I thought acne was something that I'd outgrow, like knowing all the lyrics to Evanescence's first album or a tendency to succumb to ennui. But many years later, all of those things are still here—and it turns out at least one of them can be explained. You can get acne at pretty much any age, and acne is the most common skin condition in America. This is all to say, I've had enough experience with breakouts that I know what to do when a pimple pops up (yay?), but there's one kind of pimple that still baffles me—the pimple that appears inside the nose.
Face and body breakouts can occur due to a variety of factors, including, hormones, stress, and not washing your face before you go to bed. Pimples inside the nose are a completely different beast, explains Jeffrey Fromowitz, MD, FAAD, a Florida-based board-certified dermatologist.
"These are typically from bacteria that colonize the nostrils and in many cases can be caused by staphylococcus aureus," says Dr. Fromowitz. So the acne that can show up inside your nose is more likely to be a pustule or cyst than a whitehead or blackhead. (Here's a refresher on the different types of acne.) This bacteria often gets into your nose from nose-picking with dirty hands or grooming with dirty tweezers or clippers.
While nose pimples aren't as visibly noticeable as, say, a pimple on your forehead, they can be far more painful. Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, says that's because the inside of the nose has "more nerve endings and more sensitive skin." Plus, since these bumps are often caused by infection, they tend to be more tender.
When you're dealing with a particularly painful pimple, your first instinct might be to pop it and get rid of it. But, Dr. Fromowitz says to never pop them, as that can increase the risk of bacterial infection. Instead, the docs recommend using topical antibiotics or acids to clear up a nose pimple. And since bacterial infections inside the nose can be commonly mistaken for a run-of-the-mill pimple, Dr. Gohara also recommends seeing your dermatologist to rule out an infection.
Topical products to treat pimples inside nose
This CareAll ointment contains bacitracin, a topical antibiotic, and zinc, which helps to decrease inflammation.
Learn more about treating acne in not-so-common spots:
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