If redness around the nose is something you've been struggling with, keep in mind that it's there for a reason. The most important thing is to determine why it's there and treat the underlying cause—rather than cover up the problem with concealers or powders that could aggravate the situation. If you're concerned about persistent redness around the nose, it is best to consult with a dermatologist who can diagnose your issue.
Meet the Expert
- Ava Shamban, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Five. Shamban sits on the editorial board for the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology and has published a book on a complete approach to healing the skin.
- Celebrity esthetician Kát Rudu provides treatments in her studios in Venice Beach and Manhattan Beach, California. She has her own namesake product line: Kát Rudu Pure Biotic.
We reached out to dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD, founder of AVA MD Dermatology and Skin Five in Beverly Hills, California, and celebrity esthetician Kát Rudu, founder of Kát Rudu Pure Biotic Skincare, to talk more about the causes and share some at-home remedies to help relieve the irritation. They say some of the most common causes of redness around the nose are rosacea, perioral dermatitis, and allergies. "Both perioral dermatitis and rosacea can have tiny little pustules on a red patch," describes Shamban. "Rosacea may also have cysts and telangiectasia. Dermatitis may have a small number of white scales."
What are Pustulates and Telangiectasia?
Pustulates are small blisters or pimples. Telangiectasia is a collection of spider veins. While neither sounds particularly appealing, they're naturally forming—plus, being able to identify them is the first step in correcting them.
Even when not a true rosacea, Shamban says the root of redness can still be a series of small capillaries that are broken in that area around the nose. "We have a large number of these small network systems around the side of the nose, and they can be temperamental in that capillaries are possibly affected by a whole host of factors, including temperature changes, hormones or pregnancy, sun exposure, alcohol consumption, or injury to the area," she explains. "I cannot stress enough the importance of sun protection around the nose, especially with minerals like zinc and titanium."
Zinc is an essential mineral that is needed for numerous healthy bodily functions, including boosting the immune system, healing wounds, and assisting in DNA/protein synthesis and growth. Applied topically, it's shown to aid in wound healing and regeneration, as well as protect the skin by deflecting UV rays.
Ahead, find 11 ways this dermatologist and esthetician say you can tone down redness around your nose.
Invest in a Humidifier
"Use a humidifier at night while sleeping to ensure that skin does not get dried out," says Rudu. For additional relief, she suggests adding essential oils or calming agents like lavender, chamomile, or cucumber into your humidifier for extra hydration and calming effects.
Avoid These Foods
Shamban explains that if the cause is rosacea, you want to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods, which aggravate and make the redness more prominent. "If the cause is perioral dermatitis, this can be flared up by hormonal changes, so make sure to visit your gynecologist to treat those changes," says Shamban.
Apply a Cold Compress
Rudu and Shamban both agree cold compresses are a good way to keep redness and inflammation around the nose (and all over the face) at bay. "Avoid using hot water when washing the face or showering—use more tepid temperate water for the face," says Shamban. "And better yet, add a cold compress to your face routine."
Rudu also notes that chamomile tea presses are even better than water compresses. Learn how to make a chamomile tea compress by following these simple steps:
- Brew tea and place it in the fridge to cool.
- Soak a cloth in the cool tea.
- Squeeze out excess tea.
- Place the cool material over the irritated area.
Opt for an At-Home LED Light Treatment
LED light treatments with blue light, which are used on acne patients, also serve to mitigate redness from capillaries, rosacea, and dermatitis. "In office, the light-emitting diode protocols are more effective, but there are also some home devices or masks that are effective tools in your fight against flush," Shamban says.
Try a CBD Serum
Kát Rudu Pure Biotic carries a CBD serum called Sanctuary Glow Hemp Serum ($59) that is "a calming agent [that] is amazing to fight redness and inflammation in the dermis," says Rudu. "In office, a cooling oxygen (or oxygen CBD Serum blast) keeps skin cool and combats redness."
Add a Topical Solution
Rudu suggests hydrocortisone, which can reduce the swelling, itching, and redness that can occur with various conditions. "Dab around the nose at night and before your morning skincare routine," she says.
Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid, a medicine that reduces inflammation. It's a common anti-inflammatory treatment for skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, and is available both over-the-counter and as a prescription.
