Health Topics

Healthy Living

September 2011
Lady of the Rings
Things to remember while going for Nose Piercing…
Dr. Jastinder K. Gill
Nose piercing is one of the oldest traditions enhancing the woman's beauty. Celebrities adorning their nose with beautiful and eye catching nose rings or studs is a common sight. Earlier the nose piercing was done because of the cultural beliefs and traditions, but now it has a cosmetic angle or a fashion statement added to it.

The nose ornaments can be carved out of silver or gold, studs of precious or semi precious stones, diamonds and even imitation pieces that are easy on the pocket.

Traditionally the jewelers did the piercing using either gold or silver wires, but now it is being done in beauty salons, jewelry shops and doctors’ clinics. The gold or silver wires are still used, but also available are the more sophisticated and hygienic piercing guns. These are loaded with sterilized gold or silver studs and the method is less painful than the traditional one.

Complications are rare if you have chosen the right clinic with good hygiene and sterilization methods. However, it is better to be aware of the possible complications:  

Infections can occur following a nose piercing if you did not follow the aseptic conditions before, during and after the procedure. Clean the area with an antiseptic solution at regular intervals.

Cyst/Granuloma Formation: Granuloma or cyst is a small nodule that develops at the site of piercing and is the skin's response to the trauma caused. The granuloma or cyst is benign, causing no harm and thus can be left untreated. If it becomes problematic, it has to be removed.

Scar or Keloid:
A dermatologist can help on minimizing the scar if you have a tendency for developing a keloid or a scar after bruising.

Allergies: Last but not the least, you may develop an allergy also known as ‘contact dermatitis’ to any of the metals used in the ornament. You can be allergic to gold, silver or nickel and the artificial jewelery. It appears in the form of itching and oozing and may get secondarily infected. If you develop an allergy, consult your dermatologist, get it treated, and completely shun the offending metal.

It is better to be well informed and knowledgeable than to regret it later, after all it is your body. Do not hesitate in asking questions. Other things to remember are:
  • Choose the right place
  • Check the credentials of the person doing the procedure
  • Ensure that proper sterilization is followed. Observe the hygiene and cleanliness of the place. Even the gold or silver wires have to be sterilized by dipping in an antiseptic solution. The gun should be cleaned and sterilized after each use.
  • Do ask for a local anaesthesia to be used. I do not recommend anesthesia as piercing is just a prick, which is quite tolerable. However, with anesthesia you get two pricks. The gun method is considerably less painful. If you are one of those who have a very low threshold for pain, you can use a local anaesthetic jelly two hours prior to the procedure.
  • You should not have any existing bacterial, viral or fungal infections.
  • If you have a tendency to scar or keloid formation, do not go for nose piercing. If you are still determined to go ahead with piercing, inform the doctor, who can further assess you and use additional precautions to avoid scar formation
Dr. Jastinder K. Gill Senior Consultant Dept. of Skin and Cosmetology SPS Apollo Hospitals, Ludhiana.
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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