How to Reopen a Closed Nose Piercing

Getting a nose piercing can be an exciting experience, but it does require care and maintenance to keep the piercing open and avoid closure or infection. If you have not worn your nose ring or stud for a period of time, the piercing may start to close up. The fistula, or piercing channel, will gradually get smaller without jewellery to keep it open.

However, a closed nose piercing does not necessarily mean it is completely healed and unsalvageable. With the proper technique and sterilised equipment, a reputable piercer can often reopen and reinsert jewellery into a closed nose piercing.

Do Not Try to Reopen It Yourself

It is never a good idea to try and force the nose piercing back open yourself. Shoving blunt jewellery through the piercing can cause trauma, irritation, infection, and create new puncture wounds. The jewellery and area around the piercing are not sterile, and self-piercing also risks permanently damaging the piercing.

See a Professional Piercer

The safest way to reopen a closed nose piercing is to visit a reputable piercer. They have the proper training, technique, and sterilised equipment to reopen the piercing with minimal complications. 

Reputable piercers will not simply re-pierce the nose with a needle. Instead, they will use a taper – a sterile metal rod that gradually increases in width. The piercer will gently slide the taper through the piercing until it reaches the width of your jewellery. Even piercings that seem fully closed can often be reopened in this manner, even after several months.

If the piercer is unable to reopen the piercing, or if you do not wish to have it reopened, it is best to let the piercing heal completely before getting it repierced. A reputable piercer can assess your piercing and provide guidance on how long you should wait before attempting to get it redone.

What to Expect During Reopening

  • The piercer will examine your nose to assess if the piercing is reusable. They will check how much the fistula has shrunk and if there are any signs of infection. Not all piercings can be reopened, but many can if caught within 6-12 months.
  • They will sterilise the area around the piercing and apply a disinfectant. Sterile gloves and equipment will be used at all times.
  • Using a taper, the piercer will slowly and gently slide the taper into and through the piercing. This may cause some discomfort, but should not be painful. The piercer will go slowly to minimise trauma.
  • Once the taper is through, your regular piercing jewellery will be attached to the taper and pulled through the piercing. The taper acts as a guide for the jewellery.
  • Your piercer will examine the reopened piercing to ensure correct placement and that no bleeding, irritation or tears have occurred. They will provide aftercare instructions for ensuring proper healing.
  • The reopened piercing may need 24-48 hours to adjust to the jewellery before changing it yourself. Clean twice daily with sterile saline and avoid contact with the piercing. Wash hands before touching the area.

Aftercare for Reopened Nose Piercings

  • Proper aftercare is essential for healing a reopened nose piercing and minimising complications. Follow all aftercare instructions from your piercer carefully. Some general guidelines include:
  • Clean the piercing twice daily with sterile saline or saline wound wash. Gently remove any crusties before cleaning. Saline helps keep the piercing clean and moisturised as it heals.
  • Avoid touching the piercing with unwashed hands. Wash hands before cleaning or doing any piercing aftercare.
  • Do not change the piercing jewellery for 24-48 hours after reopening. The piercing needs time to adjust to the jewellery before any changes are made.
  • Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water like swimming pools, lakes or oceans for 3-4 weeks. Showers are fine, but avoid getting piercing spray directly for a few days.
  • Avoid alcohol, peroxide, ointments and any harsh chemicals near the piercing. These can irritate the piercing and damage healing tissue.
  • Be very gentle when washing/drying the face or doing any facial care routine. Avoid bumping or pulling on the piercing.
  • Some clear or light bleeding is normal during the first week. Apply light pressure with a sterile gauze pad or paper towel until bleeding stops. See your piercer if heavy bleeding occurs.
  • Watch for any signs of infection like increasing pain, redness, swelling, or pus. See your piercer if you notice these signs, especially if they are severe or do not improve. Oral antibiotics may be required for infection.
  • Nostril piercings typically take 3-4 months to fully heal. Reopened piercings may take slightly longer, from 4 to 6 months. Be patient and continue aftercare during this entire time.
  • Avoid any oral contact with the piercing and practice good hygiene. This includes not letting others touch or kiss the piercing.
  • See your piercer if you have any concerns about your piercing or if complications develop. Do not remove the jewellery unless instructed by your piercer.

With proper aftercare and time, a reopened nose piercing will heal and the fistula will stabilise, allowing you to enjoy your piercing for years to come. Be patient through the aftercare process and develop a good relationship with your piercer so they can provide guidance and help address any potential issues. Happy healing!

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