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10 Ways to Treat Dry Skin Around the Nose ----- Back

25.02.20 - How To

10 Ways to Treat Dry Skin Around the Nose

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Words by Antoinette Barnardo

Seasonal allergies, wintry temperatures, or skin disorders are likely culprits behind dry skin, particularly around the nose. Trying to cover up the flakiness around your nose with foundation or concealer could be a frustrating endeavor, not to mention the uncomfortable feeling that goes with it. 

Here, we will cover the possible causes behind the dry patches around your nose and how you can deal with them effectively. Read on to find out what your dry nostrils need. 

Common Causes of Dry Skin Around the Nose

Due to a lower concentration of sebaceous glands around your nose, less sebum is produced which prevents the skin from staying supple. As such, the skin around your nostrils is naturally susceptible to dryness. 

Coupled with a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, the interplay between the environment, routine habits, and biology creates the ideal recipe for dry skin around the nose. We'll take a closer look at these factors, which could be either acute (temporary) or chronic (long-lasting) in nature. 

Acute Causes of Dry Skin Around the Nose

If you are dealing with dry skin around the nose temporarily, these could be the reasons for it. 

1. Flu or Allergies

Having the flu means constant blowing of the nose. Repeated rubbing of tissues against the delicate skin around your nose removes the natural oils in this area and results in skin abrasion. On top of not feeling like your best self, you end up with irritated, dry skin in the nose region. 

If you're battling seasonal allergies such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or pet allergens, this could lead to a case of stuffy nose accompanied by sticky, thick mucus. Cue the frequent nose-blowing and abrasive skin-rubbing again. 

Additionally, flu and allergies may also cause dry nostrils, a condition that's known as rhinitis sicca. This leads to a dry, uncomfortable, or even painful sensation within the nasal passages.

2. Acute Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis is a form of sinus infection that lasts for a few weeks. It can be triggered by nasal swelling, allergies, nasal polyps (noncancerous growths in the nose), or a weakened immune system. 

Common symptoms of acute sinusitis include a runny nose or nasal congestion that involves endless nose-blowing, thereby causing dryness in the area. You may also experience a cough, fever, toothache, and/or bad breath. 

3. Low Humidity

In the winter months, low humidity creates cooler, drier air that causes your skin to become dry. This is especially true around the nose area which has fewer oil glands. Dry air can also result in dry nostrils. 

4. Excess Sun Exposure

Too much sun exposure can cause sunburns, especially the area around the nose which juts out the most from your face. Additionally, the contours of your nose make applying sunscreen evenly a challenging task. This increases the risk of sunburns that may lead to dry, red, and peeling skin. 

5. Over-Exfoliation

Over-exfoliating your face is also another likely cause for the dry patches around your nose. Chemical and physical exfoliants often contain strong, active ingredients to remove dead skin cells from the outermost skin layer. As such, too much exfoliation will likely result in dry, flaky skin plus a compromised skin barrier. 

6. Harsh Topical Products

If you're using acne medications like Retin-A or alcohol-based skincare products, chances are these harsh topicals are adding to the dryness around your nose. 

Topical acne prescriptions often contain active ingredients like retinoids or salicylic acid that may sensitize your skin and cause dry patches. Alcohol, being a dehydrating agent, may worsen already low moisture levels in your skin, leading to drier, irritated skin. 

Such products may then compromise your skin barrier which increases the likelihood of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis. 

7. Moisturizing Too Little or Too Much

For those with dry skin types, moisturizing too little will fail to compensate for your skin's naturally lower oil production levels. On the other hand, if you use too much moisturizer, you may end up clogging your pores. This means that on top of the dryness, you also have breakouts to deal with. 

Chronic Causes of Dry Skin Around the Nose

If you've been battling with dry skin around the nose for quite some time now, this may be due to an underlying skin condition. 

1. Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, a common type of eczema, is a chronic skin condition that is experienced by more than 18 million people in the U.S. It's characterized by dry, inflamed, and itchy skin, and it’s associated with asthma and hay fever. Atopic dermatitis is usually due to a compromised skin barrier or a weakened immune system. 

2. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis, another chronic form of eczema, is more common in oily skin types. It normally occurs on the nose, scalp, and upper back as oily, itchy flakes that may be white or yellow. While the exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis has yet to be pinpointed, naturally occurring yeast that's present in the sebum has been known to trigger this skin condition.

3. Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is similar to acute sinusitis since the former condition is also characterized by runny nose, nasal congestion, fever, toothache, and/or bad breath. However, chronic sinusitis can last for 12 weeks or more and is often accompanied by pus in the nasal passages. 

4. Autoimmune Disorders 

Autoimmune disorders like psoriasis often affect the skin around and inside of the nose, thereby contributing to dry skin in the area. It can also potentially spread to the rest of the body. Sjögren’s syndrome is another autoimmune disease that causes the mucous membranes like the nasal passages to become dry. This creates dry nostrils that feel tight and uncomfortable. 

How to Care for Dry Skin Around the Nose

The dry patches around your nose require extra TLC to restore it to its natural, healthy state. Here, we cover the methods you can adopt in your daily life to relieve yourself of this skin issue. 

