alternatively, you can prepare an anti-septic solution by adding some antibacterial soap solution in water before cleaning. This solution also helps in killing the various bacteria that causes an infection on your piercing.

  1. Soak a cotton swab, Q-tip or sterile gauze in the cleaning solution

After soaking the cotton swab or Q-tip in the cleaning solution, dab it around the pierced area for a few minutes. Ensure the debris and dirty that accumulates around the piercings are well soaked before removing then to avoid bleeding. This may require more time to clean.

  1. Remove all the crusting

Ensure the crusting that accumulates around the jewelry are removed. Clean both the outer surface and inner surface of your nose. You are always supposed to be gentle while removing the crusting.

  1. Rinse your piercing

Using clean and warm water, rinse your nose to ensure that all the soap or salt residues are removed. Salt crystals may cause irritation when left on the piercing.

  1. Pat the pierced area dry

Use a clean paper towel to pat your piercing and the areas around dry. Avoid bath towel as it may harbor bacteria that causes infection. Towels may also snag on the ring to cause bleeding and irritation.  These tips will help you to know what to do if your nose piercing gets infected.
While cleaning your nose piercing, there is also a number of thing you should avoid in order to promote faster healing process. Some of the poor cleaning techniques and practices may predispose your piercing to infections that may delay the healing process. They include the following:

  • Do not use harsh antiseptic product to clean the piercing. They include alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, bacitracin, and bactine or tea tree oil. They may cause irritation on the affected area or cause formation of nose piercing bump.
  • Do not remove the nose piercing jewelry during cleaning. The piercing nose stud or ring should not be removed or changed before the healing process complete. Removing the nose ring or stud may cause new pain, irritation or swelling of your piercing.
  • Avoid public swimming pools and hot tubs. These facilities can harbor bacteria that can cause an infection or delay the healing process. If you have to use such facilities, cover the piercing using a waterproof bandage.
  • Avoid unnecessary touching on the piercing. You should only touch your piercing with clean hand during cleaning time only.

Nose Piercing Healing Signs and Stages

Nose piercing healing process varies from one person to the other. Some people may take 1-3 month to heal completely while others it may take up to a year. Good nose piercing care aids in promoting the healing process by preventing infections that may delay healing. Injuries can cause trauma to your piercing which may also delay the healing process.
When the piercing becomes dry and accompanied with some itching, it may be the first sign of healing. However, not all itching indicates a healing process. Itching is also a sign of an infection.
You need to be keen enough in observing the other signs of an infection such as redness, swelling and tenderness. The healing process undergoes through several stages as described below:
Inflammatory phase or stage 1
The first days from the piercing session is known as inflammatory phase. You may experience nose piercing pain in this phase. During this stage, the piercing is still fresh and you may experience normal bleeding, swelling and tenderness. The blood platelets and plasma penetrates the wound to form a clot that stops bleeding.
Proliferative phase or stage 2
This process may take several weeks or month. The body produces collagen or proteins to heal the wound. The edges of your piercing starts to heal during this stage. New skin cells will start to form on the edges toward the inner parts. The initial healing process will be complete toward the end of this phase.
Maturation phase or stage 3
This is the last stage of your healing process. The opening of your piercing will appear to be smother than before. You may notice presence of white discharge that are produced by oil glands to moisturize the piercing. However the healing process will depend on the way you perform your nose piercing care. Other factors such as skills and experience of the piercers can determine the healing process.

Nose Piercing Aftercare Products or Solutions

After piercing, there are various products that you need in performing the nose piercing care. Most of the products are found in piercing and tattoo shops. You may also find them from the supermarket. Such products are used in cleaning and to prevent infections from the affected area. They include the following:
Cleaning solutions
There are various antibacterial body piercing aftercare products that helps in the healing process of your condition. These solutions can be purchased from piercing shops, they are available in different brand names such as PurSan, Hypo care, NutriBiotic, Almay Clearly Natural and other color-free and fragrance-free antibacterial soaps.
The cleaning solution are added in warm water before rinsing the affected area. You are supposed to use such products to clean your piercing twice daily. Avoid using harsh chemical soaps that contain Triclosan as an active ingredient. They may cause irritation, bleeding and even trigger the development of bumps under the piercing.
Sea salt soak
Sea salt solution is recommended for new and infected nose piercing. It helps in killing bacteria as well as reducing swelling, tenderness and redness on the affected area. To use this product, you simply dissolve ¼ teaspoonful of sea salt in warm water.
Stir well to mix and use a cotton ball or swab to apply on the pierced area. After cleaning, rinse the affected area thoroughly using clean water and pat it dry using a paper towel.
The salt solution helps to initiate the healing process by stimulating the flow of blood on the affected area. You can soak the affected area in salt solution for some time before the normal cleaning. You should avoid using iodized salt or a strong salt solution for nose piercing care as it may cause irritations.

How to Take Care of a Nose Piercing, Aftercare Instructions

Therefore there are various aftercare instructions that you are supposed to follow strictly to avoid infections, rejection, migration and scarring. They include the following:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly using antibacterial soap prior to touching your piercing during cleaning time only. This step is very important in preventing transfer of bacteria to your piercing.
  • Clean your nose piercing twice daily, in the morning and evening using warm water and antibacterial soap or other antiseptic cleansers. Ensure that you rinse it well to remove the soap residues and dirty.
  • You may also use a saline solution to clean. Make a saline solution using warm water and non-iodized salt. Use a sterile cotton ball or swab to apply this solution on the affected area.
  • Continue to clean the piercing regularly until it has healed. Avoid over-cleaning as it may delay the healing process. Two times a day is recommended for the new piercing. You may reduce cleaning to a couple of times a week as the healing process continues.
  • Watch for the signs of infections and take the required nose piercing care. Redness, swelling, pain and presence of some discharge is normal for the first week after the piercing session. However, when the above symptoms persists for more than two weeks, then it may be an infection.
  • Remove the crusting that may have formed around the jewelry. You may use a Q-tip to remove the crusting. Dip your Q-tip in the saline solution and get under the jewelry to remove the crusting and dirty that may have accumulated around.
  • Avoid playing with your nose piercing jewelry. Resist the temptation of playing with your piercing during the day. The hands are constantly contaminated with bacteria. You may transfer them to the piercing.
  • Ensure your bedding are clean. Dirty beddings can harbor bacteria that may delay the healing process or cause an infection.
  • Avoid injuries that may cause trauma on the pierced area during sporting activities. Injuries may trigger migration, rejection and scarring.
  • Be careful when applying your face make up. Avoid the piercing when applying make-up, skin care products and sprays. Only apply the nose piercing care on the affected area. Such products contain chemicals that may cause irritation and other reactions that may cause an infection.
  • Disinfect the jewelry before putting in your piercing. When proper care is taken, your piercing will have healed after three month and you can be able to change your jewelry. It should therefore be cleaned by placing it in a salt solution for 10 minutes before wearing it.