An extremely dry nose can be very uncomfortable, even painful and embarrassing. When your nose is dry, there's a general lack of moisture inside your nasal passages. That can be caused by environmental conditions, certain medications or a medical condition. You can relieve your dry nose with home remedies, but be sure to consult your doctor if the dryness persists or becomes painful.
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There are several symptoms that can accompany an extremely dry nose. The functions of the nose, such as smelling and cleansing the air before it enters the body, can become impaired. The skin inside the nasal passage can become cracked with painful fissures that bleed. Crusting of skin and mucus on the outside and inside of the nose can also occur. This crusting is prone to bacterial infections that can make your symptoms even worse.
The book “Symptoms, Their Causes & Cures” explains that an extremely dry nose is sometimes the side effect of a medication such as an antihistamine. Although effective for a runny nose, antihistamine sprays and drugs often contain atropine, which can dry out the nasal passage. Environmental factors, such as heat and lack of humidity can also contribute to dryness in the nose. It can also be the symptom of two rare disorders, Sjögren's syndrome and keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
To treat extremely dry nasal passages, you should drink more fluids than normal. "Good hydration is important," explains Dr. Elliot Middleton in the book "Symptoms, Their Causes & Cures.” He says that it is better to rehydrate nose tissues by ingesting more fluids rather than applying something to the nose topically. Over-the-counter saline nasal sprays and running a humidifier or steam vaporizer can also help moisturize the nasal passages. If you are regularly taking an antihistamine, talk to your doctor about whether to discontinue it.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology website, anti-anxiety and depression medications can sometimes contribute to dryness in the nose and throat. Talk to your doctor about switching medications if dryness becomes bothersome. Because a dry nose is especially susceptible to germs, the sufferer should use caution when traveling. Germs and recirculated particles can travel easily during flights and cruises. To minimize the chance of catching a virus, use nasal sprays often and stay well hydrated.
Don't apply petroleum or any kind of moisturizing cream inside the nostrils to soothe your dry nose. The Mayo Clinic warns that small amounts of these substances can be inhaled into the lungs and windpipe. Over time, such accumulation can lead to a dangerous condition called lipoid pneumonia. If you want to lubricate the inside of your nose, use only a water-soluble type, and apply it sparingly. In addition, wait several hours before lying down.
- "Symptoms, Their Causes & Cures"; Prevention Magazine Editors; 1996
- American Academy of Otolaryngology: Fact Sheet: Your Nose, the Guardian of Your Lungs
- MayoClinic: Petroleum Jelly: Safe For a Dry Nose?