Bump On Nose

A bump on the nose can appear quite suddenly and can be caused by a number of different things. This article looks at the most common causes of a bump on the nose and how they can be treated.

Bump on nose – common symptoms

The nose is made up of four main parts.

The nostrils are the gateway to the nasal cavity. The nostrils are separated by the nasal septum. The septum is made up of very thin bone at one end and thick cartilage at the other, giving the tip of the nose its mobility. The final area of the nose is the nasal cavity. The nasal cavity connects with the throat and is kept separate from the mouth by the palate. The relationship between the nose and mouth is the reason why taste and scent are so intrinsically interlinked.

If you have suffered trauma to your nose, the bump that forms is most likely to be a direct reaction to this.

However, a bump on the nose that appears suddenly and for no apparent reason is usually accompanied by a number of other symptoms, including:

  • Pain in or around the nostril
  • Swelling or inflammation of the area around the bump
  • Redness of the nose
  • Tenderness around the nose
  • A foreign sensation around the bump on the nose

Causes of a bump on the nose

Common reasons for the sudden appearance of a bump on the nose can be broadly categorized as follows:

Bacterial or fungal causes

A very common cause of a bump on the nose are bacterial or fungal triggers.

The inner surface of the nose is covered with hair follicles that can sometimes become blocked. The blockage can allow bacteria to grow in the blocked follicle. Bacterial or fungal growth causes irritation to the surrounding tissues, resulting in redness, pain, and swelling inside the nose, which eventually presents as a painful bump on the outside of the nose.

Acne is a common trigger for this kind of bump on the nose.

Medical conditions

A number of medical conditions can cause a bump on the nose to form.

Boils sometimes form inside the nostril opening, eventually swelling to cause painful lumps on the outside of the nostril. Other growths such as painless polyps can develop inside the nose, ultimately causing a bump on the nose to appear.

Sometimes, allergies can cause a bump on the nose.


Trauma to the nose can cause self-inflicted irritation and infection.

Common minor trauma includes tweezing hair from the inside of the nostrils and picking the nose. More serious trauma caused by force or accident can inflict damage on the delicate tissues of the nose, leading to swelling and the formation of bumps.

Bump on nose – warts

Warts are a common cause of a bump appearing on the side of the nose. Warts are non-malignant, contagious skin growths that are caused by a virus that affects the top layer of the dermis.

Symptoms of warts include a non-tender bump on the nose, a skin-colored or scaly nose bump.

There are a number of non-prescription remedies that are effective in the treatment of warts, including cryotherapy (freezing) and salicylic acid. However, in children, many warts resolve by themselves, without the need for treatment.

Bump on nose - Dermatofibroma

Dermatofibroma (superficial benign fibrous histiocytoma) most commonly affects women, although it is quite a rare condition. The cause of dermatofibroma is currently unknown.

The condition presents as a small bump on the nose that can grow to the size of a pea or a marble. The bump may be skin-colored or slightly reddened. The lumps are not generally painful or irritating; their main issue for patients is that they can be unsightly.

Unless the lesion changes color, texture, or size, it will not require medical attention. However, if you would like to have the bump removed, a skin specialist can freeze, burn, or cut it off.

Bump on nose – skin cyst

An epidermoid cyst is a common cause of a bump on the nose. The bump is caused by the formation of a closed sac underneath the skin, which is filled with an oily, cheese-like material. Epidermoid cysts are usually caused by surgery or minor trauma.

Epidermoid cysts present as a skin-colored nose bumps that can grow to be the size of a marble, appearing anywhere on the outside of the nose.

Skin cysts are totally benign and require no medical treatment. However, if the cyst changes in appearance, you should consult your doctor. If the cyst is particularly unsightly and you would like it removed, a dermatologist will be able to cut it out for you.

Bump on nose – infection/pimple

Pimples and infected hair follicles are a common cause of bumps on the nose.

The area will be painful and reddened, and pus may be visible under the skin surface.

You can treat these kinds of bumps yourself at home. Apply a warm, damp compress to the area to soften the skin and draw the infection to the surface. Over a few days, the pimple will rupture and drain by itself. During this time, you should apply a topical antiseptic cream to the bump, leaving it open to the air so that the skin dries out and heals.

Do not squeeze the bump, as this could cause a secondary skin infection to occur and result in scarring.

Bump on nose – basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer, which commonly affects the nose. This condition is usually caused by spending too much time in the sun or on tanning beds, especially during your youth. Basal cell carcinoma often does not appear until many years after the initial damage to your skin has occurred.

Fortunately, basal cell cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer if caught early. Although the cancer does not generally spread from the skin to other parts of the body, it can move into nearby bone or other subcutaneous tissues.

Basal cell carcinoma usually starts off as a small, shiny bump on the nose or other areas on the face. The tumor often grows in the shape of a pink, black, or brown dome that has tiny blood vessels running through it. Initially, the bump may be pearly in color and can be mistaken for a small mole or pimple. There may be shiny, scaly patches on the bump or waxy, hard skin. These tumors also bleed very easily if touched.

There are a number of possible treatments for basal cell cancer bump on the nose, including:

  • Excision (cutting it out)
  • Curettage and desiccation (scraping it away then cauterizing the site)
  • Cryosurgery (freezing the cancer cells with liquid nitrogen)
  • Radiation therapy using x-rays
  • Mohs surgery (gradual removal of the tumor layer by layer)
  • Topical drug therapy with fluorouracil or imiquimod over a number of weeks

If you think you may have a cancerous tumor on your nose, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Take aways:

  • A bump on the nose is not usually serious and does not usually require further medical attention, unless for cosmetic reasons.
  • If the bump on your nose fits the symptoms of basal cell carcinoma as described above, consult your doctor immediately.