A pimple in the nose can be irritating and painful. Often, it results from a simply blocked pore or an ingrown nose hair. Other times, it can indicate a more severe condition, such as an infection.
In this article, we look at the most common causes of a pimple inside the nose, and we suggest potential treatments and methods of prevention.
An ingrown hair
woman pressing the side of her nose
A pimple inside the nose may be a sign of infection.
Ingrown hairs can occur anywhere on the body. In the nose, they tend to happen when a person attempts to remove nasal hairs by shaving, waxing or using tweezers. Fragments of the hair may sometimes grow back into the skin, causing ingrown hair.
It is common to get a pimple at the site of the ingrown hair. Other signs and symptoms can include:
Often, an ingrown hair will get better without treatment, but a person should consider seeing a doctor for persistent or severe symptoms. A doctor may recommend using a topical ointment for pain or oral antibiotics for infected pimples.
Home remedies can alleviate symptoms of ingrown hair. These include using warm compresses to reduce pain and applying tea tree oil, which is a natural antiseptic. Avoid removing additional nose hairs until symptoms resolve.
Nasal vestibulitis is an infection in a nasal vestibule, the front part of the nasal cavity. It typically results from:
picking the nose
excessively blowing the nose
having a nose piercing
The bacteria Staphylococcus (staph) cause the infection, which leads to the formation of red or white bumps inside the nose. The infection also causes:
Other potential causes of nasal vestibulitis include:
a viral infection, such as herpes simplex
a persistent runny nose, which can result from allergies
upper respiratory infections
Research from 2015 suggests that people taking targeted therapy drugs for some cancers may have a higher risk of developing nasal vestibulitis.
Mild cases of nasal vestibulitis may get better with a topical antibiotic cream, such as bacitracin. More severe infections, which cause boils, may require both topical and oral antibiotic treatments.
Applying a hot compress several times daily may help drain the boil. On rare occasions, a doctor may need to surgically drain it.