Help! How Do I Care For my Nose Acne?
Acne in general is one of life’s most frustrating challenges. The only comforting part about it is that over 85% of people across the world deal with some form of acne at one point in life. So, although it may not be what you want to hear, you are most definitely not alone when it comes to your struggles with acne. Acne can occur anywhere on the body, but a common place people experience breakouts is on their nose. So, how does nose acne compare and differ from other types of acne?
- The nose is an extremely common area for people to break out due to the large pores. When sebaceous glands are filled with excess oil, dirt, bacteria, and dead skin, a pimple forms
- There are two main categories of acne: inflammatory and noninflammatory. Inflammatory acne is harder to treat at home but using remedies such as a warm compress or icing the breakout will help reduce swelling and pain
- Noninflammatory acne typically responds well to products containing active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
Nose acne causes
To answer this question, we really need to understand the basics of acne in general and how acne arises anywhere on the body. There has been an ongoing debate as to whether acne is a case of nature or nurture. Some people believe that acne is a result of your skincare routine and habits, while others believe it’s purely genetics and is all up to fate. The conclusion that the dermatology world has come to: it’s truly a mix of both.
At its core, acne is caused by clogged hair follicles. Most people refer to these hair follicles as pores. Attached to these hair follicles are what we call sebaceous glands. These glands are the source of our skin and hair’s natural sebum or oils that keep us moisturized.
Although these glands are oftentimes microscopic and not visible to the naked eye, they still are openings on the skin, and it is easy for unwanted debris to get inside. Things like dirt, sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells collect inside these hair follicles causing a breakout of some sort.
Although there are several different types of breakouts and different types of acne, they all stem from this common root.
But what does this have to do with the nose specifically? Well, the nose is one of the most common places for breakouts to occur. Why? The human nose typically has larger pores meaning larger sebaceous glands. This leaves the nose more susceptible to a buildup of sebum and bacteria and a common site for breakouts of any kind, but especially blackheads and whiteheads.
Nose acne treatments
For starters, acne can present itself in two different ways: inflammatory and noninflammatory. Inflammatory acne consists of acne that stems from deep within the skin’s surface below the epidermis and is typically filled with pus causing it to be painful to the touch. Inflammatory acne includes:
Noninflammatory acne is a type of acne that forms closer to the skin’s surface layer and is not necessarily raised or filled with any sort of pus. These noninflammatory breakouts are not usually painful or swollen. Noninflammatory breakouts can consist of:
- Subclinical or comedonal
Inflammatory acne doesn’t always respond well to home remedies. But, dermatologists suggest starting with a warm compress, applying ice to reduce swelling, hydrocolloid pimple patches, and face cleansers that contain active chemical exfoliants such as benzoyl peroxide. Sometimes, inflammatory acne is resistant to at-home remedies and in that case, talk to your dermatologist to discuss prescription treatments.
Noninflammatory acne is easier to treat at home. Essentially, these types of breakouts typically respond very well to over-the-counter creams or ointments that contain active ingredients like salicylic acid. Salicylic acid will help to break up the dead skin cells and debris that are clogging your sebaceous glands and reduce the number of blackheads or whiteheads over time.
It’s important to stay away from scrubs. As tempting as it is to scrub away at all of the uneven texture on your nose, this will only irritate the skin and possibly lead to scarring, or even more breakouts. Applying a topical salicylic acid treatment or using an SA-containing cleanser once a day should do the trick.
Products to help with nose acne
As discussed earlier, many nose breakouts respond well to over-the-counter treatments, and there are several good ones on the market for a fair price. One of the best things to do when you start experiencing nose breakouts is to incorporate some sort of chemical exfoliant into your routine. Don’t rush into the process thinking more is better and you will see results faster. This will only worsen your condition.
Start off using a chemical exfoliant in your routine once or twice a week and see how your skin tolerates it. If your skin reacts well, you can try using the exfoliator every other day, but nothing more than that is really necessary for a basic skincare routine.
The reason chemical exfoliants are so hyped is because of their ability to deliver an active ingredient so quickly to the skin. But, for those who have extremely sensitive skin, this pure form of an active ingredient may be too much for their skin to tolerate. If you find yourself struggling with this, it may be best to incorporate that same active ingredient in the form of a cleanser, moisturizer, serum, or spot treatment so it’s not as potent.
Here are some of the best products that contain an active ingredient to help fight nose acne:
- Paula’s Choice Liquid Exfoliant 2% BHA with Salicylic Acid ($32)
- Mighty Patch Next Gen Nose Patch ($17.99)
- Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% ($14.99)
- Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10% ($11.99)
*Also comes in a 4% option for those with more sensitive skin
We all love to have clear skin. But, it’s important to remember that breakouts are normal and incredibly common. Dealing with acne in general isn’t fun, especially on the nose. But, with the right ingredients, and consistency with a skincare routine, you should be able to keep your nose acne at bay.
As always, if your skin reacts to a product or ingredient in a concerning way, or you’re not receiving the desired results after a month or two of consistent use, talk to your dermatologist. All skin is beautiful, and acne is simply a part of life.
Written by Jordan Hammaren
- Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash