Can You Have A Nose Piercing In Basketball (Full Answer)

The revamp of the NBA’s dress code in 2005 sent some basketball players into a frenzy. If you followed closely, you remember Stephen Jackson wearing all his chains at a game in protest.

Many others also openly disagreed with the decision terming it racist.

Jewelry isn’t acceptable not only in the NBA but also in other basketball games. But can you have piercings in basketball?

Ear piercings are no news in the NBA. Although he has since ditched his earrings, it’s no secret that Roy Hibbert has piercings.

Others like Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young occasionally go in public wearing earrings. Even the late Kobe Bryant had an ear pierced. But can you have a nose piercing in basketball?

The short answer: you can have a nose piercing, provided you aren’t wearing jewelry to the game. However, you have to know how to care for the piercing as you may disfigure your nose without proper attendance or worse.

Dive in to see hygiene plus more nose piercing information.


Can You Have A Nose Piercing In Basketball And Play?

Yes, you can play basketball with a nose piercing, just like Dennis Rodman did for years. But note that, usually, a pierced nose may take weeks or months before healing. As such, you need to give it time to heal completely before entering the basketball court.

Some players hope in the court with a bandaged nose which may be hazardous if an opponent injures you when playing. Most referees block players with bandaged noses from playing.

It is key to consult your coach to know how the piercing may affect your gameplay. Otherwise, you may spend an entire season out of play.

How Do Sports Protect Piercings?

Piercings are becoming increasingly popular and well than previously. While more common at work, they aren’t always acceptable on the field.

Body piercing background jewelry rings

When you have a new piercing, it’s crucial to understand the healing process and the extra care your new septum piercing requires as you play basketball. Just like you need to be extra precautious when you play with glasses.

Time To Heal

Piercing artists usually take you through aftercare procedures once you get the nose piercing. Professional piercers provide valuable nose piercing information on keeping the original jewelry in and the piercing’s recovery time.

Each piercing heals in its own way, and recovery times vary significantly. The area surrounding the piercing is an exposed wound. So, it’s especially prone to infections when you handle the area with unwashed hands.

It’s critical to follow a strict aftercare plan, especially during the first week, if working out frequently.

The ring must stay intact for an extended time after obtaining the piercing. The duration should be around five months following the piercing date, whether playing basketball or participating in any other sporting event.

It’s best to put off getting nose piercings until you get adequate time to recuperate between events.

In fact, other piercing locations like navel piercings have a longer healing phase, particularly when you play basketball and other high-movement games.

Here is a video on healing a pierced nose.

Taking Off Your Jewelry

You have to totally remove your ring before you play basketball, including other sports events.

Even if you don’t think the ring will get stuck on clothing or sports equipment, simple stretches and quick body movements might rupture the piercing or delay healing.

It isn’t best to take out the ring for long, even after most piercings are fully healed. It can take a year or more to be able to leave jewelry out beyond a few minutes without your piercing shrinking. 


Basketball players are aware of their body’s natural predisposition to sweat. Furthermore, dirt and other microorganisms from shared sports equipment get up on your body and hands, putting you at risk of infection.

With that in mind, you should always remove your ring before participating in a basketball game.

Player with nose piercings

Consult your piercing professional ahead of time to schedule your piercing when you have an adequate period to heal in between sporting events.

It’s best to replace your ring with a retainer once your recuperation is complete. Alternatively, use a smaller nose ring that’s easy to hide as you play basketball.

Additionally, maintain a high hygiene level when dealing with the pierced region. Just like players who shave their legs.


Some players with new piercings hide the ring with tape as they play basketball. Several athletes double tape piercings to enhance effectiveness. While this strategy reduces risk, this isn’t always the best option.

The tape prevents nose rings from sticking onto clothes and equipment by creating a waterproof barrier and providing a smooth surface. However, the tape’s adhesive can aggravate the piercing wound.

How To Tape a Nose Piercing for Sports

If not done carefully, taping won’t help you as you play basketball. Here is how to avoid the most common nose piercing mistakes when taping.

