Anyone can get infected nose piercing. Infection can happen to a newly pierced nose or it can also occur to an old piercing. It’s also possible that after months or even years of pierced area, the site could still get infected.
Bump is usually associated with infection. But not every bump on a nose piercing is a sign of infection. It’s a good chance that it’s just a granuloma, which is a harmless, benign body tissue growth. This tissue growth has a red, raw formation. It also bleeds easily and drains yellow fluid.
However, if the bump resembles that of a pimple and it has pus, it’s an indication that the area is infected. It forms a pustule that occurs under the skin. If it’s pink and tender, you should have it checked by an expert as it could be a sign of infection.
What are the possible causes of an infected nose piercing?
There are several causes of an infection in this area. Usually, they’re caused by yeast, fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms. They grow and multiply if you don’t clean the area as instructed by your piercer. You may have also been touching the area with your dirty hands.
Swimming in a contaminated pool or using of a dirty bedding could cause piercing infection. Additionally, if you’ve used a jewelry that’s too small or caused an allergic reaction, it could cause an infection in the area.
What are the signs to look for?
There are several signs that could tell you that your piercing has been infected. Although, infection on the site may also occur on old piercing, infections usually happens on a newly pierced area. That said, you need to look and observe the area for any signs of abnormality.
A discharge coming from the pierced area is one indication that it’s infected. The discharge can be yellowish or greenish. It also emits a foul odor. This sign can be an indication of a bacterial infection. You’ll notice the discharge around the jewelry. If the discharge is white, it may indicate a minor infection.
On the other hand, if it has a clear discharge, it’s likely that it’s a lymph. What this means is that the area is actually healing. So, it’s not an indication of an infection.
As mentioned earlier, if you just clean the area as instructed, infection won’t likely to happen. If you don’t, however, you could end up having scabs. They often slow down the healing process of the area. In some cases, they could be a sign of an infection.
For that reason, it’s ideal that you clean the area and remove any debris completely before it builds up.
In addition to a discharge, a burning sensation may also show that you have a problematic nose piercing. Burning sensation is usually a sign of an allergic reaction and it’s accompanied by a yellow discharge.
To know if you’re experiencing an allergic reaction, check the material of the jewelry used. You should also make sure that it’s not too tight or loose as it can cause irritation. An allergic reaction to a nose piercing may also be the result of using a body care product around the area.
If you notice swelling, tenderness, and redness in the area, your piercing might be infected. These are usually signs of infection. However, redness, tenderness, and swelling are normal and to be expected after having a piercing.
Now, if these signs remain after a few days, it’s most likely that the site is infected. Relieving it is as easy as applying of cold compress and taking of an anti-inflammatory medication.
What about pain?
If the area is infected, it may cause pain. You may feel a throbbing pain on the site. There are several ways to deal with the pain. One of them is to use an OTC pain medication, like ibuprofen and aspirin. While you’re waiting to seek medical treatment, this type of medicine can calm the area and your nerves, thereby, reducing the pain.
Are bumps a sign of infection?
As mentioned earlier, bumps are not always a sign of an infection. However, they might indicate that the area is presenting a problem. If you notice an abscess with pus, for example, then it could be a result of a poor drainage on the area and a sign of an infection. The abscess might have foreign materials that have been causing your body to react to them.
Does bleeding mean infection?
It’s not a common sign but an infected piercing may cause the site to bleed in some cases. If your piercing is quite new, the bleeding should only last a short period of time. On the other hand, if it continues to bleed, it might be an indication of an infection or it might increase the chance of it getting infected.
To stop the bleeding, try applying pressure on the area before you seek medical treatment. And to avoid bleeding on the site, make sure that it doesn’t get tugged by anything as it can easily be torn causing serious injuries to the pierced area.
Are fever and chills signs of infection?
If you notice those signs mentioned above and they are accompanied by fever, chills, and nausea, then it’s most likely that the site is infected. These signs are usually an indication that the site is infected with bacteria. If this is your case, you must see your doctor right away. Ignoring these signs and symptoms could just cause further complications.
How to deal with an infected piercing in the nose?
You may take an anti-inflammatory drug or you can apply some home remedies that can effectively treat the area.
