Ear & Body Piercing/nose piercing


QUESTION: i got my nose pierced 3 weeks ago. its still a little red on the top. tender top and inside. on the inside it seems to be scabbing and starting to cover the jewelry. the one time i did remove the scab it bled. i have been cleaning it with the h2ocean spray. could it be infected

ANSWER: Hi Jamie,
It looks pretty reasonable from the photos.

1. i got my nose pierced 3 weeks ago.
3 weeks is pretty new for a piercing, and it is still healing, as you can tell.
2. its still a little red on the top. tender top and inside.
This is normal from additional circulation while it heals.
3. on the inside it seems to be scabbing and starting to cover the jewelry. the one time i did remove the scab it bled.
Scabbing is normal, and should not be removed.
4. i have been cleaning it with the h2ocean spray. could it be infected
Although it could be infected, the most common signs of infection are heat, redness swelling, pain, and discolored discharge.
http://piercingexp.com/faq/aftercare.html has my suggested care

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

nose piercing
nose piercing  
QUESTION: it is definitely infected. it hurts really badly. its very red. it has a bump on it. ive been using h2ocean and tea tree oil what should i do now. i do not want to remove it.

Have seen your piercer for a follow up visit? The jewelry may not be the correct fit for you, which could be the cause of the pain and bump.

Either way, if you believe that it may be infected, seeing your healthcare provider should be the next step.

I do not suggest either of the products you mention for care. The tea tree oil may make things worse, as it can be harsh in many formulations. The wound wash product should be harmless, though. In addition, frequent dry hot compresses as described in the care I linked can be soothing.

Often a piercing done with slightly irritating material like an alloy of gold, copper, silver and trace metals such as you mention can prevent complete healing. Switch to an implant certified piece of titanium jewelry http://piercingexp.com/faq/quality-jewelry.html can explain more about selecting a safe piece.

Other notable cofactors the irritation could be related to:
*facial products you use; chemical or particulate irritation
*the shape and size of the jewelry; a piece out of proportion to your nostril
*a piercing done out of perpendicularity can abscess -|-
*mechanical friction/motion of the jewelry; moving it around too much
*sleeping on the piercing; putting pressure on the jewelry
*tap water; fluid causing ulceration of the wound bed

Stop by for a free consultation if you are in the area.

In the meantime, try to follow simple sensible care described at the link I suggested with frequent use of hot compresses. The area can be warmed indirectly by a the side of a cup of your favorite hot liquid, a heat pad set to medium or a hot washcloth in a Ziploc bag for ten-fifteen minutes once an hour up to bedtime. Make sure to put something absorbent such as a gauze pad or tissue in between you and the compress to keep it from getting sweaty.

Some people in your situation have success with a judicious application of antiseptic or antibiotic products at this point as recommended by their healthcare provider. Others try to focus on excellent nutrition [like a balanced diet with additional garlic, vitamin C and minerals like zinc] and apply a dry hot compress to increase circulation and build immune response.  

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Brian Skellie


I can answer questions in regards to and not limited to: jewelry safety, specifically material, shape, proportion, and related issues; aseptic technique and sterilization as it applies to piercing safety; ethical issues of technique and bedside manner; the aftercare and recovery process for piercings. *Available for consultation.


Body artist and founder of Piercing Experience (1992), http://brnskll.com/ and SciCan Authorized Dealer of STATIM Sterilizers and related infection control products http://statim.us/

Currently serving on the APP Board of Directors as President, formerly as Global Media Director 2013-2014, International Liaison 2010-13, Treasurer 1997-99. Over fifteen years with ASTM and APP.

The Point Journal of the Association of Professional Piercers, USA Today, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing

I regularly participate and teach in many APP and related body art educational programs. I keep current certifications for OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens, First Aid, and CPR.

Awards and Honors
APP President's Award, Best Freehand Piercer, Best of Atlanta

Past/Present Clients
Tens of thousands of one on one client experiences as the founder of Piercing Experience in Atlanta, GA, USA http://www.piercing.org/ *Body jewelry design and safety expert: Member ASTM committee F04(www.astm.org)and former Member AAMI (www.aami.org) Research advisor and educator for the APP for over a decade(www.safepiercing.org) teaching advanced studio setup, sterilization and equipment management, freehand piercing, aseptic/sterile technique and much more. Distributor and Body Art expert for SciCan StatIM sterilization and infection control products. http://statim.us/ and http://piercers.com/

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