I loved getting my nose pierced last year and blogged about the fact I wish I’d done it sooner. When I left the studio, my piercer Cara said: “if you notice a little spot starting to emerge, get in touch and I will tell you what to do.”
In the days that followed I learnt from other pierced-individuals that the fleshy bumps are quite common with piercings and can just arise spontaneously, or often through ‘knocks’ and irritation, most commonly on piercings in cartilage areas such as the ear rim, tragus and nose.
Subsequently, every single person I spoke to who had their nose pierced, admitted to having at least one of these bumps in the first year following a new nose piercing. It can take up to 12 months for the piercing to heal completely, and until then, you could be prone to these little appearing ‘spots’ time and time again.
It’s been nearly 6 months since I had my new piercing, and I’ve had 5 or 6 tiny bumps in that time. Each time a raised (often white) fleshy ‘spot’ appeared just next to the hole on the outside. They were sore, slightly swollen and didn’t look too great.
Each time they appeared, I followed my piercer’s instructions and they’ve all disappeared within a week, leaving no marks or scarring.
The first time you see one of these raised lumps around your nose piercing, it’s easy to FREAK OUT and spend hours looking at extreme-case photos on Google (I have left any such photos out of this blog – if you have one, you know what it looks like)!
These lumps can get pretty big and look like giant spots from the outside (if they appear white, some look more red). Here’s the thing – they’re not actually spots. You will notice that they are hard and there’s nothing inside to ‘pop’.
I thought I’d share with you guys the steps that I followed personally, as per my piercer’s instructions, to help anyone that might be looking for advice. These steps seemed to work perfectly for me every time but here comes my disclaimer…
There is a variety of advice to follow when it comes to ridding a nose piercing bump and looking after piercings in general. Some piercers swear by certain oils methods to dehydrate bumps. Others would claim to steer clear of tea tree oil as they say it causes more irritation than good.
Some people stick purely to salt water or just warm water. One friend I know (who used to be a professional piercer) covers his with a plaster and nothing else to encourage the tissue to return into the wound. One of my other heavily-pierced friends swears by camomile teabags.
One close friend finds that tea tree can encourage flaky bumps rather than heal them. Tea tree is very strong . Some people don’t like the smell and many are allergic to oils like this.
Just with tattoos, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, and ALWAYS do what’s best for you and works for you, and what your piercer has recommended.
I say a similar thing with tattoos all the time but… when seeking instruction for your nose bump, do get advice from the professional. Talk to your original piercer before you do anything else. Words of wisdom from an expert should always be followed over anything you read on the internet!
The steps I took that worked for me:
- I applied a small drop of tea tree oil to a cotton bud (often adding a little water to dilute as tea tree is strong)
- I used the bud to dab the bump directly twice a day (once in the morning, once before bed)
- I used a fresh cotton bud each time and threw it away immediately
- I also cleaned around the piercing with salt water twice a day too (normal piercing after-care ritual)
- Application of tea tree caused the bump to de-hydrate / dry up and eventually drop off
- Side note: as tea tree dries the skin, you may also notice excess oils begin to be produced on your nose. In other words, your skin get really greasy as it recognises itself drying out – the body is clever like that! Just keep your face nice and clean and wash your nose with salt water twice a day to clean pores
- A week or so later, the bump had dried up, flaked, and fallen off – underneath, clean new skin
- Don’t pick it, play with it or try to pop it – apart from touching with the cotton bud, just leave it
Overall, don’t freak out and seek help – what you can see on your nose is really common with nose piercings. As I said, follow your piercer’s advice, don’t pick or pop it, and keep your nose clean. I hope you find a method that works for you!
Thank you Cara for your guidance and support!
Words: Beccy Rimmer
Photos: Various, as credited