How to Treat an Infected Nose Piercing

An infected nose piercing is a common problem that many people face, especially when proper care is not taken after getting the piercing. Infection can result from bacteria entering the piercing, and signs might include redness, swelling, warmth, or pus. Fortunately, taking proper care and following the right steps can help heal the infection without the need for professional medical treatment. In some severe cases, a visit to a healthcare provider might be necessary.

Signs Your Nose Piercing is Infected

  • Swelling and Redness: If your nose piercing is infected, you might notice swelling and redness around the area. The swelling might feel tender and warm to the touch.
  • Pain: It might hurt more than the usual soreness that comes with a new piercing.
  • Pus or Discharge: Yellow or green pus is a clear sign of an infection. The pus might also have a foul smell. If you notice this, it’s important to take action right away.
  • Fever: Sometimes, an infection can cause a fever.

How to Treat an Infected Nose Piercing at Home

How to Treat an Infected Nose Piercing

Keep It Clean

Cleaning the infected area gently with soap and warm water is crucial. Use a gentle soap and avoid rubbing or picking at the piercing.

Apply Warm Compress

A warm compress can help soothe the pain and swelling. You can wet a clean cloth with warm water and hold it against the infected area for a few minutes. Repeat this a couple of times a day.

Take a Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)

If the pain or redness is bothering you, you might consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen. It can help lessen both pain and redness.

Avoid Touching the Piercing

Your hands might carry bacteria that can worsen the infection. So, always wash your hands before touching the infected piercing and try to avoid unnecessary touching.

Use an Antibacterial Ointment, Cream, or Solution

An over-the-counter antibacterial ointment, cream, or solution might be helpful. Apply it according to the instructions on the packaging, and avoid using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as they can irritate the piercing.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If the Infection Doesn’t Improve

If you’ve tried the above methods for a few days and the infection doesn’t seem to improve, it might be time to see a healthcare provider. They can prescribe antibiotics or other treatments specific to your situation.

If You Experience Fever or Severe Pain

A fever or severe pain might be a sign of a more serious infection. In this case, you should seek professional medical care immediately.

Tips to Prevent Future Infections

Choose a Reputable Piercer

Make sure to get your nose piercing from a professional piercer who uses sterile equipment and techniques to minimize the risk of infection.

Follow Aftercare Instructions

Most piercers will provide instructions for caring for your piercing as it heals. Following these directions carefully will help prevent future infections.

Be Mindful of Allergies

Some people are allergic to certain metals used in nose rings. If you know you have an allergy, make sure to choose jewelry made from materials that won’t cause a reaction.

Be Gentle with Your Piercing

Avoid playing with it, and be careful when drying your face with a towel.

Treating an Infected Nose Piercing: The Do’s and Don’ts


Wash Your HandsAlways clean your hands with soap and water before touching your piercing. This helps to keep germs away.
Use Saline SolutionClean the infected area with a saline solution. You can buy this at a store or make it at home with salt and water.
Gently Pat DryAfter cleaning, gently pat the area dry with a clean paper towel. Avoid using regular towels as they can carry bacteria.
Wear Loose ClothingIf the piercing is getting irritated by clothing, wear something loose that won’t rub against it.
Consult a ProfessionalIf the infection doesn’t get better in a few days, it might be time to see a healthcare provider or piercing professional. They will know what to do next.


Don’t Touch UnnecessarilyOnly touch the piercing when you are cleaning it. The more you touch it, the more likely it is to get infected.
Avoid Alcohol or Hydrogen PeroxideThese substances can be too harsh and may slow down the healing process.
Don’t Twist or Play with the JewelryTwisting or playing with the jewelry can irritate the piercing and make the infection worse.
Avoid Swimming Pools and Hot TubsStay away from swimming pools and hot tubs, as they can be full of bacteria that might cause infection.
Don’t Remove the JewelryYou might think that taking the jewelry out will help, but it can actually trap the infection inside. It’s better to leave it in place unless a professional tells you otherwise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Remove the Jewelry if It’s Infected?

No, removing the jewelry can trap the infection. Keep it in and seek professional help from a dermatologist.

How Long Will It Take to Heal?

A nose piercing generally takes a few months to heal completely, but an infection might extend this time.

Can I Use Regular Saline Water to Clean It?

Absolutely yes, you can clean the infected area with a saline solution. You can make one at home by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water.

What if It Doesn’t Get Better?

If the infection doesn’t get better within a week or if it gets worse, seek professional medical help. It could be a sign of a more serious issue.

Final thoughts

An infected nose piercing requires careful attention. Following the instructions listed above will help you take care of the problem. If the infection doesn’t get better, you should consult a healthcare provider or piercing professional. They can provide you with the proper care and treatment needed to heal your piercing.

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