Inflammation in the nose – causes, treatment

Inflammation in the nose

Inflammation in the nose can have various causes. Since the nose is an organ with sensitive mucous membranes, such inflammation can be extremely painful and greatly affect the patient. The causes of a nose disease should always be clarified.

What is nasal inflammation?

In most cases, an inflammation in the nose is a rhinitis , also simply called a cold. Colds often occur during the cold season and are caused by a variety of viruses .

These viruses attack the mucous membrane of the nose , it becomes inflamed and secretes secretions, which is noticeable in increased nasal discharge. But not only pathogens can be responsible for this, allergies can also be responsible for an inflamed nasal mucosa.

In addition, inflammation in the nose can also be caused by a nasal furuncle . Such a nasal furuncle usually occurs as a result of purulent hair follicle inflammation . This is a bacterial infection of a hair root in the nose.


The causes of inflammation in the nose depend on the symptoms. Viruses or allergy-causing substances are responsible for a nasal infection caused by a cold.

The viruses are mostly so-called rhinoviruses, which cause inflammation of the nasal mucosa. But certain influenza viruses ( flu viruses ) can also trigger a cold. If the inflammation is caused by an allergy, it is often hay fever or a pollen allergy that triggers the symptoms.

If the patient suffers from a nasal furuncle, the cause is often a purulent inflammation of the hair follicle. At first there is only a small pustule directly around the hair, which can be painful. Such a pustule is often mistaken for a harmless pimple. If this inflammation then penetrates deeper into the tissue, an extremely painful nasal furuncle develops, triggered by staphylococci .

The following applies to all diseases with inflammation in the nose: the drier the nasal mucosa, the more susceptible it becomes.

diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & History

The doctor makes the exact diagnosis of inflammation in the nose based on the patient’s reports and also performs physical examinations. If the nasal inflammation is accompanied by increased nasal discharge, rhinitis or an allergy must be expected. Both forms of the disease are very similar and therefore difficult to distinguish. If there is uncertainty, only an allergy test can bring clarity.

A simple cold usually disappears after a week, if the symptoms are caused by an allergy, they persist as long as the affected person is in contact with the allergen.

An optical examination is sufficient to diagnose a nasal furuncle. The symptoms are very clear, so the doctor can diagnose this inflammation in the nose with the naked eye. A nasal furuncle sounds quite harmless, but should be taken very seriously in any case. If the inflammation spreads further in the body, it can lead to serious complications that can be fatal.


If it is a nasal entrance eczema, changes in the skin in the form of reddening of the skin, itching and crusting can occur, sometimes with a chronic course.

Painful redness and swelling at the tip of the nose can occur as nasal folliculitis progresses . Inflammation of the nasal mucosa ( rhinitis ) can spread to the paranasal sinuses and their mucous membranes if treatment is delayed . Then the stage of a rhinosinusitis has occurred. This expansion can lead to a chronic course.

If nasal furuncles, which can result from inflamed hair follicles, but also often from rhinitis or rhinosinusitis, are not treated in time, they can become very painful and lead to purulent secretion. Inflammatory involvement of the underlying cartilage cannot be ruled out either. Systematic and life-threatening meningitis and venous thrombosis in the brain can also occur. In order to prevent these serious complications as far as possible, the cause must be precisely clarified and treated. Regardless of the cause, it can even lead to a so-called superinfection with bacteriacome. Such a bacterial infection as a complication in the further course can be assumed if the condition lasts longer than 14 days.

If an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses is associated with skin involvement, the surrounding skin can be permanently infiltrated and damaged.

When should you go to the doctor?

The extent to which a doctor’s visit is necessary depends on the cause of the inflammation. Many adults have already experienced symptoms of the disease and can assess the chances of a speedy recovery. There are people who suffer from an unpleasant but mostly non-threatening cold and runny nose several times a year and are symptom-free again after a week.

With such a cold (rhinitis acuta), the doctor may be able to relieve symptoms, but hardly influence the duration of the illness, so that many prefer treatment with proven home remedies. For all other inflammations in the nose, a doctor should be consulted for diagnosis and therapy. A nasal furuncle, for example, requires treatment as quickly as possible. This is usually caused by an inflamed hair follicle in the nose. Even the pulling out of a nose hair – not uncommonly done by men – and a subsequent infection can cause a nasal furuncle.

