You have heard people complaining about a bump inside nose cartilage, nostril, around a nose piercing or a painful bump inside nose keeps coming back. Could it be a folliculitis, nasal polyps, furuncles, hair removal, nose picking, allergic rhinitis or something else? I once had one that hurt so bad. Let us explore this issue in detail.
Most of the times, we notice a bump inside the nose when either blowing our nose or touching it. The pain from the bump is pulsating or throbbing and causes lots of discomforts. If the bump is due to an infection, then the bump will have systemic symptoms too including fever, muscular weakness and general malaise. In some of the severe cases, the person will experience nausea and vomiting. A bump inside the nose is more sensitive than other pimples on other parts of the body.
Its appearance could be red, dark or with a white head. It can also be small or bigger in size depending on what causes it
What causes bumps inside the nose – cartilage and nostril
The most common cause of a pimple inside the nose is acne. The pores of your skin contain sebaceous glands that produce sebum (oil) that softens your hair and skin. An overproduction of keratin when combined with dead skin cells and oil, causes the pores to block leading to acne.
Other causes of acne include nutritional deficiencies, emotional stress, poor digestion, yeast overgrowth and food sensitivities.
A pimple inside the nose can also be caused by:
This is an inflammation of one of the hair follicles inside the nose. It causes a painful bump inside the nose that is red and itchy. This then develops into pus-filled blisters.
Folliculitis is a fungal or bacterial infection that causes swollen red pimples. Depending on the infection type, the pimples can burn, itch or drain pus/ blood. The nose also has a bacteria strain known as Staphylococcus aureus that sometimes causes folliculitis. A large pimple will form in the nose because of this.
This is a serious bacterial infection that causes boils (furuncles) in the nasal vestibule. These nasal furuncles may then develop and spread the infection to the tip of the nose. This condition is quite serious because this part of the face has veins that lead to the brain. The infection can cause cavernous sinus thrombosis (a life-threatening condition) if bacteria gets to the brain through these veins.
Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths that are painless, soft and which line the nasal passages/ sinuses. They are caused by chronic inflammations from asthma, allergies, drug sensitivity, recurring infections or some immune disorders.
If the growths become large, they can block the nasal passage or cause breathing problems. Other symptoms will include a running nose, no sense of smell or a decreased one, persistent stuffiness, loss of the taste sense, headache or facial pain, upper teeth pain, a feeling of pressure over the face and forehead and snoring.
Picking your nose damages delicate tissues in your nose. This then allows bacterial infections inside the nose. Scratching your nose with sharp fingernails, inserting objects into the nose or irritations can also cause bacterial infections. This then leads to inflammation, itchiness and discomfort as a boil forms.
This is an inflammation of the nose caused by allergens like dust, pollen, skin flakes or mold. According to NHS, allergic rhinitis causes a chronic runny nose that can irritate the mucous membrane. This can cause nasal polyps.
Trying to remove hair inside the nose through methods like plucking, trimming or any other method can cause a sore hard lump. Pulling out the hair could nick the mucous tissue leading to an infection inside the nose. If the hair follicles get infected, one gets folliculitis.
There are different methods you can use to treat a nose bump. You can go for medication or for a home-based remedy.
Bump inside nose home treatment
Salt contains natural, antibacterial agents that help reduce skin infections. Do not use table salt or iodized salt as its structure has been altered through processing. Salt water has been known to treat breakouts.
If the skin is dry, it will overcompensate by producing more oil which results in blocked pores. For best results, apply warm salty water to the pimple. This will exfoliate the dead skin cells and soak up all excess oil.
If a pimple is near the nostril opening, a warm compress will help treat a pimple in the nose. The heat will increase circulation to the bump and accelerate healing. It also relieves discomfort and pain.
Virgin coconut oil provides relief for a painful bump inside the nose. This is because coconut oil contains antibacterial properties. It also has moisturizing effects that offer a protective barrier on the bump. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory virgin oil properties are due to capric acid and lauric acid. The National Center for Biotechnology Information did a study that found that these fatty acids kill off bacteria that is responsible for pimples and acne.
