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What Makes Your Nose Itch?

by
author image Melissa McNamara
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.
What Makes Your Nose Itch?
Allergies are often to blame for an itchy nose. Photo Credit B2M Productions/Photodisc/Getty Images

An itchy nose is often caused by allergies or a common cold. According to MayoClinic.com, having a family history of asthma or allergies can increase your risk of developing allergic reactions. Knowing what triggers your itchy nose is the best way of preventing and treating the condition.

Cause

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, some common allergens that can cause an itchy nose are pollen, mold, animal dander and dust. Airborne allergens are most likely to cause an itchy nose since these allergens are directly inhaled through the nostrils. The body's immune system identifies allergens as foreign bodies and begins releasing histamines to fight off the problematic stimuli.

Identification

An itchy nose is only one symptom of allergies and the common cold. Allergies and a cold may also cause itchy eyes, itchy throat and a runny or stuffy nose. In some cases, hives, rashes, itchiness and redness may develop on the skin.

Treatment

A nasal lavage can be used to cleanse excess mucus from the nose. Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine is also effective at reducing an allergic reaction. According to New York Allergy and Sinus Centers, antihistamines block histamine which prevents the allergic reaction from occurring. If dust or mold is the cause, be sure to thoroughly cleanse your house top-to-bottom. A damp rag or mop can be used to minimize dust in the home. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, use a mix of water and chlorine to kill mold. If the itchy nose is caused by a common cold virus, treatment is usually unneeded since colds need to run their course.

Prevention

Antihistamines are even more effective at preventing an allergic reaction than they are at treating an allergy after the symptoms are already present, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. If you suffer seasonal allergies, such as pollen, avoid being outdoors on warm, dry, windy days. Animal dander can be minimized in your home by not owning pets, frequently bathing your pet or using an air filter. If you are searching for a pet, look for pets that are hypoallergenic, such as the dog breeds Maltese or Poodle. Frequent hand-washing is the key to preventing the common cold.

Considerations

Keep a record of the times your nose is itchy and what you were doing when the itching began. This can help you pinpoint the cause. If you're unsure, a doctor can do a skin test where small amounts of allergens are applied to the skin to see which allergen causes a reaction. In any case where an allergic reaction causes difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention.

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