A long time practice in New Guinea and several Asian countries, nose piercing is increasingly socially acceptable and is an ever growing way to make fashion statement and express one’s personality on the global scale. There is however the ever-so-present concern for nose piercing scars especially among those people who plan to have the piercing on for a specified period only, for example, till after school when they will move on to start a career. This article will discuss scars that result from piercing your nose in more details and explain how to get rid of them including the hypertrophic scar.
Do Nose Piercings Leave Scars
If you have ever wondered, “Do nose piercings leave scars?” they do, but not necessarily. Piercings on the nose can leave scars for various reasons such as tugging at the nose ring and infection among others that we’ll be looking at in more details in the next section, but the risk of developing scars on your pierced nose can be minimized with appropriate pierced nose aftercare practices.
People are also essentially different and while some are prone to scars especially keloid scars, others may not get any scars at all and yet others may develop small scars that are hardly noticeable.
Nose Piercing Scar
A piercing on the nose don’t result in scars in ordinary circumstances, however several factor such as allergies and infections can lead to scars ranging in size from small scars that are hardly visible to huge scars that are very apparent on the piercing.
Scars are in general scale a natural, healthy response to injury by the body. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the likelihood of a wound to develop scars increases with increasing magnitude of injury and healing time. In that context, any factor that delays the healing process for a pierced nose increases the chances of getting scars.
Nose piercing scars can be classified into two broad categories, namely, common scars and keloid scars. The former are typically flat, small, and red or pick colored and typically fade away over time. The latter on the other hand are characteristically larger and resemble bubbles.
Some people especially those from African and Asian descent are more prone to keloids are at higher risk of developing keloid scars after getting their nose pierced. The keloid scars can continue growing until they develop into full blown keloids that transcend beyond the injured tissues in the pierced area.
Causes of Nose piercing Scars
Trauma on a pierced nose is one of the most common causes of nose piercing scars. This leads to damage to the wound tissues which can culminate in the formation of scars during the healing process.
This is often attributed to poor aftercare of the piercing such as when a piercee sleeps on the piercing, plays with or tugs at the nose stud (or ring for that matter) during cleaning, or changes the jewelry he/she is wearing too soon.
One lady in an online forum for example reported getting a nose piercing scar because she used to remove the nose ring every morning when going to work long before the piercing had had time to heal, only to re-insert it later on in the evening.
Infection is another common cause of scars on a pierced nose. This can happen when someone keeps touching the piercing area with his hands or picking at the scab formed inside the nose with unclean fingers or fingernails. Poor cleaning and aftercare of the piercing can also lead to infection.
Changing or removing the jewelry before the piercing has healed fully can also trigger an infection. For example, when the jewelry is removed too soon, the hole can block leading to poor drainage of the piercing.
Allergy can also lead to formation of nose piercing scar. This often happens when jewelry (nose stud, rings or screws) of poor quality are used on anew piercing. Such jewelry can trigger an allergic reaction in the area around the piercing.
Nose piercing experts recommend using jewelry made of niobium, stainless steel or titanium as these ones are very unlikely to cause allergic reactions or cause infections.
Poor cleaning and aftercare of a pierced nose can also cause nose piercing scars. For example, using harsh cleaning products such as alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, and Neosporin to name but a few can lead to formation of scars. This often leads to chemical healing or drying out of the tissues around the wound leading to formation of scars.
Instead you should clean it with an antibacterial soap and sea salt solution. [See more on cleaning your freshly pierced nose].
All the above factors can be downplayed by practicing proper nose piercing aftercare measures which not only reduce the chances of migration of the piercing and formation of scars but also ensure faster healing of a pierced nose.
If you are also extremely worried about getting visible scars, you should consider getting small sized nose rings such as a 20 or go for a septum piercing rather than a nostril piercing since any scars due to septum piercing will be hidden inside the nose.
Hypertrophic Scar Nose Piercing
A hypertrophic scar which is also referred to as “The Dreaded Bump” may as well form after you have pierced your nose.
“A hypertrophic scar is a cutaneous condition characterized by deposits of excessive amounts of collagen which gives rise to a raised scar, but not to the degree observed with keloids. Like keloids, they form most often at the sites of pimples, body piercings, cuts and burns. They often contain nerves and blood vessels.” [Wikipedia.org]
Hypertonic scars on a pierced nose can very easily be confused with keloid scars since they don’t drain any pus or fluid.
However, unlike keloids which are usually darker in color and go beyond the boundaries of the piercing area in random shapes, hypertrophic scars are usually tender, red or pink in color and stay within the boundaries of the piercing area (as a ring or small dome around the piercing hole). Sometimes they can as well take the actual color of the skin as shown in the image below:
Hypertrophic scars are sometimes itchy and painful. They can sometimes be characterized by a section of dry flaky skin near the scar area and often continues thickening for as long as six months.
Unlike keloid scars, hypertrophic scars are also susceptible to bleeding when subjected to trauma such as knocking or scratching, but as with keloid scars, some people are more prone to hypertrophic scars than others.
Hypertrophic nose piercing scars heal by themselves after some time unlike keloids which tends to be more permanent. However, scar therapies and various home remedies such as sea salt and chamomile soaks can help to speed up the healing process for a hypertrophic scar.
How to Get Rid Of Nose Piercing Scar
With the exception of keloid scars that require medical attention, most scars that result from piercing your nose fade away by themselves over the years but this can be prohibitively long. So how do you get rid of a scar on your pierced nose without having to wait an eon for it to go away? If the piercing is too small you may consider covering it up with your makeup concealer.
Otherwise you try using sea salt hot compresses or soak, chamomile tea soak, and tea tree oil dab (diluted with some skin-friendly oil to prevent rashes) and topical antibiotic cream and gels among other home remedies to help get rid of nose piercing scar.