Use Pierce Tape With Waterproof, Flexible Bandaids

Such bandaids are highly elastic and water-resistant, ensuring that they adhere to the skin during strenuous activity.

Such a pack includes gauze sponges, providing enhanced coverage even if you occasionally take water sports.

Trim Your Bandaid To The Appropriate Size

Hold your bandaid over your piercing and determine whether to cut it to size with scissors. In fact, most bandaids are too extensive to tape over nose piercings.

Cut while ensuring the bandaid adhesive sticks to your skin by a few millimeters.

Fold Bandaids Over Piercings

Fold it over the wound to have a few millimeters of contact with the surrounding skin. Doing this ensures that no sticky area adheres to the piercing.

Boy wearing Nose and ear piercing

Otherwise, this can make removal difficult, uncomfortable, and perhaps dangerous.

The bandage should adhere to the skin around the piercing, not to the piercing itself.

After Sports, Remove The Bandaid Then Clean Your Piercing

Hopefully, your bandaid isn’t challenging to remove due to sweat. Don’t rip the bandaid forcefully or too quickly, as you may damage the punctured region.

Clean the Wound And Its Surroundings

Before touching your piercing or contacting the pierced area, wash your hands. Use piercing cleaning solutions to sanitize.

Dry the area completely. Also, keep an eye out for swelling or redness. If present, there may be an infection or an undiscovered injury.

How Do You Hide A Nose Piercing For Basketball?

The type of piercing selected impacts the healing time and how easy you can hide it. A basketball player is more likely to get a septal piercing than a bridge piercing.

High angle view photo young hipster smiling playing throwing ball wearing piercing isolated on vivid orange color background

Piercings on the nasal septum occur on a sweet spot called ‘columella.’ Hence, they are easy to hide.

That said, there are three distinct methods for concealing nose rings or other jewelry on piercings. Let us determine which one is the best fit for you.

Makeup Coverage

This easy approach will suffice if you do not constantly need to conceal your nose ring. Simply remove your nose rings, stud, or other piercing equipment, then clean the piercing site.

Afterward, apply a concealer to the area and smear evenly. Gently blend the area with a face foundation that matches your skin tone.

To avoid appearing suspicious, apply the foundation evenly across your face.

Flip Nose Ring

If the barbell is your preferred ring, all you need is to turn it upward. Then conceal it in your nose, where nobody sees.

However, individuals who are way shorter than you can gaze up to your nose and note the piercing locations.

Nonetheless, this isn’t a brilliant option while playing basketball, as the barbell can easily flip over as you race down the court.

And on a side note, check out our interesting take on why basketball is the most popular sport in Indiana.

Retainers And Plugs

Many store locations sell clear plastic pieces called retainers. Plugs and retainers are the greatest choices if you’re going to be concealing your piercing for a prolonged period of time.

You impede the piercing’s healing process if you constantly remove nose rings or studs.

Plugs are ideal for larger nostril piercings since they cover them completely. It isn’t easy to detect the piercing when dabbed with foundation or concealer. Plugs are available in various hues to match your skin tone.

You can pick the retainer that perfectly fits the hole based on your ring.

The materials used to make the retainers are often neutral or sheer hues, allowing them to blend readily with your skin tone. They are, however, only effective for small holes. Plugs are preferable for larger ones.

These items are skin-friendly and come in various patterns that match your ring. Additionally, retainers protect you from closing the punctured area.

Whether wearing straight barbells or L-shaped screws, they properly fit and conceal the pierced body part.

Techniques of Coverage

While taping the pierced location is an ideal option, it’s obvious and not entirely concealing.

However, tapping with bandages is quite handy and practical when all that is necessary is a protection cover and not a concealment technique.

Typically, athletes use tape to preserve their pierced places and rings during training or competition. You can easily get your piercing ripped if you leave it exposed during the game.

On the other hand, taping enables you to wear rings without healing concerns, retainers, or correct coverage.

In short, choose the most appropriate concealment technique if you wish to maintain your lifestyle and heritage without the worry of getting fired.

How Should I Clean My Nose Piercing?

While you may be able to play basketball with a pierced septum, an infection is an instant ticket to missing several matches.

