How to Keep Your Nose From Drying on a Plane

Man in the aircraft is drinking water
A man is drinking water on an airplane. (Image: pojoslaw/iStock/Getty Images)

Along with wrinkled clothes and jet lag, a dry nose is an expected side effect of traveling by plane. But a dry nose, which is caused by low humidity levels inside the airplane, is more than just a nuisance, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology; nasal dryness increases your risk of picking of germs from your fellow passengers. Fortunately, there are simple ways to add moisture to your nose while in the air that will prevent irritation and other complications.

Step 1

Speak with your doctor or pharmacist before your flight to determine if any of your current medications may contribute to nasal dryness. You may be able to lower your dose or switch to a similar medication, at least temporarily. Do not change medications without your doctor's supervision.

Step 2

Skip alcohol and coffee while waiting for your flight. Alcohol and coffee worsen dehydration by acting as diuretics, which in turn increases nasal dryness. Choose water or juice if you grab a bite to eat before boarding or need something to drink while killing time before departure.

Step 3

Drink water before, during and after your flight to prevent dehydration. If your body runs low on fluids, your skin and mucus membranes will dry out, which results in nose dryness. You'll have to drink more water than usual to counteract the low humidity on the plane.

Step 4

Try a saline nose spray to moisturize the inside of your nose and make yourself more comfortable. Just make sure you choose a saline product that does not contain unnecessary chemicals, and pack a closed bottle that's small enough to get through security.

Step 5

Carry a washcloth in your carry-on bag in case you start feeling some dryness and discomfort on your flight. Dampen the cloth with very warm or hot water, fold it up and place it over your nose. The cloth will act like a humidifier as you breath in through your nose, and the warm dampness will soothe any sore, dry skin around the outside of your nose.

Things You'll Need

  • Saline nose spray

  • Washcloth

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