Dry skin doesn’t stick to just one area of your body. It can arise in patches and pop up in very specific areas — like around your nose. As random as it may seem, there are several reasons why the skin around your nose becomes comparatively drier than the other areas of your face, especially during the winter. To get to the bottom of what causes dry skin around the nose, we tapped board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand to learn more.
What Causes Dry Skin Around the Nose?
Cause #1: Environmental Factors
When temperatures drop, it can cause the area around your nose to dry up, even if the rest of your skin remains supple. “The outside skin of the nose can be dry and peeling even though the rest of skin is hydrated due to exposure to the environment,” Dr. Houshmand explains.
Another big factor? Sun exposure. If your nose is exposed to harmful UVA or UVB rays, it can cause skin to burn and, consequently, flake and peel. A sunburn on your nose may also lead to more concerning factors than just dry skin. “Actinic photodamage can cause damage to your skin cells over time,” says Dr. Houshmand, “and can present as dry, flaking spots on the nose that won’t go away.” These spots run the risk of becoming precancerous. Should you see any irregular patches on your skin, whether on your nose or on any other part of your body, consult a medical professional.
Cause #2: Allergies or Colds
Allergies and colds can strike any time of the year, and they often lead to a lot of nose blowing. If this happens frequently enough, it could irritate the skin around your nose. “Constant tissue use and nose blowing can irritate the skin on the nose and may cause peeling of the sensitive skin,” Dr. Houshmand says.
Cause #3: Underlying Medical Conditions
The reason the skin around your nose may be drying out can be deeper than just a cold or the weather. Rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis — both forms of skin inflammation — are skin conditions that are associated with dried-out skin. Another potential reason is eczema, a condition that commonly causes patches of dry skin to form in the same area.
How to Prevent Dry Skin Around the Nose
TIP #1: Wear Protective Clothing
If you’re in extremely cold temperatures or exposed to the sun, be sure to wear clothing that can protect the skin around your nose. Dr. Houshmand suggests a scarf for colder outdoor temperatures, complemented with a humidifier for indoors. For warmer climates, treat yourself to a sun hat or visor to make sure your nose (as well as the rest of your face) is protected.
TIP #2: Moisturize
Proper hydration reigns supreme in any anti-dryness routine, so it’s crucial to incorporate moisturization into your daily skin-care routine. We like to layer a serum under a cream moisturizer and follow up with a face oil to lock in the hydration. Try the Garnier SkinActive 24H Moisture Cream with Rose Water for morning and the Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream at night.