How to Heal a Cut in Your Nose

Three Parts:Cleaning the InjuryTreating the CutHandling a Severe Case

The nose is a sensitive part of the body, so even the smallest cut or sore inside the nose can be complicated to treat, and sometimes painful. Proper care of an injury inside the nose can promote healing and prevent unwanted infections. See a doctor if the bleeding won't stop, if the wound won't close up, or if you develop an infection.

Part 1
Cleaning the Injury

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    Wash your hands. Be sure your hands are clean in order to avoid introducing any bacteria into an open cut.[1] Wash with clean, running water and scrub your hands with soap for a least 20 seconds (sing "Happy Birthday" twice).[2] Then rinse well and dry your hands on a clean towel.
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    Stop the bleeding. If the cut or sore is bleeding and is very near the edge of the nose, then gently apply pressure, using clean materials, until the bleeding stops. Do not block the breathing, and do not pack the nostril.[3]
    • If the injury is not clearly visible or is not right on the edge of the nose, then use accepted first aid methods to stop the bleeding.[4]
    • Sit up straight and lean forward. Maintaining this position helps to reduce the pressure in the vessels located in your nose, and prevents you from swallowing the blood.
    • Pinch the nose shut, using your thumb and index finger, and hold the nose shut for about 10 minutes. The person should breathe through their mouth during this time. After the 10 minutes, release the hold.
    • If the nose is still bleeding then repeat the procedure. If it still bleeds after 20 minutes, seek medical advice as the injury may be more serious than first anticipated.
    • Keeping the person cool during this process can be done by cool cloths or by sucking on something cold, like ice chips.[5]
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    Remove any debris carefully. To reduce infection and possible complications, you can use sterilized tweezers to remove any debris that remains in the cut.[6]
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    Use clean tools. If you think something is lodged in the area, or if you just need to clean out any skin fragments, tissue, or blood clots, sterilize the items you plan to use. If you are not able to sterilize the tools, make sure they are as clean as possible.[7]
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    Sterilize the tools you need.[8]
    • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
    • Wash the utensils, like tweezers, thoroughly with soap and water, then rinse completely.
    • Place the items in a pot or pan, with enough water inside to cover every item.
    • Cover the pan with a lid, and bring the water to a boil. Continue to boil the water for 15 minutes with the lid in place.
    • Remove the pan from the heat, keeping the lid in place, and let it cool to room temperature.
    • Drain the water from the pan without touching the sterilized items. If you are not ready to use the items, then leave them in the drained pot or pan with the lid on.
    • Carefully remove the items when you are ready to use them. Avoid touching the parts of the tools that will come in contact with the injury. Touch only the handles or grips.
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    Consider seeking medical help if the area is hard to reach. If you cannot easily see the cut, or reach it, then you may have trouble properly treating the area. You could do additional damage or introduce bacteria if the cut is up inside the nose.[9]
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    Choose your cleaning agent. Usually, soap and water is the best way to clean a wound, cut, or minor injury to the skin. In some more delicate and sensitive areas, products that are both cleansers and antibacterial agents are sometimes recommended.[10]
    • One common product that is both a soap cleanser and anti-infective is called chlorhexidine, and is available without a prescription in most retail pharmacies.[11] Chlorhexidine should be highly diluted before using on mucous membranes (the inside of the nose).
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    Read the product labels. Do not use any product that is not approved for use inside the nose.
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    Clean the tissue around the cut. In order to reach the cut to clean it, you may need to carefully use a cotton swab or a piece of rolled up gauze.[12]
    • Use clean or sterilized tweezers to hold the gauze in order to effectively clean the area.[13]
    • Use fresh water and mild soap, or a small amount of chlorhexidine on the end of the cotton swab or gauze.[14]
    • Repeat your method with clean, fresh water, and clean tools, to rinse away any soap residue.[15]

