Oily black dots, white pustules and painful red cysts on your nose are more than self-esteem killers. They may be an indication that your skincare routine is not up to par. Oil and cell debris gather in hard-to-clean areas like the crevices on the sides of the nose and in stretched-out pores at the tip, creating an ideal environment for pimple growth. Ramp up your skincare regimen without picking or rubbing, which will worsen unsightly blemishes.
Acne appears in many forms. Comedones -- superficial lesions that form from plugged hair follicles -- can make your nose look like a dotted, bumpy mess. They are often resolved with over-the-counter products and a stricter skincare routine. Left unchecked, however, they can form into larger, more inflamed pustules and eventually nodular acne, which requires more invasive treatment. The final stage of nodular acne is nodulocystic acne, or fluid-filled cysts, which hurt terribly in the nose area, will never disappear on their own and can leave significant scarring. Many acne-prone individuals exhibit all types of acne at once, which requires a multi-faceted approach.
Genetics and hormonal imbalances may play a role in acne formation anywhere on the body, but nose acne is often a case of oil overproduction and debris clogging the pores. Closed comedones, or whiteheads, and open comedones, or blackheads, appear once a pore becomes filled with dead skin material, dirt and oil. A regular skincare routine that prevents pores from clogging is key to keeping this type of acne at bay. Wash your nose twice daily with an astringent cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid, followed by a water-based moisturizer. Once a day, apply any facial product -- like an exfoliant, facial wipe or cleanser -- that contains salicylic acid.
Beat the Bumps
To fully banish comedones on your nose, see an aesthetician or dermatologist for extractions. Ask for a medical grade facial, which includes a professional skin treatment, steaming, extraction with a comedo extractor tool and a topical retinoid. For stubborn, recurring nose acne, make your visits once monthly. Or ask your doctor about microdermabrasion, chemical peels or even shrinking your sebaceous glands with photodynamic laser therapy. If you're stuck with painful nodular or cystic acne, over-the-counter treatments and facials will do nothing. See your dermatologist for steroid injections, oral and topical antibiotics or, in extreme cases, surgical excision.
Not all nose spots are acne. Evenly patterned brown or gray spots may be sebaceous filaments, or little hairlike structures that help oil escape your pores. You may be tempted to pop them -- but don't. Squeezing filaments can irritate the pore and make a real blackhead appear. The same oil control and pore shrinking treatments used on acne can minimize their appearance. Ruddy bumps and pustules across a swollen nose may be signs of the inflammatory disease called rosacea, which requires antibiotics and may react badly to over-the-counter acne treatments.
- American Skin Association: Acne
- RealSelf: How Can I Keep Whiteheads From Coming Back Around My Nose?
- RealSelf: Cystic Acne Only on the Sides of the Nose?
- RealSelf: I Have Oily SKin
- National Rosacea Society: All About Rosacea
- Cascade Medical Boutique: Did You Know Those Blackheads Might Not Be Blackheads?
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