Reddening or redness around the nose skin alone or on the face has many causes. Read through to get the main causes as well as how you can manage this problem.
To get an idea of what this condition is, consider what someone posted on medhelp.org:
Hi, well like 2-3 years ago I developed a rash around both sides of my nose, not on the nose itself, but around it. After a few months, it just...disappeared. Well about 2 months ago, it came back, but this time it won’t go away, it gets dry and starts to get flaky/crusty. Sometimes it's really bad, sometimes it's barely noticeable. [medhelp.org]
As you scroll down to find out why you have a red rash around your nose. We have described various signs of the conditions responsible for redness such as perioral dermatitis. So what are these causes?
1. Rosacea around nose (veins, papules, and swelling)
What is rosacea? “Rosacea is a long-term skin condition characterized by facial redness, small and superficial dilated blood vessels on facial skin, papules, pustules, and swelling.” [wikipedia.org]
Symptoms typical of this disorder include
- Facial flushing or blushing i.e. one feels or experiences warmth and reddening in skin which occurs rapidly or frequently,
- Redness on nose and sides of nose including the front cheeks which can worsen or become severe
- Formation of red bumps and swollen nose or nostrils
- Sometimes rosacea is characteristic of small cystic bumps
- Thick skin on forehead
- Sometimes individuals get red, dry itchy eyes
These symptoms may cause a flare up or improve during the various periods of occurrence.
The bumps, which develop, are usually small and this could be due to flushing. Flushing itself can worsen or aggravate rosacea or make possibly make reddening permanent. Other triggering issues to look into include:
- Spicy foods
- Alcoholic drinks and beverages
- Infestation of facial mites
- Intestinal infections among other health factors
This condition is generally bothersome and does affect individuals psychologically.
2. Perioral dermatitis
Perioral dermatitis is categorized under inflammatory eczema whose tendency of occurrence is around the mouth or lips. Even though, it may spread to areas under eyes and sides of the nose. It is typical of redness or red bumps, which appears scaly especially in severity.
What causes perioral dermatitis? Its cause remains unknown but according to research by dermatological organizations, this condition is triggered by the following reasons:
- Long-term use of topical steroid creams, nasal sprays, and corticosteroids
- Certain facial cosmetics with petrolatum or paraffin as ingredients
- Some toothpastes
- Some infections caused by fungi and bacteria could also trigger perioral dermatitis
NOTE: although it can affect anyone of any age and race or ethnicity, its occurrence is reportedly high in young women including teens.
Symptoms of perioral dermatitis
The more common signs of perioral dermatitis are red rash around the mouth.
- Red bump rash on sides of nose, crease, under nose, eyes, on chin and forehead
- In severity, the rash appears scaly
- Burning sensation and itching
According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, recurrence of perioral dermatitis may turn into rosacea. In this case, a differential diagnosis is required for a more successful treatment. Read on to find out how treatments help deal with perioral dermatitis.
3. Seborrheic dermatitis - redness and flaking around nose
Apart from perioral dermatitis, seborrheic eczema can also occur around the nose.
Characterized by scaling and redness, seborrheic dermatitis can occur on the face, around nose crease, forehead, around eyes and on the scalp. According to rosacea.org, “it can look like powdery or greasy scales on the face and other parts of the body and have a burning sensation,” just like perioral dermatitis. However, unlike perioral dermatitis, this disorder is chronic but is not contagious.
If you have a red dry flaky skin around nose see your dermatologist ASAP. In most cases, severe dry red skin requires the diagnosis before any treatment in order to determine the possible cause - prognosis.
Acne can be aggravated by P. acnes bacteria. After it feeds on excess sebum in pores, these bacteria species leaves inflammatory waste products. These wastes, which comprise dead skin cells and sebum, are responsible for formation of pustules
If you just had your nose pierced, what you should expect is pain and slight swelling that may be accompanied by redness. Sometimes bleeding does occur. This is temporary and should get better every other day with proper aftercare. Notably, the reddening tends to be more noticeable in people who have a fair skin or sensitive skin. Moreover, if the piercing was not done correctly, these symptoms would more likely get worse.
On the other hand, if you practice a poor nose piercing aftercare or simply ignore your piercer’s instructions infection could occur. Now, reddening, swelling, and persisting pain are considered infection symptoms in most cases. See your piercer if bleeding and irritation seems not to go away.
6. CPAP mask
Patients who have sleep apnea or acne and use this equipment are likely to suffer redness especially around the areas where the mask edges meet face.
Now, an ill-fitting mask due to over tightening of the mask straps is one major problem that will lead to redness. The problem can be solved by either getting an alternative treatment or talking to your healthcare professional who can provide solutions to problems arising from the use of CPAP. You can also try to adjust the pads and straps so that you ease much pressure on the face.