Due to the networking of the vascular systems between the face and the brain, the pus pathogens in the nose can lead to serious secondary diseases. To prevent this, the doctor can prescribe effective medication. Most are antibiotics. With appropriate therapeutic measures, a nasal furuncle heals in most cases within a short time without consequences. Even people who are critical of antibiotics should in any case consult a doctor in the event of an infection with pus in the nose (possibly hidden from the medical layperson), possibly also an emergency practice, and until then not additionally pressure the tissue , rubbing or similar burden.

Treatment & Therapy

If the doctor has diagnosed a nasal furuncle in the inflammation in the nose, he will usually prescribe an antibiotic . This is to prevent the pathogen from spreading further in the body. The antibiotic is prescribed once orally in tablet form and additionally as an ointment, which is applied directly to the affected area. Particularly high doses of antibiotics are required to combat staphylococci. In serious cases, antibiotics are also given by infusion because they can have a stronger effect.

During treatment, care should be taken to ensure that the pathogens are not spread further. Therefore, the patient should not touch the affected area as much as possible and also move the upper lip little – this means speaking little and only eating food that has to be chewed little or not at all.

Treating a cold, on the other hand, is much easier. A cold caused by viruses can be alleviated by decongestant nose drops . Inhalations also help very well to alleviate the symptoms. If the cause of the cold is an allergy, special medication for allergy sufferers can help. This is available in the form of special nose drops and also in tablet form.

↳ Further information: Home remedies for colds

Outlook & Forecast

Inflammation in the nose is a very unpleasant matter. As a rule, however, it is a simple cold that should go away on its own within a week at the latest. However, if there is a bacterial infection in the nose, the course is not so easy to predict. Under certain circumstances, such an infection can result in a severe inflammation that even produces pus sputum. In such a case, drug treatment must be resorted to urgently, otherwise there is a risk that the inflammation in the nasal mucous membranes or in the whole body will continue to develop.

The formation of eczema is also possible. However, eczema must be surgically removed. Otherwise there is a risk of serious consequential damage. If an inflammation is not treated accordingly, there is even a risk of blood poisoning . For this reason, a doctor should be consulted at the first sign of a significant deterioration.

With the right treatment and the associated medication, such an inflammation in the nose should heal within a very short time. Therefore, anyone who suffers from an inflammation in the nose should seek appropriate treatment. Otherwise there is a risk of an unexpected course of the disease, which involves many risks.


There is no such thing as 100% prevention for any of these causes of nasal inflammation. In order to reduce the risk of rhinitis, certain hygiene measures are indicated, especially during the cold season. This includes washing hands frequently and thoroughly.

To prevent a nasal furuncle, good hygiene is also an advantage. Daily facial cleansing and regular towel changes prevent such inflammation. An allergy, on the other hand, can hardly be prevented, it is impossible not to come into contact with pollen.

You can do that yourself

Various measures help to relieve inflammation in the nose. A heat treatment , for example with a red light lamp , makes sense . Adequate fluid intake is also important. Herbal teas with peppermint , chamomile or thyme are recommended . A lot of liquid causes a thin discharge.

Steam inhalations with a chamomile concentrate, dried chamomile blossoms or sea salt can also be helpful . One tablespoon of sea salt is used in one liter of hot water. Steam inhalations with essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree or chamomile oil also have an anti-inflammatory effect . Ointments with eucalyptus oil are also suitable for inhalation.

Rinsing the nose with a physiological saline solution can also help against inflammation in the nose . The rinses moisten the mucous membranes and counteract the thickening of the nasal secretions.

In addition, cold curd pads placed on the cheeks and/or forehead are often helpful. In the acute phase of inflammation, they relieve the pressure symptoms. Warm pads are recommended later, for example a washcloth soaked in warm lemon water. Moist breathing air is also recommended. For example, damp cloths can be hung over the heater.

It is important to blow your nose properly. One-sided snorting makes sense. One nostril is closed and blown out through the other nostril. This prevents nasal mucus from getting stuck in the entrances to the paranasal sinuses.

Lisa Newlon
 | Website

Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.