Nose itch quiz
Take a quiz to find out what's causing your itch.
An itchy nose is a very common condition that is usually self treatable. 38% of cases last less than a day. Causes range from allergies to bug bites. Read more below to learn about 9 causes for itchy nose.
9 causes of a nose itch
This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.
Normal episode of itchy skin
Itchy skin is also called pruritis. There are a number of "normal" causes for itching, meaning the cause is not disease-related and does not result in seriously damaged skin.
The most common causes are:
- Dry skin, due to bathing in soap or bubble bath that may be too harsh and is stripping the natural oils from the skin.
- Mild allergies, which may be caused by dust; certain plants and flowers; nickel-containing jewelry; and any sort of soap, detergent, lotion, or perfume.
- Pregnancy, due to stretching of skin or to a condition called prurigo. Prurigo causes small, itchy bumps which may be due to an autoimmune system dysfunction during pregnancy.
- Menopause, due to hormonal changes that may leave the skin overly dry.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes allergy tests.
Treatment involves bathing only with mild, hypoallergenic soap; regular moisturizing with unscented lotion; wearing soft, loose, non-synthetic clothing; avoiding any substances that seem to provoke the itching; and sometimes prescription medicated creams.
Top Symptoms: feeling itchy or tingling all over
Symptoms that always occur with normal episode of itchy skin: feeling itchy or tingling all over
Non-specific insect bite
Insect bites are very common. They often cause itchiness, redness, and some swelling. Most insect bites can be treated at home.
Rhinitis simply means "inflammation of the nose." When it is caused by something other than allergies, it is called vasomotor rhinitis. "Vasomotor" simply refers to the constriction or dilation of blood vessels.
Different substances can trigger the vasomotor reaction, even though it is not an allergic reaction. Common causes are certain medications; air pollution; and chronic medical conditions.
Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and postnasal drip. Since no allergy is involved, there will not be the scratchy throat or itchy eyes and nose of allergic rhinitis.
A medical provider should be seen for ongoing symptoms, since they can interfere with quality of life. Also, using over-the-counter medications meant for allergic rhinitis will not help in a case of vasomotor rhinitis.
Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and allergy tests, in order to rule out allergies as a cause of the symptoms.
Treatment involves using the appropriate medications to ease the symptoms, and avoiding any triggers as much as possible.
Top Symptoms: congestion, mucous dripping in the back of the throat, runny nose, frequent sneezing, eye itch
Symptoms that never occur with non-allergic rhinitis: fever, sinus pain, facial fullness or pressure
New-onset seasonal allergies
New-onset seasonal allergies, also called adult-onset seasonal allergies, are sensitivities to pollen, mold, and other irritants that cause nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and sore throat.
Seasonal allergies commonly begin in childhood but can start at any age, especially among those with a family history. Moving to a different geographic location may trigger the allergy in someone with a genetic predisposition. Anyone with asthma is more likely to experience adult-onset seasonal allergies.
Sometimes the symptoms are actually from "pregnancy rhinitis" – nasal congestion and sneezing due to the effects of pregnancy hormones on the nasal tissue.
A new-onset allergy is often thought to be a cold, but a cold will clear up without treatment. Allergies persist, never getting better or worse, and can interfere with quality of life.
Diagnosis is made by an allergist, who will use skin tests and blood tests.
There is no cure for seasonal allergies but the symptoms can be managed for greater comfort and relief. Antihistamines, corticosteroid nasal sprays, and immunotherapy or "allergy shots" can be very effective.
Top Symptoms: sore throat, congestion, cough with dry or watery sputum, mucous dripping in the back of the throat, fatigue
Symptoms that never occur with new-onset seasonal allergies: fever, yellow-green runny nose, chills, muscle aches
Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, dermatitis, atopic eczema, or AD, is a chronic skin condition with an itchy rash.
AD is not contagious. It is caused by a genetic condition that affects the skin's ability to protect itself from bacteria and allergens.
AD is most often seen in infants and young children. Most susceptible are those with a family history of AD, asthma, or hay fever.
