Pimples in Nose: Causes, Treatment and Prevention
Got pimples in your nose? We’ve got answers. Learn the causes of inside the nose pimples, along with treatment and prevention options.
They may not be as noticeable as the pimples on your face, but pimples in the nose are often incredibly painful and annoying. What causes them to form inside your nose, and how can you get rid of them safely?
Here are three things you need to know:
- Sometimes, pimples in the nose can be a sign of an infection or a cold sore.
- If pimples in your nose continue to occur, it may be caused by genetics.
- Using Salicylic Acid is an effective way to treat pimples inside the nose.
What Causes Pimples in the Nose?
Pimples in the nose aren’t as uncommon as you might think. Although the skin inside the nose is different compared to the rest of the body, this area contains sebaceous glands which can become blocked by dead skin cells and sebum. Here are some likely causes of pimples in the nose:
- Blocked Pore—Regular pimples occur when an excess of sebum (oil) and bacteria block the pores of your skin. Although it’s uncommon, pores inside your nose may become blocked.
- Genetics—If this isn’t your first pimple inside the nose, unfortunate genetics could be partly to blame. For instance, a recent study published in Nature Communications found that individuals with severe acne all had a genetic variant which influenced how their hair follicles developed (see claim: “…acne susceptibility may be, at least in part, mediated through variation in the structure and maintenance of the pilosebaceous unit in the skin.”) This gene could likely play a part in how often the hair follicles in your nose become blocked.
- Ingrown Nose Hair—Ingrown hairs can develop anywhere there is hair, including your nostrils. Ingrown nose hairs are commonly mistaken for pimples because they’re often red, painful and swollen. Ingrown hairs can occur after tweezing and typically resolve on their own.
- Nasal Vestibulitis—When your nasal vestibule (the area inside your nostrils) becomes infected, it’s known as nasal vestibulitis. Nasal vestibulitis may be the result of nose picking and excessive nose blowing. Symptoms may appear as boils in the nose, redness, tenderness and pimple-like bumps inside your nostrils.
- Nasal Furuncles and Cellulitis—Though nasal furuncles might be fun to say, it’s anything but fun to deal with. This condition appears in the form of boils which can result in deeper infections inside your nose, potentially leading to something serious called cellulitis, a bacterial infection that can, in turn, lead to blood poisoning.
- Cold Sore—Does your nose pimple keep coming back and scabbing over? You might be dealing with a cold sore.
Treatment Options for Nose Pimples
If you do have a nose pimple, it’s critical that you don’t pick at it. Not only can this cause permanent scarring, it can also lead to infection.
According to a 2013 study published in Cell Host Microbe, staphylococcus bacteria can live deep inside your nose (see claim: “The nasal cavity has long been regarded as a clinically important microbial habitat, particularly for Staphylococcus aureus.”) Picking at the pimple may lead to an infection that requires medical attention.
Instead, you should avoid touching your pimple and treat it based on its cause.
- Regular Pimples—For regular pimples caused by acnes, apply a dab of acne cream containing Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide to the spot. If it’s not too far inside your nose, carefully use a cotton swab to apply the topical cream.
- Infection—Antibiotic ointments can usually resolve minor nose infections. For more serious infections, you may need to see a doctor for a prescription antibiotic.
- Cold Sore—Cold sores can be solved by using an antiviral cream such as Abreva.
- Folliculitis—Treatment for folliculitis involves dabbing some over-the-counter bacitracin cream.
How to Prevent Pimples in the Nose
So, what steps can you take to avoid getting pimples inside your nose? Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot that you can do.
However, you can reduce your chances of developing pimples in the nose by keeping the area around your nose clean. A regular skin care regimen which includes washing, exfoliating and moisturizing should lower the chances of follicles in the nose becoming blocked.
If pimples inside your nose are becoming a significant problem, it may be best to see a dermatologist. While it may not be the cheapest route, a visit to the dermatologist can help you prevent future pimples inside the nose.
Although pimples in the nose are annoying, most of them are harmless. However, you should pay close attention to your nose pimple and look for signs that it could be something more serious.
Petridis, Christos, et al. “Genome-Wide Meta-Analysis Implicates Mediators of Hair Follicle Development and Morphogenesis in Risk for Severe Acne.” Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 1, 2018, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07459-5.
Yan M, Pamp SJ, Fukuyama J, Hwang PH, Cho DY, Holmes S, et al. Nasal microenvironments and interspecific interactions influence nasal microbiota complexity and S. aureus carriage. Cell Host Microbe. 2013;14:631–640.