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Swollen Nose Causes, Inside Nostrils, on Nose Tip, Bridge and Relief


Nasal swelling is a symptom that denotes something wrong with your nose, and many things can result in a swollen nose. 

Infected nose pimple, a possible cause of a swollen nose
Infected nose pimple can cause a swollen nose 

The swelling can be on the nose, inside the nose or on the nose tip or bridge. The swelling could be mild or severe; it could be painless or accompanied with some pain (painful). 

Furthermore, it can affect one side of the nose such as a swelling on the left side of the nose or right one or both. Depending on the cause, the swelling may extend to other parts of the face such as cheek, forehead, ears or the scalp or one may experience a swollen face.

When the swelling is inside the nostril, expect some symptoms such as congestion or the feeling of a clogged nose that may create an urge of one blowing their nose. 

Let's explore together the possible causes, treatments, and remedies to relieve and heal swollen nose. 


What exactly would cause a swollen nose that might be red and painful including a swollen nostril? Well, nasal infections, nasal polyps, piercings, trauma, etc., can lead to nose swelling. Below are more causes: 

1. Swollen nose piercing

Slight nose swelling after the piercing is ok. However, there are symptoms you need to be careful about if they occur. If you notice yellow or greenish discharge probably with foul smell, this may reveal that the piercing is already infected. 

Also, severe or unusual nose swelling, redness, tendering or soreness may also be other symptoms of infected piercing. If the nasal piercing is infected, it would swell and can be very painful.

The materials also used in making nasal piercing jewelry can also trigger an allergic reaction and this would cause swollen nose ring.

2. Swollen nasal passages or sinusitis

Your nasal passage has a lining called mucosa. The mucosa is the tissue that lines the sinus cavity and the minor channels connecting the nose. It also lines the nose itself. Sinusitis, therefore, is the inflammation, thickening, and swelling of the mucosa.

The minor channels can get clogged if the mucosa tissue swells. Such swelling usually emerges from sinus infections, i.e., bacterial, fungal or viral infection. 

Allergic rhinitis or allergic sinusitis can also contribute to the same. This allergic reaction usually results from bacteria, smoke, inhaled pollutants, pollen or dust that you are allergic to. 

Sinusitis symptoms include nasal congestion, headaches, sneezing and a runny nose.

A sinus infection cannot be ignored, therefore ensure you seek for sinus infection treatment from medical professionals. Ignoring sinus infection might lead to chronic sinusitis.  

3. Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are the benign growths in your nose that have a link with an allergic reaction. When such growths get bigger, they can block the nasal passages, increased the rate of mucus production as well as causing swelling or pain inside the nose. This can also result in nasal congestion. 

We also have such growths in the sinuses, and they are known as sinus polys and can result swelling inside the nose. also explains that “if these polyps continue to grow, they may push into your bones, changing the shape of your nose” This would call for a rhinoplasty that could also result in nose swelling.

 Large polyp on the left nostril
 Large polyp on the left nostril 

4. Nasal infection or swollen nose pimple

This is another common cause of swollen nose. Nasal infection, especially in the clogged nasal pores, can cause a swollen pimple on the nose. This lump inside nose manifest as a small reddish pimple, but with time, it would grow bigger and become very painful.

The infection can happen inside or outside the nose. The presence of the bacteria in your body will influence your body to fight back, and symptoms such as boils or abscess, pus-filled bumps, and so on, hence swollen nose. 

5. Trauma to the nose

Trauma to your nose can also make it swell, and it may be due to hitting it, falling or banging. Such injuries can cause your nose to have cracked or fractured bone. 

Symptoms such as bruising, bleeding or even difficulty in breathing may accompany traumas. If there are cuts, wounds or sores, they can be infected leading to inflammation of the nose, and hence nasal swelling may follow. You need to see your GP as soon as you discover these symptoms.

Rugby player with an injured nose
Rugby player with an injured nose - can lead to nose swelling

6. Nose swelling and foreign objects

Foreign objects in the nose is a widespread problem in childhood. However, it can also affect adults. If you do not remove these foreign objects earlier enough, they can damage the sinus leading to infection. They can also trigger allergic reaction depending on the victims.

Some objects, of course, can be visible but removing them difficult. You need to seek immediate medical to help you remove the objects if they cannot quickly come out.

7. Swollen nose pregnancy

During pregnancy, some hormonal changes and imbalances usually influence the body metabolic reactions. 

For instance, during this period, your body will tend to retain more fluids, and this is what may be contributing to even a swollen nose or swollen face. 

This would also vary from one woman to the other. Swellings during pregnancy would disappear on their own within the period or after delivery. 

