Painful sores in the nose can be uncomfortable, but they are usually nothing to worry about. Rarely, however, these sores can signal an underlying health issue.
This article looks at health issues that lead to sores in the nose, the treatments available, and when to see a doctor.
Sores or ulcers can develop on the skin within the nose, and if a person can see them, they may resemble little pimples or scabs. They might be red, white, or yellow.
Any number of factors can damage or irritate the skin inside the nose, causing these sores. While they are often painful or uncomfortable, they are usually no cause for concern.
In some cases, however, a sore inside the nose can indicate an underlying health problem.
Below, learn about the minor and more serious issues that can result in nasal sores — and other symptoms to look out for.
Sores in the nose commonly develop in response to trauma — a scratch inside the nose, for example — especially if an infection develops.
Picking the nose can irritate or break the skin, leading to sores, and inhaling drugs through the nose can have the same effect. Nose sores and scabs can also develop from more significant injuries, such as from a fall or a blow to the face.
When nose sores stem from trauma, a person may also experience pain and swelling in the area.
Various infections can cause sores inside the nose. Among them are nasal vestibulitis, a common bacterial infection.
Picking the nose, plucking nose hair, or blowing the nose excessively can expose the body to the bacteria that cause nasal vestibulitis, as can nose piercings.
The symptoms may include pain, swelling, and tenderness in the area.
In addition, the bacterial infection tuberculosis (TB) can form sores or ulcers inside the nose.
The bacteria responsible for TB can spread through the air. Some people with the infection have no symptoms, while others experience:
- a persistent cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- chest pain
- coughing up blood or phlegm from deep within the lungs
- extreme tiredness
- a loss of appetite
- chills, sometimes with a fever
- night sweats
Lupus is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation and pain. Some people develop sores or ulcers in the mouth and nose from time to time.
Everyone with lupus experiences different symptoms, and they can develop anywhere on the body. The symptoms might include:
- extreme tiredness
- painful, swollen joints
- swollen hands and feet
- swelling around the eyes
- chest pain
- sensitivity to sunlight
- sensitivity to fluorescent light
Vasculitis is a term that refers to inflammation in the blood vessels. It keeps the blood from effectively delivering oxygen and nutrients, and it can develop in any of the body’s blood vessels.
The symptoms depend on the location of the inflamed blood vessels, but when those in the face are affected, vasculitis can cause sores to form in the nose or mouth.
People may also experience:
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- a fever
- a loss of appetite and weight loss
- a headache
In rare cases, a sore inside the nose that does not go away stems from paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer.
Other symptoms can include:
- a persistent stuffy nose
- a persistent runny nose
- sinus infections that keep returning or do not get better
- sinus pain
- face, eye, or ear pain
- swelling in the face
- teary eyes
- vision loss
- tooth pain or numbness
- tooth loss.