respiratory health

Crusts in the Nose of I.Randi


Scab formation in the nose is a rather annoying phenomenon, sometimes associated with pain, which can affect several people.

In detail, the crusts in the nose can form as a result of pathological conditions of various kinds, as they may appear following factors of a non pathological nature.

However, regardless of the type of cause that lurks at the origin of the disorder, the crusts of the nose are generally very unpleasant to patients, since they can hinder and make even the simplest operations painful and difficult, such as blowing the nose or even breathing .

Please note

In this article we will consider the causes and possible remedies of the crusts that can form inside the nose, therefore, on the nasal mucosa; while the crusts that can form on the outside of the nasal cavities, and therefore on the skin of the nose, will not be taken into consideration.

What are

What are Crusts in the Nose?

The scabs in the nose are not considered as a disease or as a pathological condition, but as a symptom or as a consequence of irritative and / or inflammatory processes that occur against the nasal mucosa, compromising its functioning. The nasal mucosa, in fact, is highly vascularized and consists of a mucus-secreting epithelium whose task consists in maintaining the right degree of humidity of the same mucous membranes and in eliminating any foreign bodies (for example, dust) and pathogens from the air that is inspired by the breaths. However, when the nasal mucosa undergoes inflammation and irritation, it can become excessively dry, failing its functions.


What are the Causes of Crust Formation in the Nose?

The scabs in the nose are caused substantially by disorders or insults against the nasal mucosa.

More in detail, in most cases, the scabs in the nose are the direct consequence of a marked nasal dryness originating from inflammatory and / or irritative processes. These processes, in turn, can be triggered by:

Allergic disorders

Among the first causes that can favor the appearance of the symptom in question we find allergic disorders affecting the airways and mucous membranes of the nose in particular, such as allergic rhinitis.

Allergic rhinitis is a disease characterized by inflammation and irritation of the nasal mucosa that occur following exposure to certain allergenic substances (such as pollen, mites, dandruff and animal hair, etc.).

In truth, there are several forms of allergic rhinitis (mild, moderate-severe, intermittent or persistent), but all are able to cause dryness of the mucous membranes which can lead to the formation of scabs in the nose (for more information: Allergic Rhinitis).

Chronic Non-Allergic Rhinitis

A typical example of chronic non-allergic rhinitis capable of causing the appearance of scabs in the nose is represented by ozena, better known as chronic atrophic rhinitis . It is a particular type of rhinitis that is characterized by an atrophy of the nasal mucosa that tends to thin out by altering its functionality.

One of the main symptoms of chronic atrophic rhinitis is the formation of scabs in the nose which is associated with the perception of a bad smell. In detail the crusts in the nose that form in the presence of ozena are yellow-greenish or brown, can be bloody, or covered with pus and the perception of the bad smell is due precisely to their presence (for further information on: Ozena ).


Even infections that affect the airways can cause dry mucosa and scab formation in the nose. The infections that can give rise to this symptom are really many and can have both bacterial and viral nature, just think, for example, of the infections sustained by Herpes simplex virus (nasal herpes) or the infections sustained by staphylococci (nasal vestibulitis).

Dry rhinitis

Dried rhinitis is a particular type of atrophic rhinitis in which the mucus-secreting structures no longer produce the mucus necessary to maintain the right degree of humidity inside the nasal cavities. For this reason, the dryness of the mucous membranes is considerable and leads to the appearance of scabs in the nose.

This particular form of rhinitis is mainly caused by environmental causes such as:

  • Dry climate (an excessively dry climate, in fact, whether hot or cold, can contribute to irritating and drying the nasal mucous membranes);
  • Air conditioning and excessive heating (very high or very low temperatures inside your home, at work, in the car or in public transport - in the long run - can cause dryness of the mucous membranes and subsequent formation of scabs in the nose);
  • Pollution and smog ;
  • Cigarette smoke ;
  • Excessively dusty work areas (continuous inhalation of dust can greatly irritate the delicate nasal mucous membranes which can then dry out and give rise to the formation of scabs in the nose).

At the same time, dry rhinitis can also be the consequence of improper or excessive use (abuse) of drugs for local use, especially of nasal decongestant drugs, but also of corticosteroid drugs or antibiotics .

Did you know that ...

The nasal decongestants commonly used to uncork the nose, when used excessively and for prolonged periods of time, can give rise to a paradoxical effect for which there is a worsening of the condition of nasal congestion, associated with dryness of the mucous membranes and, precisely, the appearance of dry rhinitis and scabs in the nose. For this reason, similar drugs should be used only for short periods of time and only in cases of real need.

Associated symptoms

Symptoms Associated with the Presence of Crusts in the Nose

Although the scabs in the nose represent the consequence of diseases, disorders or environmental factors of different nature, their presence in the nasal cavity can give rise to further symptoms, such as pain, itching and difficulty breathing . Symptoms which, in turn, can cause sleep disturbances and can negatively affect the quality of life of the patient.

Furthermore, depending on the cause that gave rise to the scabs in the nose, many other symptoms could also appear, such as, for example:

  • Sneezing;
  • runny nose;
  • Cough;
  • Itchy throat;
  • Headache;
  • Epistaxis (or nose bleed, if you prefer);
  • Asthenia;
  • Increased tearing and burning eyes (these are symptoms that occur especially in the presence of allergic disorders).

Care and Treatment

Treatment and treatment of scabs in the nose

Since the scabs in the nose are the symptom of disorders and diseases affecting the airways, or the consequence of exposure to certain environmental factors, it is clear why their treatment cannot be separated from the cure and elimination of the triggering cause .

In the case of crusts caused by environmental factors, the removal of these factors is the first step towards recovery; while in the presence of pathological causes it may be necessary to intervene through the use of appropriate therapies and specific drugs (for example, antihistamines and / or corticosteroid drugs for allergic rhinitis, antibiotics for bacterial infections, etc.).

In addition to the care or removal of the triggering cause, it is also possible to intervene with palliative treatments useful for restoring the normal physiological conditions of the nasal mucosa. For example, in the presence of chronic atrophic rhinitis, it is usually recommended to perform nasal washes with saline solutions . For the treatment of crusts in the nose induced by dry rhinitis, however, in many cases, the use of specific creams or gels based on hyaluronic acid with a high molecular weight (molecule with moisturizing properties) to be applied directly on the mucosa was useful. nasal.

However, the treatment of the scabs in the nose and the causes that originated them must be established by the doctor after a careful diagnosis ; while the use of DIY therapies should be avoided under any circumstances. In fact, before embarking on any type of treatment and / or before taking any type of medicine, it is always good to ask for the consultation of the aforementioned health figure, in order to identify precisely which cause gave rise to the disorder and, consequently, in so as to undertake a correct and specific therapeutic approach.

Please note

In order to facilitate its resolution and avoid the appearance of complications, the scabs in the nose should not be removed, grated or manipulated with the hands. This practice, in fact - in addition to favoring the onset of any bleeding and prolonging healing time even a long time - could favor the appearance of possible superinfections, with worsening of the dryness condition and with the further appearance of scabs in the nose .