A nose ring you get when you have your nose pierced in a piercing studio is not particularly decorative. This jewelry is made of quality metal but always oversized to prevent allergies, skin reactions, and tissue injury.
Therefore, wondering when I can change my nose ring is a common occurrence. Unfortunately, you need to be patient and wait at least a few months to see the signs of nose piercing healing, meaning you can change your jewelry.
Piercing Healing Time
On average, it takes about four and six months for a nose piercing to heal. The exact time will depend on aftercare, immunity, type of jewelry, and piercing spot. There are three stages of healing with different duration and symptoms. Let’s see.
1. Inflammatory stage
It includes the first week when your nose bleeds, hurts, and swells. At the end of this period, the pierced tissue starts healing and is sensitive to touch. Be prepared that a slightly elevated body temperature is quite a usual symptom.
2. Proliferation stage
This phase lasts for the next few weeks. During this period, skin cells multiply rapidly and form so-called fistula around the jewelry. The redness, swelling, and discharge decrease as time goes on.
3. Maturation stage
In the third stage, the piercing will entirely heal. This phase occurs after about six months. That is the moment when you can replace or briefly remove your nose ring. Generally, there is usually no discharge, swelling, or any pain, and routine rinsing with saline solution stays the only recommended daily care.
Nose Piercing Types
The healing time will vary depending on the nose part where the jewelry is placed:
- Nostril piercing – Typically, the nostril piercing heals for around four months, depending on a gauge thickness. If you choose a thin ring, your nose will heal faster.
- Rhino piercing – This spot heals slowly. It can take up to nine months before the thick tissue recovers completely.
- Bridge and septum piercing – If you don’t want to wait long, choose between a bridge and a septum piercing. That way, you can change your jewelry after only eight to ten weeks.
- Nasallang piercing – This type of piercing goes through both nostrils and septum. Therefore, it heals for more than six months. Plus, you shouldn’t change the ring yourself but let the piercer do that delicate job.
Routine Care and Cleaning
Make sure to follow recommended daily care after having the nose pierced. Only that way, your wound will heal appropriately and on time. Always start with washing your hands with unscented, antibacterial soap before touching your piercing.
It will help if you clean the wound at least three times a day to ensure it heals properly. The best option is to use lukewarm water or saline solution.
You can find the saline solution and various cleaning products for piercings in both pharmacies and piercing and tattoo studios. However, you can quickly mix a cup of water with a half teaspoon of sea salt to make a solution if you prefer DIY methods.
Dip your nose in the liquid while breathing through your mouth for a minute or two. Carefully dry the nose with a paper towel afterward. Some piercers recommend blowing bubbles while your nose is in a cup.
Expect for the crust to form around your nose ring during the healing period. Never touch or remove it forcefully to prevent hurting yourself and closing the hole. Instead, take a hot shower before cleaning your nose. That way, the crust will soften, and you can gently remove it using cotton pads you soaked in saline solution.
It will also help if you clean the inside of your nose. Take a deep breath, hold it while you are under the shower, and then rinse the nose with lukewarm water. Avoid using cleaning products like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide since they can irritate the wound and cause a reaction.
Replacing the Nose Ring
Most piercers recommend not to take off your nose ring during the healing period. In most cases, you shouldn’t change the jewelry for at least two months.
Sometimes the piercing may visually look healed, but you feel pain when trying to take off the ring. In this case, one or two weeks can make a huge difference. Premature ring removal may lead to irritation, tissue rupture, and scarring.
So, give up and prepare to wait for another week if you feel any discomfort, pain, or the metal sticking to the tissue inside. Plus, you can always visit your piercer and ask him or her to replace the jewelry.
Once you are sure that it is time to switch to a new ring, the proper sterilization is your priority. Soak the new piece of jewelry in alcohol for a few minutes and then rinse well with water before putting it on.
Clean your piercing after removing the old ring and before inserting the new one. If you have any trouble putting on the new jewelry, you can use some water-based lubricant to make the process easier.
Nose Piercing Risks
Any modification of your body carries certain risks, and nose piercings are no exception. Lack of hygiene, premature ring removal, or treating the wound with wrong products can lead to a mild infection and other, much more severe problems, including:
Allergic reaction – Copper, nickel, or silver nose ring can cause an allergic reaction. In that case, it is necessary to remove the jewelry immediately and replace it with another piece made of gold or titanium.
Infection – Unfortunately, this is one of the most common consequences of a poorly done or maintained piercing. Fever, a yellowish-green smelly discharge, and prolonged swelling are some of the symptoms.
Necrosis – If you don’t treat the infection, it can eventually cause necrosis of the nose tissue. In such a case, removing the dead skin is the only way to solve the problem.
Septal hematoma – Difficulty breathing with severe pain and swelling that doesn’t go away is a sign that you have an issue with this condition. As soon as you notice these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Rejection – If your body rejects the nose ring, it will react by pushing the jewelry out, re-growing around it, and closing the hole. In such a case, it will help if you take the ring off.
Nerve damage – The human nose is an area full of nerves, and an inexperienced piercer can cause nerve damage during the procedure. That can result in partial or complete loss of sensitivity.
Bloodborne diseases – HIV and AIDS are the most severe bloodborne diseases you can get in an unreliable piercing studio. Plus, the piercer can transmit Hepatitis B and C and syphilis to you through unsterilized needles.
Suffocation – If your ring is loose, you can accidentally inhale it during sleeping, causing your suffocation and death. Luckily, that happens extremely rare.
Carefully choose new jewelry when your nose piercing heals, and it is time to replace the old piece. Nowadays, there are many sites where you can buy cheap nose rings online for only a few dollars. Be careful since untested alloys they contain may cause health problems.
The experts state that the safest material for piercing jewelry is titanium. It is biocompatible, which means that even those with sensitive skin can wear it without fearing an allergic reaction.
Next on the list is surgical steel. This metal is one of the popular choices because it is both safe and affordable. Almost all piercers use the surgical steel rings when they do a piercing.
Most people can wear 14K and 18K golden jewelry without problems, but there are those whose bodies reject it. If you don’t have reactions to wearing the ring made of this precious metal, choose it. Only avoid gold-plated rings since the alloy underneath the gold can cause problems.
Silver, copper, and nickel can also cause allergic reactions. Therefore, skip them for a start and buy the jewelry made of a body-friendly material.
If you are the type of person who prefers not to wear metal, you can look for the nose rings made of medical silicone, wood, or stone. However, avoid plastic and nylon rings because bacteria quickly multiply on them.
Nose Jewelry Designs
Once the piercing heals, you can change the jewelry as often as you want. Match it with other jewelry, clothes, and the special occasion when you plan to wear it. The most popular designs include:
- Nose ring
- Nose stud
- Circular barbell
- Nostril screw (curved studs)
- L-shaped jewelry
- Fishtail piercing
- Captive bead ring
- Nose guards
If you prefer nose rings, find the one with zircons, gemstones, or engravings on the market. Luckily, you can customize your body jewelry as much as you want.
On average, your piercing will heal within six months in most cases. Never change the nose ring before the wound heals to avoid complications.
Remember that proper hygiene habits and aftercare will speed up healing, and the ring replacement will then be quick and painless.