Situated just inside each nostril, the Nasal Vestibule is lined with skin and contains numerous hair follicles. Designed to prevent foreign substances from entering the body via the nasal passages, small hairs grow from these follicles. If a hair follicle becomes blocked, however, Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis can occur.
This is a type of infection which affects the inside of the nose, although patients may experience symptoms which affect the skin on the outer nose as well. Although Nasal Vestibular infections can be caused in other ways, Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis is primarily caused by the clogging of local hair follicles and their subsequent infection with Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria.
Although Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis may only cause a relatively small pimple to appear, it can be a surprisingly painful condition. Patients normally report a significant amount of pain and discomfort when they have this type of infection, perhaps because of its sensitive location.
Whilst Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis usually causes a pimple, boil or lump to appear inside the Nasal Vestibule, some patients may notice a pimple or boil on the outer skin of their nose also. This is typically when the infection has been caused by something other than a clogged hair follicle or when the infection has spread to other parts of the nose.
As well as becoming red and inflamed, the skin can show signs of dermatitis when Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis is present. Dry and flaky skin in or on the nose is not uncommon and patients may experience itching in the affected area as a result of this skin problem.
Depending on the size of the infection, individuals may have trouble breathing through the affected nostril when they have an infection affecting the Nasal Vestibule. Similarly, the nose may feel warm to the touch, depending on exactly what part of the nose is affected by the infection and how severe it is.
It’s easy for hair follicles on any part of the skin to become blocked or clogged, and this can lead to infection. When a hair follicle within the Nasal Vestibule becomes clogged, it is easy for bacteria to build up and Furunculosis can develop. Various things can give rise to this type of infection, such as:
When people breathe in, they inhale various particles. If an individual inhales pollen or dust, for example, it can irritate the lining of their nose. If a particle becomes trapped in a hair follicle, the follicle will become blocked and bacteria may be able to enter it. When this happens, an infection can form. People with rhinosinusitis may commonly react to these particles and this can make them more likely to develop Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis.
If an individual attempts to trim, pluck or cut the hair in their nostrils, it can increase the chances of Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis occurring. As well as introducing bacteria into the affected area, individuals may damage or cause trauma to the hair follicles, which could make it easier for bacteria to enter them.
Alternatively, Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis may develop as a result of existing health problems. If an individual has a virus or infection, for example, it may cause them to have a runny or blocked nose. The additional mucus and bacteria present can increase the risk of a hair follicle becoming blocked, and this could lead to Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis developing as a secondary infection.
When treatment is commenced, the aim is to reduce the patient’s symptoms, resolve the infection and prevent it from spreading to other areas. If Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis is confirmed by a doctor, the patient will usually be prescribed oral antibiotics. Generally, these work well and the patient’s symptoms should begin to resolve within a few days. However, the condition may recur if the patient does not complete the full course of treatment.
If the patient’s infection does not respond to oral antibiotics or their symptoms persist, additional treatment may be required. In such cases, topical antibiotics may be applied to the Nasal Vestibule. When applying the topical ointment, however, patients should ensure they do not touch the nasal cavity as this could cause the infection to spread further. Instead, patients will be shown how to apply the medication using a cotton swab or similar device.
In severe cases, Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis can spread to other areas and more serious infections can occur. Facial Cellulitis could occur as a result of Furunculosis, for example, particularly if treatment is delayed. If the patient’s infection has spread, treatment with intravenous antibiotics may be warranted.
As the infection is caused by Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria, individuals should avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has an infection caused by this type of bacteria. Similarly, patients should be sure to wash their hands after being in a public space. Touching handrails and door handles, for example, may result in patient’s picking up bacteria on their hands and this could be spread to other parts of their body.
Patients should also avoid touching their nose if they want to prevent germs and bacteria from entering the Nasal Vestibular. Every time an individual touches their face or nose, they introduce bacteria to the area and this can easily cause hair follicles to become blocked. If individuals avoid touching their face, nose and mouth, they can reduce the risk of infections, such as Nasal Vestibular Furunculosis and prevent them from occurring.