The inside of your nose has many tiny blood vessels that allow your nose to detect smells, tastes and sensations. These blood vessels are very easily irritated, which can often lead to nose bleeds. Winter’s cold temperatures and dry air increase the likelihood of getting a nose bleed. However, you can take steps to reduce winter-related nose bleeds and winter habits that can contribute to nose bleeds.
Blow your nose only when necessary. Because cold temperatures can increase mucus flow, you may find that your nose runs more in the winter. However, blowing your nose too often or vigorously can irritate your nasal membranes. When you do blow your nose, do it as gently as possible or dab the nose instead. Use a soft tissue or cloth to prevent damage to the nose area.
Use a humidifier in your home to introduce moisture into the air. Dry winter air can make the blood vessels more susceptible to damage. Clean the humidifier regularly to keep from introducing fungus that thrives in a moist environment into the air.
Apply petroleum jelly to the inside of your nasal passages. This will lock in moisture to your nasal cavity, possibly preventing a nose bleed. Other options include applying an antibiotic cream or saline nasal spray.
Avoid eating spicy foods or hot beverages, which can contribute to bleeding and are often consumed to warm up during the winter. Eating foods you are allergic to, such as milk or wheat, also can inflame your blood vessels, increasing your risk for nose bleeds.
Limit your use of medications inhaled through the nose, such as nasal decongestant sprays that are commonly employed to combat cold and flu symptoms that are prevalent in the winter. Inhaled medications can irritate the nasal lining and cause nose bleeds.
Taking blood thinners can increase the likelihood of getting a nose bleed. Aspirin also has blood-thinning effects, and may increase the severity of your nose bleeds. Seek emergency medical attention if your nose bleeds for more than 20 minutes or if you experience a nose bleed due to a blow to the head.