The nose “bump” is a common problem that most who get nostril piercings have. This is my experience with it, and just how I manage to clear it up whenever the problem arises.
You go to that piercing parlor, your palms are a little sweaty because this is a big decision — one you’ve been toying with for some time now. You’ve been admiring the way those nostril piercings look for a while, thinking that one would just look absolutely amazing on your nose. So, when you get to where you’re going, you take your first step in checking the sterilization, maybe ask your piercer way too many questions but one way or another, you wind up in that chair. And that chair isn’t exactly a comfortable chair — it kind of reminds you of the one in the dentist’s office. You, of course, know that sitting in that dentist’s chair isn’t exactly the greatest of feelings either. Especially if you’re in for a root canal.
Your heart’s racing a mile a minute because the only thing you can wonder this entire time as you see the piercer preparing the needles is: is this going to hurt? Logically, you know that it will. It’s just a matter of how BAD will it hurt? Will it be like going to the doctor and getting pricked for blood? Or is it going to be a lingering pain like…stubbing your toe on something. Either way, it doesn’t matter because the little dot is drawn on your nose and it’s now or never. You agree with the position for the sake of agreeing because you’re not exactly in your right state of mind, anyway. How are you going to know what it looks like until the jewelry’s in?
Here comes the clamp. You watch as the piercer sterilizes everything, and then you’re told to close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Then….exhale — ouch! There it goes. Directly through the side of your cartilage. A few warm drops of blood escape in your nose and your eyes water as a reaction, but you know something. It didn’t hurt as bad as you thought it was going to…your eyes are just watering…just because. And you think it might make you look like a cry baby, but your piercer knows this is a normal thing. The worst is over.
So, you’re pretty proud of yourself and showing off the new piercing to everyone because like you thought, it does look pretty damn amazing on your nose. You’re cleaning it religiously like you were instructed, and everything goes fine. Then, one morning you wake up. Your nose is a little achy, but you don’t pay much attention until you get to the bathroom and check out your reflection in the mirror. What’s this? It looks like a red bump just above the piercing. Is it an infection? What did you do wrong? You were cleaning it like you were supposed to, so why did this happen to your beautiful nose?
Does this sound like a familiar story? The nose “bump” is a very common problem that a lot of us suffer from. And if you’re like me, you didn’t become aware of this issue until after you had gone through with the piercing. So, what can be done about it? A number of things, but first and foremost…there is a reason for this bump and you have to come to the conclusion as to what that is. Maybe you knocked the jewelry…or maybe you’ve been overcleaning it. Maybe the jewelry’s not positioned properly or you simply could be allergic to it. Cartilage piercings are a lot more fickle than originally believed because nearly everyone you see who has one, doesn’t seem to have any problems. But, they definitely one of the hardest piercings to take care of and whatever the case, only once you determine what the cause is can you come to the solution.
I can’t tell you a surefire way to get rid of your personal bump, but I can explain to you my situation and how I’ve dealt with it. I work a dirty job. Spackling and painting often involves a lot of mess and dust, which…because of my asthma, I’ll wear a mask. When I first got my piercing done, I was very careful to hold my mask up to my face but not actually put it on because I was more afraid of knocking the jewelry than anything. I didn’t realize that all that dust that was floating downward was actually getting on the piercing. Therefore, it was no surprise when a bump formed.
I tried a little bit of everything. I had some leftover earcare cleaner that I’d been using for my pierced lobes, but that didn’t help. I bought something called h2ocean, but that also didn’t really have an effect. I tried hot water compresses, and that didn’t help either. I even got desperate and put hydrogen peroxide on it which was possibly the worst idea I could have ever had. It burned through the piercing and left it raw and even MORE red for the next day. That’s when I went on my desperate search for sea salt. I heard several stories about sea salt soaks and didn’t know if they would work — but it was my only other option.
After about three days of religious sea salt soaks, my piercing felt infinitely better. I kept it up for about two weeks and the bump had completely cleared away. Most people tell you to mix the sea salt in a cup (I believe it’s a quarter teaspoon to 8 ounces of water as the appropriate measurement.) I simply winged it because the sea salt I had, I couldn’t get it out of the container and into a measurement spoon. So I put it directly into the water and tasted it until it tasted like tears, basically. I would take a cotton ball and submerge it in the water, squeeze out the excess and put it on my nose for five minutes. After that time passed, I put a new one on for another five minutes. When that time was up, I’d go back into the bathroom and submerge my nose in the cup for about a minute. And this next step piercers don’t tell you to do, but it helped greatly with me. I would take a bit of the sea salt in my palm and actually put some on the damp bump. I’d do this twice. Once immediately after getting home from work, and once right before bed so I could sleep with the salt on my nose. It’s amazing, but the sea salt actually draws out the pus and at the same time dries out the bump.
Another thing that helped was when I took a shower, I would actually cup the warm water in my hands and submerge my nose in it and kind of exhale into the water. I would do this a couple of times in the course of the cleaning, and when I got out of the shower, I would actually notice that a bit of pus had leaked out. I’d just take a q-tip and clean that off of there, and generally the pus became less and less until the piercing actually healed.
I just recently became infected again, and started right in on the sea salt soaks. It’s two days in, and already my piercing is healing back up. They definitely do work wonders. So if you are in agony about that beautiful piercing of yours gone wrong and you’re sure it’s an infection and not because of the jewelry, then sea salt soaks should be your solution. You’ll find many different methods on the internet ranging from tea tree oil to the dreaded peroxide — but sea salt is the most helpful and natural one you can use. Don’t despair. Your nose piercing can be saved!