How To Get Rid Of Your Nose Piercing Bump

Illustration: Anna Sudit

Those of you with a recent nose piercing will know that while your nasal region looks fantastic, the upkeep can be kind of a drag.

I am one year and four months post having my nose pierced and finally, FINALLY, it has healed completely. And by 'healed' I mean it feels like my ear piercings; I can touch it without it weeping, bleeding or feeling painful.

In the months after you get a nose piercing done, it is possible that you might experience the dreaded 'bump'. That is, a really attractive, lumpy, red-looking thing that grows out of the side of your nose piercing and does a really good job of preventing your piercing from looking as fine and as dandy as you want it to.

Here, we're going to try and answer a few questions about that bump to help you on your merry way.

So are nose piercing bumps normal?

Yes. Yes they are. According to Authority Tattoo, they are "very common".

Are nose piercing bumps permanent?

Usually not, thank goodness. There could be a number of different reasons for the bump and a number of different manifestations of said bump but luckily, they shouldn't last. The different types of bump are as follows...

Keloid

A keloid is a form of scarring. The NHS says it is when collagen "gathers around damaged skin and builds up to help the wound seal over." It can appear shiny, hairless, raised, hard and rubbery. Nice.

Keloids are more common in people with dark skin but thankfully they do tend to fade and reduce over time. In extreme conditions (and this probably shouldn't have to apply to a nose piercing keloid), doctors can freeze them with liquid nitrogen or help flatten them with corticosteroid injections.

Some people recommend tea tree oil although my piercer was pretty adamant that you shouldn't use anything like this or be too overly attentive to the healing piercing in general, as it can just cause more damage.

Granuloma

This is a result of an overgrowth of blood vessels (either from the piercing trauma or being knocked) which produces a "small reddish violaceous or brownish black lesion that bleeds easily." Delightful. Actually, one site even describes it as looking like a "raw hamburger". Mmm.

Treatment is the same as with keloids, essentially; leave it alone and fingers crossed it should go down by itself. Some people do recommend cold salt water presses, chamomile teabags, tea tree oil etc, but realistically, not being fiddled with should do the job.

Pustule

This kind of bump is an infection. It's the nose piercing version of a spot and is probably a bit sore.

Can I pop my nose piercing bump?

NO. With keloids and granulomas there's nothing to pop 'out' of your bump. And with pustules, just because you think you're a dab hand at popping pimples on your face, does not mean you should be popping pustules on your piercings. There's the potential for the infection to get much more severe which could, in the long run, actually be a danger to your health as well as making it look a whole lot worse. Visit your piercer for help. Please. If you are tempted, resist and watch Dr Pipple popper instead.

Help! I can't get rid of my nose piercing bump!

Let's be clear here: The number one piece of advice we're giving you is to leave the bump alone and not to fiddle with it too much (I know it's hard, SO HARD). If you feel you must do something, try salt water hot compresses or chamomile teabags but really, it's mainly about having patience. You've put your skin through trauma and it's going to take its sweet time to heal. If you are really concerned, or in lots of pain, go and see your piercer who will, 1,000%, know exactly what to do.

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