Acne on your face is a skincare struggle no matter the cause, but sufferers beware: you can get acne inside your nose, too. Like your regular pimples, intranasal acne or nasal vestibulitis forms around irritated hair follicles and makes touching the affected area a literal pain — just try blowing your nose with a big, red pus pocket inside! But you can’t pick, pop or douse these pimples in medicated cleansers to get rid of them. Nose infections are serious business — get to a doctor if they don’t clear up.
Groom and Doom
Your own grooming routine is often to blame if you’re a regular sufferer of nose pimples. Clipping or plucking hairs irritates the follicles and lets inflammation set in. Any superficial wounds leave the door open for infection, too. Don’t shave those overlong hairs, scratch at your nose or pick your nose too vigorously. You typically see these pimples either around the nose opening or deep inside the vestibule.
Work environment and seasonal changes can give your nose good reason to get irritated. If you work with particles from dust, dirt, wood or metal without a mask, reconsider — particles irritate hair follicles. If you live in a dry area or one with long winters, your nose’s mucous membranes are likely dried-out and tend to crack, making plenty of new entry points for infection. Cold season and too much nose-blowing also mean more irritation and impeded healing, with persisting wounds more likely to get infected.
Inner nose pimples might not be too much of a hardship for you in their early stages, but don’t let them go too long without treatment. These little infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus, the same infection that gives you strep throat. If it spreads to the surrounding tissue, making the tip of your nose match Rudolph’s, you’ve got cellulitis. If you avoid treating it, you risk further spread — which, in rare cases, can result in a brain infection.
Treat intranasal acne early to keep infection to a minimum. Don’t touch or pick at the pimples, just keep them clean and dry. Apply a topical antibiotic gel once daily with a cotton swab, or use an antibiotic nasal spray. If the pimples persist, consult a doctor for a prescription-strength formula. Also apply hot cloths to your nose three times daily for 15 to 20 minutes. Stubborn pimples may require oral antibiotics or surgical drainage.
References and ResourcesMerck Home: Bacterial Nasal Infections
NYOGMD: I Have a Small Pimple In My Nose
GBMC: ENT Disorders
NY ENT Specialist: Why Do I Get Crusts in My Nose
Dermatology Online Journal: The Rudolph Sign
Providence Physicians: Yes, Your Nose Can Get Infected