How I treated the bump on my nose piercing

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.

A few days after I had my nose pierced

A few days after I had my nose pierced

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…

Nose piercing

You can buy pure tea tree oil from Boots, Superdrug or another health store

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. This is just my own personal experience using this method that has worked time-and-time again for me.

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!

  • 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
  • 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
A few months after getting my nose pierced

A few months after getting my nose pierced

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!

Cara Morgan pierces at The Studio in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Photo: Unsplash

Photo: Unsplash


  1. I have this round my tragus piercing atm, I was never sure whether tea tree was a good idea or not, but now I’m going to give it ago and follow the instructions 🙂 THANK YOU!!!! xxxxx


  2. I got my nose pierced a little over a month ago. It was fine for the first week and a half, then I started to get the bump. It turned into a zit. On the advice of my piercer, I used a sterilized needle (sterilized with rubbing alcohol) to drain it when it would fill up, then use a hot compress of 1 c. purified/filtered water and 1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt. After two days of this, the zit went away, but left the little red bump.

    Another week went by with me doing hot salt water compresses 3x/day, with nothing much happening. Then all of a sudden the side of my face where the piercing is got hot and tight. My throat gland on that side got very sore (all in the span of about an hour). I went to the walk-in and was told I had an abscess inside my nose, and was prescribed antibiotic pills and antibiotic topical cream. That was 3 days ago. I have been taking my antibiotics as prescribed, 1 pill 4x/day and putting the topical on 4x/day. I felt better but the bump was still there. This morning I decided to try something new that I should have been doing all along: I was EXTREMELY gentle doing my sea salt soak and cleaning. I barely touched the piercing at all, taking great care not to turn it accidentally or on purpose, and being careful with the q-tip inside my nose as I applied my topical. Now, over the course of the last 12 hours, the bump has all but disappeared!

    So you see, you can come back from the dreaded bump, even back from a terrible infection that threatens to land you in the hospital for surgical drainage, and not only recover but have the bump go away! Pretty much the worst thing that can happen to a person getting a nose piercing happened to me, and my nose is pretty well back to normal and looking fab. So, long story short, here is what I have learned:

    1. BE GENTLE! Like, REALLY gentle. Hardly touch it at all when you’re cleaning it. Try hard not to twist it, spin it, or move the post in and out.

    2. Use a strong paper towel for the soak and cleaning. Anything else, including q-tips, can leave behind little fibres that can cause an infection. (Note: I do use q-tips to apply the topical antibiotic cream to the inside of my nose, but I coat the tip very thoroughly with the cream, which is quite thick, before application to ensure no fibres will stick).

    3. Clean it only twice a day, after you’ve washed your face. Wash face, do sea salt soak, clean GENTLY, and dry completely. Use a hairdryer on gentle cool setting for best gentle drying. Cleaning or soaking more than this will make the bump hang around because of the extra moving around of the jewelry.

    4. Change your pillowcase every other night.

    5. Drink plenty of lemon water and green tea. Take calcium, magnesium, and vitamin c to boost your immune system and promote healing.

    6. Get a little bit of sun (not too much!! Don’t get burned!)

    I hope this helps you. I searched high and low on the internet for a definitive answer to that burning question, ‘will the bump go away?’ and I can tell you that it can!!


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