Has this happened to you? You go a piercing shop and your heart starts to beat very fast. The anxiety starts to get to you, but you go through with it anyways. The piercer does a wonderful job and you can't wait to show off your nose piercing to your friends. But then you wake up one day and there's an ugly red bump next to the hole where the jewelry is. How did it happen? It seemed to be healing so well! Now your piercing is only noticeable because of the dreaded bump. You go online and search for ways to make this stubborn bump go away. Every website either tells you to do sea salt soaks or to use tea tree oil. They all say that their method worked right away, but when you try the sea salt soaks, you just end up drowning yourself in the solution or you try the tea tree oil and find that your nose just gets irritated.
Has this ever happened to you? If it has, I am here to tell you that I've found a method that works and does not involve messy sea salt soaks or abrasive, irritating tea tree oil. I got this bump about three weeks after I got my piercing. It just showed up one day and I wasn't sure why. I'd had my nose pierced before and it had happened as a result of snagging it on a shirt and bumping it multiple times by accident. The bump kept growing the first time to the point where the jewelry was barely visible. I took out the jewelry and the bump disappeared, but when I got my nose pierced a second time it happened again! I tried everything from sea salt soaks, tea tree oil, vitamin E oil, emu oil, hydrocortisone, and my regular H2Ocean. When I did the sea salt soaks I put some sea salt in a bowl and filled it with water, but soaking my nose in the solution was a very messy and not very helpful solution. I read a blog about tea tree oil and began using it. I used it for three weeks and while it reduced the size of my bump, my nostril turned bright red and became very sensitive and irritated. Vitamin E oil didn't do much, other than form a nasty layer of skin that was a very odd yellowish color. Emu oil and hydrocortisone did nothing for my bump other than take away some of the discomfort.
I was about to give up when I read another blog that suggested using aspirin. I immediately went to the store (with my ugly bright red bump) and bought a bottle of non-coated aspirin. I put it in a glass with a little bit of water so that it turned into a paste and then put it on my bump before I went to sleep. Mind you, the bump was also quite irritated and bleeding before I put on the paste. The next day I woke up, sprayed away the paste with H2Ocean and saw that the bump had turned into a scab, but it was not nearly as swollen as it was. After a few more days of applying the aspirin, I jumped in the shower and when I got out, the scab had softened (because of the steam and water) and peeled away, revealing nice, bump-free, smooth skin underneath. I still apply the paste at night because occasionally I get a tiny tiny bit of swelling, but the aspirin paste reduces the bump, takes away the redness, and eventually makes the bump disappear. I could not be happier about my piercing, so to those of you who have been fighting tooth and nail to keep your piercing, don't give up! This pain-free method works very well because the aspirin absorbs through your skin and allows drainage and soothes irritation. This method is very effective, easy, practical, and does not involve abrasive chemicals or difficult sea salt soaks. Nose piercing bumps are very common because cartilage has no blood vessels, which limits its ability to repair itself. The bump itself is called hypotrophic scarring and usually occurs after you either snag the jewelry on something, bump it, play with it, or if you over-clean it. The aspirin is an anti-inflammatory, so it "calms down" the irritation and allows it to heal without complications.
If this sounds familiar to you, you are not alone! Most people who get nose piercings will get this bump and lots of people who do not have piercings do not have them because they got their noses pierced and took out the jewelry after they got the bump. If you love your piercing and want to get your money's worth, try the aspirin paste. It's affordable, soothing, and will leave you with the beautiful piercing you had to begin with.
**Note this bump appeared twice on my nose and the first time I used this method my piercing was so irritated that it was practically bleeding. With that being said, the Aspirin paste probably worked best because it penetrated the skin so quickly, but I do not recommend puncturing the skin. When it occurred the second time, it took about a month of Aspirin paste (overnight) and sea salt soaks to make it go away completely.