A bump inside the nose, or a lump inside the nose, will often take the form of a pimple, a benign growth, or sometimes a bug bite.
Maybe you noticed the bump while blowing your nose, or maybe you just touched your nose and something didn’t feel right.
Needless to say, a bump inside the nose that won’t go away is an annoyance that can also be quite painful, and it can definitely be difficult to see.
Bumps on the inside of the nose tend to be more sensitive than bumps or pimples on other areas of the body. You might even see a black or white bump inside the nose while looking in the mirror.
Understandably, you might think that this strange bump is something serious, but it’s important not to worry. A bump inside the nose can be a minor issue, or it may be a sign of an infection in nostril.
Causes of a Bump inside the Nose
A painful bump inside the nose can be a sign of acne. It’s a condition that affects the hair follicles in your pores. Your pores contain sebaceous glands, which produce an oil known as sebum, which helps soften your hair and skin. However, an overproduction of keratin can block skin pores with extra dead skin cells or oil; this often occurs during adolescence or at other times when hormones fluctuate.
Excess sebum causes the glands to harden, and therefore a pimple appears on the skin. Although pimples or bumps are often found on the face or other visible areas of the skin, the bumps can show up inside the nose as well. Other triggers of acne include emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies, poor diet, food sensitivities, poor digestion, and candida or yeast overgrowth.
Acne is not the only cause, though. The following are other potential causes of a lump inside the nostril:
- Folliculitis: Bacteria can also get inside the pores, which can cause irritation, inflammation, and redness that make the bump tender and painful, and can lead to infections such as folliculitis, or nasal vestibulitis. It can cause one or more red or white bumps usually found inside the nostril opening. The most common cause of folliculitis is the Staphylococcus bacteria. Frequent picking or blowing the nose can cause or aggravate the condition.
- Nasal furuncles: Another bacterial infection that can cause a bump inside the nose is called nasal furuncles. These are deeper infections, or boils, that show up inside the nose. Nasal furuncles are considered serious since they can cause cellulitis, which is a skin infection that can spread to the bloodstream. Sometimes cellulitis can lead to death, if the bacterium responsible is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
- Nasal polyps: Nasal polyps, or a bump inside the nose’s cartilage, are another common cause of a painful bump inside the nose. They form as a result of chronic inflammation of the nose’s mucous membrane.
- Excessive nose picking: Remember when your mother told you not to pick your nose? Maybe she was on to something. Excessively picking your nose can also cause a bump in the nose from damaging the hair follicles and introducing bacteria. Damaged follicles make it easy for bacteria to cause a possible infection.
- Squeezing the bumps: It’s not a good idea to squeeze the bump inside your nose. While it’s true that a bump inside your nose hurts, squeezing it will aggravate the infection and increase the likelihood that it will spread deeper inside the nose.
- Cavernous sinus thrombosis: It’s rare, but sometimes a bump inside the nose is indicative of a dangerous condition called cavernous sinus thrombosis. This condition forms when an infected furuncle in the nose creates a blood clot in a large vein located at the base of your skull, or the cavernous sinus.
Identifying a Bump inside the Nose
Other symptoms can accompany a bump inside the nose. The bump will mostly cause slight swelling and pain, and it will generally clear up within a few days. But the nose can increase in size and become painful; the pain may even be throbbing or pulsing. Infected bumps inside the nose may also trigger headaches, fatigue, fever, and malaise, depending on the cause.
- Folliculitis: This can produce itchy or burning skin, and pus-filled blisters that will break and crust over.
- Nasal polyps: These can produce congestion, itchy eyes, snoring, headaches, a nasal discharge, and a reduced sense of taste and smell. Large polyps are also thought to affect your breathing.
- Cavernous sinus thrombosis: Other symptoms include uneven pupils, drowsiness, bulging eyes, headaches or pain, a very high fever, and vision problems such as double vision or eye pain.
What to Do if You Have a Bump inside Your Nose
It’s important to remember that most of the time the bump inside your nose is just a pimple that will clear up over time, especially when you get the right treatment. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also help relieve pain inside the nose. You will also benefit from applying a moist and warm compress to your nose for 15 to 20 minutes three times daily. This will help decrease the pain associated with a lump in your nose.
What if the painful bump inside your nose keeps coming back and won’t go away? Your doctor may recommend topical antibiotics that include mupirocin, bacitracin, and fusidic acid, and also other antibiotics like cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, and macrolides. Sometimes your nose acne will form an abscess, in which case surgery may be required to drain the pus.
Diagnosing a Bump inside the Nose
To diagnose the painful bump inside your nose, your doctor will likely ask you a series of questions to help identify the cause of that annoying little lump. The doctor will want to know about any changes in the bump after it first showed up, and you’ll also need to tell them about any additional symptoms, such as pus or blood oozing from the pimple. Your doctor may also conduct certain tests, which may include:
- Imaging exams such as computed tomography scans or magnetic resonance imaging of the head to help determine possible signs of a sinus infection.
- A sample of the pimple fluid may also help determine the type of bacteria in the bump.
Treating a Bump inside the Nose
There are also various natural remedies and treatments for a bump inside your nose.
1. Focus on Diet
A poor diet can contribute to pimples and bumps inside the nose. A high insulin level can increase skin inflammation, so maintaining a low glycemic diet, including meats and non-starchy vegetables such as cabbage or broccoli can help. It’s also a good idea to detect any food sensitivities; this can be done with a meridian stress assessment test, bio-meridian testing, or bio-analysis with bio-energetic testing.
