Symptoms A-Z

How to Handle A Bump in Or on Your Nose & What Could Be the Cause

If you have a bump or pimple in or on your nose, you may find it irritating or painful. The most common causes of a bump in or on the nose are acne, bacterial, or fungal infection. A painful bump in the nose could also be caused by trauma from picking your nose or a nose piercing. Read below for associated symptoms and treatment options.

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Bumps in or on the Nose Explained

The human nose is one body part that may not be cause for much attention — until something is wrong with it. Sneezing, runny or leaky noses, and sniffling maybe undesirable, but are quite common during allergy or flu season. However, developing a sudden bump in the nose is an unique issue and can be quite concerning at first.

Questions might start flying around your head, including how long has it been there? Why is it there? Is this a sign of something serious?

The good news is that there are plenty of reasons for developing a bump in the nose, most of which are low-risk.

If you do develop a bump in your nose, you might experience the following

It's likely to also experience:

There's more going on inside your nose than meets the eye. There are four main parts of the nose. The first are the nostrils, which serve as the entrance to your nasal cavity. They're the first component involved in the science of smelling things like your grandma's amazing cookies baking in the oven or your dog's not-so-friendly presents.

The nostrils are separated by the septum, which is made up of pieces of bone at one end and thick cartilage at the other. This is what makes the tip of your nose so movable.

Finally, the space behind your nose is the nasal cavity. This connects to your throat and is separated from the mouth by your palette. The intertwining of your nose and mouth is why scents and tastes play off of each other.

What Can Cause a Bump on or Inside the Nose?

As you can see from our section on symptoms, there are plenty of pieces and parts in and surrounding the nose that can be injured or traumatized, leading to possible bruising, pain, or bumps.

Here are some of the most common cause categories behind mysterious nose bumps

The following are the most likely causes.

  • Bacterial and fungal causes: Bacterial and fungal causes are common culprits of nose bumps. The inner linings of the nose are covered in hair follicles that can become blocked and irritated. Just like the rest of your body, the nose can become infected, either with bacteria or a fungus. This can lead to pain, redness, and if severe enough, a bump. Acne can also be the reason behind a bump or two inside your nose. If you suffer from acne externally, this could be a likely explanation.
  • Medical causes: Medical causes can also be behind nose bumps. Boils can develop inside the opening of the nostril. These can be treated because they can lead to serious medical conditions. Painless growths like polyps can cover the sinuses and lead to discomfort. Allergies, if bad enough, can also cause bumps inside your nose.
  • Trauma-related causes: Trauma-related causes are usually self-inflicted. Picking your nose can lead to irritation and infections, as can removing hair from inside the nasal passages. Finally, trauma caused by an accident or force can damage any of the intricate parts of the nose, possibly causing bumps and bruising.

9 Possible Bump In Or On The Nose Conditions

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced bump in or on the nose. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Skin cyst

A cyst is a small sac or lump, filled with fluid, air, fat, or other material, that begins to grow somewhere in the body for no apparent reason. A skin cyst is one that forms just beneath the skin.

It's believed that skin cysts form around trapped keratin cells – the cells that form the relatively tough outer layer of the skin.

These cysts are not contagious.

Anyone can get a skin cyst, but they are most common in those who are over age 18, have acne, or have injured the skin.

Symptoms include the appearance of a small, rounded lump under the skin. Cysts are normally painless unless infected, when they will be reddened and sore and contain pus.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination. A small cyst can be left alone, though if it is unsightly or large enough to interfere with movement it can be removed in a simple procedure done in a doctor's office. An infected cyst must be treated so that the infection does not spread.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: skin-colored armpit bump, marble sized armpit lump, small armpit lump

Symptoms that always occur with skin cyst: skin-colored armpit bump

Urgency: Wait and watch

Skin abscess

A skin abscess is a large pocket of pus that has formed just beneath the skin. It is caused by bacteria getting under the skin, usually through a small cut or scratch, and beginning to multiply. The body fights the invasion with white blood cells, which kill some of the infected tissue but form pus within the cavity that remains.

Symptoms include a large, red, swollen, painful lump of pus anywhere on the body beneath the skin. There may be fever, chills, and body aches from the infection.

