Although it’s normal for people not to have any significant problems with the healing process of a new nose piercing, one of the most common issues we hear about from those who do is the nose piercing sinking in to the hole or skin growing over the stud of the jewelry.
If you’ve noticed this starting to happen with your nose piercing – DON’T PANIC! There are many tricks and tips that can help you get through it smoothly. You’ll have your nose piercing in tip top shape in no time. Read on!
How to Prevent Nose Piercing Sinking in
For the initial piercing, a piercer will usually use nose jewelry with a longer post and large jewel or ball on top. This is so that it won’t “sink” into your piercing hole during the post piercing swelling. This will allow extra room for the swelling that occurs after being pierced so that the jewelry won’t be too tight. Once the swelling has gone down, you’ll have healed enough to trade the jewelry out for something smaller.
However, sometimes the piercing can become displaced or other factors can cause the jewelry to “sink” or the skin grow over.
Skin Growing Over Nose Piercing
If you have skin growing over your piercing stud you’ll want to be sure not to leave it for long. The longer the skin is allowed to grow over the jewelry, the more painful and complicated it’ll be to fix. If it’s not too painful and doesn’t look infected, try pushing the stud through the layer of skin as soon as you notice it growing over.
Change the Jewelry
Next, you’ll want to change the jewelry to either a hoop or a piece with a longer post or at least a bigger stud. Usually, I’d recommend switching both but if you already have a long post in with a small stud on the end, switching the stud may be enough or vice versa.
If you’re not sure which option is best for you, I recommend speaking with your piercer – or possibly another piercer – about your situation.
It’s advisable to have your jewelry changed by a professional piercer when possible anyway. If it’s the same piercer, he or she may even switch your jewelry at no extra charge! Of course, the most surefire way to make sure your piercing doesn’t sink in again is to switch your stud for a hoop like this one.
If you like or don’t mind the look of a hoop then definitely switch to a hoop. If you don’t like the hoop look, try to wear a hoop at least temporarily. At least until your piercing heals or you find jewelry with a big enough stud to stay out of your piercing hole. (Added bonus: hoops are easier to keep clean!)
Watch Out for Signs of Infection
If the piercing IS infected, it’s highly recommended that you see a physician ASAP. Here are signs you can check to determine whether you have an infection. If you notice any of the following, please consider a visit to your physician:
- An increase in pain, redness, swelling, burning, or tenderness around the piercing site.
- Swelling or tenderness in lymph glands above or below the piercing
- Greenish yellow discharge. (A bit of oozing or bleeding is normal but pus can be a red flag. Especially when combined with other infection symptoms)
- A fever
If you do NOT have an infection, you can use the following techniques to decrease the swelling around your piercing. Also use these tips to keep the site as clean as possible so that it’ll heal quickly.
How to Clean Your Nose Piercing
If you’re currently using sea salt soaks but experiencing dryness or irritation around the socket/piercing hole, try exchanging your soaks for bacitracin.
You can apply bacitracin by putting a dot of the ointment on a q-tip. Use this to rub over the outside of the piercing area. Especially focus on where the post of the jewelry enters the hole. This will help to prevent infection and keep the socket mosturized.
You can also rinse the socket out to remove any debris, oil etc by running it under water (i.e. the shower). While running it under water, slowly and carefully pushing the jewelry back and forth in the socket. Follow up after the rinse with a bacitracin application to keep the piercing site moist.
For more tips on looking after your nose piercing, check out my article on nose piercing aftercare.
Final Words: How to Deal With Nose Piercing Sinking In
Choosing a piercing with a longer post and bigger ball is the first step to preventing your nose piercing from sinking in later on. This will also help prevent the skin from growing over the piercing. Following this, changing the jewelry to a hoop for a period of time is a surefire way to eliminate this problem.