2. Essential Fatty Acids
A solid mixture of essential fatty acids in the diet can go a long way toward reducing skin inflammation and improving acne and the bump inside your nose. A diet rich in omega-3s may include ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil, and fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Studies have also found that omega-3 supplementation may improve acne symptoms.
3. ACES + Zinc
ACES + zinc is an antioxidant formula which contains vitamins A, C, and E, plus selenium and zinc. All of these are great for skin health and general immune function. Vitamin A in particular is known to reduce sebum production, and zinc is also considered one of the best minerals for acne. Also, vitamin E enhances the beneficial effects of vitamin A and selenium.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Some studies have found that tea tree oil significantly improves the severity of acne when compared to benzoyl peroxide. When compared to the other groups, tea tree oil users experienced fewer side effects including less itching, redness, burning, and dryness.
Homeopathy can also be useful for skin health; however, it’s best to consult with a homeopath to determine the most appropriate remedy for the cause of the bump inside your nose. Some remedies for folliculitis include graphites, sulphur, lachesis, hepar sulphuris, and arsenicum. Other remedies for pimples include silicea, pulsatilla, ledum palustre, and calcarea sulphurica.
6. Burdock Root
Burdock root is a natural detoxifier and blood purifier that helps improve chronic skin conditions like acne. Burdock root contains antibiotic and antifungal properties that help fight bacteria and fungi that contribute to acne and bumps inside the nose. It’s recommended to take burdock root in tea form, or as 30 drops of the tincture, or in capsule form, 300 to 500 milligrams three times daily.
7. Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto contains a combination of plant sterols, fatty acids, flavonoids, and polysaccharides that boost the immune system and block excessive dihydrotestosterone to the sebaceous glands. An increase in the number of sebaceous glands will create greater opportunities for pimples or bumps inside the nose.
Oral or topical antibiotics for skin conditions such as acne will destroy the good bacteria in the digestive tract, so a high-quality probiotic supplement can help replenish them. Aside from supplements, consuming probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, miso, kimchi, and kombucha can also help.
9. Coconut Oil
A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science in 2014 found that the capric acid and lauric acid content of in coconut oil demonstrated antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects against acne. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to include coconut oil in the diet to help treat a bump inside the nose.
10. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root is considered a natural detoxifier for your kidneys and liver, helping to remove toxins and waste from the body that can lead to skin issues such as acne. Try a cup of dandelion tea three times per day.
11. Other Remedies for a Bump inside the Nose
Other natural remedies that can treat a bump inside the nose due to acne or folliculitis include brewer’s yeast, neem, aloe vera, garlic, turmeric, oil of oregano, witch hazel, passionflower, milk thistle, colloidal silver, vitamin B6, chromium, natural progesterone cream, chamomile, vitex, and super greens such as chlorella and spirulina.
Preventing a Bump inside the Nose
There are also a number of things you can do to prevent the formation of pimples inside your nose.
- Maintaining personal hygiene: You can prevent irritating the bump inside your nose by avoiding picking, touching, or blowing the nose too hard, or too often.
- Avoiding caffeine: Coffee and caffeinated products can aggravate skin conditions such as acne. Replace caffeinated beverages with herbal teas.
- Limiting meat intake: Meat consumption should be limited, but if you’re going to eat meat, then it should be organic and free of hormones and antibiotics.
- Increase water consumption: Drinking lots of water can help flush toxins from the body. Drink an eight-ounce glass of water every two hours during the day. Aim for eight to 10 glasses total per day.
- Light exercise: Emotional stress can trigger pimples inside your nose. Taking time for light exercise can reduce stress and prevent outbreaks. Stress-reducing exercises include yoga, meditation, qigong, and tai chi, or simply going for a walk, but doing so somewhere calm like a forest or a nature conservation area.
Complications of a Bump inside the Nose
The complications associated with a bump inside your nose depend on the cause of the problem. For example, recurrent sinus infections are a common complication of nasal polyps, as is sleep apnea and even the deformity of the facial structure. Although rare, there are also certain complications linked with folliculitis, such as:
- Boils, a group of boils, or recurrent boils;
- The spread of the infection to surrounding hair follicles;
- Large and itchy patches of skin;
- Permanent hair loss; and
When to See the Doctor
If you have a bump inside your nose that won’t go away, gets worse, or could lead to a serious condition like cavernous sinus thrombosis, it’s time to see your doctor. If you have the following symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately:
- Difficulty seeing, double vision, or eye pain
- A painful, red, and swelling rash, along with a fever
- Uneven pupils and bulging eyes
- Drowsiness and dizziness
Sources for Today’s Article:
Balch, J., et al., Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet, Nutrition, Supplements, and Other Holistic Methods (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004), 11–16.
Rakel, D., et al., Integrative Medicine: Third Edition (Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders, 2012), 678–679.
Huang, W.C., et al., “Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Capric Acid Against Propioniberterium Acnes: A Comparative Study with Lauric Acid,” Journal of Dermatological Science, 2014; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24284257.
Paula, E., “Bump on the inside of the Nose,” Livestrong web site, last updated Aug. 16, 2013.; http://www.livestrong.com/article/301854-bump-on-the-inside-of-the-nose/, last accessed April 14, 2016.