Scabs are a normal part of the healing process, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t cause any problems. Could scabs in your nose be a sign of something serious and when should you see a doctor about them?
What Causes Nose Scabs?
A scab is a protective crust that forms over your skin when it is damaged. Scabs can form on any part of your body, including on the delicate tissue that lines your nasal passages.
Scabs can form in the nose for various reasons:
- Scabs can form after an injury to your nose (even if it’s just from picking too much!) or when you are recovering from any kind of nasal surgery. Your doctor might pack your nose with absorbent material to reduce bleeding and give your nose a chance to heal.
- Nose bleeds can create scabs, which may bleed again if they fall off before your nose is fully healed. Some people are simply more likely to experience nose bleeds, but the other causes of scabbing in this list can also cause bleeding.
- Inflammation can sometimes cause scabbing, especially if you have an allergy, sinusitis, or other condition that is causing chronic inflammation.
- Some infections can cause scabs due to inflammation and damage to the delicate skin inside your nose too.
- Dryness and temperature changes: dry air and very hot or cold environments can damage the nasal lining, which may produce scabs.
- Other kinds of growths in your nose could be mistaken for scabs, so it’s a good idea to get checked out if there are any unusual changes or a scab seems to be sticking around for a long time.
Risks of Nose Scabs
Nose scabs aren’t usually serious, but if they get too big or if they’re in the wrong place they can sometimes cause some uncomfortable symptoms. As you can tell from the list of causes, nose scabs can also be a sign of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
- A large or awkwardly positioned nose scab could interfere with your breathing, especially if you’re also experiencing problems such as inflammation or nosebleeds.
- Nose scabs can be painful or uncomfortable, especially when they are big or if you need to blow your nose.
- If there is an underlying cause, such as an infection or allergy, then it could be causing other problems for your health too. Getting the right treatment should prevent more nose scabs and help with other symptoms too.
- In rare cases, a crusty bump in the nasal passage that doesn’t go away could be a tumour rather than a scab. It may need to be removed if there is a risk of cancer.
Should You Be Worried About Nose Scabs?
A nose scab isn’t usually anything to worry about. Most scabs should heal in about a week, so as long as there aren’t any issues such as bleeding or breathing difficulties, you won’t usually need to see a doctor. However, if your scabs don’t go away, you’re experiencing other symptoms, or you seem to get them frequently, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.