what are scabs in the nose?


The inside of the nose consists of sensitive tissue. The slightest influences from the inhaled air, viruses, but especially irritation by picking can fastly lead to damage to the mucous membrane and blood vessels. This might results in scabs in the nose. Once crusts in the nose arise, this leads to picking in the nose which causes an increasment of the crusts. And so the circle is complete, making it difficult to get rid of it. The nasal crusts usually consist of dried mucus, skin cells and dirty particles. Occasionally crusts contain dried blood, for example, after a nosebleed (epistaxis)

KNO Medisch Centrum scabs in the nose

what causes scabs in the nose?



A common cause of crusts in the nose is inflammation. Think of a cold, which can lead to irritation and then crusts in the nose. Inflammation of the hair follicles, which are present in the front of the nose, can also become irritated and infected by bacteria, especially by picking in the nose. Inflammation can occur, resulting in a crust in the nose.


Itching in the nose is often caused by allergens that enter the nose through the inhaled air. This leads to scratching and rubbing, which at their turn lead to mucosal damage and crusts in the nose.


After surgery of the nose or the sinuses, you may have crusts in your nose. In most cases, this problem resolves on its ow. Frequently nasal rinsing isused to speed up recovery. It is quite common that you experience crusts after an operation.

Nose picking

The most common cause of crusts in the nose is nose picking. Often a habit or an unconscious act at the time of boredom.

Irritants and medication

The mucous membranes in the nose can be irritated by smoking or prolonged exposure to irritating fumes. But increasingly, scabs in the nose are also caused by drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin, which are inhaled through the nose. Just like smoking, this causes constriction of the blood vessels, often small wounds, and subsequently also scabs in the nose.

Incorrect or prolonged use of certain nasal sprays can also irritate the inner lining of the nose and thus lead to scabs.

What to do about scabs in the nose?


Usually scabs in the nose are good and easy to treat. Of course, the most obvious treatment is to stop the side effects of the drugs that damage the nose; so stop picking, smoking and using anything that can damage the lining of the nose. A simple way to speed up this healing process is to use an nasal ointment. Rinsing with salt water (NaCl solution) and humidifying the air in the house can also have a positive effect. If this does not help against the scabs in the nose, it is wise to consult a doctor.

Which medicine helps against crusts in the nose?


If your nose has crusted over due to a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. In case of irritation of the nose, a greasy ointment can help to inhibit this irritation. In addition, it is important to rinse the nose with a saline solution.

What possible conditions can cause crusts in the nose?


When to contact the ENT doctor?


As mentioned, most scabs in the nose will disappear with the measures mentioned above. If the symptoms persist, it may be wise to consult a doctor. Because you need the right instruments to do a good assessment of the nose, the ENT surgeon quickly comes into the picture for the treatment of persistent crusts in the nose that do not respond well to advices from the GP. Getting something done about a stuffy nose early can often prevent other respiratory problems from developing.

More information

Mens en gezondheid

This information for patients has been compiled with the greatest care. It concerns general information. This information is not legally binding. © KNO Medisch Centrum / www.knomc.nl