Why Does My Nose Piercing Smell?

ByScott S.

May 22, 2024
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Why Does My Nose Piercing Smell?

Did you ever get a whiff of something after getting your nose pierced and wondered, “Why does my nose piercing smell?” A nose piercing can be a stylish way to express yourself, but sometimes, it can take an unwelcome turn – a smelly turn. If you’ve noticed a funky odor emanating from your new or even healed piercing, don’t panic! It’s actually a fairly common occurrence. But what causes this unpleasant surprise, and how can you banish the odor for good?

The Smelly Culprit: A Combination of Factors

The smell from your nose piercing is likely due to a buildup of various substances. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Dead Skin Cells and Sebum: Your skin naturally sheds dead cells, and your nose produces sebum, an oily substance. When these accumulate around the piercing, they can create a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to that unpleasant odor.
  • Bodily Fluids: Blood, lymph fluid (a clear fluid involved in the immune system), and other bodily fluids can also contribute to the smell, especially during the initial healing phase.
  • Improper Cleaning: If you’re not cleaning your smelly nose piercing regularly or using harsh soaps, it can disrupt the delicate balance of the healing process and trap bacteria, leading to odor.
  • Low-Quality Jewelry: Certain cheap metals can irritate the piercing site and contribute to a buildup of discharge, increasing the risk of odor.

Identifying the Cause: Fresh vs. Healed Piercing

Indeed, the cause of the smell can differ depending on how long you’ve had your piercing:

  • New Nose Piercing (Healing Phase): A slight odor during the first few weeks is normal due to the body’s natural healing response. This should gradually subside with proper care.
  • Healed Nose Piercing: If your piercing is well-established but still has a smell, it’s more likely due to improper cleaning or irritation from unsuitable jewelry.

Combating the Odor Of Your Nose Piercing

The key to a happy (and odor-free) nose piercing lies in proper cleaning and aftercare. Here’s what you can do:

  • Clean The Nose Piercing Twice Daily: Use a saline solution or a piercing cleanser recommended by your piercer. Avoid harsh soaps, alcohol, or antibacterial products, as they can disrupt healing and irritate the area.
  • Gently! Don’t over-clean or pick at the piercing. Let the saline solution soak for a few minutes, then gently rinse and pat the area dry with a clean, lint-free cloth.
  • Mind Your Jewelry: Ensure your jewelry is high-quality, implant-grade titanium or surgical steel. Avoid constantly changing your jewelry, especially during healing.
  • Listen to Your Body: If the piercing is red, swollen, or painful alongside the odor, it could be infected. Consult a doctor or a reputable piercer for guidance.

Preventing The Nose Piercing Smell

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the chances of your nose piercing developing an odor:

  • Choose Your Piercer Wisely: Go to a reputable piercer who uses sterile equipment and follows proper hygiene procedures.
  • Aftercare Consistency: Stick to your cleaning routine throughout the healing period, even if the odor seems to disappear.
  • Listen to Your Piercer’s Instructions: They’ll provide specific advice on cleaning and aftercare based on your piercing and healing process.
  • Avoid Irritants: While your piercing heals, avoid swimming in pools or chlorinated water, excessive sweating, and harsh chemicals like makeup removers or hairspray near the area.
A woman pinching her nose trying to figure out why her nose piercing smells.

Let’s Get Rid Of The Reason Why Your Nose Piercing Smells!

With a little care and attention, you can keep your nose piercing looking great and smelling fresh. But remember, if the odor persists or you experience any concerning symptoms, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional.

See our in-depth articles with all the details about nose piercings here: Nose Piercings.

Need to find a piercer? Check out the Association of Professional Piercers.

Author: Scott S.

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