1. Switch to Gentle, Low-pH Skincare Products

Make the switch to gentle, low-pH skincare products to repair and strengthen your skin barrier. Opt for gentle cleansers like YORA's Rebalance Face Cleanser to restore your skin's barrier function. It's formulated with chamomile to soothe and moisturize dry skin and avocado oil to keep your skin hydrated and supple. 

2. Moisturize Appropriately 

Use the right face moisturizer that's designed for your skin type. For instance, if the dryness around your nose is due to an overall dry skin type, choose moisturizing products that contain emollients (which reduce itch) and occlusives (which retain moisture). An example would be the Conditioning Face Balm that's infused with a moisturizing blend of shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and sea buckthorn oil. 

On the other hand, if you have oily skin but still suffer from dry patches around your nose, use a lightweight moisturizer with humectants (which attract moisture) in it. YORA's Revitalise Face Moisturizer is a perfect fit for the job — it's a gel moisturizer formulated with glycerin to provide ample hydration without clogging your pores. 

3. Top Off With a Face Oil

For extra moisturization, apply a few drops of the Replenish Face Oil around your nose. With a potent blend of botanical oils (coconut, jojoba seed, rosehip, macadamia, marula, and evening primrose), this lightweight facial oil ensures long-lasting hydration to soothe and heal dry, sensitive skin. 

4. Be Vigilant About Sun Protection

If you often experience sunburn around your nose, it's time to step up on your sun protection efforts. A sunscreen with SPF 30 and above is key in your skincare routine. Make sure to rub the sunscreen evenly on the bridge, tip, and sides of your nose. If you'll be out in the sun for a while, put on a wide-brimmed hat to provide your nose with sufficient shade. 

5. Tone Down the Exfoliation

Tone down the exfoliation if you suspect the flaking around your nose is due to over-exfoliation. Reduce your exfoliating frequency or remove exfoliators completely from your skincare routine for the time being. 

Ensure your skin has fully recovered from the ordeal before slowly introducing an exfoliant into your beauty regime again. Always remember to be conservative when it comes to exfoliating so that you don't encounter the same issue again. 

6. Keep Indoor Humidity and Air Quality Ideal

The trick to preventing dry skin around your nose is to keep your indoor humidity levels ideal with a humidifier. Too little humidity and you may suffer from dry skin and dry nostrils while too much humidity runs the risk of mold. As such, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping indoor humidity "between 30 percent and 50 percent". 

To ensure an optimal humidity level in your home, invest in a humidifier with a built-in humidistat. The humidistat not only monitors the amount of moisture in the air, it also automatically adjusts the moisture output of the humidifier to keep indoor humidity within the ideal range. 

On the other hand, if you already own a humidifier that does not have a built-in humidistat, purchase a separate hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in your home instead. This will tell you if you should adjust the settings on your humidifier. 

Besides that, add an air purifier to your bedroom or office to keep out air pollutants such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. This will not only improve indoor air quality but also minimize allergy symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose. 

7. Take Medication

Medications such as decongestants are great for relieving nasal congestion caused by the flu or allergies. Decongestants come in the form of oral medication or a nasal spray for stuffy noses. Saline sprays are recommended since they help to thin out congested mucus in the nasal passages without adverse side effects. 

If you sneeze, have a runny nose, and/or have itchy, watery eyes, antihistamines can help alleviate these symptoms. Do note that a common side effect of consuming antihistamines is feeling drowsy afterward. 

Decongestants and antihistamines are available over-the-counter at drug stores or in clinics. Always consult the pharmacist or doctor about your symptoms first to ensure you're getting the right medications. 

You can also try essential oils. Rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil on your temples and chest can help alleviate nasal congestion. The relaxing aroma of the oil will also help to calm and soothe your senses. 

8. Try Nasal Irrigation 

Another effective method for relieving stuffy noses is nasal irrigation. It involves using a neti pot to clear thick mucus from congested nasal passages by flushing a saline solution through your nostrils. This will help to moisten your nostrils and improve nasal dryness and congestion. You can buy a neti pot over-the-counter at your nearest pharmacy. 

9. Seek Medical Advice

If the dry skin around or in your nose is still not improving or is accompanied by symptoms like nosebleeds and pain, seek a health professional immediately. 

A dermatologist or doctor will be able to diagnose the exact cause of your dry nostrils by performing tests to determine potential allergens or underlying medical conditions. They are also equipped to provide suitable medications that can help treat your symptoms more effectively. 

10. Practice Good Habits

Making certain lifestyle changes to your daily routine can help combat flaky skin around the nose too. Avoid hot showers or hot water when washing your face. Hot water strips your skin of its natural oils which will worsen the dry patches in the nose area. Opt for lukewarm to warm water instead. 

Besides that, adopt a healthy, antioxidant-rich diet to improve your immune system and boost your skin health, a 2012 study featured in the Dermato-Endocrinology Journal recommends. This, in turn, strengthens your skin barrier and makes it less susceptible to chronic skin conditions. 

Protecting the Skin Around Your Nose

The skin around your nose may be prone to dryness but this can be easily remedied. For instance, if you're feeling under the weather, it's advisable to see a health professional and take medication. This will help to relieve symptoms like the constant nose-blowing that is contributing to the dry skin around your nose.

Also, incorporate the right skincare products into your beauty routine and practice good skincare habits. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet will also help to strengthen your immunity and reduce the risk of chronic skin disorders. 

Words by Antoinette Barnardo

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