The Best Remedies for Nose Acne Reviewed
Acne on your nose tells the whole world you have acne. Treating acne on your nose the wrong way, however, can make it even worse.
- Acne on your nose may be due to common acne or rosacea.
- Common acne most often causes whiteheads and blackheads that appear slowly. Rosacea most often causes small, red pimples that appear suddenly.
- Common acne also tends to appear on the forehead and chin. Rosacea also tends to appear on the cheeks.
- Common acne and rosacea can have different seasonal patterns.
- Cleansing is important for treating common acne on the nose.
- Soothing is important for treating rosacea on the nose.
- You may need to change your skin cleansing routine with the seasons to prevent acne on your nose.
- If you have both common acne and rosacea on your nose, you need to follow a precise skin care regimen and to minimize sun exposure.
Two Types of Acne on the Nose
The nose is part of the “T zone” in the middle of your face, along with your brow, which generates the most oil1. It is also rich in capillaries just under the skin. Sometimes these capillaries can break and leak blood2, covering the nose with tiny red spots, or bruise, creating purple streaks. In severe cases, capillaries can accumulate scar tissue causing a condition of bumps on the nose known as rhinophyma3.
When excess oil collects in pores on your nose, the problem is usually acne vulgaris, or common acne. This kind of acne has its own telltale signs13.
- Common acne is more likely to cause whiteheads and blackheads than red blotches.
- Common acne is more likely when shininess of the nose is a frequent cosmetic problem.
- Common acne also causes similar blemishes on the forehead and chin.
- If you have common acne on the nose, blemishes can be worse in the summer or the winter4.
- If you have common acne, cleansing your skin reduces blemishes. You need to cleanse your skin in different ways according to the season.
- Common acne is more likely to occur on any skin type5, including Asian or brown skin.
When tiny red pimples pop out on the nose and across the cheeks in just minutes, the problem is more likely to be rosacea. Rosacea has symptoms that distinguish it from common acne6.
- Rosacea causes tiny red pimples rather than whiteheads, blackheads, or large, infected pimples.
- Rosacea can be present with or without oiliness of the skin.
- If you have rosacea on the nose, blemishes can be worse in the winter7.
- If you have rosacea, cleansing your skin with hot water8 can trigger outbreaks of blemishes. Gentle cleansing with lukewarm water is best.
- People of all races get rosacea, but it is more likely to occur on fair skin6.
Cleansing Your Skin to Prevent Common Acne on Your Nose
If you have a problem with blackheads and whiteheads on your nose, you probably need to cleanse your skin twice a day9. You want to get dirt and grime off your skin, but you don’t have to, and in fact you can’t, scrub your acne away. Cleansing your skin prevents future blackheads and whiteheads, but it does not remove existing blackheads and whiteheads right away, if at all.
Most people who have common acne, especially people who have acne on the nose, need to adjust their cleansing routine with the seasons. During the winter, the skin on the nose and forehead may be oily, but the skin on the cheeks and chin may be dry. Cleanser should be left on the nose and forehead for about a minute, but on the rest of the face for just 30 seconds or so. During the summer, all the skin on the face may get oily. It’s a good time to use a light cleanser on all the face during the summer, and to take extra care to keep hair care products off the nose and forehead.
Cleansing Skin on the Nose Affected By Rosacea
Rosacea is caused by broken blood vessels. There is absolutely no way you can rub, scrub, or wash it away. In fact, the more pressure you put on the skin of your nose, the more likely it is to break out. For rosacea, mild cleansers are best9. Detergent cleansers like sodium lauryl sulphate and anything that makes your skin red—especially cinnamon oil—can make your nose break out in unsightly pimples.
If you have rosacea, you need to use a gentle, anti-inflammatory cleanser10. It may also help to use facial waters (mineral waters containing magnesium, selenium, and/or sulfur that are spritzed onto your face after you cleanse and pat it dry).
The nose is especially sensitive to sunburn. People who have rosacea often have the type of skin that never tans and always burns, and needs protection from the sun10. Unfortunately, most people who have this skin type are determined to get a tan to make their acne less noticeable, and venture out into midday sun to try to do it. The result is only more rosacea plus sunburn and wrinkles. Because sun exposure weakens the collagen around blood vessels, the more sun someone who has rosacea gets, the more pimples will break out, too.
What If You Have Both Kinds of Acne on Your Nose?
It is possible to have blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples caused by both common acne and rosacea at the same time on the nose. If this happens, it may be helpful to use a very mild cleanser like Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser or Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser in the morning, and the very mildest formulation of benzoyl peroxide11 you can find in the evening.
Intense pulsed light treatment12 (which is provided by a dermatologist) can get rid of enlarged vessels on your nose. However, the treatments can be expensive, can have side effects, and are often not covered by insurance.
- Arbuckle R, Atkinson MJ, Clark M, Abetz L, Lohs J, Kuhagen I, Harness J, Draelos Z, Thiboutot D, Blume-Peytavi U, Copley-Merriman K. Patient experiences with oily skin: the qualitative development of content for two new patient reported outcome questionnaires. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2008 Oct 16;6:80.
- Telangiectase. The Australian College of Dermatologists.
- Rhinophyma. The Mayo Clinic.
- Gfesser, M., & Worret, W.-I. (1996). SEASONAL VARIATIONS IN THE SEVERITY OF ACNE VULGARIS. International Journal of Dermatology, 35(2), 116–117.
- Davis EC, Callender VD. A review of acne in ethnic skin: pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and management strategies. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 Apr;3(4):24-38.
- Is that acne or rosacea on your skin? American Academy of Dermatology
- ‘Tis The Season For Winter Flare-Ups. National Rosacea Society.
- Rosacea. JAMA Network.
- Zip C. The Role of Skin Care in Optimizing Treatment of Acne and Rosacea. Skin Therapy Lett. 2017 May;22(3):5-7.
- 6 rosacea skin care tips dermatologists give their patients. American Academy of Dermatology.
- What is the Role of Benzoyl Peroxide Cleansers in Acne Management?: Do they Decrease Propionibacterium acnes Counts? Do they Reduce Acne Lesions? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2008 Nov;1(4):48-51.
- Husain Z, Alster TS. The role of lasers and intense pulsed light technology in dermatology. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Feb 4;9:29-40.
- Acne. Mayo Clinic.
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