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a hellish battle for my nose stud *and combat tips for granulomas on nose piercings*

My nose was pierced for the first time last year, around mid Febuary. On the right nostril, the piercing was done at a professional studio. Already a keen bmezine reader, I made sure the studio was clean, and followed precise aftercare instructions for one week; until I (doped on sleep at 6am) raked a towel across my face after a shower and knocked the stud out. Now, for anyone who hasn't tried... trying to get a steel nose screw into a one-week old piercing is HARD. Especially if you're 15, half-asleep, panicking, bleeding everywhere and dealing with your first (voluntary ears when I was 2) piercing.

My housemate (also bme fanatic) suggested as a last resort that I put a gold hoop earring. Not knowing any better, I shoved it through and everything was happy for about one week, until I got (later as I found out) a granuloma above the piercing (very unsightly and painful) and after months of battling, cleaning, 2 prescriptions of heavy antibiotics and 200$ in doctor's appointments, there was still a bloody great lump there. My nose stud (I bought another stainless steel one and managed to get it in) got knocked out at a friend's sleepover, and the hole close overnight. I was secretly glad I didn't have to make the decision to take it out myself, (but still pretty sad).

On November 21st, 2007, I tried again. On a whim, mind you, I went to a different studio and got my nose pierced, on the left side this time. Again, a stainless steel stud (I made sure it was NOT as screw) again (flawless aftercare and no incidents) AND AGAIN, a month later, and a granuloma above the stud. I tried many different treatments, tea-tree oil (worked for a while, then failed), grinding ibuprofen tablets (not much difference, though excellent treatment for swelling) and (ironically) the thing that worked best was the aftercare spray the piercer gave me.

But that lump just kept coming back!! So (I have a new doctor now) I thought, stuff it. And went to the doctor's hoping maybe to get some new advice. He told me the granuloma was pretty much rejection. Scar tissue, blood and white blood cells (not pus). He suggested as a last resort that I change the stud from stainless steel to gold... as stainless steel contains nickel and other metals for some reason, and remembering some of my cousins are intolerant to any metal but gold, I thought... why not. The next day, mum drove me to the jewellers. I was going to buy a small earring and put it in... But when I asked if they had nose studs, the girl is like, "yeah offcourse!" I was shocked but pleased. Then lo and behold I get my arch enemy. The only thing they have in stock is gold NOSE SCREWS. god no. but it was my last chance, so I bought one and left for home, to nearly kill myself trying to get it in. there was a lot of blood and my mother even excused my swearing on account of how much pain I was in. but I managed it. The lump faded gradually and I was really pleased at the prospect of a permanent nose piercing.

about a week ago, everything was fine and dandy, but then (totally out of the blue) I got a whole heap of swelling, pus, inflammation and well, basically an infection... which was a great shock as I thought the hole had closed. I used a combination of anti-bacterial ointment and antiseptic spray to get rid of the infection (that took three days) but then the lump of doom returned. And it was HUGE now. This whole affair still isn't over by the way. This morning I woke up and the lump was bigger and whitish (I suspected pus). Considering im black, this is noticeable on my skin. I only managed to keep away from it a few hours until I went to the toilet and drove a sewing needle (cleaned offcourse) into it and squeezed a considerable amount of lymph and pus out. Now the lump was smaller and the colour of my skin. Feeling less self-conscious, I went to class. Now it is small and not at all painful. Hopefully, if I'm careful, I can get rid of it permanently.

I just felt the need to give some suggestions and commentary for bmzine readers. I truly regret not taking a photo of the granuloma when it was at its worst, because when I was trying to identify it at first, I could not match it to any photos on the net or in bme galleries, and had to use descriptions provided by other bmezine readers. As I mentioned before, ibuprofen tablets, ground up and made into a paste with water is excellent for reducing swelling, inflammation and redness. Anything antibacterial (apply it sparingly and not too often. the piercing needs to breathe) weather it be ointment, spray, soap, whatever is also effective. In regards to application, a very good method is to soak a small piece of cotton wool in whatever you're treating it with and lay it on top of the piercing. Leave it there for a few minutes (and make it a really small piece, as if it's too big, it'll fall off). If a granuloma fills with pus or lymph, pop it with a sterilized needle, gently squeeze out the fluid and immediately cleanse it with something antibacterial.

Studs could also be the problem. Your stud may be the wrong size, shape etc etc, so if you're experiencing ongoing problems that don't seem to have any cause, this could be the reason. Also, (as it was in my case) the metal could be the problem, so try gold, because it's an inert metal, and less reactive than stainless steel.

(Duh) Obviously, I'm sixteen, I'm not a trained professional or anything... but I am quite learned in concerns to mods and piercing. I am simply listing things that worked for me. I'm not saying these are sure-fire cures for granulomas, but if you're as desperate as I was when I looked on bme for ways to cure my granuloma, I hope you'll find these tips useful. And sure, you could say "well, you still have you're granuloma!" but that is due to discrepancies of my own, not faults of the methods I've listed.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 March 2008
in Nose Piercing

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Artist: scott
Studio: society+studio
Location: NSW+Australia

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