Every time you have a cold, do you find the area around your nose going dry? Do you have oily skin but the skin near your nose tends to peel? Or, is your nose and surrounding areas especially sensitive to the sun?
While those of you who come under dry skin type must have faced the problem of dry skin around the nose as well, do you know that the cause for this could be something else? From the amount of water you drink to lack of sunscreen, we tell you all about this problematic nose area and how to take care of it.
What Expert Says
“The combination of excess sebum oil production and dead skin cells is the primary reason for dry and flaky skin around your nose. Niacinamide preparations are helpful in treating dryness.”
Dr Harish Koutam, Chief Dermatologist, SkinKraft
9-Causes Of Dry Skin Around The Nose
The medical name for dry skin on the face is known as xerosis. There are several reasons why you could have dry skin in the area around your nose. We have listed a few causes below.
1. Hot Water And Long Showers
If you live in a cold place or a place with harsh winters, you might feel like taking a long, hot shower. But, that is one of the reasons why your skin can get drier and the area around the nose can start to flake. Even if you wash your face too often, the skin around your nose can dry out.
If you don’t drink enough water, your skin doesn’t get enough moisture from within and gets dehydrated. This can also lead to dry skin around the nose and mouth. 
3. The Weather
The weather is a major factor as cold, dry air and harsh winters can cause dry skin all over the face, especially around the nose and mouth. This dryness gets more pronounced if you are not using adequate skin protection such as moisturisers and nourishing serums.
4. Your Skin Type
Dry skin around the nose can occur even on combination skin, though people with dry skin are more prone to this condition. If you have a T-zone, with some parts of your skin dry and some oily, the area around the nose can get dry.
5. Skin Conditions
Those who have skin problems like atopic dermatitis,  rosacea  or psoriasis  may experience dry skin around the nose. People with rosacea usually experience this problem as the condition causes dryness around the area of the nose and cheeks.
Seborrheic dermatitis  is also a common condition where the skin is mostly oily, but there are dry patches of flaky skin on the corners of the nose, behind the ears, around the eyebrows and the scalp. It is caused by the presence of malassezia yeast  on the skin.
6. Excess Sebum Oil Production
If you are experiencing flaky skin around the nose, it could be because of extra sebum oil production on your skin. Our chief dermatologist Dr. Harish Koutam says, “The combination of excess sebum oil production and dead skin cells is the primary reason for dry and flaky skin around your nose. Niacinamide preparations are helpful in treating dryness.”
7. Age Factor
As you age, the skin tends to lose moisture and also becomes thinner. In fact, 80% of older people complain about winter-itch due to skin dryness. The loss of oil glands is responsible for this condition. It can be a contributing factor to dry and flaky skin around the nose.
8. UV Rays
The effect of the UV rays on exposed parts of the skin can cause sunburn and skin peeling. The eyes can be covered with sunglasses, but the nose usually stays exposed to the sun. This can cause dry skin on the nose and the surrounding areas.
When you have a cold and constantly blow into a tissue, it can lead to the peeling of skin around your nose. Rubbing or wiping the nose with rough handkerchiefs can irritate the surrounding areas too. When an allergy makes you sneeze or gives you a runny nose, the same problem occurs.
How To Treat Dry Skin?
1. Use The Right Products
Try and opt for products that are suited to your skin and have ingredients like glycerine or hyaluronic acid. Use a moisturiser for dry skin ; apply it after you wash your face, while the skin is still damp. It will protect your skin’s natural moisture from drying out. Do this twice a day.
If you are using a medicated ointment, opt for the cream version instead of the lotion as the creams being thicker, can work sooner on repairing the dry skin around the nose. Just like the moisturiser, apply it on slightly damp skin.
Chemical-rich skincare products or harsh cleansers can cause dry skin to form around the nose. Some products like certain soaps may actually deplete your skin of its natural oils and moisture. For dry skin around the nose and elsewhere on the face, it is best to use hypoallergenic products and gentle cleansers. Till the problem is resolved, use cleansers only once a day.
