Everyone gets dry skin sometimes, but one of the most stubborn places to deal with it is on your nose. Right in the center of your face, it’s not particularly attractive, but that’s the burden a lot of us ladies bear. This issue can make it difficult to apply foundation smoothly, and from experience, it makes us more likely to pick at our faces (gross, right?). It doesn’t feel good and can be annoying, but treatments do exist, and it just comes down to finding what’s right for you.
We spoke with dermatologists from the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York and from Spring Street Dermatology in New York to weigh in on our topic. Dr. Roy Seidenberg of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in general and cosmetic dermatology. He has over 15 years of experience in both cosmetic and medical dermatology and procedures.Dr. Sapna Palep of Spring Street Dermatology is one of New York’s leading board-certified dermatologists. She has been practicing for nearly a decade and opened her office at Spring Street Dermatology in 2010.
Both Seinberg and Palep provide valuable insight into the causes and best treatment options for dry skin around the nose. There are quite a few options, so don’t despair.
What Causes Dry Skin Around Your Nose
There isn’t just one cause for dry skin around the nose, so treatment isn’t one size fits all. Dr. Roy Seidenberg tells us that “causes can range pretty widely.”
“Dry winter weather is a frequent cause,” says Dr. Roy Seidenberg, especially if you don’t properly protect your skin from the chill. Dr. Seidenberg also tells us that “constant rubbing in the nasal region is another cause of dry skin around the nose.” During allergy season, we all know how rough constant nose-blowing can be if using abrasive tissues or towels.
Dr. Seidenberg also explains that “seborrheic dermatitis is a common cause of dry nasal skin.” For those who aren’t aware, seborrheic dermatitis is a form of eczema, generally located on the face and scalp. It can cause dry, scaly patches of skin that are both uncomfortable and irritating.
Dr. Sapna Palep makes us aware of a couple of other possible causes of dry skin. She tells us that she “has seen dry skin around the nose commonly because of skin conditions like rosacea and perioral dermatitis.”
Rosacea is a common skin condition that usually takes the form of bright red skin located on the cheeks, nose, and around the mouth and forehead. It can cause small bumps that look similar to acne to appear as well. Dry skin can result from rosacea, centrally located around the nose.
Perioral dermatitis is another form of eczema. It results in dry, scaly skin around the nose and mouth and causes red patches as well.
These five common causes of dry skin can definitely help with determining the best route of treatment to follow. Always consult with a medical professional if you are unsure, though.
Best Treatments for Dry Skin
There are countless different ways to treat dry skin, so talking to a dermatologist will help you narrow things down the majority of the time. Dr. Palep offers us some great suggestions for treating possible forms of eczema and rosacea that result in dry nasal skin.
She says that “for seborrheic dermatitis, antifungals like ketoconazole will help a lot with balancing your dry skin. You can also use topical steroids like hydrocortisone and anti-inflammatories like tacrolimus. Keratolytics, which are used to thin skin lesions, can also be helpful if the dry skin gets to be thicker than usual.”
Additionally, Dr. Palep tells us that “using antibiotics like doxycycline or minocycline, or anti-inflammatories like pimecrolimus, are best for Perioral dermatitis.”
If rosacea is your culprit, Dr. Palep encourages the use of “antibiotics like oral doxycycline and topical metronidazole, topical antiseptic such as azelaic acid, or vitamin A derivatives such as Tretinoin and isotretinoin.”
Dr. Seidenberg goes further in his explanations by offering his favorite products that help with dry skin. “I recommend a moisturizer applied to the area twice daily – morning and night. Eucerin, Aveeno, and Cetaphil all make great ones.”
Aveeno Ultra-Calming Facial Moisturizer
$13 at time of publication
These moisturizers typically contain lighter formulas, so in addition to being moisture-filled, they also don’t clog your pores. Eucerin, Aveeno, and Cetaphil are available at your local beauty stores like Ulta Beauty or grocery stores like Target.Alternatively, Dr. Seidenberg recommends that you “apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or Aquaphor at bedtime.”
Other Available Treatment Options
Medicated ointments, oral antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories can be used to treat dry skin. However, there are different treatment options available as well.
Dr. Palep says that “it is imperative to moisturize gently and avoid over-exfoliating.” It’s fun to exfoliate our skin, but harmful to do it too often. Heavy moisturizers can cause further breakouts on already sensitive areas of skin, so it’s best to limit exposure to them.
She further recommends “using lukewarm water to wash your face instead of hot water” because although hot water does open your pores, there is absolutely such thing as too much of a good thing. Lukewarm water opens your pores just enough to allow mild cleansers and moisturizers to do their jobs properly.
One other thing, Dr. Palep advises us to “be sure to avoid oils in cleansers and moisturizers.” These can negatively impact your already-dry skin around your nose. Oils may actually end up mildly burning and/or further irritating the new-raw skin.
How to Avoid Dry Skin Around Your Nose
Just like everything else, dry skin can be avoided in many cases. There are steps you can take to make sure your skin around the nose stays supple and moisturized year-round. Dr. Palep has many suggestions to avoid dry skin.
Just like with treating your dry skin symptoms, Dr. Palep recommends “washing your face with gentle cleansers and using gentle moisturizers.” These will ensure that your skin has the much sought-after moisture that it needs. We know how important it is to avoid heavily perfumed cleansers and moisturizers with too much oil or are that are too heavy in general.
Wearing thin facial sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher will generally keep your skin from becoming dry around the nose as well. The product will substantially limit the damage caused by the sun’s rays and also provide a blockade for dry weather.
Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen
$8 at time of publication
Avoid using your favorite exfoliants and products too often. Dry skin can sometimes be further aggravated by the constant use of abrasive exfoliants (no harsh sugar or salt scrubs) that we know and love. Honestly, these products should only be used once a week or even once biweekly to obtain the best possible results and avoid dryness.
Nano Ionic Face Steamer
$27 at time of publication
Another option Dr. Palep suggests is to “use a humidifier.” These machines can provide further moisture to your open pores on cold, dry days and are highly recommended. It’s almost like dipping your face in a bowl of steamy-hot water (hello, facial sauna).
Protecting yourself from windburn in the heart of winter is a huge deal because our noses stick out into the cold. Invest in some warm scarves and possibly a thick turtleneck or two to keep the chill from hitting your face too hard.
Last, but not least, a proper diet that is rich in omegas and antioxidants can help you prevent getting dry skin around your nose or anywhere else on your body. Your body and your skin needs sufficient nutrients to keep you glowing and supple.
It’s Not the End of the World
Dry skin around the nose is not the end of the world, although it may feel like it sometimes. We aren’t always going to be as airbrushed and smooth as the magazine models are. Keep in mind that there are easy ways to treat your dry skin, as well as many ways to avoid it altogether.
If you find your over-the-counter options aren’t working as they should, do not be afraid to meet with a professional. Dermatologists like Dr. Palep and Dr. Seidenberg can help you narrow down the causes of your dry skin and even prescribe stronger treatment options if it becomes necessary.
Antibiotic ointments are available to treat different forms of eczema that result in dry skin around the nose. Anti-inflammatories can be used to treat rosacea-rooted dryness. Topical antiseptic treatments are also available to ease dryness, and even oral antibiotics are available as well.
Your favorite over-the-counter moisturizers and cleansers by brands like Cetaphil, Eucerin, and Aveeno can help a lot to keep moisture in your skin, but even they may fall short from time to time. Using products like Aquaphor and Vaseline may help, but you must be sure to apply the product thinly to avoid further breakouts.
Every treatment option can be hit or miss, but keep your head up. Once you find what works for you, your dry skin around the nose will thank you.