One of the most common home remedies for this situation is the application of tea tree oil. This home remedy contains powerful antiseptic properties. It’s one of the reasons it’s a highly recommended oil for treating wounds. This is a volatile essential oil that’s derived from an Australian native plant and it’s being used in Australia for 100 years. For more than seven decades, it’s been hailed and heavily documented in various studies to kill several strains of viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Make sure you dilute the essential oil before applying it on the affected area.
Another way to treat the area is to use a sea salt solution. Sea salt is different from a table salt as the former contains nutrients that can take care of your skin infection. It’s an ideal home ready to eliminate roughness and inflammation on the skin’s surface. As some studies have showed, the anti-inflammatory properties of this salt are said to be the result of its high amount of magnesium. It can also detoxify your body while it improves blood circulation.
It’s easy to make a sea salt solution. Prepare warm water, get a cotton ball and sea salt (not table salt). Mix water and the sea salt. Then, place a cotton ball into the solution and apply the solution on your nose. Allow the soaked cotton ball to stay in the area for a few minutes.
On the other hand, you may choose to dip your nostril into the sea salt solution. However, after dipping, make sure that you rinse the area to prevent your skin and nostril from drying out. With this solution, the infection should clear out after a few days.
You may also add some apple cider vinegar to the solution to create a more powerful solution.
Apart from tea tree oil and sea salt solution, you can also use chamomile tea to treat the affected area. If the sea salt solution has not worked for you as expected, you may use a chamomile tea bag as a hot compress.
What you’ll do here is to get a chamomile tea bag and dip it in warm water. Avoid the use of hot water as it may burn your skin. Then, apply the tea bag to the piercing site. Allow it to sit in the area for at least 10 minutes or until it loses its heat. You may re-dip the bag to the tea and apply it again onto the affected area. Another way to use chamomile tea bag is to dip it to the sea salt solution.
How about aspirin?
This medicine is also an effective treatment if you’re experiencing an infection in your nose piercing. It’s an anti-inflammatory drug that can heal infection without causing further irritation.
Simply make an aspirin paste by placing little water onto the aspirin and allow the drug to turn into a paste. Apply it onto the infected area before going to sleep. In a few days, you will notice that the area is healing.
If the aspirin does not work, you may take an anti-inflammation drug. This medicine is usually effective if the infection is the result of a trauma when you have accidentally touched the nose piercing or pulled it out accidentally.
When to take oral antibiotic?
If your infection doesn’t heal after a few days, you should seek medical treatment. Your doctor may recommend an oral antibiotic. However, this is only given if your health provider is sure that the infection is caused by bacteria.
While waiting for your medical appointment, you could take a pain killer, like acetaminophen or aspirin. These are easily available products and don’t need a prescription from your doctor.
How to wash the infected area?
Before you even touch the area, make sure that your hands are clean. So, wash them first with anti-bacterial soap and warm water. Dry them using a clean paper towel, rather than a cloth towel. This is to further minimize the bacteria on your hands.
After that, get a cotton swab and pump some soap on it. Swab the area using the swab. This will soften the skin and remove any crusted elements. When cleaning the area, it’s a must that you avoid using harsh substances, such as hydrogen peroxide, betadine, and alcohol.
Afterward, rinse the area with warm water. Dry it with a clean paper towel. Be extra careful not to bump the piercing.
Should you remove the jewelry from your nose?
No matter how discomforting your condition is, it’s not advisable that you remove the jewelry. Removing it will only encourage the area to close the wound, thereby, causing abscess formation.
You must also make sure that your clothing, hair, and other things do not come in contact with the infected site. They could just introduce more harmful organisms, thereby, causing more infection.
When you do wash the area, ensure that you’re using non-scented moisturizers and cleaning products. This type of products will only irritate the piercing. Never play with your piercing. Leave it alone, unless you need to clean it.
When should you go and visit your doctor?
It’s time for you to visit your doctor if the infection doesn’t seem to improve after a few days of applying those above mentioned remedies. Your doctor can properly diagnose your condition and provide further treatment.
You should not ignore the signs of an infection as it can just lead to health risks, like damages of your tissues.