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Nose Burning Meaning, Causes in Nostrils, Outside, Symptoms, Treatments, Remedies and Preventions

What does it mean to develop a nose burning sensation? There are couple of different causes to this kind of burning sensation in your nose. This problem may indicate something happening within the nose or convoluted body health conditions. It may also lead to symptoms having different levels of severity i.e. runny nose or complications in breathing.  

Get exhaustive information about the burning nose causes, symptoms, remedies and more.

Meaning of nose burning

Burning nose merely denotes irritation or inflammation. According to Tandurust.com, “burning sensation in nose occurs when the sensory nerves in the nose gets irritated or damaged.”

Burning on the outer surface of the nose or burning inside the nose may be due to number of factors. Nose burning sensation can also signify a symptom of other problem.

Another point we must put clear is that, the nose has two parts: external and internal parts. Following this fact, it is therefore very meaningful to identify where exactly the burning sensation is happening. This will help to determine the potential causes.

The nose is also connected to the throat and the eye.  Therefore, excretions from eye or paranasal sinuses such as tears, mucus or pus can ultimately reach the nasal cavity, leading a nose burning feeling.

*Remember conditions leading to burning in the noses can also cause burning of other linked sinuses.

Nose burning sensation causes, remedies, inside, outside
Nose burning sensation causes, remedies, inside, outside

In today`s post, we are going to discuss the specific causes for burning outside nose and inside nose. Remember some causes may be common for both outside and inside burning nose. They can also be mild, acute or chronic.

Causes of burning inside nose

We begin by looking at the possible causes of nose burning from the inside. Some of the common causes include the following:

1.      Environmental Irritants

Substances such as smoke, toxic gases and airborne particles like dust or sand are major environmental irritants that can lead to burning nose.

The problems with such airborne irritants is that, sometimes it can be very difficult to identify them since some are odorless or invisible. They may also be present in places we never imagine. We will notice them when we develop symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose or the burning sensation inside the nose.

2.      Inhaled allergens nose burning

A good number of people who usually suffer burning inside the nose due to inhaled allergens, which make their immune system to induce a response to such allergens (allergic reaction).

Actually, we must understand that allergens are not the cause for this condition but just a trigger. Allergens in the nose usually results to allergic rhinitis (otherwise referred to as Hay Fever) which is the reaction of the nasal passages.

Commonly known allergens include dust, pollens, molds among others.

3.      Foreign bodies in the nose

Where objects or substances that should not be in the nose are stuck in the nasal cavity, burning sensation may occur. This is a common condition among infants and younger children when they play. Sizes of foreign bodies in the nose may vary but be assured that even a miniature object can lead to massive burning inside the nose.

Some symptoms such as choking may result when smaller objects fall through the back of the nasal cavity. Apart from burning sensation inside the nose, these foreign objects can lead to damages within your nasal cavity.

4.      Nasal infections

Just like any part of the body, nasal membrane is susceptible to various infections. Such infections can be due to bacteria, viruses or fungi. The most common infection in the nose is the viral infection, a cold that occur in the nasal mucosa. More infections can also lead to inflammation of nasal mucosa or rhinitis. Rhinitis can also be due to allergies, hormonal variations or other factors.

Burning inside the nose due infections can occur alongside other symptoms e.g. runny nose or sneezing.

5.      Strong scents

Burning inside the nose can also be due to strong harsh gaseous odors (especially acidic or basic). We must bear in mind that strong odors are as well chemicals therefore can just react the same way as the airborne irritants.

According to Healthhype.com, “A scent is a result of vaporized chemicals in the air and even if it is pleasant smelling, it can still be an irritant.” In many cases, we do find that the stronger the scent the intense the burning, but this will also depend with the sensitivity of the nasal cavity.

Strong scents/odors that can cause burning inside the nose include detergents, perfumes, air freshener, industrial chemicals, deodorants, or even medicated nasal sprays that are used to treat various nasal conditions.

6.      Changes in weather

First, we must acknowledge that the moisture level of nasal passages determines a lot on its healthy condition. Normally, mucous membrane secrets mucus, which make the nasal, passages relatively moist.

Problems will arise when the mucous membrane start to produce insufficient mucus, which weather conditions, can be the major contributing factor. During dry air, or when there is extreme heat or cold, the production of mucus can go down leading to dry nasal cavity, a condition that can lead to burning inside the nose.

Other related symptoms include nasal congestion, buildup of dry crusty mucus, sneezing or runny nose. More problems can also accompany dry nasal cavity.

