Dry Skin Around a Nose Piercing

Close-up of a young woman looking up
A woman with a pierced nose. (Image: Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Nose piercings are a popular form of body piercing in the United States and around the world. These piercings are placed through the fleshy, noncartilage lobe of one of the nostrils, typically being adorned with a stud or small loop ring. Because of the location, though, nose piercings can be somewhat difficult to take care of, and irritation to the piercing is possible.

Dry Skin Cause

The skin around a nose piercing is often sensitive during the first several weeks after the piercing is done. If the skin is exposed to harsh winds and/or cold, it can be one of the first parts of your body to develop dry, cracking skin. But if you wash the piercing too frequently and/or use harsh soap chemicals to do so, these can irritate and dry out the skin as well.

Significance

Dry skin can be uncomfortable and cause redness at the location, making your piercing look bad. If the dryness leads to cracking, it can break open the skin and increase the risk of an infection in the piercing. This may require you to abandon the piercing and seek professional treatment to heal the infection and the open wound.

Treatment

Dry skin is best treated by applying a moisturizing cream at least twice each day. You should also avoid harsh weather that might exacerbate the piercing. If soaps and chemicals are causing the dryness, consider using different soaps featuring milder chemical agents and/or natural cleansers to reduce the agitation to your skin.

Prevention/Solution

Using gentler soaps and moisturizing before dryness develops can prevent the condition from developing in the first place. Be careful when handling your piercing, and wash your hands prior to touching it. Minimize the amount of time you spend touching the piercing and messing with the stud, and avoid washing the skin excessively -- more than two times a day can strip away your skin's natural oils and increase the risk of dryness.

Warnings

If the skin starts to crack, you should visit a doctor to have the piercing inspected. Open wounds can create other potential problems when piercings are involved. Additionally, if you experience any other symptoms beyond the dry skin, visit a doctor to determine whether the dry skin is related to the other symptoms. This may be a warning sign of other problems related to your piercing that need medical attention.

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