Nose piercing piercings can cause a nose piercing bump

The Nose Piercing Bump: How To Get Rid Of It (Quickly)

Tattoos & Piercings

With nose piercings, the vast majority heal smoothly and without issues. But several problems can arise that result in a nose piercing bump. Understanding what type of bump you have is the key to getting rid of it.

The Nose Piercing Keloid

A dreaded type of nose piercing bump is a keloid. Keloids are an extreme overgrowth of scar tissue. Even normal piercings heal with some scarring, but it is so minimal that it is not perceptible. The body seems to get stuck in the phase of wound healing in which collagen, that makes up scar tissue, is deposited at the site of the wound. Keloids can have a devastating effect on the appearance of the nose and the psyche of individuals unfortunate enough to form one. Making the situation worse is that keloids can be very difficult to prevent or treat effectively.


Who’s At Risk For A Nose Piercing Bump Keloid?

Why keloids form in some people and not others is not fully understood. Some of the many known risk factors include:

  • dark skin tone
  • family history of keloids
  • Black or Asian ethnicity
  • repeatedly removing and reinserting rings after piercing
  • piercing infection

When Do Nose Keloids Appear?

Nose piercing bump keloids can show up as early as one month after piercing. Most cases take around 3 or 4 months before the first signs of a keloid are evident. Less commonly, they only begin to arise quite late, even up to a year or more after piercing. Once a keloid shows up, it can continue to grow for up to 2 years or more before stopping.

Nose Piercing Bump Keloid Prevention

Anything at all that disturbs the healing can increase the overall risk of a piercing keloid. Here are some suggestions on preventing this outcome:

  • avoid infection:
    • only get piercings by reputable piercers and at reputable locations
    • never do “home piercings”
    • ask about the store’s protocols: are instruments and hardware sterile?
    • always wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before touching your nose
    • don’t fiddle with your piercings; this can delay healing and introduce germs
  • avoid unnecessary removal and re-insertion of your piercing
  • reconsider piercing if:
    • you have a keloid on your body already
    • a close relative has a keloid


Nose Piercing Bump Keloid Removal And Treatment

There are a number of methods used for keloid removal. Regardless of the technique used, recurrence of the keloid is common. Keloids are very challenging to remove and to prevent because, in many, if not most cases, they are mostly a result of a person’s natural healing tendencies. It’s a mistake to believe that a nose piercing bump keloid must be the result of a faulty piercing technique. Take a look at our article dedicated to treatment methods for keloids.

Nose Piercing Keloid Removal At Home

Never attempt any sort of keloid removal at home. Keloids can even return bigger and worse after treatment attempts including well-accepted medical and surgical protocols. Attempting nose piercing bump removal at home will undoubtedly put you at risk for complications that can dramatically worsen your piercing keloid.


Nose Piercing Keloid Removal Cost

Removal of a nose piercing keloid might be covered by insurance if it is deemed to be a medical problem more than a cosmetic one. Larger keloids causing symptoms such as severe itchiness and pain are more likely to be covered. Without coverage, nose keloid removal costs can be expensive because most protocols involve multiple treatment modalities. Also, recurrence happens in up to 50% of cases or more meaning ongoing treatments and additional expenses. Fees will vary depending on a number of factors including geographic location, doctor experience, and reputation, size of the keloid, and treatment methods required. Always make sure to consult with board-certified physicians. A very rough breakdown of fees is:

• smaller keloids
• large keloids
• massive keloids

• $250 – $750
• $750 – $3000
• $3000 – $10,000
• prices can vary widely depending on: geographic location, surgeon-demand, size of keloid, and type of anesthesia (local vs. general)
steroid injections• $75 – $250 per sessionmultiple sessions often required
cryotherapy• $200 – $300 per sessionmultiple sessions often required
radiation• up to $10,000

Beware Of Other Nose Piercing Bumps:

Other nose piercing bumps are related to infection, allergic reactions, and a tissue overgrowth known as a granuloma. It is important to recognize these problems and address them early. Not doing so can lead to delayed healing and increase the chances of a nose piercing keloid developing.

Nose Piercing Infection

Piercings seem relatively trivial but are actually minor surgical procedures. As such, they are subject to complications including infection. The fact that piercings also involve leaving a foreign object, the ring, into the newly penetrated skin, adds an extra risk factor. With infection, nose piercing bumps may be caused by simple swelling. In more advanced cases, a nose piercing infection bump may represent pus or abscess developing under the skin. You likely have a nose piercing bump infection if you’re experiencing some or all of:

Signs And Symptoms Of Nose Piercing Bump Infections

  • increasing pain
  • increasing redness
    • redness may represent an allergy to the metal or cleansing solutions as opposed to infection, especially if it is also itchy
  • increasing swelling
  • warmth
  • drainage, oozing or crusting around the piercing
  • small blisters on the skin that leak yellow fluid
  • fever, chills, flu-like symptoms

How To Deal With Mild/Early Nose Piercing Infections

  • clean the back and front of the piercing 2 to 3 times per day with regular soap and water
  • do not use antibiotic ointments or rubbing alcohol
  • dry the area gently
  • don’t remove the piercing at this point

Seek Medical Attention If

  • you develop fever, chills, or other generalized symptoms
  • the situation is not improving after 24 to 48 hours

You’r Doctor May Suggest

  • oral antibiotics
  • antibiotic creams
  • removal of the piercing
  • drainage of the area if an abscess is suspected

Preventing Nose Piercing Bump Infections

  • only get piercings by reputable piercers and at reputable locations
  • never do “home piercings”
  • ask about the store’s protocols: are instruments and rings sterile?
  • always wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before touching your nose
  • don’t fiddle with your piercings; this can delay healing and introduce germs

Allergic Reaction Nose Piercing Bump:

Aside from a nose piercing infection, bumps may also be caused by swelling associated with an allergic reaction. Common causes of allergic reaction are the piercing metal, chemicals in cleaning solutions, and antibiotic ointments you may be using. Switching to plain soap and water and discontinuation of washing solutions provided and antibiotic ointments can help resolve an allergic reaction. If the redness and itchiness persist, you may need to see your doctor who might prescribe an anti-allergy ointment such as cortisone. If nothing seems to be working, it is possible that the ring itself is the culprit and it may need to be removed.

It’s likely allergy if

  • the piercing is red, but not warm or very tender
  • the area is quite itchy

Granuloma Nose Piercing Bumps

Granulomas are composed of granulation tissue (“proud flesh”) and bleed quite easily. Sometimes bleeding may be difficult to stop. They form as a result of the ring repeatedly disrupting the healing process. If you think you have one, see your doctor sooner than later who will likely suggest removal of the granuloma under local anesthesia by shaving, freezing, or electrosurgery. If the nodule is large or recurs after removal, you will likely need to remove the piercing and attempt a re-piercing later.

It’s likely a granuloma if

  • the piercing bump is red and fleshy looking and bleeds easily
  • there is not significant redness, or tenderness around the area

Don’t Assume Anything!

It’s important to remember that other sorts of growths can occur on the nose causing what appears to be a nose piercing bump. Some of these are totally unrelated to the piercing but occur around the piercing coincidentally. Benign cysts, moles, and even skin cancer growths can arise in this manner. Make sure to show any persistent bump on your nose to your doctor even if it is not bothersome.


Nose piercing bumps are most commonly keloids, infections, or granulomas. Understanding which of these your nose piercing bump actually is the first step and key to getting rid of it.

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