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Piercing Nose Complications

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I have been considering getting my nose pierced, but am very anxious about the consequences. Which side should I get pierced? Will be people judge me? If I decide to stop wearing the nose stud when I am older, will there be a scar or will the hole heal up?


To pierce or not to pierce

Dear To pierce or not to pierce,

Any piercing may have potential complications. Nose piercing complications could involve infection, redness, swelling, keloid (scar) formation, possible swallowing of nose jewelry that comes loose, jewelry backing becoming embedded, or nose rings pulled out. Piercing between the nose should not go through the cartilage, but through the skin just below. If the nose cartilage is accidentally pierced, then more serious complications could arise such as significant bleeding, infection, and cosmetic deformity (Meltzer in, 2005).

Depending on the country, religion, and culture, nose piercing is very common in men and women and considered a mark of prestige or beauty, especially in India, Pakistan, and the Tlingit in Alaska (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2003). Nose piercing is growing in popularity in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. The side of the nose pierced is a personal decision. According to Wikipedia, the location of the nose piercing is on the left side in Northern India, but on the right Southern India (Wikipedia, 2009).

Once the piercing has healed and you decide to no longer wear the nose jewelry, there will most likely always be a little hole. The hole will not grow back together since it has already healed into a hole shape.