How to Clean a Nose Piercing

Complications after a new nose piercing are common if proper care of the area is not taken. Most often complications are an infection, pain, and irritation. Learning how to properly clean nose piercing may minimize chances of complications occurring and may promote the healing.

Cleaning of Nose Piercing

Below we specify all the steps that should be taken in order to properly clear pierced area.

Salt Solution

For proper nose piercing cleaning the best to use is a saline solution. This one can be bought from the chemist, but it can also be made at home. All that one should do is to dissolve ¼ tsp. of non-iodized sea salt in one cup of lukewarm water.

Clean Hands

People with piercing should especially be precautious when touching their face. They should only do that after the hands are washed. So before cleaning nose piercing always thoroughly clean your hands with antibacterial soap. This particular step will prevent the infection of pierced region by ensuring that germs from hands do not get into the piercing.


The best to use for cleaning are cotton balls which should be soaked in the salt solution that was prepared before. It is enough to dab it gently on the piercing for three to four minutes. Cotton ball should be removed with caution just in case it gets caught in the stud or nose ring.


After the cleaning, it is important that this area remains dry. This can be achieved by using the dry cotton ball,  paper towel or clean tissue. Towels should be avoided since they could be holding the bacteria thus causing the infection. They can also snag on the stud or ring.

Further Cleaning

Next step is to remove crusting, if present. For this a cotton swab dipped in the salt solution is used to rub around the ring to remove any crusting. One should also rub the swab inside the nostril. It is important to be fairly gentle since crusting tears the skin and can cause the piercing to be inflamed.

Aftercare Tips

Taking care of nose piercing in order to avoid wound infection is also very important. This relates to specific steps in pierced area but also some changes in person lifestyle.

Piercing Care

How to Clean a Nose PiercingAlthough contrary is heard a lot of times, it is not necessary to turn, rotate or move the stud while the piercing is healing.

Cleaning solution used for the ear piercing are not necessarily good for nose piercing, whatsoever, they can cause irritation of the nose piercing. It is important not to use products not containing benzalkonium chloride or any ear piercing solution when cleaning nose piercing.

Strong chemicals such as alcohol, Hibiclens liquid, Betadine solution, Dial soap, hydrogen peroxide or other may injure the healing piercing and they should not be used for cleaning it. Ointments do not let the piercing breathe, thus are also not recommended in cleaning healing piercing.

Overcleaning should be avoided since it can irritate the piercing and make it more difficult to heal.

No one should touch their face if their hands are not washed, this particularly applies to people with piercing. It is healing.

Piercing should be protected by waterproof bandages during any contact with water (soaking in a tub, swimming, diving).

Beauty products should not be used with the piecing while healing.

Lifestyle Changes

A person with a new nose piercing should eat a healthy diet in order for piercing to heal properly. It is also important for a person to go to the bed early and to sleep enough. This all promotes the healing of the wound.

Nicotine, stress, alcohol, and drugs have a negative impact on healing, this is why it is important to be avoided.

Bathing should be avoided since the bath tub might contain some harboring germs, which can potentially lead to infection or pierced area. It is always better to choose to shower.

Towels and bedding should be changed weekly in order to avoid growth of harmful germs and potential infection.

Too much motion or irritation from clothing should be avoided since it may lengthen the healing process and leave scars.

Time Needed For Piercing To Heal

Time span needed for pierced area to heal depend on area per se.

Septum piercing heals the fastest. It lasts 6-8 weeks but only if the “sweet spot” is pierced. Not below or above.

Bridge piercing healing time is 8-12 weeks.

Nostril piercings both high and regular are healing in 4-6 moths. Same is with nasallang piercing.

Rhino piercing takes the longest to heal, 6-9 moths.

Signs of Healing

If after the minimum healing time, the area around the piercing looks normal, chances are piercing have healed. There should be no flakes, discharge, swelling and discoloration. After the healing, the hole will feel tight and it will be difficult to move the stud.

It is possible for piercing to heal from the outside while the inside it may still be very delicate. This leads to looking healed but it is actually not, thus it is better to wait for the maximum healing time to pass before trying to change the stud.

Treating The Infection

Swelling, redness and pain are all normal to be present on the first day of healing. With the normal process of healing, they should reduce. However, if they progress it is highly possible piercing has infected. In addition to these symptoms, there is also bleeding and green or yellow pus with a foul smell.  There are some steps that can help if this happens.

Cold Compress

Ice wrapped in towel or cloth placed in the piercing should help to relieve pain and swelling.

Oil From Tea Tree

Tea tree oil helps boost antiseptic capabilities of sea salt soak, helping it to decrease an inflammation.  2 teaspoons of carrier oil and 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil should be mixed and applied to the infected area by a cotton ball.

Aspirin Paste

As an anti-inflammatory medication, aspirin can help the healing of piercing without causing additional irritation. A simple mix of a little water with 4 tablets of aspirin in the form of paste should be applied before going to bed.

Medical Help

If all these steps do not help and there is no decrease in inflammation symptoms, one should consult a dermatologist or general health care provider for help.

If you have more information you think would be beneficial to others, feel free to share in comments below!