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Scabs in Nose Causes, Why some are Stubborn, How to Remove Nose Scabs

Find important information on scabs in nose including scabs in the nose that will not heal as well as what could be the cause of nose scabs

Most people will think booger when they hear nose scabs. And they would not be entirely wrong because boogers are essentially scabs that form on the inside of the nose.  The ones you can get rid of easily are essentially dried mucus, with some dust and maybe hair. These kind of nasal scabs are pretty common; in fact most of us have had that scabby nose phase when we were children, even if we will not readily admit it.

There are those however that will be a little more troublesome, failing to heal and recurring if you attempt to remove them. It is these that we will be addressing in this article. Read on to know what cause the stubborn scab or scabs in your nose or nostrils.

Bloody Scab in Nose Picture

To see how stubborn scabs can be, see the below picture of blood scabs in nose.

Bloody scabs in the nose
Bloody scabs in the nose

Causes of scabs inside nose

Scabs in the nose are usually dried mucus, hair, flakes of skin and trapped dirt particles. They are mostly white and yellow. Sometimes though nose scabs may be red if there was any bleeding. One can have scabbing on one nostril or both of them.  Some people may not feel any pain on a scab but there cases where the scabs get painful. Even when they are not painful scabs in the nose can cause discomfort, especially if they are large and one cannot help but be aware of them. There are several causes of scabby nose.

1. Inflammation

The skin inside the nostrils could get inflamed. This inflammation could cause scabbing especially as it heals. Many cases of nose scabbing because of inflammation are cause by allergies. One could be reacting to the exposure to certain irritants. The sneezing and blowing of nose may break the lining inside the nose causing wounds over which scabs will eventually form.

Hay fever also falls under this category of nose scabbing causes.

2. Trauma

Trauma in this case means any hard, repeated, pulling, rubbing, blowing, scratching or hitting the nose. All this can bring about nasal scabs.

A good example of trauma to the nose causing scabs is a nose picking habit. The constant scratching can break the delicate skin inside the nose, causing scabs to form.

Chronic nose picking can be very damaging to the inside of the nose as it sets off a vicious cycle. You pick at a scab, leave wound exposed, wound forms scab, and you pick at scab again and it goes on and on.

Scabs also form inside the nostril around a nose piercing. If it is just a few light brownish scabs on a relatively fresh piercing, this is no reason to worry. Those could be formed by the drying of the clear liquid that drains from a fresh non infected nose piercing.

3. Dryness

Extreme dryness mainly due to weather conditions causes the skin inside the nose to break and form wounds. These wounds may later form scabs as they heal. The scabs are more common if the weather is cold and dry at the same time, like in winter. A nose picking habit will only make things worse.

There could be other reasons why your nasal passages are dry and crusty, like prolonged use of nasal sprays, and general dehydration.

4. Infection

Certain infections that leave wounds or sores inside the nose can cause scabs in and around n


Impetigo is one common one known to cause scabby nostrils. It is however more common in children.

Staphylococcal bacterial infection or staph in short also results in scabs in the nose eventually, as the furuncle or boil heals.

Cold sores inside the nose a symptom of a viral infection can burst and form a scab. Here, the scabs will appear before or after a cold.

Your nose scab could also be a symptom of herpes infection. Herpes which is an STD forms sores on the mouth and nose area. These sores from the sexually transmitted disease could progress to scabs which in some instances ooze.

An infected nose piercing could also cause scabby bits in the nose when the infected liquid from them drains and dries up.

5. Rhinitis

Drying crusts in the nose that you just cannot get rid of is a known symptom of rhinitis. The scabs in the nose formed by rhinitis tend to have a bad smell.

6. Sinusitis

When sinuses get swollen, fluid may collect between them, trapping dust and other bits which then form scabs. That is how people with sinusitis may end up with crusty scabs in the nose.

7. Sunburn

This is more a cause of scabs on nose than sabs in nose. Sometimes though the scabbing from exposure to the sun without sunscreen may form closer to the entrance to the nostrils.

8. Drugs

Drugs, specifically those you have to sniff up the nose are known to cause frequent nose bleeds, sores and scabs inside the nose.

Some prescription drugs used to treat certain conditions may also cause skin flaking on the lips and scabs in the nostrils.

9. Surgery

Scabs can form in the nose if you are recovering from nasal surgery. Many people have to deal with scabbing in the nose after septoplasty which is surgery to repair a deviated septum.

Nose bleeding can also cause bloody scabs inside the nose.

How to treat nose scabs or how to get rid of scabs in nose

You need to look at the whole picture when looking for a way to get rid of scabs inside your nose. One of the things you can do is stop smoking since smoking can also irritate the nose and cause scabbing.

You should also not interfere with a dry nose by picking it however tight or itchy it feels. It is also better for healing if you fight the temptation to remove the scab on any nose sore or sores.

Here a few remedies you can try.

1. Vaseline

Instead of pulling picking or pooling at the scabs, you could apply a little Vaseline on them to soften them as they heal and ease them off gently. The main benefit of doing this is to break that cycle of picking at the scab and leaving a still fresh sore beneath. Vaseline also aids with dry crusty nose scabs from lupus, low humidity and dryness.

2. Use a humidifier

Running a humidifier at night will help keep your nose from getting so dry and cracking.

3. Salt solution

Some people swear that a salt and warm water solution will help remove scabs and build up from your nose in a couple of minutes.

Apparently all you need to do is stir a table spoon of table salt in warm water till it dissolves, then snort this solution and try hold it for a few seconds by tilting your head up a little. You should then bend over a bowl or sink for the solution and gunk that had made a home in your nose to flow out.

Scabs inside nose that won’t heal

Some nasal scabs will not go away or will keep coming back after a few weeks or months.

Persistent nose scabs are cause by a staphylococcal infection, chronic picking and in some cases cancer. Large scabs in the nose that tend to be smelly and don’t heal could be rhinitis.

It is recommended to see a doctor who may be able to give you a proper diagnosis though based on your symptoms.

Medical solutions range from surgery, to topical antibiotic creams. Saline sprays and antiseptic creams fall somewhere in between. It is important that a doctor recommends the correct treatment as well as dosage.

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