If not treated, there is the risk of an abscess enlarging, spreading, and causing serious illness.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

A small abscess may heal on its own, through the body's immune system. But some will need to be drained or lanced in a medical provider's office so that the pus can be cleaned out. Antibiotics are usually prescribed.

Keeping the skin clean, and using only clean clothes and towels, will help to make sure that the abscess does not recur.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with bumps or blisters, red rash, red skin bump larger than 1/2 cm in diameter, pus-filled rash, rash

Symptoms that always occur with skin abscess: rash with bumps or blisters

Urgency: Primary care doctor


Pimples are also called comedones, spots, blemishes, or "zits." Medically, they are small skin eruptions filled with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.

Pimples often first start appearing at puberty, when hormones increase the production of oil in the skin and sometimes clog the pores.

Most susceptible are teenagers from about ages 13 to 17.

Symptoms include blocked pores that may appear flat and black on the surface, because the oil darkens when exposed to the air; blocked pores that appear white on the surface because they have closed over with dead skin cells; or swollen, yellow-white, pus-filled blisters surrounded by reddened skin.

Outbreaks of pimples on the skin can interfere with quality of life, making the person self-conscious about their appearance and causing pain and discomfort in the skin. A medical provider can help to manage the condition, sometimes through referral to a dermatologist.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

Treatment involves improving diet; keeping the skin, hair, washcloths, and towels very clean; and using over-the-counter acne remedies.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: pink or red facial bump, small facial lump, painful facial bump, marble sized facial lump

Symptoms that always occur with pimple: pink or red facial bump

Urgency: Self-treatment


Lipoma is a word that translates as "fatty tumor," but a lipoma is not cancer. It is simply a growth of fat between the muscle layer and the skin above it.

The exact cause is not known. The condition does run in families and is associated with other unusual syndromes such as adiposis dolorosa, which is similar. Lipomas most often appear after age 40.

Symptoms include a soft, easily moveable lump beneath the skin, about two inches across. A lipoma is painless unless its growth is irritating the nerves around it. They are most often found on the back, neck, and abdomen, and sometimes the arms and upper legs.

It is a good idea to have any new or unusual growth checked by a medical provider, just to make certain it is benign.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, biopsy, and imaging such as ultrasound or CT scan.

Most of the time, treatment is not necessary unless the lipoma is unsightly or is interfering with other structures. It can be removed through surgery or liposuction.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: skin-colored groin bump, marble sized groin lump, small groin lump

Symptoms that always occur with lipoma: skin-colored groin bump

Urgency: Wait and watch

Bump In Or On The Nose Symptom Checker

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Boil (furuncle)

A furuncle, also called a boil, is infection of a hair follicle. The infection forms under the skin at the root of the hair and may occur anywhere on the body.

The infection is caused by bacteria, most often Staphylococcus aureus or "staph." Irritation caused by clothes or anything else rubbing the skin can cause the skin to break down and allow bacteria to enter.

Staph bacteria are found everywhere. Frequent and thorough handwashing, and otherwise maintaining cleanliness, will help to prevent its spread.

Most susceptible are those with a weakened immune system; diabetes; and other skin infections.

Symptoms include a single bump under the skin that is swollen, painful, and red, and contains pus.

It is important to treat the boil, since infection can spread into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes fluid sample from the boil.

Treatment may involve incision and drainage of the infection, followed by creams to apply to the site of the boil and/or a course of antibiotic medicine.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: pink or red facial bump, small facial lump, painful facial bump, marble sized facial lump, constant skin changes

Symptoms that always occur with boil (furuncle): pink or red facial bump

Symptoms that never occur with boil (furuncle): fever

Urgency: Self-treatment

Dermatofibroma of the nose

Dermatofibroma (superficial benign fibrous histiocytoma) is a common cutaneous nodule of unknown etiology that occurs more often in women. Dermatofibroma frequently develops on the extremities (mostly the lower legs) and is usually asymptomatic, although pruritus and tenderness can be present

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: nose itch, small nose lump, skin-colored nose bump, pink or red nose bump, marble-size nose lump

Urgency: Wait and watch


Whiteheads are caused by hair follicles becoming clogged with oil & dead skin cells. When the clogged pore is closed to the air by a layer of skin cells, the oil/dead skin cells remains white (as opposed to a blackhead).

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: small facial lump, yellow or white facial bump

Symptoms that always occur with whitehead: small facial lump, yellow or white facial bump

Urgency: Self-treatment

Facial mole

Moles are growths on the skin. They happen when pigment cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in clusters.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: facial bump unchanging in size, small facial lump, black or brown facial bump, uniformly black/brown face bump, facial bump's smooth border

Symptoms that always occur with facial mole: black or brown facial bump, facial bump unchanging in size

Urgency: Wait and watch

Mole on the nose

Moles are growths on the skin. They happen when pigment cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in clusters.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: unchanged nose bump, small nose lump, black or brown nose bump, uniformly black/brown nose bump, bump's smooth border

Symptoms that always occur with mole on the nose: unchanged nose bump, black or brown nose bump

Urgency: Wait and watch

When and How to Treat a Bump in or on the Nose

Most of the time, giving your nose bump a few days to heal on its own is all you need to do.

When to see a doctor

However, there are some signs that warrant a trip to the doctor's office, such as the following.

  • Excessive bleeding from the nose
  • Bump grows in size
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain behind the nose

When treating a nose bump, consider the following home remedies and preventative measures (if the issue is recurring)

You likely already have these items in your home.

  • Salt water therapy: An infected bump is no match for the antibacterial properties of salt water. Simply mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and apply with a clean cloth to the affected area.
  • Warm compress: Soak a washcloth in warm water and apply to the area if possible. This will reduce discomfort and, if it is infected, help bring the infection to the surface.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal. It can also moisturize and soothe irritated skin. Use a cotton swab to carefully apply the oil as needed.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar works by countering any itchiness, swelling, and redness. It has antiseptic properties that can kill off bacteria and speed up the healing process.

Bump in nose prevention

To better prevent bumps in your nose, keep the following in mind.

  • Avoid picking your nose
  • Be gentle when blowing your nose
  • Avoid triggers: If you are prone to allergies or have allergic rhinitis

A bump in the nose doesn't have to slow you down. Seek medical attention if necessary but, in most situations, a little patience will have your nose back to its former glory in no time.

FAQs About Bump In Or On The Nose

Here are some frequently asked questions about bump in or on the nose.

Can a bump in my nose go away on its own?

Yes. A bump (most commonly a pimple) or a mixture of an infection, inflammation, and overactive sweat glands can occur in the nose. It will often last as long as bumps or pimples in other areas of the body and disappear without any intervention. Unless you are seeing a specialist in popping pimples (e.g. a dermatologist) it is best to let the bump resolve on its own so as not to spread the pimple.

What does a bump in nose with pus mean?

A bump on the nose that expresses pus is commonly known as a pimple. It is often the product of overactive sweat glands and inflammation. In some cases, it can be the product of infection, but most pimples are contributed to significantly by the body's own inflammation and activity of its sweat glands.

Can an infected piercing cause a nose bump?

Yes. A skin infection or cellulitis is a complication of nose piercing. Often, infected piercings do not require medical attention. The piercing should either be replaced or left in and washed and rinsed with mild soapy water or disinfectant. Removing the piercing may allow the hole through which the piercing was placed to swell shut and heal, such that a new piercing is required.

What does a painful bump in my nose mean?

A painful bump on the surface of the nose may be a pimple. A painful bump within the nose may be an infected portion of the nostril. You have oil glands just outside the nose that track into the nose as well. If one of those regions becomes clogged with dirt or oil, it can block sweat and oil from being released, causing a pimple.

Can you have a pimple in your nose?

Yes. A pimple forms from blocked glands and can occur inside the nose as well as outside the nose. A pimple in the nose is not an uncommon occurrence and should resolve on its own as long as it is kept clean. You should not pop it as this can spread pimples to other areas of the face.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Bump In Or On The Nose

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • What color is the bump?
  • Is your nose bump painful to touch?
  • Is there something on the surface of the bump?
  • Has anyone in your family had cancer?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your bump in or on the nose

Bump In Or On The Nose Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced bump in or on the nose have also experienced:

  • 11% Nose Pain
  • 6% Congestion
  • 5% Nasal Ulcer

People who have experienced bump in or on the nose were most often matched with:

  • 80% Skin Abscess
  • 20% Pimple

People who have experienced bump in or on the nose had symptoms persist for:

  • 36% Less than a week
  • 36% Over a month
  • 11% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Bump In Or On The Nose Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your bump in or on the nose

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.