Pinterest Nose Piercings & Aftercare: A Complete Guide
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Published Thursday, February 15, 2024

What Is A Nose Piercing?

Nose piercings have become very fashionable and it’s easy to see why. A nose piercing can be as subtle or as bold as you want it to be—and they have generally become more accepted at workplaces. But just because it’s becoming more popular doesn’t mean that aftercare should be taken lightly. Whether it’s your first piercing or your 10th, proper aftercare is important to keep your piercing safe from infection and to ensure it looks good once it’s healed.  

To help you on your nose piercing journey, we’ve put together some information on what you need to know about nose piercings and aftercare.

Types of Nose Jewelry


One of the reasons nose piercings are so popular is due to the wide variety of jewelry styles that can be worn. Some of the most common pieces include nose studs, hoops, labrets, circular barbells and even plugs. However, not all jewelry styles are recommended for the initial piercing. The jewelry style you choose will depend on the location of the nose piercing and the piercer’s recommendation. Your starter jewelry should leave enough space to accommodate swelling. Don’t worry, you can always change your starter jewelry later.

Choosing the right material is important to prevent infection or jewelry rejection. You want to choose a metal that has few alloys. A popular choice is titanium, which is durable, light-weight and contains almost no nickel. 316L steel can also be used for fresh piercings. If you have sensitive skin then implant grade 316LVM steel is recommended. Initial materials you should avoid are plastic, nylon, sterling silver and plated metals. These materials do not make for a healthy healing process and can cause damage.

Once your nose piercing is completely healed, it’s time for the fun part! You can start changing your jewelry. The standard jewelry size for the nose will be 20 gauge or 18 gauge. Don’t forget to ask your piercer for your gauge size so you can shop for the right jewelry later. If you don’t know your gauge this nose measurement guide may help you. Some popular styles are:

  • Studs or nosebones are one of the simplest and low-maintenance nose jewelry pieces. They are often used as the initial piercing jewelry. A stud is a post with a small ball on one end that keeps it in place inside the nose and it has a decorative piece on the other end, which is located outside the nose. This style makes it easy to insert and remove. Check out our wide selection of nose stud jewelry here
  • Nose rings or hoops are more noticeable than a stud and have become very popular. Though they’re trendy, hoops are not recommended to be used as your initial piercing jewelry. Rings or hoops are snug and may not leave enough space for swelling and proper healing. Once your piercing is healed you can make the switch. Nose hoops or rings also come in different styles like clickers, seamless rings, captive bead rings and more. If this is the jewelry for you, check out our collection here
  • Nose screws are another option for your piercing. This style has a spiral or screw at the bottom of the piece and a decorative top that is attached to the post. The spiral helps keep the jewelry in place to prevent it from falling out. A drawback to the screw shape is that it can catch more boogers, so if you have allergies, you might consider going with a different style. 
  • L-bends are similar to nose screws, but instead of a spiral shape at the bottom end, it will be bent into an “L” at 90 degrees. The L shape makes it easier to insert than a nose screw while making it more secure than a nose screw. 

Have fun with your jewelry! When you’re ready to switch to something new, check out our collection here.

Nose Piercing Aftercare

You’re finally home with your fresh piercing, now what? Let’s go over some aftercare basics. 

How long does it take for a nose piercing to heal?

  • The healing process for a nose piercing can take two to six months depending on the location of the piercing and how well you follow good aftercare practices.
  • Everyone is different so the healing time will vary from person to person.
  • After the piercing, you can experience some swelling, pain and tenderness, especially during the first few weeks. Remember that a piercing is an open wound, so leave it alone while it heals! Don’t touch it, play with it, rotate it or replace the jewelry to avoid any scarring or piercing bumps.  If you need to touch the piercing for any reason, wash your hands with soap first.  

How do I clean my nose piercing?

  • You want to clean your nose piercing on the inside and outside twice a day with a piercing aftercare saline solution like Neilmed Piercing Aftercare mist. Only use saline solutions meant for piercings or wound washes. Don’t use saline products intended for something else like contact lenses or eye drops.
  • Apply the solution or nose piercing aftercare spray and let it set in for a few minutes. Then wipe the excess off with a dry paper towel or gauze. Don’t use a cotton swab, Q-Tip or cotton ball to dry the area. They can shed fibers that can get stuck or snag on your jewelry.
  • Keeping your jewelry clean is just as important as cleaning the nose piercing. Using clean hands, carefully wash the jewelry with gentle soap. The best time to do this is while you’re in the shower. 

Activities to avoid after a nose piercing:
To help your nose healing process along the way, you’ll want to avoid certain activities.

  • Swimming or outdoor water activities: Although it’s ok to get your piercing wet while you shower, you should avoid pools, hot tubs, beaches, rivers and lakes. All of these bodies of water are filled with bacteria which can cause an infection.
  • Makeup or face products: Avoid using makeup, lotion or harsh chemicals around your piercing to avoid an infection. If you absolutely need to apply these products, do it away from the piercing.
  • Sports: Avoid contact sports that can cause someone or something to touch and injure your piercing. You don’t want your piercing to get snagged, pulled or pushed i.e. don’t get hit on your nose.
  • Sleeping on the piercing: While you may practice great aftercare when you’re awake, it’s harder when you’re sleeping. To prevent dislodging your jewelry, avoid sleeping on the same side of your nose piercing or sleep on your back.

How do you know when your nose piercing is healed?

Everyone is different so the healing time will vary, but it’s recommended to wait at least six months before changing your jewelry. A good indication to see if your piercing is healed is if you haven’t had any pain, tenderness, swelling or discharge for at least three weeks. The more time you give your piercing to heal, the safer it is to change your jewelry.  

It’s normal to have swelling or irritation during the healing process, but if you don’t notice an improvement or notice your symptoms are getting worse, contact your doctor. When in doubt, get your piercing checked out by a professional to prevent an infection or permanent damage.