When temperatures drop during the winter, you may experience discomfort in the nasal area due to sicknesses like the flu, colds, and sore throat. A dry nose is an illness that you may suffer from during the holiday season, so make sure you are equipped to treat it if you or someone in your family happens to have it.
What is Dry Nose?
Dryness of the nose is a common symptom of extreme environmental conditions, and it can also be a side effect of medications. The nose needs a level of humidity to work properly and for you to be comfortable breathing. Extremely hot or dry conditions, low humidity, and air conditioning can cause dryness of the nose. And when the nose is dry, it can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful.
Some antihistamines, decongestants, and other medications can cause a dry nose. Many individuals who experience dry noses have overdosed on medications like nasal sprays and antihistamines.
A dry nose is rarely a sign of a serious medical condition, but it’s a symptom of Sjogren’s syndrome. This autoimmune disease affects the mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands of the entire body. The inadequate tear flow caused by this disease reduces nasal moisture.
Generally, a dry nose is harmless, but it can cause more bothersome symptoms like itching, scabbing, nose bleeds, burning, and congestion if left untreated.
Treatments for Dry Nose
Here are some effective remedies if you’re experiencing dry nose:
1. Petroleum jelly
Moisturizers like petroleum jelly can be used to soothe dry nose. Use your fingers to add a small dab of petroleum jelly to the lining inside your nose. Not only is it great for keeping your nose moisturized, it’s also cheap, readily available, and can be safely handled in small amounts. Lip balm works too, but you’d probably want to use an unscented and non-tinted one.
When you do use petroleum jelly as a moisturizer, take care of how often you use it and how much you apply. Try not to use this method for prolonged periods and frequently, and avoid using too much at a time. In rare cases, petroleum jelly can make its way to the lungs and trachea, leading to serious lung problems. If you have a pre-existing lung condition, you may want to steer clear of this home remedy.
2. Nasal spray
You can use nasal sprays to wet the nasal passages. Nasal sprays are commonly used for treating allergies, but you can avail of over-the-counter saline sprays to remedy dry nose. Saline nasal sprays help moisturize the nose while cleaning out any dirt, dust, or pollen before it can cause inflammation. It can also help relieve congestion. Saline nasal sprays are also generally mild, so it won’t cause any adverse effects if you use them properly. Always read the label carefully and be sure to follow instructions.
You can also make your own saline solution at home using three teaspoons of non-iodized salt (with no preservatives and anti-caking agents), one teaspoon of baking soda, and one cup of distilled water. Mix the ingredients and pour the solution into a fine-mist spray bottle. Tilt your head forward, breathe in slowly through your nose, and spray the solution once or twice each nostril.
One of the potential reasons you’re suffering from a dry nose is that there isn’t enough humidity in your home or office. Ideal indoor humidity ranges from 30-50 percent, depending on the room’s temperature. Using a humidifier can help increase the humidity in your room, which can offer relief to your nasal passages. Remember to place the humidifier in the center of a room and don’t point it at furniture since excess moisture can cause damage to wooden surfaces and encourage mold growth.
Also, it’s important to note that higher levels of humidity can promote the growth of dust mites and other allergens that can make your dry nose symptoms worse. You can use a hygrometer – a device that measures humidity – so you can decide if and when to use a humidifier.
4. Steam or sauna
Steam is a common home facial treatment that can help relieve dry nose. It’s an easy remedy for people who don’t have access to a humidifier as it can achieve similar results. You can do steam inhalation using a bowl of hot water, having a hot shower or bath, or a sauna.
However, the benefits of steam inhalation won’t last very long. Also, avoid scalding of the skin by making sure the water isn’t extremely hot or boiling.
5. Wet wipes
Prevent dryness and irritation and treat it temporarily with damp wipes or moistened facial tissue. Use it to wipe along the lining of your nostrils. Baby wipes are also a great option because it’s designed to clean sensitive areas without causing over-dryness of the skin.
6. Keeping hydrated
Drinking enough water can help treat a lot of symptoms, and a dry nose is one of them. If your body contains too little water, your tissues can dry out, including the nasal passages. Avoid sugary beverages like soda because it can cause dehydration, which can make your nose dryness worse. It’s best to stick to water to hydrate yourself.
Health authorities in the past recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day, but recent research suggests that it’s best for a person to drink whenever they feel thirsty, except when engaging in intensive exercises.
7. Nasal irrigation
If you’re taking medications to treat your dry nose, you can flush the saline solution through the nostrils using a bulb syringe or a neti pot. This will help remove irritants and cleanse the nasal cavity so your nose can better absorb medications.
You can buy nasal rinses over the counter or online, and make sure you read the packaging carefully and follow the instructions. You can also use a homemade saline solution, as mentioned above.
To use a neti pot or a bulb syringe:
- Draw the saline solution inside.
- Lean over a sink while looking down on the basin. Tilt your head to the left, with your cheek parallel to the sink.
- Place the spout of the syringe or pot just inside your right nostril and breathe normally.
- Gently pour or squeeze half of the saline solution into your right nostril. It must flow out of the other nostril after a while.
- If any solution reaches your mouth, spit it out.
- Blow the nose to clear out any residue.
- Repeat the process on the opposite nostril.