For effective use, add lavender oil or tea tree oil. Tea tree oil contains antibacterial properties and is used for acne treatments. Lavender oil also helps get rid of bacteria that cause acne and reduces pimple inflammations.
If your pimple in the nose is inflamed and itchy, steam inhalation is a great way to get rid of it. Mix antibacterial essential oils like lavender to kill acne-causing bacteria found in the nasal passages. Karen Sullivan in her book The Parent’s Guide to Natural Health Care for Children says that steam inhalation especially with essential oils like tea tree oil and eucalyptus aid in breathing and fighting infections.
Put three drops of one of the essential oils in a pot of water and heat it until it boils then remove the pot from the heat. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam through the nose. Do it for 10 minutes for thrice a day. This will relieve the bump and kill off infections.
Witch hazel can be used to treat a pimple or boil. This is because it contains a natural ingredient to reduce inflammation. It also helps reduce swollen hair follicles inside the nose. Witch hazel has an antiseptic effect that reduces the spread of infection.
For effective use, soak a cotton bud in witch hazel then gently rub it on the swollen pimple inside the nose. Apply it thrice a day until the pimple heals. To boost its antibacterial power, add drops of tea tree oil.
Baking soda promotes faster healing and is an anti-inflammatory agent. It also has antibacterial properties.
For effective use, mix baking soda with water to form a paste. Add two drops of essential oil. Apply the paste with a cotton swab to the bump inside the nose and leave it on for minutes so that the bacteria causing acne gets killed. Rinse the paste off with warm water then dry off the nose with a clean cotton swab. Moisturize the nostril with virgin coconut oil. This will prevent further infection and irritation.
Aloe Vera can be applied inside the nostril to soothe itchiness and irritation from an inflamed bump or boil. According to The Indian Journal of Dermatology, some of the healing properties of aloe Vera include stimulating healing of infected wounds, anti-inflammatory properties, reduces pain, itching, and swelling of bumps and pimples.
Apply aloe Vera to the pimple directly or mix it up with other ingredients like tea tree oil or lavender essentials to accelerate healing.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps reduce itching, redness, and swelling caused by the bump in your nose. It contains natural antiseptic properties and accelerates healing especially when the skin gets inflamed. These healing properties are from its acetic acid content that helps kill off bacteria that causes skin infections. It’s low PH levels also help reduce itching when a wound becomes infected.
Apple cider vinegar must be diluted well since its very acidic. Use one-part apple cider vinegar and two parts glasses of water. Use the mixture to rinse the nostrils at the inflammation then allow to dry. Do this twice or thrice a day.
Medication to treat a bump inside the nose that won’t go away
The treatment will be dependent on the cause.
- Nasal polyps will require no treatment unless they are big. In this case, surgery is recommended. Symptomatic medication will also help relieve pain and other symptoms.
- In cases of infections like the folliculitis, the doctor will recommend antibiotics to clear up the infection. the medication will depend on how severe the infection is. The antibiotics can, therefore, be oral or topical. For severe infections, you get both the topical and oral antibiotics.
To contain the zit in nose problem, here are a few precautions you can take:
- Do not share towels especially if you have folliculitis.
- Do not touch your face and always keep your hands clean if you have to touch your nose.
- Avoid picking your nose.
- Avoid blowing the nose too hard. Doing so will bruise the boil and spread the pimple or boil.
- If the acne is caused by allergies, avoid the allergens.
- Do not scratch pimples or ingrown hair since this will allow entry of bacteria. It could also cause scarring.
When should you get worried about a pimple inside the nose?
- If you get headaches characterized by a sharp pain either behind or around the eyes and which get worse over time.
- If your eye bulges or swells and then the other does the same after a day or two.
- If the pimples/ boils keep getting worse days after you discover them.
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Trouble moving eyes and droopy eyelids.
- Confusion and drowsiness. (if not treated immediately, the drowsiness could progress to a coma.)
- The Parent’s Guide to Natural Health Care for Children: How to Raise Happy, Healthy Children from Birth to 15 by Karen Sullivan