Can Psoriasis Appear in The Nose?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Psoriasis lesions in your nose

Psoriasis lesions that appear inside the nose are usually white or gray.

The PAPAA indicates that psoriasis in your nose is rare. If you feel that you have psoriasis in your nose, you should see a doctor for tests to exclude other more likely conditions.

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It’s also unusual, but possible, to have psoriasis lesions appear on:

  • your lips
  • inside your cheek
  • on your gums
  • on your tongue

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), facial psoriasis is more likely to occur on the:

  • eyebrows
  • hairline
  • upper forehead
  • skin between the upper lip and nose

Treating psoriasis in your nose

Before treatment can begin, your doctor will confirm whether or not you have psoriasis. To diagnose the condition, your doctor will ask about your medical history and do an examination. Your doctor may also take a biopsy (a small sample of skin) to:

  • confirm you have psoriasis
  • determine the type of psoriasis you have
  • rule out other disorders

The NPF indicates that psoriasis treatment for your nose commonly involves topical steroids designed for treating moist areas. Since this is a sensitive area, always check with your doctor before using any topical creams inside your nose.

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Your doctor may recommend:

  • low potency steroids, such as hydrocortisone 1 percent ointment
  • tacrolimus (Protopic, Prograf), a topical macrolide immunosuppressant
  • pimecrolimus (Elidel), an immunosuppressant

Your doctor may also consider other psoriasis treatments, such as

  • light therapy, which uses natural or artificial ultraviolet light
  • vitamin D analogs, such as calcipotriene (Dovonex)
  • topical retinoids, such as tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage)

Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions when using any of these treatments.

Other potential conditions

Crusty bumps in your nose could be a sign of something other than psoriasis, including:

  • Dry environment. Changes in climate, such as the arrival of winter, can make the air less humid. This may dry out the skin in your nose, sometimes causing small bleeds that scab over.
  • Sinusitis. Swelling and inflammation in the tissue lining your sinuses can produce scabs in your nose.
  • Allergies. Scabbing can result from inflamed nasal passages caused by allergies.
  • Rhinitis. Swelling and inflammation of your nose’s mucous membrane caused by seasonal allergies or the common cold can lead to scabbing in your nose.
  • Trauma. The delicate skin in your nasal passages can be easily damaged by scratching, rubbing, or picking your nose. This can lead to scabbing.
  • Medication. When used over a long period, nasal sprays can cause extreme dryness in your nasal passages. This can lead to skin breaking and then scabbing.
  • Drug use. Inhaling drugs through your nose can cause irritation and damage to your nasal passages, often resulting in bleeding and scabbing.
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Your doctor can help determine what’s causing crusty bumps or scabs and suggest treatments to relieve your symptoms.

In rare cases, lesions or scabs in the nose can be a sign of one of the following conditions:

  • HIV. This condition can cause nasal lesions that, along with being painful, may bleed and scab.
  • Nasal cancer. Persistent crusty bumps in your nasal passages that don’t respond to treatment could be an indication of nasal cancer.
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s granulomatosis). This rare vascular disease is one of a group of blood vessel disorders called vasculitis. Symptoms may include nosebleeds and crusting in the nose.

If you notice crusty bumps, lesions, or scabs in your nose that get worse over time or don’t respond to treatment, speak with a doctor. They can diagnose your condition and determine an appropriate treatment strategy.

Takeaway

Although it’s possible to have psoriasis in your nose, it’s very rare. If you think you may have psoriasis in your nose, you should see a doctor. They can perform tests to confirm that it’s psoriasis and not another more likely condition.

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If your doctor confirms psoriasis, they’ll recommend a specific treatment program that may involve:

  • low potency steroids, such as hydrocortisone 1 percent ointment
  • topical retinoids
  • vitamin D analogs
  • immunosuppressants
  • light therapy

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