Nose Piercing Bumps - Treatment

Nose piercing is one of the most popular piercing nowadays. It's not so painful and it look nice. When it comes to the aftercare, it usually takes two or three weeks to heal fully. But like the rest of the piercings, this type of piercing takes some risks too. If you develop a bump at the site of a body piercing, draining it should never be a "do-it-yourself" endeavor. A bump, especially if the site turns red, swollen or painful, or drains pus, could indicate a staphylococcus infection or other bacteria. See your doctor immediately; she might choose to drain the bump and send the fluid for testing to determine the type of bacteria present. In the meantime, she might start you on an oral antibiotic.

Any time you create a wound in the skin like a body piercing, you run the risk of developing an infection. The risk increases if the equipment used to create the opening isn't scrupulously cleaned and sterilized between uses.

Bumps are common occurrences on nose piercings because they are easily bumped, and cartilage also takes longer to heal than the fleshy areas of the body such as the ear lobes. They often appear as red bumps right beside the piercing, and can be very hard to resolve. Causes for the bumps range from irritation to excessive scar tissue known as keloids or granulomas. A granuloma occurs beside a nose piercing due to the body's inflammatory response.

What to do?
If the bump around a body piercing produces pain, swelling, oozing or a foul odor, you may have an infection. The risk increases if the symptoms persist or if the redness spreads of redness or turns dark red or purple and you develop a fever. You need antibiotics in addition to draining by your doctor to treat an infection. Sending the fluid for evaluation for the type of bacteria it contains is very important if the infection doesn't improve. A culture and sensitivity of the fluid determines the bacteria present as well as which antibiotics can effectively treat it.

Cleaning Advice:

- Take an oral anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen if the bump is due to a recent trauma. Trauma to nose piercings include accidentally knocking the nose piercing or pulling the nose ring out.

- Soak your nose in a salt water solution. Mix 1 cup of warm water with 1/8 tsp. of sea salt. The water should be as warm as you can stand it, but not so hot that it will burn your skin. To soak your piercing, tilt your head sideways and insert into the cup of water. This task is more comfortable if you soak it while lying down. Alternatively, use cotton balls soaked in the salt water solution, holding each one against your nose until it cools off. Soak at least twice a day.

- Apply a small amount of over-the-counter cortisone cream to the bump to help decrease the inflammation. Apply pressure to the nose. If the nasal swelling continues after the two previous treatments, apply direct pressure to the nose with your thumb and forefinger.

Treating Inflammation
A reddened bump doesn't always mean infection. In some cases, inflammation can develop at the site from irritation from the piercing rather than infection. With inflammation, the redness is usually localized, improves with time, doesn't spread and doesn't have a foul smell. Draining an inflamed bump won't help at all, since it doesn't contain infected material. Injecting the bump with cortisone often helps reduce inflammation, although you might need more than one treatment, depending on the size of the inflamed area.

Potential Complications
Trying to drain an infected site yourself could make an infection much worse, especially if you use a contaminated tool and introduce even more bacteria into the wound. A serious infection that enters the blood stream can be fatal. Let your doctor determine whether a bump that develops at the site of a body piercing needs draining. Only a medical professional should perform this procedure.

Keep In Mind:

Leave Jewelry in Place
If you're having any sort of trouble with your piercing, your first impulse may be to take your jewelry out--and if you see a doctor, he may tell you to remove your ring. But the Association of Professional Piercers suggests that removing jewelry should be a last resort, as it can cause further complications down the line, including scarring and even abscesses. Most piercing complications can be resolved with the jewelry in place.

The jewels must be made of titanium.

When To See A Doctor?
Seek medical assistance if you've tried home treatment with no improvement after two or three weeks or if the lump seems to be getting larger instead of smaller. If you're running a fever, see your doctor as soon as possible. Do the same if there are dark read streaks emanating from the piercing site or if there is a copious amount of thick, smelly discharge.