A nose piercing bump may appear around a nose piercing due to inflammation or a keloid scar. Applying a salt water solution and washing the hands before touching the piercing may encourage healing and prevent infection.

A range of different things can cause a nose piercing bump, including infections and allergic reactions. Some inflammation is typical after a new piercing, but if it does not go away, it can indicate a problem.

Methods such as proper aftercare, using hypoallergenic jewelry, and keeping the piercing clean can help to reduce swelling and encourage healing, which should help make the bump disappear.

This article explains what causes a nose piercing bump, how to get rid of it, and how to prevent piercing bumps.

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A raised area around a nose piercing may be due to:

  • tissue damage — this could be due to trauma or removing the piercing too early
  • infection — if the piercing is done in unsanitary conditions or is not kept clean
  • an allergic reaction to the jewelry
  • trapped fluid creating a lump or bump
  • a keloid, which is a type of raised scar
  • a granuloma, which is inflamed tissue that usually appears as a raised, reddish spot

Keloids are relatively uncommon but are more common in populations with dark skin tones, with incidence ranging from 4.5–16%.

A keloid around a piercing will appear as a round, raised bump that is darker than the surrounding skin. It may cause pain, itching, or tenderness and will feel firm to the touch.

People should see a doctor or dermatologist for keloid diagnosis and treatment.

A granuloma can form as the body’s immune system tries to fight off something it thinks may harm the body. Usually, this is bacteria or a virus that could cause an infection, but it can also be a reaction to the jewelry itself.

If a person gets a piercing under hygienic conditions and follows proper aftercare recommendations, it should heal without a bump. A nose piercing can take 12–24 weeks to heal and will need regular cleaning during this period.

The best way to get rid of a nose piercing bump depends on what caused it. The following remedies may offer some benefits.

Use proper aftercare

Proper aftercare should prevent damage to tissue or an infection that could cause a bump. The piercer should advise on how to look after a piercing, which usually involves cleaning it regularly.

Tips for caring for a nose piercing include:

  • clean the area with a sterile saline solution at least once a day
  • avoid over-cleaning, which can cause irritation
  • wash the hands thoroughly before touching the piercing
  • keep jewelry in until the nose piercing fully heals unless your piercer says otherwise
  • avoid moving jewelry, playing with it, or knocking the piercing while getting dressed
  • gently remove crusty buildup or debris with a cotton swab
  • avoid submerging the piercing in water until it fully heals
  • avoid using lotions, cosmetics, or hair care products near the piercing

Use hypoallergenic jewelry

Some people are allergic to certain metals, such as nickel or an alloy, which is a mixture of a metal and another element. If a red, itchy rash appears or the piercing feels sore for a long time, it may indicate an allergy.

If jewelry is causing an allergic reaction, a piercer may recommend replacing it with hypoallergenic jewelry that will not react with the body.

Reputable piercers should use jewelry made from an appropriate material, such as surgical steel or titanium.

Use appropriate cleaning solutions

For some types of piercings, healthcare professionals may recommend using a sea salt solution to keep the piercing clean, help it heal, and reduce any swelling that may be causing an unsightly bump.

A person can dissolve ⅛ to ¼ of a teaspoon of sea salt in 1 cup of warm water, rinse the piercing with the solution, then gently remove any debris with a cotton swab. People should wash their hands thoroughly beforehand to lower the risk of infection.

It is worth noting that the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) no longer recommends using a homemade sea salt solution, as it is too easy to make the solution too salty.

Instead, they recommend using a sterile saline solution appropriate for wound washing with 0.9% sodium chloride as the only ingredient. They suggest a salt solution is only a viable alternative if a sterile saline solution is unavailable.

Try tea tree oil

Some piercers may recommend using diluted tea tree oil to dehydrate and shrink a piercing bump. However, there is limited research available on the effectiveness of tea tree oil.

Apply a warm compress

Trapped fluid under the skin can cause a bump, but heat and pressure can help to gradually drain it.

People can make a simple warm water compress by soaking a clean washcloth in hot water, applying it to the piercing, and holding it there with gentle pressure for a few minutes.

People should not force the bump to drain, as this can lead to further irritation and scarring. People should also avoid rubbing the compress against the piercing as this can cause irritation and tissue damage if the jewelry moves around.

Nose piercing bumps can occur due to infections or tissue damage, which a person can take steps to avoid. Going to a reputable piercing studio may offer the following benefits:

  • the piercing occurs in a hygienic setting
  • an experienced professional does the piercing
  • a person can speak with professionals about the best aftercare

The APP has a tool to help people choose a piercer they can trust in their local area.

People should keep their piercing clean by washing their hands before touching the area, rinsing it regularly with a saline or sea salt solution, and changing bedding and pillowcases regularly.

When possible, people should avoid knocking, twisting, or moving the nose piercing and should not remove the jewelry before it fully heals, as this can cause tissue damage.

Some inflammation and irritation are typical after a nose piercing, but these symptoms should improve as the piercing starts to heal.

If there is no improvement, a person should return to the piercer to seek advice and check that they are giving the piercing the correct aftercare.

Some symptoms, however, require help from a doctor or dermatologist. This includes signs of infection, such as:

  • an uncomfortable amount of pain
  • a throbbing or burning sensation, redness, or heat
  • a significant amount of discharge from the piercing, especially if it is gray, green, or yellow or has a bad smell
  • fever
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • nausea

A person should not remove the jewelry in the months following the piercing, unless otherwise recommended by a healthcare professional.

Below are some common questions about nose piercing bumps.

Is a nose piercing bump normal?

It is typical to experience some inflammation and swelling immediately after getting a nose piercing. However, a bump that does not go away could indicate an underlying problem, such as an allergy or an infection.

Should I take my piercing out if I have a bump?

People should leave their piercing in for the entire healing process unless a healthcare professional advises otherwise.

In some cases, a piercer may remove a piercing to downsize the jewelry. However, removing a piercing without guidance can introduce bacteria into the piercing or may cause the hole to close.

Is it bad if I accidentally bump my nose piercing?

Bumping or jostling a nose piercing can lead to complications such as scarring and jewelry migration or may delay the healing process. People should take steps to avoid trauma to the piercing where possible.

A bump on a nose piercing can occur due to typical inflammation immediately after the piercing. If the bump persists, it could indicate improper aftercare, infection, or a jewelry allergy.

Taking care of a nose piercing and keeping it clean is straightforward and should help prevent a bump.

If a nose piercing bump does occur, home remedies, such as changing jewelry, applying tea tree oil, or using a warm water compress, may help to reduce the bump.