How to Get Rid of a Painful Nostril Pimple

Updated on July 14, 2017
Alison Graham profile image

Passionate about health, Alison is a freelance writer/researcher for clients working in nutrition, physiotherapy, and chiropractic.

What Does It Mean When You Get a Nose Pimple?

A nostril pimple could be a trivial pore blockage or a serious sign of infection. This type of acne can be very painful because it occurs on the inside of the nose where there are tons of tiny blood vessels and nerve endings.

Generally, it's best to leave these zits alone because aggressive picking could lead to the spread of infection. However, if it causes pain or irritation, there are a few easy ways to get rid of it. In this article, I will show you some really effective pimple treatment tips to reduce the swelling and deal with the infection at home.

Homemade Treatment for Pimple Inside Your Nose

This salt solution is easy to make at home and is quite effective.


  • Salt
  • Hot water


  1. Dissolve a small quantity of ordinary table salt in some boiling water, and allow it to cool.
  2. Dab a clean cotton bud into the solution, and gently bathe the sore area inside your nose.
  3. After this, you need to remove as much moisture from the sore place as you can. It is easiest to do this with another clean, dry cotton bud.

If you need to repeat the operation, be sure to use a clean cotton bud every time, and never put a used one back into the clean bowl of saline solution.

Other Treatments for Pimple Inside Nostril

Drugstore Product

From personal experience, I can definitely recommend using GoodSense Maximum Strength Triple Antibiotic Ointment (or a similar product). It contains a pain-relieving element that makes the spot feel much better almost instantly.

You need to apply the treatment twice a day (or as directed) in order to see quick and significant improvements. However, if after a couple of days the pimple is no better or seems to be getting worse, you should see your doctor.

Tea Tree Oil

If you are allergic to antibiotics or prefer to use only natural treatments, a very small amount of tea tree oil will also do the trick, but it may sting a bit. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. It disinfects pores and dries out whiteheads and blackheads, making it a great ingredient for treating acne.1 Apply this twice a day using a cotton swab. If you have sensitive skin, you should dilute the oil with a bit of water before applying.

Causes of Pimple Inside Nose

nose picking
blowing your nose too hard
bacterial or fungal infection
unhealthy diet
chemical irritants
pulling out nose hairs

Who Is Most Likely to Get a Pimple in Their Nose?

Those With Acne-Prone Skin

A pimple inside your nostril is much more likely if you are someone who already has skin problems and suffers from acne breakouts.

People Who Pick Their Nose

Sometimes, pimples inside the nose occur when people with dirty hands and fingernails pick their noses. This introduces bacteria that can cause an infection.

People Who Trim Their Nose Hairs

Men tend to grow long hairs inside their nostrils, especially as they get older, and will use nose hair clippers to get rid of them. These clippers have very sharp blades that can cut or scratch the membrane in the nostril.

Some men actually choose to pluck the hairs. (Just the thought of that makes my eyes water!) If this is the case, an infection called folliculitis could develop. This infection starts at the root of the hair, inside the follicle. Any bacteria that enters the pore soon invades and sets up an infection, which causes a painful pustule or a pimple. In some cases, the swelling can get very large and completely block the nostril. It can even make the nose swell, which can be rather embarrassing.

In order to avoid the problem, take additional care when dealing with nose hair, and never put anything inside your nostril that could scratch the lining and cause a painful spot to develop.

Serious Medical Causes

A sore place inside your nose could possibly be a symptom of a more serious condition. Although this is unlikely, the following are serious medical conditions that should be examined by a doctor.


Patients suffering from lupus, an autoimmune, rheumatic disease, often suffer from nose sores inside their nostrils. In fact, nose sores are one of the eleven criteria used by the American College of Rheumatology for diagnosing lupus.2


This is an autoimmune condition that happens when the body's immune system attacks its own blood vessels. This can occur after an infection, as a result of a reaction to a prescription medication or as a secondary condition of another disease or illness.

There are different types of vasculitis. It is a condition that can affect the skin, joints, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, eyes, brain, and nerves. If vasculitis affects the sinuses, nose, throat, and ears, one of the symptoms can be sores and ulcers inside the nose.3


This is an infection of the skin caused by bacteria. It is usually cased by the staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria. If not treated, it could become deadly.4

When Do You Need to See a Doctor

It is good to know that most cases of a sore or pimple inside your nostril are very simple and straightforward to treat.

However, if your problem does not resolve with the treatment I've suggested or if you have other symptoms that are causing concern, be sure to get medical advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Signs You Should See a Doctor

If you experience any of the following, please seek professional medical attention:

  • dizziness
  • excruciating pain
  • fever


If the doctor discovers that you have a bacterial infection, he/she will give you an antibiotic, such as bacitracin or mupirocin.5


1. Chanel Parks, "Tea Tree Oil for Your Body: What You Need to Know," Jun 02, 2014. Huffington Post. Accessed July 14, 2017.

2. Carol Eustice, "Lupus —10 Things You Should Know: From Diagnosis to Disease Management," May 9, 2016. VeryWell. Accessed July 14, 2017.

3. "What Is Vasculitis?" September 23, 2014. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Accessed July 14, 2017.

4. Mayo Clinic Staff. "Cellulitis," February 11, 2015. Mayo Clinic. Accessed July 14, 2017.

5. "Pimple Inside the Nose," Healthline. Accessed July 14, 2017.

Have you ever had a painful pimple inside your nostril? If so, which of the following did you do?

See results

© 2011 Alison Graham


Submit a Comment

  • Alison Graham profile image

    Alison Graham 2 weeks ago from UK

    Thank you Oscar, glad you found my article on what to do if you have a pimple inside your nose helpful. A nostril pimple seems to be a problem that a lot of people suffer from!

  • Oscarlites profile image

    Oscar Jones 2 weeks ago from South Alabama

    very good info!