Woman hands cleaning silver jewelry with homemade jewelry cleaner at home

The following are typical symptoms of an infected piercing:

  • Throbbing pain on the pierced section
  • burning
  • itching
  • swelling
  • redness
  • Yellow or white discharge

Nostril Piercing Cleaning

Once the piercing heals, you no longer need to clean it as frequently as before. You, however, clean it regularly to keep it in good condition. Additionally, this aids in infection and scarring prevention.

You need the following items to clean your nose piercing:

  • sea salt soak or saline rinse
  • balls of cotton
  • Instead of thin cotton cloths and paper towels, which can fall apart and stick on the jewelry, use thicker materials.

To make the saline rinse, whisk 1/4 teaspoon sea salt into warm distilled water until completely combined. Dip paper towels or cotton balls in the rinse or submerge your nose into it.

Cleaning Nose Rings

Cleaning your nose jewelry is as vital as piercing hygiene. Doing this removes oil and dirt that may embed in the ring while you play basketball. Additionally, you can rinse away any potential pathogens.

Cleaning beneath and around the newly pierced ears is necessary. As the piercing heals and you transition to different types of jewelry, it’s a good idea to clean the ring whenever sanitizing the piercing.

You can clean nose rings with a saline solution or soapy water.

If you have silver jewelry, regularly clean it with a professional silver jewelry cleaner. This way, you remove any corrosion that may lodge in the piercing.

Precautions For Pierced Noses

Knowing what not to do with your nose piercing is as crucial as its maintenance. To keep your nose piercing in place:

  • Avoid using over-the-counter antiseptics, such as Neosporin. If you believe your piercing has an infection, continue with saline rinses while seeking your piecer’s advice.
  • Avoid using hydrogen peroxide to prevent irritation.
  • Avoid twisting or playing with nose jewelry to avoid aggravating the piercing.
  • Never touch your piercing with unclean hands.
  • Never lend or borrow nose jewelry.
  • Gently insert back the ring to avoid permanent skin damage. If the ring does not immediately go in, gently insert it with a clockwise twist until it sets.

Picking quality rings lowers the risk of getting skin sensitivities and allergic reactions. Consider the following materials when shopping for nose jewelry:

  • Titanium
  • Surgical-grade steel
  • 14-karat gold or higher

An exquisite ring is unlikely to disintegrate in your nose while you play basketball, posing immune system complications when you swallow or breathe.

Is It Okay To Get Your Nose Pierced With A Hoop?

When getting your nose pierced for the first time, the top two options for initial rings are studs and hoops.

Hoops are an excellent choice because they are unlikely to compress your nostril during healing. That said, studs are common nostril piercing beginner jewelry.

You can have a relatively long stud without it protruding awkwardly like a hoop. Plus, you won’t worry about losing it. These factors combine to make studs an appealing first nose piercing choice.

Sportsman with nose and ear piercing

Although some people receive nose screws immediately, it is usually better to wait till the facial piercing recuperates completely before experimenting with it.

While nose bones are easy options for a healed nostril piercing that pops in and out as desired, doing so with a new nose piercing may be uncomfortable.

Is it Bad to Play With Your Nose Piercing?

You may get bumped or snagged based on your piercing styles and workout type. This is especially critical for individuals in high-intensity contact sports like wrestling and boxing.

Only get piercings when your games and workout regimen allow for a break, as you cannot remove a new piercing.

Many kids playing sports obtain new body piercings just before the summer break. The break allows your piercing to heal sufficiently for you to remove it and play sports without difficulty following the holidays.

A fresh piercing is similar to an open wound that creates safety concerns. It poses a danger of viral and bacterial infection during the healing process.

While sweat doesn’t irritate new nose piercings, it can bring pathogens. Inflammations produced by filthy hands or sweat as you play basketball can result in blood poisoning in the worst-case scenario.

Although infections and scars are more common with newly pierced noses, they can occur in properly healed ones as well.

So, even as you ponder whether facial piercings are worthy, hygiene is unnegotiable, especially when you play a demanding sport like basketball.


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