Infants will have a dry, scaly, itchy rash on the scalp, forehead, and cheeks. Older children will have the rash in the creases of elbows, knees, and buttocks.
Without treatment, a child may have trouble sleeping due to the intense itching. Constant scratching may cause skin infections and the skin may turn thickened and leathery.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination, patient history, and allergen skin tests.
AD cannot be cured, but can be controlled through prescribed medications, skin care, stress management, and treatment of food allergies. Those with AD often have allergies to milk, nuts, and shellfish. Keeping the skin clean and moisturized helps prevent flareups.
Dermatofibroma of the nose
A dermatofibroma is a fairly common skin growth that usually appears on the lower legs, but may appear anywhere on the body. These mole-like growths are benign (noncancerous.)
The cause is not known, though a dermatofibroma may appear after a minor injury. The growths are not contagious.
Dermatofibromas are most common in adults and are rarely found in children.
Symptoms include a hard, raised growth that is red, pink, or brown and less than half an inch across. They are usually painless but may be tender or itchy, and may appear alone or in groups.
Any new growth on the skin should be seen by a medical provider, especially if the growth is very dark in color or changes its shape or appearance quickly.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes biopsy.
A dermatofibroma does not require treatment unless it is interfering with clothing or is unsightly. They can be surgically removed, though this will leave a scar and the growth may eventually return.
Top Symptoms: nose itch, small nose lump, skin-colored nose bump, pink or red nose bump, marble-size nose lump
Urgency: Wait and watch
Allergic contact dermatitis of the nose
Allergic contact dermatitis means the skin has touched something that provoked an allergic reaction, causing inflammation and irritation.
"Contact" means the allergic reaction came from touching something, not from consuming something. The first exposure to the substance sensitizes the immune system, and then the second exposure actually causes the symptoms.
The most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis are:
- Nickel, a metal often used in belt buckles, the buttons on pants, and jewelry, including piercing jewelry.
- Poison ivy.
- Various types of perfumes, including those founds in soaps, fabric softeners, and detergents.
- Of course, there are many more.
Symptoms include red, itching, scaling, flaking skin that may be painful due to the irritation and inflammation.
Diagnosis is made through first avoiding contact with any suspected substance, to see if the dermatitis clears. Patch testing can be done if the results are not certain.
Treatment involves fully avoiding the allergy-provoking substance and using topical steroid cream as prescribed. Cool compresses and calamine lotion can help to ease the discomfort.
Top Symptoms: nose itch, nose redness, scabbed area of the nose
Symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the nose: nose redness
Allergies are an overreaction by the immune system to something that does not bother most other people. Many people who have allergies are sensitive to pollen, but other things such as dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches, and mold can also cause a reaction.
Top Symptoms: fatigue, irritability, trouble sleeping, runny nose, congestion
Symptoms that never occur with chronic allergies: fever, yellow-green runny nose, chills, muscle aches
Mosquito bites are bites from flying insects that feed on the blood of animals, including humans. Mosquito bites are more common during the summer or in warmer climates, at dawn or dusk, and near bodies of water.
In most cases, mosquito bites will cause a local skin reaction that gets better on ..
Questions your doctor may ask about nose itch
- Any fever today or during the last week?
- Are you experiencing chills?
- Do you have a runny nose?
- Do your symptoms seem to have started or worsened after exposure to dust mite? (dust mite is commonly found in carpets, bedding, pillows and blankets)
Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.
Nose itch symptom checker statistics
People who have experienced nose itch have also experienced:
- 10% Runny Nose
- 8% Frequent Sneezing
- 5% Nose Irritation/Inflammation
People who have experienced nose itch were most often matched with:
- 33% New-Onset Seasonal Allergies
- 33% Non-Allergic Rhinitis
- 33% Allergic Contact Dermatitis Of The Nose
People who have experienced nose itch had symptoms persist for:
- 38% Less than a day
- 26% Less than a week
- 19% Over a month
Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.
Was this article helpful?