However, if the facial skin starts to develop sores or shows signs or paths of discoloration see a healthcare provider urgently.
- Vascular effects of drug abuse
- Facial spider veins and broken capillaries
IMPORTANT: Some viral infections such as red cheek syndrome are very dangerous so if you develop or you get red nose and cheeks at a go, you should see your doctor to get a differential diagnosis.
Red nose treatment
Treating cases of facial redness sometimes require professional expertise since some skin conditions need to be diagnosed. We have a brief discussion on highlighting methods to cure common problems affecting nose skin. Keep in mind that some may not be surely treatable.
1. Treatment options for dermatitis - seborrheic & perioral
Without attempts to cure dermatitis, the symptoms can go on for months or years. Let us now focus on methods of treating dermatitis. These options can improve the condition while avoiding the triggers where possible.
2. Topical antibacterial medications
Prescription antibacterial creams help relieve of symptoms. Dermatologists may prefer oral drugs. Antibacterial creams used for seborrheic dermatitis include Prescription Zinc Pyrithione cream, Sudocream and Nystatin creams.
Prior to treatment for perioral dermatitis, it is recommended to stop application of topical steroid creams, hydrocortisone, facial creams and nasal sprays. This applies if you have red skin around nose or rash symptomatic of perioral dermatitis.
3. Rosacea treatment
Redness around nose due to rosacea is not treatable but depending on the severity or subtypes the symptoms of this condition can be dealt with easily. Even though, the signs and symptoms vary from one person to another. This means that before treatments rosacea may necessitate a differential diagnosis.
4. Antibiotic therapy and treatments
They include prescription antibiotics to tackle the red bumps and pustules due to rosacea. They include oral antibiotics (prescription) such as Isotretinoin.
Antibacterial creams applied on to the skin include Brimonidine Tartrate.
Essential oils and vitamins including A, E, and C have shown improvement of symptoms in some patients. Below are some natural remedies which can considerably be alternatives to medical treatments.
1. Colloidal oatmeal mask
It is a beneficial remedy for individuals who have facial redness such as eczema. In addition to reducing redness, colloidal oatmeal has the moisturizing ability and anti-inflammatory property.
To prepare yours, you need a glass of pure colloidal oatmeal. Simply mix a few teaspoonful oatmeal with little water to make a mask. Apply and let dry. Repeat up to 4 times every other week and do not give it up.
2. Chamomile, green tea, and peppermint
Chamomile and green tea comprise a healing diet. According to health research, “polyphenols in green tea have skin cell rejuvenating properties,” [mindbodygreen.com]. This is beneficiary of those drinking green tea and peppermint tea.
However, drinking tea may not be for anyone. It, therefore, implies that you will not benefit if you have allergy issues with green tea.
Green tea can provide relief, especially for rosacea patients.
Other common remedies to try out include applying apple cider vinegar, grapefruit seed extracts and raw honey.
Due to the fact that some conditions are incurable, an attempt to create awareness and adopt safety measures through behavior change is step-up to avoiding suffering too much. Here are some good measures:
- Avoid medications that can worsen the conditions or whatever causes reddening of the skin. They include progesterone (only pills that worsen acne in women), steroid creams and corticosteroids.
- Avoid picking and rubbing especially facial areas affected by red rash or pustules.
- Products which cause irritation in the skin should be avoided by patients who have rosacea. Examples are alcohol, methanol, exfoliating creams, facial scrubs and other harsh products.
- Stop taking spicy and foods with too much salt
- Applying concealers. The effects are temporary as far as getting rid of facial redness concerned but they will hide the redness. One drawback in using concealers is that if it happens that you select the wrong ones some may actually worsen symptoms.
In summary, redness around and under the nose is quite common as we have seen and it can be due to various conditions as discussed. With little or no measures to prevent skin from drying, the redness whether symptomatic of rash or acne ‘pimples’ can get worse. Dealing with facial redness holistically cannot rely on a single approach or treatment.
- Rosacea, Gary W. Cole, MD, William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR (ed.), http://www.medicinenet.com/rosacea/page4.htm
- Perioral Dermatitis, American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, http://www.aocd.org/?page=PerioralDermatitis
- Classification of Rosacea, Report of the National Rosacea Society Expert Committee on the Classification and Staging of Rosacea, April 2002, https://www.rosacea.org/class/classysystem.php
- Rosacea, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosacea
- Rosacea – Treatment, NHS Choices, http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Rosacea/Pages/Treatment.aspx, accessed on 19th October 2016.