2. Use A Nasal Spray For Allergies/Cold
If you have a cold or an allergy that gives you a runny nose, causing dry skin around the nose, While anti-allergy or medication for cold can still give you a blocked nose, a nasal spray or inhaler will help decongest your nose and you won’t feel the urge to blow it often.
3. Invest In A Humidifier
If you live in a place where the humidity is low and the air is dry, keep a humidifier at home. It will keep the air inside moist which will help reduce symptoms of cold or allergies and prevent your sinuses from drying out. It will also protect the skin from being extra dry and chapped.
4. Stay Hydrated
Drink more water than you normally do as this will hydrate your skin from within. Studies have shown that drinking adequate amounts of water can prevent drying of the skin, especially in sensitive areas around the nose.
5. Change Your Diet
Consume foods that are rich in omega 3 and antioxidants - fish like mackerel and salmon; antioxidant rich foods including green tea, dark chocolate and turmeric. This will keep dry skin at bay in the long run.
6. Take Extra Care In Winter
Besides using adequate skin protection products like sunscreen and moisturiser, it is also important to wear a scarf or a large hat to protect your skin in winter. This is to prevent windburn, where the cold air can cause the skin around the nose and mouth to dry out.
7. Use Sunscreen
8. Non-comedogenic Make-Up
If you have a condition like rosacea, you should look for hypoallergenic products that work best on sensitive skin. For make-up, use products that are non-comedogenic or those that will not block your pores, as the nose area is most vulnerable to blackheads.
9. Natural Remedies
For additional care during winter, or when the skin is very dry, you can also opt for home remedies such as applying extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil, shea butter and jojoba oil around the nose. The emollients in these oils are natural moisturisers that can repair dry and flaky skin around the nose.
Word of Caution:
If you have seborrheic dermatitis, it is best to consult your dermatologist on the medication and diet you should follow. Certain foods can make the condition worse so your doctor can advise you on your diet and topical creams to use.
When To See A Doctor?
You should consult your dermatologist when:
- There is a change in the colour or texture of the skin around the nose area.
- If the skin feels stretched or it hurts to touch.
- The skin is dry despite regularly using moisturisers and other remedies.
- The skin is getting drier and the problem seems to worsen.
- There is any kind of suspicious growth like a mole.
How Long Does It Take To Heal Dry Skin Around The Nose?
If you are using the right products, and the dry skin is not due to an underlying, more serious issue, your skin’s condition should improve in a week to ten days. If the problem is chronic, it might take longer.
Tips To Prevent Dry Skin Around The Nose
- If you are spending time near reflective surfaces such as water, snow or ice, you need to apply sunscreen with a higher SPF.
- Some medications like those prescribed for acne can make your skin more sensitive to the sun; so ensure you use sunscreen.
- If you wear your sunglasses for long hours, or have prescription glasses, make sure you clean them so that they don’t block pores around the nose and mouth.
- If you are using a humidifier, try and keep it in the centre of the room, and not too close to furniture.
- If the dry skin stretches beyond the area around your nose, opt for a cream based blush instead of a powder one.
- Use a facial mist to spray your face at regular intervals to keep your make-up looking fresh.
- If you want to apply make-up over dry and flaky skin, avoid using face powder. This can dry out your skin further.
- No matter how cold it may be, avoid taking showers that stretch over 10-15 minutes. Keep them as brief as possible and make sure the water is not too hot either. Lukewarm or slightly hot water will prevent the skin from getting drier.
- Dry skin may cause itching and you might feel like exfoliating to scrub the dry skin off. Avoid doing this frequently. As and when you do exfoliate, use a gentle scrub and always protect your skin with the right moisturiser and sunscreen afterwards.
If you have dry skin around your nose and the problem doesn’t seem to go away, keep your skin hydrated with the right moisturiser and drink enough water. That will protect it from further damage. If the problem persists, consult a dermatologist as it could be a symptom of a deeper, more serious problem.
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