Nose piercings are becoming one of the most common body piercings people get done, right underneath ear piercings.
They’re small, easy to remove once fully healed, and offer a great way for someone to express themselves.
As with any piercing, you do run the risk of scarring when getting a nose piercing. Scarring is the body’s natural reaction to a wound, where it tries to grow the skin back again.
Before getting a nose piercing, it’s important to know how scarring may play a factor in your healing process. Read below to get more information on nose piercing scarring.
How common is it to have a scar after a piercing?
Scars can be common after a piercing, depending on a wide variety of factors, which we’ll dive into more detail on below.
The important thing to know is that scarring depends on each person’s individual skin. Some people’s skin is predisposed to scarring more than others. Some people also have a genetic disposition toward keloid scars.
Keloid scars are rare, but they’re a type of scar tissue that forms larger than the wounded area. It can continue growing, and is usually a large, raised, firm area. They’re caused by an excess of collagen in the skin.
The more common type of scarring that occurs is hypertrophic scarring. Hypertrophic scars are also caused by excess collagen, but unlike keloid scars, they do not grow outside of the injured area and can shrink and go away on their own in time.
Hypertrophic scars are more likely to occur when the piercing area is exposed to chemicals such as face wash, shampoo, rubbing alcohol, and other types of normal household products.
Other common types of scarring are the usual scarring you may expect to see that is flat and generally light pink. This is the most common type of scarring that occurs.
Why do nose piercings scar?
Any of the above listed types of scarring can occur for a number of reasons. One, as we mentioned above, is the type of skin the person has and how their skin heals genetically.
Another reason your piercing can scar is if you’re messing with the piercing too much.
It can feel uncomfortable to have a new piercing, but try not to fiddle with it all day long! Moving it around in the piercing hole can irritate the skin even further and cause improper healing.
Scarring can also happen from an infection. Proper after care is absolutely vital to your piercing’s healing process. Pay close attention to the after care instructions your piercer gives you, and call them if you have any questions.
Allergic reactions to the metal in the jewelry can also lead to scarring, so it’s best to purchase a hypoallergenic metal or a type of metal that you know is safe to use for piercings with your skin.
Finally, scarring can happen if you remove the piercing too soon.
A red bump, commonly called a piercing pimple, can sometimes occur at the piercing site. This bump may have fluid that builds up, goes away, and builds up again. This is a normal part of the healing process.
Many people who aren’t familiar with piercings may notice a piercing pimple or signs of infection and panic, removing their jewelry. In reality, removing your jewelry while the piercing is still healing can lead to further damage.
If a piercing is removed while an infection is growing, it can cause the infection to grow into the hole and create a worse infection than before.
Always see your piercer or a medical professional before removing your new piercing.
If a piercing does scar, is it permanent?
The permanency of scarring depends on the type of scar and the individual’s skin.
Keloid scars, for example, do not go away on their own. They will often grow larger as time goes on, and require surgical removal.
Hypertrophic scars and the more common type of scarring usually aren’t permanent. With some intervention, you can work to minimize or even get rid of the scar completely.
What options are available to get rid of a scar?
To get rid of a scar that’s developed at your piercing site, there are a few options you can try.
The first, and the one we recommend the most, is to go to a dermatologist. They are experts in skin care and will be able to tell you exactly what kind of treatment will work best with your scar and your skin.
As we mentioned earlier, depending on the type and severity of the scar, you may have to get the scar surgically removed. Only a dermatologist can tell if this is needed.
Surgical removal may sound like a big deal, but it can be done rather quickly for a nose piercing. The dermatologist typically just shaves it right off with a scalpel.
Aside from working with a dermatologist, you can also try some topical scar treatment creams. These are designed to help reduce scarring that has built up. Just remember that this won’t work for every scar, and it won’t work on every skin.
You can also try massaging it to help the scar break down and reduce over time. This involves a quick massage once a day at the healed scar site.
Some people have had success with using soaks on their nose piercing. You can try a saline soak of salt water, or a chamomile soak.
If you’re going to try a soak, make sure you use a clean paper towel. Using tissues, cotton balls, or wash cloths can cause fibers to get caught in the piercing site and lead to an infection.
Your final option to get rid of scarring is to simply wait for it to go away on its own. Many scars, as long as they’re not keloid scars, will get smaller and go away in time.
Try waiting a few weeks to a couple months before trying to get rid of the scar. You may save yourself some money on other treatments if you find that it goes away on its own.
How do you get rid of a nose piercing without scarring?
If you’re ready to let your nose piercing close up, you may want to try and let this happen without any indication that it was ever there in the first place.
Unfortunately, there’s no real way to guarantee that you can get rid of a nose piercing without scarring. Skin heals the way it wants to, and it may close the hole in a way that’s more obvious than you want.
The good news is that most often, if you’re getting rid of an old nose piercing, the skin has already healed from the piercing. When you remove the jewelry and allow it to close, it will generally close cleanly without much obvious scarring.
Any scarring you do get from a piercing closing can be helped by placement. When you get your piercing, talk to your piercer about the best placement for hiding the piercing if you ever want to close it up.
If you place your piercing right, you can get it in a natural fold or crevice of the skin where the piercing scar will naturally blend in.
How do you avoid scarring after piercing?
Most scarring occurs as the new piercing is healing. If you want to prevent scarring at your nose piercing site, then you’ll need to put in work at the beginning of the process.
Before you even get the piercing, make sure to pay for a high quality piece of jewelry. It may seem like a lot of money to shell out on the piercing itself plus the jewelry, but it will be worth it for smoother healing.
Try to get a piece of hypoallergenic jewelry for the best healing.
It’s also important to maintain a good after care routine. Follow the instructions your piercer gives you, and make sure to call them with any questions.
Avoid letting any chemicals touch your piercing site. As we mentioned, the chemicals in many household toiletry products can be harmful to a new piercing. Keep your nose piercing free and clear of these products.
Finally, leave the piercing in unless instructed by the piercer or a medical professional to remove it.
Even if you start to notice signs of infection, it’s important not to act impulsively. Take a deep breath and call the shop where you had your piercing done.
Generally, if there are concerns that may require removal, the piercer will want to look at the piercing in person to determine if it needs removed.
You can also make an appointment with a medical professional to determine if you should take it out or leave it in.