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Dry Nose in the Winter

author image Susan Stopper
Susan Stopper is a freelance writer with 10 years of experience writing about health, nutrition, travel, parenting and business. Her work has appeared in "H2O" and "MetroKids" magazines. Prior to freelancing, she worked as a health services coordinator and in communications for a restaurant chain known for its healthy options. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Syracuse University.
Dry Nose in the Winter
Man blowing his nose with a blanket wrapped around him Photo Credit: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images

With the cold of winter often comes a whole host of physical irritations, including a dry nose. If you find yourself suffering with a dry nose as the weather turns cold, there are things you can do to find relief.

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The inside lining of your nose is more likely to become dry when the air is low in humidity or when you are suffering from a cold, allergies or sinusitis, according to the National Institutes of Health. Because chilly weather often brings with it viruses and indoor heaters pumping hot, dry air, many people suffer from a dry nose during winter.


Along with a feeling of dryness inside your nose, the lining of your nose may feel irritated and more sensitive. A dry nose may also lead to nosebleeds.


Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier or vaporizer can help relieve a dry nose. You can add an extra layer of clothing and turn your heat down a few degrees or place bowls of water near your heaters to add moisture to the air as well. An over-the-counter saline nasal spray or a water-soluble lubricant applied to the inside of your nose can also help. But it is best to use lubricants sparingly and not within several hours of lying down.

When to See a Doctor

While nosebleeds can often be a harmless result of a dry nose, if you are experiencing frequent nosebleeds, consult your doctor. According to the National Institutes of Health, frequent nosebleeds may be a sign of high blood pressure, a bleeding disorder or a nasal or sinus tumor.


People with a dry nose often use petroleum jelly. Though generally considered safe, a study published in the "Journal of General Internal Medicine" entitled "Not Your Typical Pneumonia: A Case of Exogenous Lipoid Pneumonia" explains that prolonged inhalation of petroleum jelly, in rare cases, can cause lipoid pneumonia, a serious inflammation of the lungs. This condition can cause cough, chest pain, shortness of breath or no symptoms at all. The treatment for lipoid pneumonia is generally just to discontinue using the petroleum jelly.

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