Question: I have a small inner nostril pimple in my right nostril not painful, but very uncomfortable to know that it’s there, I keep putting my hand up by my nose at work what should I do?
Answer: It is not uncommon to get small sores, or an inner nostril pimple. Anything that irritates the delicate mucous membranes at the front of the nose can cause these. They can occur from work exposure, dust or dirt exposure, or certainly by using one’s finger in the nose. Often, the roots of the hair fibers in the front of the nose, “vibrissa” can get irritated and cause a small abscess of the hair follicle “folliculitis”. That can be dangerous as infections may rapidly spread from this area.
When you get such a sore, I would suggest using a topical antibiotic ointment on a finger tip (not q tip) just at the very entrance to the nose. If this fails to improve, you may need to see your doctor for oral antibiotics.
When you know you will be exposed to environmental irritants, such as dirt, dust, wood, metal, or other particles, it helps to wear a mask and rinse your nose after exposure with a hypertonic saline rinse, such as SaltAire or NeilMed.
Robert Pincus MD
NY Sinus Center