Any part of the skin can get dry but when the nose area is involved, the problem becomes particularly noticeable – and often disturbing. Dry skin is also often accompanied by peeling and sometimes itching which can make you pretty uncomfortable. This article examines various causes of dry skin around nose as well as numerous options available to get rid of the problem fast at home.
What Causes Dry Skin Around The Nose?
- Weather changes: Cold weather is one of the most common causes of dry skin around nose. Very dry and windy weather conditions can also cause dryness around the nose and other areas of the face.
- Dry heat: The air conditioning system makes life bearable but spending significant time indoors with the heat turned on could ultimately cause dry patches of skin around your nose and other areas of the body.
- Cold: Although common cold doesn’t cause dryness around nose directly, the frequent blowing and wiping associated with it is a common culprit. Friction from the handkerchief dries
- Certain medications: Some topical and oral medications could also cause dry irritated and often flaky skin around the nose and indeed other areas of the skin. Acne medications such as tretinoin and antibiotics (e.g. tetracycline) are good examples.
- Exposure to harsh chemicals and irritants: Dry red, and sometimes flaky skin around the nose may be a sign of contact dermatitis. This occurs when skin comes into contact with substances that dry the skin and trigger an irritation response such as certain soaps, fragrance-containing facial products, cosmetics, drying alcohol, etc.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: According to Bhupinder Kaur, MD, a board certified dermatologist in India, dry flaky skin around nose (dandruff) may also be a sign of seborrheic dermatitis. Usually characterized by dry, flaky skin that is producing white to yellowish scales, the condition typically affects people with oily skin. It occurs when the action of naturally occurring yeast on the skin on the excessive skin oil causes an irritation response. The condition typically causes drying and flaking of the skin under the nose, around the eyelids and eyebrows, and behind the ears but any other part of the face may as well be affected. Stress and immune depressing conditions such as HIV/AIDS are known to increase the risk of seborrheic dermatitis.
- Other skin conditions: Dermal problems such as eczema, psoriasis etc. may also be to blame for constant or chronic cases of dryness around the nose and other symptoms such as itching, redness, soreness, scaly patches, and flaking among others.
- Vitamin deficiency: Although rare, deficiency in biotin can result in dry, scaly skin around nose and mouth coupled by other symptoms such as cracked corners of the mouth (cheilitis), hair loss, swollen and sore tongue, declined appetite, depression, and insomnia among others.
How to Get Rid Of Dry Skin on Nose
Dry skin around the nose is not a serious health concern and will in most cases heal with nothing more than a little more TLC coupled with prevention of further exposure to the possible irritant factors. Among the best home remedies for dry skin in the nose area are:
Run a Humidifier
A humidifier is the first thing to consider when trying to fight dry patches on the nostrils or any other part of the skin. By raising humidity levels in your house, a humidifier helps to reduce the loss of skin moisture and oils from your skin – which is in turn known to worsen itching.
You will especially want to run a humidifier during the cold weather when moisture levels dip to their lowest. Every night, ensure that the humidifier is running at around 60%. If you live in a very dry environment, say an area with a desert climate, you may find running the humidifier at night throughout the year very useful.
Applying a good quality moisturizing lotion or cream frequently will also help to get rid of dry skin around nose fast. This helps to reinstate and maintain the integrity of your troubled skin.
The best time to moisturize is immediately after washing your face or taking shower, when your skin is still wet. That way you seal and retain in the moisture on your skin.
Any alcohol-free facial moisturizing cream that is free of alpha-hydroxyl acids (AHAs), fragrances, or retinoid will do just fine.
Petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline) and petrolatum-based creams e.g. Aquaphor are also good candidates for severely dry, flaking, or even cracking nose skin. They are however not ideal for people with oily, acne prone skin; a light water-based lotion or cream is the safest bet to prevent clogging of pores. Because they are usually greasy, these products may also not be suitable for use during the day; apply them overnight.
If you would rather use natural remedies and products, then almond oil, coconut oil, raw organic honey, and sunflower seed oil may suffice as great choices.
Avoid Drying Elements and Habits
Continued exposure to the factors that triggered dry nose skin in the first place will only make the situation more severe and result in other symptoms such as itching, redness, soreness, bleeding, or even secondary bacterial infections). You will want to take or observe the following measures:
- Instead of hot water, use warm water to wash your face or shower. Hot water is known to steal the skin’s essential oils and moisture and thus make it dry, flake, turn red, itch, etc.
- Avoid harsh soaps for a while, including the medicated antibacterial soap, and instead use mild, moisturizing soaps and cleansers with no dyes or fragrances e.g. Cetaphil Gentle cleansing bar, Hibiscus, Dove, Aquanil, Olay shower gel etc. to see if the dryness and other symptoms associated with it on clear away. Baby soap is also a god consideration. Adding a few drops of essential oils to your bath water can also help to moisturize the skin and combat dryness around nose and other areas.
- If you are prone to seborrheic dermatitis and thus flaking dry skin around nose or any other part of the skin, avoid situations that cause excess sweating as well as stress.
- In case of itching, avoid scratching the affected area. It is possible to experience an overwhelming urge to scratch but you are best placed not doing it; it will only worsen the situation.
- When washing your face, rinse it thoroughly to ensure that no soap remains behind.
- Talk to your doctor about momentarily stopping the use of acne medications.
- When you cleanse your face, pat it dry with a soft towel rather than roughly wipe it
Topical and Oral Medications
According to Dr. Kaur, dry flaky patches of skin around the nose and other parts of the skin usually respond well to treatment with topical antifungal creams and mild steroids (1% corticosteroid creams or lotions) to reduce inflammation (swelling) and itching. If you suspect seborrheic dermatitis, e.g. the drying and flaking around the nose keeps coming back, this could be your best set; ask at your local pharmacy (drugstore).
For severe seborrheic dermatitis and the associated dry skin around nose, your doctor may prescribe oral antifungal medications as well as immunomodulators the likes of tacrolimus, pimecrolimus, etc. as part of the treatment. Your doctor may also recommend ultra-violent light treatment.
When to See a Doctor
A Persistent case of dry spots around the nose and other areas of the face warrants the attention of a dermatologist but you should as well consider booking an appointment with your dermatologist (or doctor) if you experience any of the following symptoms and signs:
- Red bumps
- Pus discharge
- Abscesses (also referred to as boils)
- The affected area becomes increasingly sore
These may be signs of infection (e.g. impetigo) or allergic reaction. Your doctor will determine the appropriate course of treatment after diagnosis.