Dry Skin Around Nose: Common Causes and Solutions

It's common to get dry skin flakes on or around your nose. This area is generally the first target of dry, harsh weather. Flaking or peeling could happen due to multiple other factors, such as medical conditions, genetics, wrong skincare, or bathing routine. Read the article to understand this skin condition in detail and explore simple tips to alleviate it and when to seek professional help.

Understanding dry skin around nose

Dry skin around the nose area is a common skin condition that is experienced by almost everyone for different reasons. Since the nose is the primary air passage and often the most exposed in the weather, it's more likely to lose hydration. Whenever we lose skin hydration, the skin starts flaking or peeling with mild redness around the area. However, the good news is that this can be treated with simple precautions and home remedies.


Causes of dry skin around the nose

Before deciding on your treatment and care steps, you must first know the exact cause for future precaution and recovery.

Cold, dry weather

Changing weather conditions are the most common cause of dryness around the nose as the weather impact could make the skin's moisture evaporate.

Skin conditions

Skin conditions like rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, or atopic dermatitis (eczema) can lead to dryness around the nose area, even on well-hydrated skin. Rosacea is a condition caused by either genetic or environmental factors. The redness and inflammation of rosacea can make skin more sensitive and prone to dryness.

In seborrheic dermatitis, scaly rashes are seen near excess sebum oil areas of the face and scalp. Atopic dermatitis is another common, long-lasting skin condition, especially seen in young children, where the skin becomes extremely dry, itchy, and inflamed due to multiple genetic or environmental factors.



Excessive water loss from the body due to cold weather or less water intake could lead to dehydration, which could affect the dermis, leading to dry skin.

Skin type

People with an extremely dry skin type (xeroderma) are more prone to get rough, dry skin on the nose or the area around it. However, people with a combination skin type with dry areas near the 'T' zone of the face could also experience this. Psoriasis is also one chronic immune disorder where a person experiences dry skin around the body, including the nose, due to the quick production of skin cells.

UV rays

UV radiation is known for many ill effects, such as premature aging, pigmentation, and cancer-causing properties. UV exposure is responsible for three major types of skin cancers — basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. High UV exposure can burn the skin cells, which leads to the peeling of the skin layers and causes inflammation and redness.


Age-related skin changes can also be one important factor in developing an altered skin condition. Our skin type keeps changing with age due to hormonal changes occurring in our bodies. That's the reason teenagers experience more sebum production, and their skin becomes more prone to acne. Moreover, as we age, our cell turnover and collagen production decrease, and our skin starts becoming more dehydrated and loose.

Skincare products

Sometimes, skin care products also lead to dry and patchy nose areas. Starting from your cleanser to your moisturizer, any product could be the culprit. Using harsh facial cleansers, moisturizers or serums containing sulfates, perfumes, isopropyl or benzyl alcohol could leave your skin dry and irritated. So it's important to carefully read the ingredients list before using any of your skincare products.

Hot water


Hot water showers could quickly evaporate the natural moisture of the skin, leaving it dehydrated and itchy.


Different types of allergies resulting in a runny nose are another common reason for dry skin. When people rub or wipe the nose repeatedly, the skin gets irritated and flaky within a few hours.

Medical conditions

Some medical conditions like diabetes, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), anorexia, HIV, kidney diseases, and cancer treatments may leave dehydrated skin.

How to treat dry skin around the nose

Dry skin around the nose can be treated using the tips listed below:

Over-the-counter products

Some of the dermatologist-recommended oils, ointments, and creams that can be used for getting rid of the dry areas around the nose are:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Dimethicone
  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Lanolin
  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Shea butter
  • Dexpantheonol
  • Polidocanol
  • Licochalcone A

These products are easily available in the market and can be used on the affected area for rebalancing the skin's moisture level.

Prescription treatments

Prescription treatments that your board-certified dermatologist can prescribe for severe allergy-induced dryness are:

  • Corticosteroid creams or ointments. They are only prescribed for patients experiencing extreme pain and itching. Corticosteroids can make your skin thinner, so their dosage should always be followed strictly as per prescription.
  • Pimecrolimus cream or tacrolimus ointment. Offered when corticosteroids either can't be prescribed or don't work.
  • Crisaborole ointment and ruxolitinib cream. They are approved to treat children with eczema and other related skin issues.

There are many other treatments that are suggested by dermatologists based on a person's skin and medical condition.

Maintain a gentle skincare routine

Maintaining a gentle yet proper skincare routine is crucial if you are dealing with a dry skin condition. Simple tips that can be followed for a gentle skincare routine include:

  • Use a mild cleanser free from soap, alcohol, and fragrance to wash your face.
  • Apply a generous amount of moisturizer immediately after drying your face. Moisturizers containing ceramides and/or NMFs (natural moisturizing factors) help restore and trap lost skin moisture.
  • An additional layer of ointment or oil (jojoba, mineral, or other) could also be applied above the affected skin area.
  • Use sunscreen after applying moisturizer to protect the nose area.
  • Try to cover the nose area if the weather is dry or cold.
  • Avoid using retinoids if you are facing dryness on or around the nose.

Wear sunscreen

UV rays and skin peeling go hand in hand. Sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 should be applied as the last step of your skincare routine or before your makeup. You can choose a sunscreen with hyaluronic acid for better hydration.

Use a humidifier

A humidifier can be a good option to maintain air moisture in a bathroom or room, as it can decrease water loss from the skin and may help speed dry skin recovery.

Avoid hot showers

Hot showers should be avoided if you are experiencing dry skin issues, as they could exacerbate moisture loss. You should try opting for warm or cold water baths for not more than 5–10 minutes and refrain from rubbing your skin too harshly after a bath.

Protect skin in cold weather

The skin should be kept protected from dry and cold weather. After proper skincare, you should cover your nose area well with a cloth to limit environmental exposure.

Eat a balanced diet

Healthy, radiant skin reflects our good eating patterns and diet. High intake of diuretics (caffeine, nicotine, acidic drinks, alcohol, or food) should be avoided to maintain skin health.

People dealing with dry skin conditions should keep well hydrated. Skin hydration is strongly linked with dietary water intake, especially in people with low prior intake.

When to seek professional help

If your skin condition resists self-care treatment, seek professional help. Your dermatologist will diagnose you by asking about previous treatments, how long you have been facing this issue, whether you have any genetic skin conditions in the family or allergy-induced dryness, and what has worsened the situation. Lastly, they'll perform a microscopic skin exam.

Based on these parameters, your dermatologist will recommend a plan that could help skin recovery.

Skin peeling from and around the nose could be difficult to manage, but it can generally be resolved using a proper skincare routine. It's recommended to use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser, a moisturizer loaded with humectants like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or NMFs, and an SPF above 30. Long-term dry and itchy skin may lead to a microbial infection or thickened skin, thus worsening the situation. So, if it persists, you should immediately seek professional help.


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