Part 2
Treating the Cut

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    Keep washing your hands. Your cut is an entrance for unwanted bacteria into your bloodstream.[16]
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    Ask your doctor about putting any product in your nose. Anti-infective, or antibiotic creams and ointments are made to be used on superficial cuts and scrapes, but may not be appropriate for more severe injuries further up inside your nose. Ask your doctor if this product can be safely used to treat the cut inside your nose. Products like this can be purchased without a prescription at your local pharmacy.[17]
    • If your doctor approves, place a small amount of the anti-infective cream or ointment on the end of a cotton swab, or on a small piece of gauze. Carefully apply the medicated cream or ointment to the area surrounding the cut.[18]
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    Avoid touching the cut with your fingers. If you must use your hands to apply treatment, then be sure you have washed them thoroughly.[19]
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    Do not pick at the area. Once you have applied the medication, leave the area alone. Keep your fingers away, and do not pick at the scab. Picking at the area can prevent the cut from healing and increase your risk of infection.[20]
    • Gently cleaning the area and using an emollient safe for your nasal area may help to prevent the formation of large and uncomfortable scabs. Consider using the anti-infective ointment, or a small amount of petroleum jelly to keep the area moist.
    • This should help the cut to form smaller and softer scabs, and help the area to heal on its own.
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    Re-apply the treatment as needed. Depending on the placement of the cut, its length, and depth, you may need to repeat the application of the medication every day, or every few days. Use caution not to introduce any bacteria.[21]

Part 3
Handling a Severe Case

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    Seek medical attention if the bleeding does not easily stop. Persistent bleeding can indicate a broken bone, a deep cut inside your nose, or a more severe medical condition. Bleeding that continues for more than 15 to 20 minutes is a warning sign that something more serious may have happened.[22]
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    See your doctor if the cut does not begin to heal within a few days. Some injuries that occur inside the nostrils may need to be medically treated. The nose is a sensitive area with a lot of blood vessels, fluids (like mucus), and sinus drainage – all of which contain bacteria. Some injuries that occur inside the nose need to be treated by a doctor, or even a specialist, such as an ear, nose, and throat doctor.[23]
    • In some cases, the wound may seem to heal properly, but returns in a few weeks or months. This is a sign of a possible infection. You may need to ask a doctor about antibiotics and medical procedures that can prevent your sore from coming back.[24]
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    Seek medical help if an animal is involved. If your cut was caused by an animal, or by something dirty with ragged and uneven edges, you need to be certain that the area is properly cleaned and treated. The earlier you identify an infection, the easier it will be to safely treat and control.[25]
    • See a doctor as soon as possible if your nasal injury was caused by something that could carry the potential for a serious systemic infection.[26]
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    Watch for signs of infection. Regardless of the cause of the cut, infections warrant prompt medical attention. Heed the following symptoms of infection:[27]
    • The area does not improve in a few days, or begins to get worse.
    • The area begins to swell, and feels warm to the touch.
    • The wound is causing a thick or pus-like drainage, and you notice an odor coming from the injury or the drainage.
    • You start to run a fever.
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    Ask your doctor about treatments for an infection. In most cases, a physician will write you a prescription for an oral or topical antibiotic. Depending on the treatment, you can expect the cut to heal within a week or two once you have begun an antibiotic regimen.[28]


  • Cuts that persist for weeks or even longer, may indicate a more serious condition, and warrant medical attention.
  • Leave it alone. Picking at a sore or cut in your nose prevents it from healing, and introduces bacteria to the area that can lead to an infection.
  • If you notice pain, swelling, or bruising, then you may have a broken bone, and not just a cut. See your doctor if you develop those symptoms.
  • Recurrent and prolonged episodes of bleeding from the area, may indicate the need for a medical procedure. The cut may be deeper or longer than you initially thought.
  • If the cut is too far up your nasal passage to be visible or easily reached, then see your doctor for treatment.
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can promote healing.
  • Keep up with your tetanus shots. Adults are due for a booster injection about every 10 years.

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