7.      Other Causes of Burning Inside Nose

Here are more factors/conditions that can lead to burning inside nose:

  • Rubbing nose frequently with rough cloth when experiencing watery nose
  • Inhaling too much hot steam
  • Medications side effects
  • Nose picking and digging can cause dry nasal lining
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Sinus infections

Causes of burning outside nose

In this section, causes of burning outside nose will simply mean the causes of burning in the tip of the nose and external nose skin in general. As we have mentioned earlier, some cause for burning on inside or outside of the nose may be the same. Below is the list of factors that can lead to burning outside nose:

  • Skin diseases
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sunburn
  • Poor fitting eye glasses
  • Nasal sprays or drops
  • Air pollution
  • Trauma
  • Side effects of medications
    Nose burning from outsite
    Nose burning from outsite

Life-threatening Causes of Burning Nose

In some circumstances, burning nose can be an indication of serious condition that may require prompt evaluation by a doctor. Such causes may include:

  • Skin tissue burns due to exposure to extreme heat
  • Ingestion of toxic substances i.e. chemicals or poisonous plants or fruits
  • Stroke

Burning nose condition can also lead to certain serious complication, so when you develop a burning nose that doesn’t disappear within few hours, get it treated immediately to avoid complications such skin ulceration/infections or chronic pain.

Symptoms and diagnosis of burning nose


Nose burning may occur alongside symptoms, which usually differ relying on the primary causes, condition. Some symptoms may be mild while others may be chronic. Below are the common symptoms:

symptoms of nose burning - runny nose
symptoms of nose burning – runny nose
  • Runny nose
  • Poor sense of smell
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy/watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Burning sensation in the mouth and throat

When you develop serious symptoms such as severe headache, sudden weakness or numbness, changes in vision and difficulty in breathing, please seek for immediate medical care!


Diagnosis for nose burning condition may be very challenging since it has several triggers. To carry out diagnostic test, your doctor or qualified medical service provider may ask some question. Here are the commonly asked questions:

  • When did the burning sensation begin?
  • Have you been exposed to strong odors, sunburn or extreme heat?
  • Do you smoke cigarette?
  • What are other symptoms occurring alongside nose burning?
  • Have you recently experienced headache, back or neck injury?
  • How long has the burning sensation lasted?
  • Are you undertaking any medication?

Nose Burning Treatments, Home remedies and Preventions

Nose burning treatments will depend the causes. Some causes may not need treatment and can resolve of their own. Examples include cold or flu. Severity and duration i.e. chronic burning may also determine treatment procedures.

A)     Medical Treatments

Several medicines can reduce the pain or the discomfort caused by nose burning sensation. Given below are some of the medicine that doctors suggest for treating burning nose:

  • Nasal corticosteroids sprays that can reduce the inflammation (watch out, it can lead to nose dryness)
  • Saline sprays that can also be used to hydrate the nose and get rid of the irritants
  • Decongestants
  • Over the counter painkillers
  • Antihistamine sprays are also used to cure many allergies
  • Antibiotics are used to treat symptoms due to bacterial infections

B)     Home Remedies for Burning Sensation in Nose

Treating the primary causes will help to ease burning nose. Here are some effective home remedies, which can potentially relieve a nose burning sensation:

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera is a perfect product that can be used to lubricate and soothe the nasal cavity. It can also relieve irritation and inflammation in the nasal mucus membrane. This will therefore help to calm the burning sensation.

Cool Water

In case of burning nose outside due to sunburn, you can apply cool water on the external part of the nose. This will reduce the irritation or inflammation.

Layer of Vaseline

Thin layer of Vaseline applied inside the nose can also help reduced burning sensation due to dry weather. Don’t apply too much Vaseline, it can interfere with the production of mucus.

Steam Inhalation

For congested nose, steam inhalation may help to limit inflammation and burning sensation. Remember that too hot steam can also dry your nose.

steam inhalation remedy for nose burning
steam inhalation remedy for nose burning

You should also avoid picking or digging your nose and avoid fumes of acid and chemicals. You should also be keen with food allergy, identify that food and avoid them.


Nose burning always is not that serious but as we have explained, it can indicate something very serious. Therefore, prompt response is recommended to the very first symptoms of burning nose.

Remember, over the counter medications and home remedies may only work for mild and moderate nose burnings, severe conditions should be intervened by medical expert!

  1. Understanding Causes and Treatments for a Burning Sensation in the Nose: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/understanding-causes-and-treatments-for-a-burning-sensation-in-the-nose
  2. What Causes Burning Sensation In Nose: What Are Its Remedies: http://www.tandurust.com/home-treatment/burning-sensation-nose-causes.html
  3. Nose Burning Sensation: https://www.healthgrades.com/symptoms/nose-burning-sensation
  4. Burning Nose Relief: Causes, Natural Treatment For Burning Nose Pain: http://www.simple-remedies.com/health-tips/burning-nose-relief.html
  5. Home remedies for burning nose: http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/askquestion/23262/home-remedies-for-burning-nose.html
  6. Nose Burning Sensation Treatments: http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/symptoms/nose_burning_sensation/treatments.htm
  7. Causes Of Burning Inside Nose Sensation: http://www.healthhype.com/causes-of-burning-inside-nose-sensation.html
  8. Causes and Treatments of Burning Sensation in Nose: http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/burning-sensation-in-nose.html

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