Dear Alice,

I am a first-year student and I want to get my nose pierced. This isn't just a whim; I've wanted one for a long time. However, I know that there will come a time when the ring will look juvenile on me. My question: will such a hole close up fairly quickly, without leaving an ugly scar?

—Holy, holy, holie

Dear Holy, holy, holie,

When you choose to get your nose pierced, have the piercing done with a needle, instead of a piercing gun; the piercing gun causes more trauma to the nose tissue and will result in a more difficult healing process. Use a nose ring versus a nose stud, as the rings are generally made with hypoallergenic material (i.e., surgical steel), which is not always the case with the stud. The stud also has the potential to sink into the tissue and cause infection. Once you get your nose pierced, do not remove the ring for six to eight weeks, giving your nose time to heal. Also, to prevent infection while it is healing, regularly clean the area, as directed, using a topical antibacterial cleanser, and apply an antibiotic cream or ointment. Make sure to dry the site, too. When you're ready to remove it for good, the amount of time it will take to close up completely depends on your body and your individual healing processes. If there is any scar, it should be very minimal and barely noticeable to others.

Alice!
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