In case of any severe swelling during this period then you should be able to see your GP immediately.

8. Other reasons

Apart from the above causes of nose swelling, more causes can also result in the swollen nose:

  • Nose inflammation due to cold
  • Rhinoplasty swelling immediately after surgery
  • Rosacea
  • Cocaine use
  • Excessive consumption of Alcohol

Swelling inside nose or nostril

Many conditions can lead to swelling of the nose or swollen nostril. If your nose is swollen inside, you should indeed be concerned. 

A lump inside the nose can cause discomfort and even lead to nose soreness. Some of the primary reasons why you would develop swelling inside nose include the following:

  • Nose pimples
  • Nasal polyps
  • Nasal infection
  • Sinusitis
  • Foreign bodies in the nose
  • Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis

Treating swollen nostril would tend to be more challenging than managing swollen nose outside. This is because the skin inside of the nose is more sensitive than outside the nose and thus could be easily irritated.

Swollen painful

In many cases, it would not be common to find swelling on both sides of the nose. Even if that is the case then, the intensity of the swelling may vary. 

Most of the causes we have seen can target specific places, such as inside the nasal passages or nostrils, nose bridge or outside the nose.

One of the reasons why you may end up having both sides of your nose swollen is touching it that can spread the infection. For instance, a lump inside nose could occur on one side. 

Swelling of the nose bridge and tip

Swollen nose bridge could be an indication of local infection or sinus infection. Redness or soreness could accompany this among other symptoms of local irritation. Seek medical attention if the swelling does not go away within few days.

According to, “A swollen tip of the nose, can well be a sign of bacterial infection especially if it is accompanied by redness and is painful.”

In summary, the many causes of swollen nose inside or outside tend to be the same that can cause a swollen nose bridge. 

How to relieve or treat It

Treating swollen nose depend on the causes and the severity. Many of nose swellings seem to be mild, but if not treated in their early stages, the symptoms may worsen leading to very severe complications. You should therefore not be swayed by the mildness of the earlier signs.

Let's us now explore some of the most effective treatments that have been proved to heal swollen nose.

  • There are nasal decongestants, nasal sprays, and antihistamines that are always effective especially for congested nose due to allergies or sinusitis. They should be able to relieve your condition within three days. Otherwise, you can see your GP if the symptoms persist.
  • Changing head position when having congested nose is also very important. You should elevate your head as you lie. This will allow you sleep and breathe comfortably.
  • In case you have sinusitis, corticosteroids can also be used to help elevate the inflammation. They come in the form of drops and sprays.
  • For local infection of the nose especially the outer nose, oral and topical antibiotics may be applied.
  • In the more severe case where the above treatments do not bear fruits, the doctor may prescribe stronger medications or advanced procedures such as a type of surgery called functional endoscopic sinus surgery. This one improves the drainage of the mucus from various sinuses. Another type of surgery called rhinoplasty can also be applied to reshape the nose if it got damaged permanently during severe physical trauma.

Home remedies

Many cases of nose swelling can be managed at home using products that are readily available at home. Most of these home products have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, which make useful in dealing with your nose swellings. Below are some natural home remedies that are easy to use and very safe  while you are at home

1. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that help it fight the bacteria and other infections that can affect the nasal passages. It is beneficial in treating the swollen nasal passages. Follow the procedure below to apply if you want to try tea tree oil treatment.

  • Add some drops of tea tree oil on a clean cotton towel
  • You can then sniff it several times a day to help relieve a swollen nose. 

2. Steam inhalation

Sweat inhalation is the most reliable home remedy for the swollen and congested nose. It’s just is simple and faster. Its use is a simple as heating some water and inhaling the steam. You can do it alongside an essential oil.

3. Apply saline solution

You can as thoroughly wash your nose using saline water. Before then, you need to tilt your head sideways keenly and gently pour the saline solution in the upper nostril. You should let the saline solution go through the passageways and then out the nostrils.

4. Aloe vera gel

This another product that has been used for years. It helps strain germs that could cause nose infection, especially on your nasal skin. 

Also, aloe gel is good sinus inflammation treatment. 

Aloe vera gel is recommended because it has nutrients that are essential for healthy skin growth. You only need to extract some amount of aloe gel and apply on the nose lumps. Use cotton ball if the swelling occurs inside the nose.

Note this; the above home remedies are only useful for mild to moderate case of a swollen nose. You should also change some of your habits, i.e., you should stop picking your nose, avoid the irritants and allergens, avoid colds or use clean handkerchiefs while blowing your nose. 

 If you do not see any noticeable changes, seek medical attention. 

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