Infected Septum Piercing Causes and Treatments


Do you have an infected septum piercing? What caused it and what are some of the symptoms to expect? How do you treat such an infection? What if you has a bump?

This piercing is found in the “cartilage wall between the two nostrils” [] and it is becoming popular, especially among the younger generation. However, it needs good care to avoid infections or getting hurt since even a minor brush or violent nose blowing can easily hurt it and cause bleeding.

It takes about 6-8 months or up to a year to heal completely. During this time, you must take good care of your piercing or else risk getting infections. You can also get infections years after healing is complete.

Why the infection 

The main cause is bacteria and other pathogens. These bacteria or pathogens might be as a result of poor hygiene during the piercing process (unsterilized needles), poor aftercare, and poor personal hygiene during the healing process especially by touching the pierced site with dirty hands among many other causes.

You might also suffer from infections if you use the wrong jewelry in terms of its size and material. For instance, nickel is known to cause allergic reactions to most people.


Some of the common symptoms you are likely to have may include: 

  • Redness around your jewelry that does not disappear after 2-3 weeks in case of a new piercing
  • Discharge from the site, especially yellowing or green pus-like discharge
  • Soreness and tenderness especially if you tried to touch the pierced site
  • Bleeding in extreme cases after a few days for a new one or on an old piercing
  • Bump
  • Swollen and painful septum. This is normal for the first up to two weeks
  • Crusting

You should be able to tell if its an infection or normal healing process if you were pierced a few days. 


Treatment is not that easy due to its location. You might need to be a bit creative as you try treating it.  So what are some of the recommended treatments?

1. Oral antibiotics and ointments

If you have a severe infection, you need to see your piercer or a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. This is often recommended in cases where the infection seems to have spread beyond the pierced site. After diagnosis, the doctor might recommend oral antibiotics or ointments.

Never use any ointment unless advised so by a doctor because it might affect normal healing and draining of the piercing and thereby result into abscesses.

3. Sea salt soak

The most common way to treat an infected pierced septum is using a sea salt soak. You need to add about a teaspoon of sea salt into a cup of warm water and use the solution in cleaning the infected site.

A Q-Tip or cotton wool bud will be ideal for cleaning using a sea salt soak. Do this for 5-6 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Ensure you remove any hardened debris and crusts around the site since crusting is known to encourage bacterial growth.

3. Piercing solution

If your piercer gave you a piercing solution, you can also use it in cleaning the pierced site. Many people have reported H2Ocean solution, and H2O Sea Salt spray to be very effective in treating most of body piercing infections

There are other infected pierced septum home remedies you can try such as using chamomile teabags, using 1-2 drops of essential lavender oil, among others.

For bubbles or bump

Sometimes, one may end up with a bubble or bump if you do not follow the correct aftercare procedure you are given by your piercer. The bump will be on either side of your pierced septum.

The most recommended way to deal with such bumps is to clean it using saline solution or sea salt soak. Chamomile tea bags, tee tree oil, and aspirin might also be of some help.


In addition to treatments, you need to ensure take care infected site. This will ensure you do not suffer from future infections. Some of the good care tips include:

  • Not picking any crusts or scabs around your the site with your fingers since this can worsen the infection or cause bleeding.
  • Avoid playing with and turning your ring all the time. You should do this about 4 times only just after cleaning it.
  • Quick smoking and do not drink alcohol since they can slow down the healing process
  • Never use alcohol or any product that has alcohol to clean your infected pierced septum

After the healing process is complete, you will also be given some things you are supposed not to do and those you can do. Ensure you follow them to reduce any chances of getting an infection. Negligence can lead to a serious infection that can easily deform your nose.


Some of the dangers and risks of this piercing include fluid and blood build up if the septum is punctured incorrectly and some blood capillaries are broken.

Furthermore, there is the risk or possibilities of complications such as nasal septum hematoma which can cause a stuffy nose or congested nose, impair with breathing or even cause a facial deformity.

The above dangers and risks will tend to affect people who go to unprofessional piercers and/or do not take care of their piercing as required. Did you know unsterilized and disinfected needles can also spread deadly diseases such as HIV-Aids?

References and sources

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