It had been a month since I sat in the piercing parlor. I got my nostril pierced on my birthday (29 January) and everything was healing nicely. I was washing it but sort of became a little loose with when and how often. I thought that I could start slowing down with that but I WAS WRONG. So, very wrong. They aren’t joking around when they tell you it takes 6-8 weeks to heal typically.
As I got a little lazy with cleaning, sometimes only cleaning it once every day, I started to notice it change. I began to get a lot more crusty stuff. As it heals, the amount of that is supposed to reduce but it just got so gross. The, that stuff started changing color. It was a more green or yellow color. As I was told by my piercer, I used a Q Tip to push the post out a bit just to clean it but when I did that this time, pus started oozing out of it. Not a lot, but it was clear what it was. I washed it super well and went to sleep. When I woke up I went to clean it and –BAM!
There was a bump right next to the piercing. It wasn’t particularly big, so I thought that maybe it could just be a pimple. I cleaned it and went off to school. When I came back, it had gotten bigger! I still tried to convince myself that it was just a pimple. As I pushed the post out some, it was a little harder to do. I pushed a little harder and it oozed everywhere and doing that actually pulled part of the skin around it off. I began to clean it but it started to bleed. This whole problem went on for a week and by then, it would have almost engulfed the whole thing in this bump. I knew I needed to figure out how to treat it instead of pulling all the skin off all the time. And after a few days, I got rid of it COMPLETELY. There’s no sign it ever happened. Here’s what I did:
First of all, just know that you SHOULD NOT remove your piercing if you can help. It will not help, it will be extremely painful to put back in. It doesn’t need time to “breathe” so do not worry about removing the jewelry.
I filled a cup up with extremely warm water nearly to the rim. You want to get the water as warm as you can stand but don’t burn yourself. I took sea salt (DO NOT USE TABLE SALT, EVER!) and poured a little at a time. The exact measurements other people have used 1/4 teaspoon per 8 oz. of water, but I honestly never measured. I read on one website that they just put in salt until it tasted like tears. I used a little more salt than that, but it shouldn’t make too much of a difference. I took one of those half sheet paper towels and folded it up into a square and dunked it into the cup. I squeezed out some excess saltwater and put it on my piercing for about 5 minutes. Then I got a new paper towel and did the same thing. I like to use paper towels because with Q Tips and cotton balls, little fibers can get stuck on the jewelry and it could take longer to heal. After those 10 minutes I put my nose directly into the cup until the salt water went over the piercing for about 2 minutes. You do not want to wash the sea salt solution off. Take some of the actual granules of sea salt and put them directly onto the bump. I completely covered the bump with salt. You might want to do this right before you go to bed so that you can have it on while you sleep. When you get up the next morning, you might be able to see that the grain have soaked up some pus or blood if yours was bleeding like mine. Wash it off and clean as usual. I did this sea salt soak once or twice a day. When you push out the post a little to clean, you still might be pulling at your skin a lot. It is probably going to bleed but that’s okay.
You want to do this soak until you see that the bump has shrunken exponentially. For me, it only took about two days to get to that point but for some others it takes around two weeks. This is when I would advise for you to use Tea Tree Oil. You do not have to use it, the salt soak should take care of the issue eventually. I found that using the Tea Tree Oil at the end when it was already getting better was good because it took care of the very last part in about three hours. I put it on with a Q Tip and covered the whole piercing area, even on any area that didn’t have the bump. I went to check a few hours later and to clean it and the very last part of it popped off as I pushed the post out. It’s all better now, but I think I’m going to do these salt soaks every once in a while.
Remember that it’s not just caused by not cleaning enough. It can also be over cleaning or if you bump or pull it. It was a combination of not cleaning it enough and I got it caught in my towel which yanked at it really hard. This method really helped me and I’m sure it will help you as well. There are many other methods out there but this was the one that seemed the easiest to deal with.