How to Remove Your Nose Piercing & Put in a New One

Nose piercings add spark to any look.
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Nose piercings add edginess to any personal style. Pop stars Christina Aguilera and Miley Cyrus, and even actress Scarlett Johansson, all boast nasal hardware. Nose piercings take between eight and 12 weeks to completely heal from the piercing procedure. Changing out the jewelry when the piercing is healed is a highlight, but approach this process with extra care and caution to keep the opening clean, healthy and damage-free. An infected piercing never makes a good accessory.

Remove the original nose stud from the piercing by gently pulling on the outside of the stud. Follow the curve of the metal that holds the stud in place as you gently pull it out. If you wear a nose ring, gently remove the ring from the inside of the nose with your fingertips. Pull gently following the curve of the jewelry until the ring is free from the opening.

Apply a few drops of saline solution to a cotton swab and swab off the original piece of jewelry. Put the original stud or ring in a clean, safe place.

Apply some more saline solution to a new cotton swab and sweep the solution over the new nasal stud or ring to disinfect it thoroughly. Place the new piece of jewelry nearby on a clean surface so it is ready to insert.

Soak a fresh cotton swab in saline solution and swab the inside and outside of the nose piercing site using a gentle motion. Gently swab over the opening just a couple of times to avoid irritating the skin and to remove any residue from the piercing.

Pick up the new nose jewelry and gently insert it into the opening. Insert the tip of a nose stud from the outside of the piercing and gently push it into place. The stem should point upward on the inside of the nose to keep it in place. Insert a nose ring following the gentle curve of the ring until it is fully in place.

  • Avoid applying alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to your body piercing for cleaning. These solutions can damage cells and slow down the healing process.
  • Avoid touching a piercing unless you are cleaning the area.
  • Make a safe and effective saline solution by mixing together 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt with 8 ounces of warm distilled water.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before replacing nose jewelry.
  • Avoid changing nose jewelry until the piercing is completely healed so there is a lower risk of infection or inflammation.
  • Purchase nose jewelry that matches the gauge of the piercing you received. Consult your piercer if you are uncertain of the size.
  • Keep your piercing clean and avoid contact with makeup and hair products during the weeks it is healing.
  • Nose piercings can heal closed within a day so be sure to keep jewelry in place.

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.