Shamban also suggests looking for calming topicals, such as niacinamide. "NIA24 is a range we carry in our clinics that is backed by 40-plus years of research and is clinically tested to strengthen the skin barrier and target damage and premature aging, and it is ideal for reducing redness both from conditions, such as rosacea and capillaries or inflammation and irritation," says Shamban. "It is based on a pro-niacin molecule, and there are cleansers, serums, creme moisturizers, hydrators, and sunscreens in the range, all of which work well."
Redness Due to Allergies or a Cold? Use Moisturizing Tissues
Redness around the nose can also be related to dry skin, allergies, or a cold that has you incessantly wiping and irritating the area. Use tissues with moisturizer built in, like aloe vera and/or vitamin E, which can be soothing and help to eliminate the redness. Shamban explains that for underlying allergies like hay fever, an antihistamine (like Sudafed or Claritin, for example) is a preferred treatment.
Aloe vera is a naturally derived ingredient known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. The aloe plant's inner gel mucilage (the part that's used in skincare products) is made up of 99.5% water.
Incorporate Yoga into Your Daily Routine
Because stress is a major trigger for redness, Shamban suggests practicing relaxation techniques to keep stress away, Incorporating yoga, breathing, and meditation into your day-to-day can never hurt and may reduce redness. So if you're feeling stressed and looking a little red, going Zen just might be the answer.
Mask Redness with This Ancient Healing Remedy
Gotu kola, also known as tiger grass, is an ancient healing remedy that is masterful at masking redness. "It is [known] to calm irritation and stimulate the skin’s wound-healing response. A super multitasker, it is an herb that repairs and soothes, helping to eliminate any inflammation and flushing or residual redness," Rudu says.
Take a Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics that are both ingested and applied topically can help with redness, Rudu explains. They have great anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties and prevent inflammation triggers by acting as a calming agent. "Topically, probiotics sit on the skin surface preventing skin cells from touching any bacteria that would cause an immune system response of inflammation, which can cause redness and a flushing effect," she says.
Use Hypoallergenic Cleansers and Moisturizers
For lifestyle changes that can help reduce your chance of redness around the nose, Shamban recommends using gentle hypoallergenic cleansers and moisturizers. If you're looking for added relief, "cucumbers soaked in a small amount of water mixed into a bland moisturizer can be helpful," suggests Shamban. "Alternatively, having a facial mask made with yogurt honey and oatmeal can also be soothing."
Rudu says "adding a moisturizer or serum with a reflective property like pearl powder is a great deflector, balancing redness in the key area around the nose and reflecting light."
When to See a Professional
Most of the time, redness around your nose is only temporary and will improve following the tips outlined above. If the redness gets worse or lasts longer than two weeks, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) recommends you check in with your doctor to find out the cause.
If you are having other symptoms in addition to redness, such as itchiness, swelling, cracked or oozing skin, this can be a sign of other conditions. For example, the skin condition rosacea causes redness and flushing that requires a prescription topical ointment. Perioral dermatitis causes a red, scaly rash with bumps around your mouth and nose and is often mistaken for acne.
Eczema, psoriasis, shingles or even an allergic reaction to a medication or lotion are other conditions that your doctor can help rule out.
How can you cover redness around your nose?
First, make sure you rule out conditions like dermatitis or rosacea to address the underlying cause. Start by applying a medium or full coverage foundation. Next, apply a full coverage concealer that matches your skin tone and finish off with a dusting of powder to set the makeup. Look for yellow-based products that are hypoallergenic and avoid green color correcting products.
How do you get rid of red, dry skin around your nose?
Dry skin around the nose is often from being out in cold weather or from frequently wiping your nose after a cold. Keep your nose moisturized with Vaseline or another gentle, non-comedogenic lotion, use a humidifier in your room, drink lots of water and use tissues with lotion or aloe in them.
How do you treat rosacea around the nose?
First, talk to a doctor to help identify things that can trigger a flare-up, such as spicy foods or temperature extremes. Your doctor will prescribe a medication that is right for you, along with treatments such as laser or light therapy that can also help.
Does a red nose mean you have high blood pressure?
Even though your face may appear red or flushed after exercise or with emotional stress, the American Heart Association says high blood pressure does not cause facial flushing. If you are concerned about your blood pressure, talk with your doctor.
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American Heart Association. What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure? 2016.