Nose piercings — always there to compliment and mesmerize no matter the shape or size of your nose! They’re more trendy now than ever thanks to social media, and are a pretty low-maintenance piercing option. Even though nose piercings are typically low maintenance, some people will experience a subtle bump around the piercing site that refuse to go away.
So, why won’t a nose piercing bump go away? Most nose piercing bumps will go away with time, but a few problems can prevent that typical process from occurring. Common problems that prevent bumps from going away include excessive swelling, infections, allergies, keloids, pustules, and granulomas.
Not sure what keloids, pustules, and granulomas are? Don’t worry, we’ll cover these down below! A pesky nose piercing bump can 100% ruin the aesthetic that you’re going for. Luckily, these nose piercing bumps don’t have to stay with you. We’ll cover the various causes of chronic nose bumps, the solutions to each, and tips and tricks to follow!
How Long Do Nose Piercing Bumps Last
Typically, a subtle bump will form when a nose piercing procedure is undergone. As your immune system kicks in to heal the piercing, inflammation occurs and creates a piercing bump. If no other complications come up, it should take several weeks to fully heal a piercing bump.
So, if there’s a bump near the site of your nose piercing initially — don’t freak out. It’s totally normal and will most likely disappear in the coming weeks.
While a bump is normal, there are warning signs that should flag you to visit your medical professional or piercer. These warning signs can signal a potential infection or other problem that may worsen with time.
The symptoms to watch out for include:
- A bump that gets bigger
- Changing symptoms
- Symptoms that get worse
- Intense pain around the piercing site
- Odorous discharge coming from the bump
- Excessive tenderness
For the most part, chronic nose piercing bumps are the result of:
- Poor piercing technique
- Unclean piercing condition
- Poor aftercare
- Allergic reactions
When any of the above occur, risk for infection increases and your normal bump may develop into one of three things. These include:
- Pustule — A blister or pimple that’s full of pus. Pustules form most commonly from mild infections or physical trauma.
- Granuloma — An overgrowth of healing tissue that leads to a bump. Granulomas form due to physical trauma, but can also be caused by abnormal immune system responses. These bumps appear as raised and reddish spots.
- Keloid — A bump that’s formed due to a thick and overgrown scar. Keloids are caused by puncture wounds and the body’s response to the wound. Keloids can continue to grow upwards and sideways, and visiting a dermatologist is important if you want to get rid of it. Keloids are often darker in color compared to surrounding skin.
Whether it’s an infection, allergy, pustule, keloid, or granuloma — active treatment is necessary if you suspect something more than normal and healthy swelling. We’ll take a look at home treatments and then medical options for each of our nose-piercing-bump-causing culprits.
Pustules often go away on their own, but active treatment can speed up the removal process. To promote drainage of the pustule, a warm compress will be your best friend. Warm water or a saline solution can be used for your warm compress. Apply the warm compress 3 – 4 times a day and for 5 minutes at a time.
On top of warm compresses, you should be cleaning the area twice a day with mild soap.
If you want to speed up the healing process, consider some of these over-the-counter treatments:
- Calamine lotion
- Cortisone cream
- Salicylic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide gel
If home treatment doesn’t work — you may want to consider having the pustule lanced. While lancing at home with a safety pin might seem like a convenient idea, go to the doctor’s office instead. A botched lancing can lead to an awful time and make your nose bump even more noticeable.
Like pustules, granulomas may disappear on their own with time — but it’s never a guarantee. Home remedies for granuloma include vitamin E supplements and corticosteroid creams.
- Vitamin E Supplements — Vitamin E supplements are able to help clear your granuloma faster, but you may want to consult a professional before taking supplements.
- Corticosteroid Creams –– These creams don’t require a prescription and aim to reduce inflammatory skin issues. If the creams don’t appear to work after the first few days, do not continue to use them.
Medical treatments include (but are not limited to) cryotherapy, light therapy, and silver nitrate application.
Out of everything, a keloid is often the most troublesome to deal with. Not only are they hard to remove, but they continue to grow and are the most noticeable. The home remedies for keloids include topical aspirin, onion juice, and honey.
- Aspirin — Aspirin has been linked to the inhibition of scar-promoting cells from entering the keloid. As a result, the pigmentation and size of the keloid are reduced. To use, crush 1 – 2 pills of aspirin, mix with enough water to form a thick paste, and then apply to your bump for an hour, and then rinse. You’ll want to do this once a day.
- Onion juice — The composition of onion juice reduces pigmentation and scar height while speeding up healing. To use, cut an onion into small pieces, squeeze out the juice, and apply the juice to your bump. Let the onion juice dry and apply 3 – 4 times a day.
- Honey — Honey has been used for centuries because of its anti-inflammatory properties. To use, simply apply a bit of organic honey on the bump, let it sit for 20 minutes, and then rinse. This method should be used 3 – 4 times a day as well.
If these home remedies don’t work, medical options are always available. Before considering surgery, you should consider retinoid creams, steroid injections, and silicone gel. Contact a professional to see what options are available.
Sometimes, the jewelry itself is the culprit to a chronic nose piercing bump. If there’s itching and you’ve otherwise taken good care of the wound — it could be allergies. If your jewelry piece contains nickel, that’s even more reason to suspect an allergy as the cause for your bump. That’s because almost 1 in 5 people are allergic to nickel.
To reduce a bump that’s caused by allergies, the only option is to remove or replace the jewelry with a more suitable one. Suitable allergy-free jewellery for most people include:
- Stainless steel
- 18- or 24- karat gold
If there’s unexplained redness, tenderness, and pain — an infection is likely. Pustules, granulomas, and keloids may not look the most attractive, but they are often just cosmetic issues.
Use standard home remedies like oregano and thyme essential oil, honey, and garlic or consult a doctor for antibiotics. Once the infection is resolved, the bump is likely to go away.
Before we wrap up, let’s look at some tips and tricks that can help eliminate the pesky bump before it takes hold. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do.
What you should do:
- Clean your piercing 2 or 3 times a day (no more and no less) — Use saline sprays, solutions, or a sea salt soak. Clean more than 3 times a day, and your skin will be irritated and prone to breakage.
- When in doubt, consult an expert — Talk to your doctor or piercer for recommendations, tips, and advice.
- Always wash your hands before touching your piercing jewelry or wound
- Avoid pools, lakes, and other public bodies of water
What you shouldn’t do:
- Use ointments — Creams are okay but ointments (like vaseline) will clog your skin, block air circulation, and trap harmful bacteria near your wound.
- Get pierced with a piercing gun — A piercing gun harbors bacteria and applies excessive blunt force to your piercing. That’s a lose-lose situation right there.
- Pay cheap, suffer later — Don’t get swindled by cheap prices and always make sure that the piercing studio is clean and professional.
- Pick scabs or pop bumps
Nose piercings will elevate any look and are timeless.
If a nose piercing is what you picture your ideal self to be rockin’ — just go for it! Plus, you’ll know what to do if your nose piercing bump doesn’t go away. Live a little and don’t be afraid to be bold!