Piercing Aftercare: How To Clean A Nose Piercing

Did you know that getting a nose piercing could improve your respiratory health? There are also studies that show that it can have a positive impact on a person’s mental health and can boost the immune system.

If you want to take advantage of these benefits without experiencing an infection, you’ll need to practice proper piercing aftercare. All it takes is cleaning your nose with dirty hands once to send you to the doctor.

You also need to make sure you use the right products and clean your piercing more than once a day. These are only a few care steps that you should keep in mind. Continue reading to learn more.

Why Clean a Nose Piercing?

You can buy some cute nose rings, but fashion doesn’t come without a few risks. The most common complication is infection.

If you don’t practice proper piercing cleaning and the site gets infected, it will take longer to heal. You may also develop redness and scarring. In extreme cases, an infection could lead to a doctor’s visit.

If an infection goes untreated for too long, it may cause nasal trauma. It could even change the shape of your nose.

Safety Tips to Live By

Right after you have your nose pierced, it will be inflamed and possibly painful to the touch, but you still have to clean it.

It’s recommended to use a saline solution at least twice a day to clean the piercing. When you’re done, you’ll need to go behind the cleaning solution with a moisturizer.

That’s only a few basic piercing safety steps you should follow for infection prevention.

Wash Your Hands

Your hands are covered in bacteria that could spread to your nose piercing and cause an infection.

So, before you clean your piercing, you need to go to the nearest sink and wash your hands with soap and warm water.

Don’t Use a Cotton Swab

You’ll use a saline wipe to clean your piercing. Avoid dabbing a cleaning solution on a Q-Tip.

While it’s true that the cotton swab can reach the little crevices around your nose, the fibers can get stuck in the piercing.

Use Saline Solutions

Most professionals will recommend using saline wipes that are specifically designed for wound cleaning to care for a nose piercing.

Don’t pick up a contact lens cleaner or eye drops to use on your piercing. If you can’t find the saline wipes at your local drugstore, you can use salt water.

Clean Your Piercing Twice a Day

Nose piercings are fairly low maintenance. You only need to clean the nostril inside out and out twice a day with a saline-based product or salt water.

If you clean your nose more often than that, it could cause redness and irritation. While you’re following your piercing aftercare routine, be on the lookout for any unusual bumps. These are a sign that you’re developing an infection.

Don’t Forget the Jewelry

To keep infection away, you don’t only need to clean the site of the piercing. You also have to wipe off the jewelry because it gathers bacteria as you go about your day.

You can use mild unscented soap and water to clean all the visible parts of your nose ring. As you do, be careful not to move the jewelry around.

When you’re done, rinse with warm water and let your nose air dry. Patting it dry with a reusable bathroom towel will spread bacteria.


As you expose yourself to the elements, the skin around your piercing will become dry and flakey. It can be itchy and irritating. Cracked skin also welcomes infection-causing bacteria.

You can combat it with moisturizer. Most piercers recommend using coconut oil or diluted tea tree oil.

Additional Aftercare Steps

You might be tempted to play with your piercing, but if you twist and tug at the ring, it can cause irritation. Again, your hands contain bacteria that you can spread to your nose if you touch it.

If you notice bumps on your nose while cleaning, don’t try to treat the oncoming infection with over-the-counter antiseptics. Make an appointment with your doctor.

Don’t use hydroperoxide to clean your nose. It will burn and cause a great deal of irritation.

Until your nose heals, try to avoid sleeping on your side. The pressure of your pillow pressing into your nose could lead to swelling.

Don’t wear makeup for a few weeks after having your nose pierced. Most products will irritate the site of the piercing.

Hot tubs and pools are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. It’s best to avoid them until your nose heals.

When Can You Stop Cleaning Your Piercing?

You’ll need to follow a cleaning routine for about a year after having your nose pierced. This will give it all the time it needs to fully heal.

Once it does, you can start swapping the stud out for other jewelry. You can also go back to using your usual makeup and skincare products.

Keep Infection and Bacteria Away With Proper Piercing Aftercare

Getting a nose piercing looks cool, and some believe that it can come with quite a few health benefits. It can also hurt your health if you don’t practice proper piercing aftercare.

You have to keep your nose clean and free of bacteria. Part of that involves using a saline solution twice a day and keeping your skin moisturized. You should also avoid makeup for a while and stay far away from hot tubs.

For more tips that will help avoid irritation and infection after getting a piercing, visit the Lifestyle section of our blog.

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