When Can I Change My Nose Piercing?

Nose piercings are a popular and trendy form of body modification. Once your nasal piercing has healed, you have the exciting option of changing your starter jewelry to a new piece of your choosing. However, it’s important not to change your nose piercing too early. Follow your piercer’s aftercare instructions closely and wait until your piercing has fully healed before attempting to change it.

The standard healing time frame for a nose piercing is 4-6 months. However, some factors like the piercing location, your body’s natural healing ability, and how well you care for the piercing can affect the exact healing duration. Read on to learn the signs your nasal piercing has healed, when it’s safe to change the jewelry, and how to swap jewelry safely to avoid complications.

Understanding Nose Piercings

It is important to learn about nose piercings before getting one. There are different types of nose piercings like nostril and septum piercings. A nostril piercing goes through the skin on the side of your nose and is very common. The septum piercing goes through the bone between your nostrils. Nose piercings usually take many months to fully heal. You must be very careful not to touch or move your jewelry until it is healed. Ask your parent’s permission before getting a nose piercing. Always go to a clean and licensed shop to get your nose pierced properly.

Nostril Piercing

A nostril piercing goes through the nostril on either side of the nose. This is one of the most popular and versatile nose piercings. Nostril piercings generally take 3-4 months to heal fully.

Septum Piercing

The septum piercing goes through the thin piece of cartilage separating your two nostrils. This piercing normally takes 3-4 months to heal since it goes through thicker cartilage.

High Nostril Piercing

Also called a high nostril or third eye piercing, this piercing goes through the high crease of your nostril. A high nostril piercing takes 4-6 months to heal because it passes through more layers of nose tissue.

The Healing Process of a Nose Piercing

The Healing Process of a Nose Piercing

It takes some time for a new nose piercing to heal. For the first few months, the wound is open and can get infected. During this initial stage you will see crusties and your nose may be swollen, bruised, or sore. Be very gentle and do not touch or move the jewelry. After a few months, the outside is closed but the inside is still healing. The piercing gets stronger during this secondary stage. Some nose piercings take up to a year to fully heal. It is important to keep it clean and be patient. Ask your parents if you have any questions during the long healing time. Caring for your new nose piercing properly is crucial during the healing period. Here’s what to expect during the two main healing stages:

Initial Healing Stage

The first 3-4 weeks after getting pierced require careful cleaning and treatment to prevent infection. In this stage, discharge, swelling, and tenderness are normal as the wound starts closing up. Clean the piercing twice daily and avoid irritating the area.

Secondary Healing Stage

From about 4 weeks to 4-6 months, your piercing will start feeling much better. Discharge, pain, and swelling subside. The piercing hole fortifies itself with scar tissue and strengthened skin cells. You’ll need less frequent cleaning during this stage.

When to Change Your Nose Piercing

When to Change Your Nose Piercing

Changing your nose jewelry too early runs major risks of damaging the piercing, causing infections, or facing other complications. Wait until the following signs indicate your nasal piercing has fully healed:

Signs Your Piercing Has Healed

  • No more discharge or crustiness
  • No swelling, redness, bumps, or tenderness
  • Can move jewelry around without discomfort
  • Piercing feels solid and sturdy when cleaned

Risks of Changing Your Piercing Too Early

  • Bleeding, pain, swelling, infection
  • Irritation bumps or skin reactions
  • Scar tissue damage, trauma to the piercing hole
  • Prolonged healing period or piercing rejection

To avoid these risks, wait the full healing period recommended by your piercer, usually 4-6 months for nose piercings. Even if it seems healed, be patient and give it more time before changing jewelry.

How to Change Your Nose Piercing

How to Change Your Nose Piercing

Once your nasal piercing is fully healed, follow these steps for safely changing the jewelry:

Select a high quality piece made from implant-grade titanium, 14k gold, or nickel-free surgical steel. Ensure the gauge matches your piercing diameter. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and hot water. Disinfect the new jewelry by soaking it in a saline solution or rubbing alcohol. Gently twist the old jewelry to loosen any crust buildup and pull it out. Be careful not to tug it forcefully. Slowly guide the new jewelry into the piercing hole. Avoid overstretching the hole or inserting too roughly.

Use a saline spray or micellar water on a cotton pad to cleanse the area. Remove any discharge around the site.

Understanding the Risks of Changing a Nose Ring

While a fully healed nose piercing should tolerate a jewelry change well, some risks include:

  • Infection if the new jewelry or piercing site wasn’t properly sterilized
  • Swelling, redness, or irritation from a minor trauma to the piercing
  • Difficulty changing the jewelry if the hole has started closing
  • Allergic reaction to certain jewelry metals

Signs of a problem after changing your nose jewelry include increasing pain, discharge, hotness, redness, or swelling. See your piercer if any worrisome symptoms develop.

Tips for Nose Piercing Aftercare

Tips for Nose Piercing Aftercare

Proper aftercare while your nose piercing heals is crucial. Once you change your jewelry, continue with good piercing care:

Cleaning Your Piercing

  • Use a sterile saline spray 1-2 times per day.
  • Rinse thoroughly in the shower to clear debris and crusties.
  • Dry by gently patting with non-woven gauze or a paper towel.

Don’t play with your jewelry

Resist moving, twisting, or fiddling with your nose jewelry. This can introduce bacteria and delay healing.

Avoid swimming

Chlorine and bacteria in pools, hot tubs, lakes, and oceans can easily infect a healing or newly changed piercing.

Be careful with makeup and skincare products

Avoid getting makeup and topical products into or around your piercing until it’s fully healed.

Avoid sleeping on your piercing

Try to sleep on your back or opposite side to avoid irritating your nose piercing at night.


How long should I wait before changing my nose piercing jewelry?

You should wait the full healing period recommended by your piercer, usually 4-6 months. Changing it too soon risks complications.

Does changing my nose ring hurt?

Changing the jewelry on a fully healed nose piercing should not be painful. If you feel significant pain or resistance, the piercing may not be healed yet.

What should I do if my piercing seems infected after changing jewelry?

See your piercer immediately if you see signs of infection like pus, increasing pain, hotness, redness, or swelling after a jewelry change.


While it can be tempting to change your nose jewelry as soon as you get pierced, patience is key. Wait the full healing period before swapping jewelry to avoid risks and support proper healing. Consult your piercer if uncertain when your specific nasal piercing has healed enough for a jewelry change. With proper aftercare and high-quality jewelry, you can safely change your nose ring once fully healed.


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