what is a dry nose?


A dry nose can sometimes be quite painful, because the inside of the nose consists of sensitive tissue. The slightest influences from the inhaled air, viruses, but especially irritation by picking can already lead to damage to the mucous membrane and blood vessels, resulting in drying out of the nose.

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what causes a dry nose?


A common cause of a dry nose is inflammation. Think of a cold caused by viruses that can lead to irritation and then dryness of the nose. This is also regularly accompanied by a dry throat. 

Itching of the nose is often caused by allergens that enter the nose. This leads to scratching and rubbing, which in turn leads to mucosal damage and dryness in the nose, potentially expanding to the throat.

Irritants and Medications
The mucous membranes in the nose can be irritated by smoking or prolonged exposure to irritating fumes. But more and more, a dry nose is also caused by drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin, which are inhaled through the nose. Just like smoking, this causes narrowing of the blood vessels. Often also small wounds, and subsequently dryness in the nose and/or throat can arise. Incorrect or prolonged use of certain nasal sprays can also irritate the mucous lining of the nose and thus lead to dryness of the nose.

What to do against a dry nose?


  • Usually a dry nose is good and easy to treat.
  • Obviously stopping the side effects of the agents that damage the nose is the best treatment; so stop picking, smoking and using anything that can damage the inner mucous lining of the nose.
  • A simple way to speed up this healing process is to use nasal ointment.
  • Also rinsing with salt water (NaCl solution) and humidifying the air in the house can have a positive effect.
  • If this does not improve, it may be wise to consult a doctor.

Which medicine works against a dry nose?


It can help to keep the nose oily with a greasy ointment.

What possible conditions can cause a dry nose?


Sjögren’s disease
This is an autoimmune disease in which the fluid secreting glands become inflamed and the mucous membranes dry out. This is often accompanied by complaints of dry eyes and mouth. There are also often swollen salivary glands and joint complaints.

When to contact the ENT doctor?


As mentioned, most complaints of a dry nose will disappear with the measures mentioned above. If the symptoms persist, it may be wise to consult a doctor. Since one also need the right instruments for a good assessment of the nose, the ENT doctor quickly comes into the picture for the treatment of your dry nose that does not respond well to the advice of the GP. Getting something done about a dry nose early often prevents the development of a dry throat.

More information


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