How to Treat Swelling Nose Piercings
While your reasons for a getting a nose piercing are most likely aesthetic in nature, swelling and discomfort are included as part of the piercing's package. Any time your body suffers a wound, including a piercing, puffiness and pain surrounding the area are normal reactions 1. Even though these side effects will eventually subside on their own, this eventual easing doesn't mean that you can't take advantage of existing remedies to help relieve the issues while they are present.
Fill a sealable plastic bag 1/3 to 1/2 full of ice cubes and seal it. Wrap paper towels or an old towel around the outside of the bag. Apply the ice to the swollen site for 10 to 20 minutes three times per day.
Side Effects of Piercings
Take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, as directed to reduce swelling and discomfort from the piercing.
Prop your head up on extra pillows while sleeping to keep the swelling at a minimum. Your head will need to be elevated above your legs. Avoid sleeping on your stomach or side because it could put pressure on your nose piercing.
If you experience any pus, severe redness or pain, check with a medical professional immediately because you may have an infection.
Never put ice directly on your skin or you can run the risk of tissue damage.
Never leave an ice pack on your skin for longer than 20 minutes to avoid tissue damage.
Avoid consuming alcohol while your nose piercing is healing as it can cause the swelling to worsen.
Cigarette smoking can prolong the healing process because it decreases blood flow to the tissues.
Hot packs or hot water compresses are not recommended for swollen body parts.
Side Effects of Piercings
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- WebMD: Body Piercing Problems - Home Treatment
- WebMD: Nose Injuries - Home Treatment
- Holbrook J, Minocha J, Laumann A. Body piercing: complications and prevention of health risks. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2012;13(1):1-17. doi:10.2165/11593220-000000000-00000
- University of Michigan. Body art: What you need to know before getting a tattoo or piercing. University Health Service. 2019.
- Meltzer DI. Complications of body piercing. Am Fam Physician. 2005;72(10):2029-2034.
- Antoszewski B, Jedrzejczak M, Kruk-Jeromin J. Complications after body piercing in patient suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus. Int J Dermatol. 2007;46(12):1250-1252. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2007.03372.x
- Madu P, Kundu RV. Follicular and scarring disorders in skin of color: presentation and management. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2014;15(4):307-321. doi:10.1007/s40257-014-0072-x
- Weber, Angela. "Evaluation of Potential Bloodborne Pathogen." (PDF) Feb 2001. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.