What causes a pimple in the nose What causes a pimple in the nose

What causes a pimple in the nose?


Blocked pores or ingrown nose hairs are common causes of pimples in the nose, but they can also be a sign of a more severe infection. Pay attention to any changes in the area and contact a medical professional if necessary.

Having a pimple in the nose can cause discomfort and distress.

This article explores the potential causes of pimples inside the nose and provides tips on how to treat them and prevent them from appearing in the future.


An ingrown hair

Ingrown hairs can occur anywhere on the body. They tend to happen in the nose when someone attempts to remove nasal hairs by shaving, waxing, or using tweezers. Fragments of the hair may sometimes grow back into the skin, causing an ingrown hair.

In addition to a pimple, other signs and symptoms of an ingrown hair may include:

  • Skin irritation

  • Itchiness

  • Discomfort

  • Sensitivity

An ingrown hair may clear up independently, but a doctor should be consulted if symptoms persist or become severe. The doctor may suggest a topical ointment for pain relief or antibiotics to treat an infection.

Warm compresses and tea tree oil - an antiseptic - can ease the discomfort associated with ingrown hairs. It is important to avoid plucking any more nose hairs until symptoms have cleared up.

Nasal vestibulitis

Nasal vestibulitis is an infection that affects the front area of the nasal cavity, known as the nasal vestibule. This infection is typically caused by:

  • Engaging in nose-picking

  • Excessively clearing the nasal passages by blowing the nose

  • Having a pierced nose

Staphylococcus bacteria can cause infection in the nasal cavity, resulting in red or white bumps within the nose. This infection can also lead to:

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Irritation

  • Inflammation

Possible causes of nasal vestibulitis include:

  • A viral infection like herpes simplex

  • Persistent nasal congestion often caused by allergies

  • Upper respiratory infections

Those receiving targeted therapy drugs for certain types of cancers may be at an increased risk of developing nasal vestibulitis.

For mild cases of nasal vestibulitis, a topical antibiotic cream such as bacitracin can be used to help the symptoms improve. However, when the infection is more severe and causes boils, topical and oral antibiotics may be used to treat it.

One should consider applying a hot compress daily to drain the boil. Sometimes, a medical professional may need to intervene and drain the boil surgically.

Nasal furuncles

Boils that form deep inside the nose are known as nasal furuncles. This condition is cause for concern because it can lead to cellulitis, a dangerous skin infection that can spread to other body parts. If left untreated, cellulitis can be life-threatening.

The following symptoms characterise Cellulitis:

  • Chills

  • Swelling

  • Red streaks on the skin

  • Skin dimpling

  • Fever

The following infections can cause cellulitis:

  • Staphylococcus bacteria

  • Streptococcus bacteria

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

People are typically prescribed 10 days or more of oral antibiotics to treat cellulitis. Additionally, rest and medications to reduce discomfort can be beneficial in aiding recovery.


Systemic lupus erythematosus, also referred to as lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disorder. The immune system of a person suffering from this condition mistakenly attacks their healthy tissues, leading to pain, inflammation, and damage to different body parts.

This illness predominantly impacts women; most cases are within the 15-44 age range.

Apart from sores inside the nose that may range from a few days to a month, people with lupus may experience more severe symptoms, such as:

  • Confusion

  • Memory loss

  • Muscles aches

  • Unexplained fever

  • Persistent dry eyes

  • Shortness of breath

  • Hair loss

  • Headache

  • Red rashes, often on the face

  • Joint pain or swelling

  • Chest pain

  • Fatigue

Although lupus cannot be cured, its symptoms can be managed with various treatments. These treatments can help people with lupus to live an average life span. Treatment options include:

  • Medications for malaria prevention

  • Corticosteroid medications

  • Immunosuppressant drugs

  • Biological therapies

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

When to see a doctor

If a pimple in the nose grows larger or becomes more painful, it is essential to see a doctor. Medical attention should be sought immediately if any of the following symptoms accompany the pimple:

  • Confusion

  • Fever

  • Red, swollen, and painful rash

  • Changes in vision, such as seeing double

  • Pupils that are of different sizes

  • Dizziness

Nasal furuncles, commonly known as pimples in the nose, can rarely lead to a dangerous condition called cavernous sinus thrombosis. It can involve clot formation inside the cavernous sinus vein at the skull's base. This can be a serious complication of nasal furuncles.

Blood clots in the cavernous sinus can cause the following symptoms:

  • Headache

  • High fever

  • Eye pain

  • Bulging eyes

  • Pupils are different sizes

  • Feeling sleepy

  • Difficulty seeing, including double vision

To identify the source of the pimple, a doctor will enquire about the patient's symptoms and inspect the area visually. If the doctor suspects an infection, they may suggest an MRI, CT scan or a blood test to confirm their diagnosis.

Is it safe to pop a pimple?

It is best to leave a pimple alone and let it heal independently. However, if the pimple is causing significant discomfort, it is best to consult a doctor who can drain it safely and with minimal risk of infection. Picking at a pimple can increase the risk of a bacterial infection, so it should be avoided.

Home remedies

Several home remedies can reduce the discomfort associated with nose pimples. These include:

Basic hygiene and skin care

Refrain from putting your finger in your nose, which can increase the likelihood of clogged pores or bacterial infections. Furthermore, it may result in scars if you already have pimples.

Refrain from blowing the nose too hard, as this may spread any existing infection and can potentially worsen pain and discomfort.

To reduce the risk of transmission of nasal vestibulitis, it is important to avoid sharing towels with other people.

Warm compress

Apply a moist compress to the affected area to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with a pimple inside the nose. Do this up to three times daily for 20 minutes until the pimple disappears.

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers

Over-the-counter pain medications that may help in the case of a pimple or skin infection in the nose include:

  • Naproxen sodium (Aleve)

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

  • Ibuprofen (Advil)

Topical antiseptics

Pain relief may be found in topical antiseptic ointments and oils, which can be purchased over the counter. A doctor or pharmacist can guide the best remedy for the individual's needs.

Natural antiseptics such as tea tree oil can be used to treat wounds. When applying it inside the nose, it should always be diluted with coconut or carrier oil. Never use essential oils in their undiluted form on the delicate nasal lining.


To decrease the chances of getting a pimple in the nose, a person should:

  • Preventing nose-picking

  • Moderating nose blowing, avoiding excessive force or frequency

  • Thoroughly washing hands before and after contact with the nose and face

  • Exercising caution when trimming nose hairs, employing clean tools and hands

  • Managing stress effectively, as it can weaken the immune system and impede healing.


Pimples in the nose can range from being a minor nuisance to a sign of a more serious health condition. They may cause pain and discomfort, but often, they are harmless and will go away without treatment. In some cases, however, they may be a sign of a more severe problem and should be checked out by a doctor.

If a pimple on the nose grows larger or becomes more painful, or if other symptoms accompany it, it is advised to seek medical help. This could be due to ingrown hairs, infections, or lupus.

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