A zit is the blocking and build-up of bacteria, oils and dead skin within a pore on the skin. The human body is covered from head to toe in pores, which all have the potential to become blocked or infected.
Often, zits in the nose occur as a direct reaction to irritation within the nasal passage. This may include scratching the inside of the nose, picking the nose or blowing the nose too hard repeatedly. These ways can all introduce bacteria and other debris into the pore itself, resulting in it becoming blocked.
Due to the sensitivity of the area inside the nose, zits here may be more painful than ones in other areas of the body, especially if infected or if the individual attempts to pop the zit.
Although the blocked pore in itself is not considered a problem, an infected pore or ‘popped’ zit can introduce infection into the skin, body and even bloodstream.
The skin is completely covered with pores, most of which contain hair follicles and are open to the air most of the time. These open surface areas create a form of oil called sebaceous oil, which produces sebum. Sebum acts to keep the hair and skin soft, though can sometimes be overactive - especially in young adults and teenagers.
Because these pores are constantly exposed to the air and other elements around them, they are susceptible to becoming blocked for a variety of reasons. This may include the extra sebum produced by the pore itself as well as dead skin cells. As with other parts of the body, the inside of the nose also has pores. Because of this, there is a chance of pores within the nose becoming blocked and forming a zit.
Especially with teenagers and adults that suffer from acne, these zits may be more prevalent and occur more often, as with any other part of the face and body.
As well as natural waste from the body, pores can also become blocked or infected through means other than dead skin or oil. Bacteria that is able to enter and infiltrate the pore can often lead to greater irritation, redness and painful inflammation. These kinds of zits are often a great deal larger, more painful and generally more tender to the touch. Bacteria within the nose can cause other infections such as nasal furuncles and nasal vestibulitis.
Also known as folliculitis, nasal vestibulitis is a condition caused by infection, which leads to the individual having a red, painful and inflamed bump in the zit area as well as several red or white lumps or bumps - this occurs most often at the opening to the nostrils where bacteria can easily access the pores. Staph infections are one of the most common causes of folliculitis but can be prevented with good hygiene and reduced activities such as blowing the nose or touching/picking inside the nostrils.
The other infection that may be present in the nostril in the form of a zit is nasal furuncles. These infections are often deeper within the nose and have the appearance of boils rather than more traditional ‘white head’ zits. Nasal furuncles can be considered a more serious condition, as it can potentially lead to cellulitis. Cellulitis is a serious skin infection that can spread from the surface of the skin into the bloodstream.
Signs of this condition include dimpling of the skin, red, inflamed areas and swelling. In this case, an infected pimple can be deadly. Staph, MRSA and Streptococcus are all infections that may cause cellulitis and can infect the body through a pore or a pimple. MRSA, in particular, is a highly dangerous infection that is resistant to many forms of treatment and can be lethal.
In addition to specific, potentially serious infections, an infected pimple inside the nostril area may also pose extra danger because of the location of a pimple itself. Closely linked to the brain via nerves within the nose itself, it’s possible for the infection to travel directly from the infected nostril zit to the brain.
A rare condition known as cavernous sinus thrombosis is one of the infections that can occur within the nostril, as a result of an infected zit in the nose causing a blood clot to form in the big vein present at the base of the skull. This area is known as the cavernous sinus. It’s important to know the symptoms of this condition and to keep a close eye on you or your child should your zit in the nose become infected.
The treatment required for a zit in the nose may vary according to the cause, severity and otherwise care needed in each particular case. Because there can be many different causes of a zit, it’s important to consider what is the best fit for your particular situation, and what you need to do in order to reduce, remove or otherwise care for a zit in the nose.
For adults or teenagers suffering from overactive oil glands or acne, chronic or otherwise, the advice for treating and managing the care of pimples or zits within the nose will likely be exactly the same as pimples in other areas of the face or body. Though occasionally topical creams or oral medications will be suggested, often not touching, popping or otherwise messing with a spot allows it to run its course and heal itself.
For those who only experience the occasional zit, keeping an eye on a sudden pimple within the nose, especially if painful or uncomfortable, is important to ensure it is not infected. With home care and an amount of time, non-infected spots will reduce and eventually heal, though repeated zits in the same place may indicate the need to change a routine or pay closer attention to the cause, whether it’s due to irritation or otherwise.
For cases where a zit in the nose leads to an infection, the first course of action is to visit a doctor in order to establish the risk level and condition of our infection, and whether it has spread beyond your skin. A doctor will be able to prescribe antibiotics, either as oral medication or as creams or ointments, to manage and control the infection. It’s also important to maintain a good level of hygiene and cleanliness in the area.
For serious, life-threatening infections brought on by a zit in the nose, hospitalization and immediate care may be necessary, which can include surgery and drainage in order to relieve the area and reduce infection.
For painful or inflamed spots that do not require further treatment, home care can provide everything you need for relief and to treat the zit. Taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can reduce swelling, while a warm compress can reduce the pressure caused by an infected or sore pimple.
Popping a pimple is rarely recommended, as it can cause scarring and also give a variety of different infections an easy way to get into the skin through a small, open wound.
The primary way to prevent zits within the nose is to take better care with hygiene, for example never touching the inside of the nose with dirty hands, ensuring the area is kept clean and refraining from picking or scratching the inside of the nose.
Other habits, such as excessively blowing the nose or popping the ears by blowing, may lead to an increased chance of infection. General irritation on the inside of the nose can contribute towards the appearance and seriousness of pimples.
For those who keep getting zits in the nose on a chronic basis, a doctor or dermatologist will be able to advise you on the best way to reduce the likelihood of repeated pimples or infections occurring, which may include a hygiene routine.