Nasal Ulcers: The Common Causes of Nasal Ulceration

The Facts About Nasal Ulcers

Nasal Ulcers

Nasal ulcers typically arise from trauma or irritation caused by rough nose-picking or blowing or the presence of foreign objects in the nostrils. Chronic allergies, acne, and skin conditions such as abscesses or pimples can also lead to nasal sores. This article covers the most common causes of nasal ulceration.

The Causes of Nasal Ulcers


Pimples, medically referred to as comedones, are a common skin condition characterized by small eruptions containing oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. This condition often manifests during puberty due to hormonal changes that increase oil production and cause clogged pores. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to this condition. Symptoms may include blocked pores that appear black or white on the surface or pus-filled blisters surrounded by reddened skin. These outbreaks can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life by causing discomfort, pain, and self-consciousness about their appearance. Effective management of this condition requires medical intervention, with a dermatologist being the most qualified specialist to offer assistance. Diagnosis is made through a physical examination, and treatment may involve modifying one’s diet, maintaining personal and skin hygiene, and employing over-the-counter acne remedies.

Skin Abscess

Skin abscesses are a common occurrence caused by bacterial infections that enter the body through minor cuts or scratches on the skin. Such infections trigger the body’s immune system to fight the infection, but occasionally, a painful, red, swollen bump filled with pus develops. Other accompanying symptoms may include chills, fever, and discomfort. While minor abscesses may heal independently, medical attention is necessary for larger ones, such as draining or lancing by a healthcare provider. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat the infection. Maintaining good hygiene by using clean clothes and towels to avoid future abscesses is essential. It is important to note that an abscess can worsen, spread, and lead to serious health complications if left untreated.

Acne Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic dermatological and ophthalmological condition characterized by redness and breakouts. Acne rosacea, a subtype of this condition, is characterized by pimples. This condition is more common in women and individuals with fair skin and typically affects middle-aged and older adults. The most common symptoms include facial redness, rough skin, pink or red facial bump, nose redness, and raised rash. Treatment for rosacea involves consulting with a primary care physician, who can assess your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan. While this condition has no cure, various treatment options are available, including brimonidine gel, laser therapy, and antibiotics. Diagnostic testing may not always be necessary.

Chronic Allergies

Seasonal allergies, also called adult-onset allergies, are triggered by irritants such as pollen and mold. Typical symptoms include nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, and itchy eyes. While allergies frequently start during childhood, they can arise at any age, mainly if there is a family history of allergies. Relocation to a different geographic location may also instigate allergies in individuals with a genetic predisposition. Moreover, individuals with asthma are more likely to develop adult-onset seasonal allergies.

In some cases, pregnant women may experience symptoms similar to allergies, known as “pregnancy rhinitis,” due to the effect of pregnancy hormones on nasal tissue. Unlike colds, allergies are persistent and can severely impact a person’s quality of life. Allergists can diagnose allergies through skin and blood tests. While no cure for seasonal allergies exists, antihistamines, corticosteroid nasal sprays, and immunotherapy (allergy shots) can effectively manage symptoms and provide relief. Common symptoms include fatigue, irritability, trouble sleeping, runny nose, and congestion.

Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is a condition that occurs when the skin comes into contact with an allergen, resulting in inflammation and irritation. It’s important to note that this reaction is not triggered by consuming the allergen but by physical contact with it. During the first exposure to the substance, the immune system becomes sensitized, and subsequent exposure leads to symptoms. Common causes of this condition include certain metals like nickel, poison ivy, and various types of perfume found in personal care items such as soaps, fabric softeners, and detergents. Symptoms typically manifest as red, itchy, scaly, and flaky skin that may be painful due to inflammation and irritation. Diagnosis involves avoiding contact with suspected substances to determine if the dermatitis clears and, if not conclusive, performing patch testing. Treatment consists of avoiding the allergen and using topical steroid cream as prescribed. To alleviate discomfort, cool compresses and calamine lotion may be helpful.

Relapsing Polychondritis

Relapsing polychondritis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation and damage to the ear and nose cartilage and other bodily structures such as the eyes, tracheobronchial tree, heart valves, kidneys, joints, skin, and blood vessels. If you are experiencing mild symptoms, it is recommended that you seek consultation with your primary care physician or associates like Nephrology & Hypertension Medical Associates. Typically, treatment plans may involve using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids to manage this condition effectively.

Pemphigus (Blistering Disease)

If an individual is experiencing blisters and sores in both their skin and mouth, it is possible that they are affected by Pemphigus, a rare autoimmune disorder. This condition arises when the immune system begins to attack healthy cells. Symptoms of Pemphigus may manifest as nasal ulcers, skin peeling, a hoarse voice, a painful rash, or red or pink rough patches on the skin. Seeking treatment from a primary care physician is highly recommended, particularly with prescription medication such as corticosteroids.

Wegener’s Granulomatosis

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis, previously known as Wegener’s granulomatosis, is a medical condition resulting from the immune system’s dysregulation. This dysregulation causes inflammation in small blood vessels throughout the body, reducing blood flow to vital organs such as the nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and kidneys. The resulting symptoms can vary depending on the affected organs, including fever, fatigue, anorexia, and weight loss. While the condition can potentially be fatal, proper treatment can lead to a full recovery. Treatment typically involves using immunosuppressive medications to manage the disease in the short and long term.

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