The first time you notice a bad smell coming from your septum piercing, it can scare you. Don’t worry. Bad odors are perfectly natural with any piercing, especially one in your septum. You can easily keep these odors under control with a few helpful tips.
Why Does My Septum Piercing Smell?
A septum piercing can smell due to sebum mixing with bacteria and dead skin cells. Improper cleaning, infection, low-quality jewelry, wrong placement, piercing location, and personal habits can contribute to the odor.
That odd odor you’re smelling is caused by something called sebum. Sebum is a natural oil that your skin produces. When sebum mixes with bacteria and dead skin cells, it creates an odd odor. Several things can contribute to the bad smell.
1. Improper Cleaning
Improper cleaning will definitely encourage bacteria growth and the resulting odors. It is important to clean a new piercing at least twice a day. Once it is healed, you’ll want to continue your cleaning routine several times each week. Use a commercial antiseptic product or one recommended by your piercing studio professionals.
While a bad smell doesn’t always indicate an infection, it can be one of the symptoms that something is wrong. If the bad odor you’re noticing is accompanied by fever, swelling, redness, or discharge, you need to contact your healthcare provider, infections are easily treated with an antibiotic.
3. Low-Quality Piercing Jewelry
The material your ring is made from can add to the problem. Poor-quality materials can cause irritation and may react poorly with your natural oils.
Always choose septum rings that are made from high-quality materials in order to avoid this problem. Look for K gold, silver, and implant-grade titanium jewelry that’s hypoallergenic. Keep in mind that coated metals may eventually peel off, resulting in the odors returning.
4. Wrong Jewelry Placement
Wrong jewelry placement, whether caused by the location of the piercing or the size of the ring, can contribute to the buildup of sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria. All of this results in a bad odor.
5. Piercing Location
The location of these piercings doesn’t help. Nasal mucus can accumulate on your jewelry, which adds to the bad smell you’re noticing. Regular cleaning should remove any mucus buildup and alleviate some of the odor.
6. Personal Habits
Let’s face it. A septum piercing is in a location that really needs good personal hygiene to avoid bad smells. Make cleaning your piercing and jewelry a part of your daily grooming routine.
Is it Normal That My Septum Piercing Smells?
It is completely normal for your septum piercing to smell. Most people experience bad odors from their piercings at some point in time. The fact that it’s in your nose makes it more obvious to you. Fortunately, others rarely notice the odor.
Does the Smell Go Away Naturally?
Unfortunately, the bad smell you’re experiencing won’t go away on its own. Without proper care, cleaning, or using high-quality jewelry, the odor will continue to worsen.
If the bad smell is persistent, you can try using tea tree oil to moisturize the piercing. This home remedy does not replace your daily cleaning routine. It should be used in addition to proper care.
Simply mix a few drops of tea tree oil with coconut or jojoba oil. Use a cotton swab to apply it to the pierced area. Tea tree oil has natural antibiotic properties that can help remove the bacteria that are causing the bad smell.
If you have tried all the proper cleaning techniques that your piercing studio recommended and are wearing rings made from high-quality materials and the smells persist, you may want to ask for help from your piercing professional or your health care provider. They can rule out any underlying causes that need to be addressed.
While most bad smells are a normal part of the septum-piercing experience, never ignore these odors if they’re accompanied by redness, swelling, or discharge. These are all signs of infection and need to be treated appropriately.
How to Stop a Septum Piercing From Smelling
1. Proper Cleaning
Proper cleaning is crucial when it comes to stopping these bad odors. Use warm salty water or an antiseptic recommended by your piercing studio. With a cotton swab, clean the piercing carefully on both sides. Rotate your jewelry in order to clean the area that’s normally hidden within the channel.
This should remove the buildup of bacteria, dead skin cells, and sebum. Do this twice a day for a new piercing. Once it’s healed, clean the area two or three times per week.
2. Change Your Septum Ring
It can help to switch out your jewelry from time to time. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to thoroughly clean your rings, too. Look for hypoallergenic materials such as 14K gold, silver, or implant-grade titanium. This is an easy way to help reduce bad odors.
3. Remove Mucus Buildup
You can’t avoid the fact that your septum piercing is in an area that would need to be cleaned regularly anyway. You can use saline solution to irrigate your nasal cavity. This will flush out any mucus buildup. Be gentle and avoid over-cleaning, which can irritate your nasal passages and cause discomfort.
Septum Piercing Smells When I Move It
Why does my septum piercing smell when I move it? Any time bacteria and dead skin cells mix with your skin’s natural oils, you’ll get a weird smell. When you start to move your piercing, you dislodge all of the bacteria that has gathered around the piercing. That’s what you’re smelling.
Septum Piercing Smells Like Cheese
Why does my septum piercing smell like cheese? That cheese smell you’re noticing is when bacteria and dead skin cells mix with sebum, which is a natural substance your skin secretes. When all of these things come together, it creates an odor that you’ll recognize as similar to cheese.
Septum Piercing Smells Like Fish
Why does my septum piercing smell like fish? Many people smell a fishy odor while their piercing is healing. Just like all of these piercing-related smells, the bacteria, sebum, and dead skin cells have come together. Poor aftercare can cause the fishy smell. Clean your piercing twice a day to help alleviate this.
Why Does My Septum Piercing Smell Sweet?
Many people associate a sweet smell with an infection, but as with all septum-piercing smells, it’s completely normal to notice a sweet smell. Unless this sweet odor is accompanied by redness and pain, you are unlikely to have an infection. Simply continue taking proper care.
Why Does My Septum Piercing Smell Even After Washing?
If your piercing is still healing, you will still notice an odor, even with routine cleaning. The sebum buildup is more pronounced at this time. Try replacing your ring with a high-quality piece, avoid using makeup in this area, and try to keep it dry.
If you notice bad smells from your septum piercing, don’t panic. These odors are most likely quite natural. Proper care should significantly help minimize the smell, and you can take comfort in the fact that those around you can’t smell it.