Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes symptoms that affect the skin. Sometimes, symptoms of psoriasis can develop in or around the nose. It is more common for a person to experience psoriasis around the nose than inside it. So a person should contact a doctor to rule out other conditions.

Psoriasis is not contagious, but there is no cure. People can usually manage it with medication and lifestyle adaptations. It affects around 3% of the population in the United States.

Experts do not know what causes psoriasis, but they know it has links with a fault in the immune system. The disease speeds up the skin cell growth cycle. These cells pile up on the surface of the skin, creating flaky, itchy patches.

This article will explain what psoriasis might look like when it occurs in or around the nose. It will also outline the most common treatment options and other conditions that people can sometimes confuse with psoriasis in the nose.

Psoriasis patches can develop anywhere on the body. The most common locations are the elbows, knees, and scalp.

When someone has facial psoriasis, the patches might occur on, in, or around the nose.

Around 50% of people with psoriasis experience psoriasis on their face. A common place for it to develop near the nose is on the skin between the nose and the top lip.

Psoriasis affects everyone differently. It might be mild, moderate, or severe.

Scientists do not know why some people develop patches on the face and others do not. Facial psoriasis tends to affect people with more severe psoriasis.

Psoriasis inside the nose

According to The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance, a small number of people may experience psoriasis that appears inside the nose.

Because it is so rare, it recommends that a person who suspects they have psoriasis inside their nose contacts a doctor to rule out other possible conditions.

Learn more about psoriasis on the face here.

Psoriasis patches can develop:

  • on the nose
  • on the skin between the mouth and the nose
  • inside the nose

They tend to look like separate patches of dry, scaly skin. They might be white or gray in color, depending on a person’s skin tone. The affected skin may be:

  • itchy
  • sore
  • sensitive

See pictures of different types of psoriasis here.

Psoriasis is not the only condition that can cause scabs or itchy patches inside the nose. Other conditions include:

Nasal vestibulitis

Nasal vestibulitis is a bacterial infection that develops just inside the nostril. The symptoms include pain, swelling, discharge, and crusting.

Things that make a person more likely to experience nasal vestibulitis include:

  • plucking nose hair
  • picking the nose
  • nose piercings

Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to treat nasal vestibulitis.

Cold sores

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1, or oral herpes, causes cold sores. These sores can develop anywhere on the body, but usually they affect the area around the nose and mouth. Sometimes, they occur inside the nose.

People may feel pain or tingling before a cold sore appears. When they develop, they look like clusters of small blisters. Within a few days, the blisters will break open and ooze fluid. A crust then forms before the sore heals over.

Cold sores go away by themselves. Over-the-counter (OTC) antiviral medicines may help speed up the healing process, including:

Learn more about medication for cold sores here.


Eczema is a group of skin conditions that can look like psoriasis. It is very common, affecting more than 31 million people in the U.S.

Eczema can affect any part of the body, including the face and nose. The skin will usually look red, dry, or flaky. It might weep, be crusty, or look like a blister.

Outbreaks of facial eczema tend to get better within 1–2 weeks. Doctors can recommend treatments to help people manage eczema.

Learn treatment tips for eczema on the face here.

The skin on the face, including in and around the nose, is very sensitive. It means people must treat facial psoriasis carefully, discussing treatment with a doctor first.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, doctors might recommend:

Topical treatments

Topical treatments are medications that people apply directly to their skin. They might include steroid creams such as corticosteroids.

A doctor may also recommend nonsteroidal creams and ointments that contain:

Learn more about lotions, creams, and ointments for psoriasis here.


Sometimes, dermatologists might recommend phototherapy or light therapy. During the procedure, the healthcare professional exposes the affected skin to UV light. The light penetrates the skin and slows the growth of skin cells.

People will usually need a course of phototherapy. The length of the course and the duration of the treatment will depend on the severity of the condition.

Learn more about light therapy for psoriasis here.

Oral treatments

Oral treatments are pills, capsules, or liquids. Various oral treatments are available. Most work by targeting the immune system to reduce inflammation. Biologics are often the first-line treatment for psoriasis, but other oral treatments include:

Over-the-counter medicines

Sometimes, OTC medicines can help reduce the appearance and symptoms of psoriasis patches.

They can include creams and lotions that contain salicylic acid or coal tar.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the ingredients in some OTC medicines can cause irritation to the skin, including coal tar. So a person should apply the medication to a small area of skin to understand how their skin will react to it.

Things people can do at home to help treat facial psoriasis include:


People should opt for heavy creams and ointments as these lock moisture into the skin. Moisturizing tips include the following:

  • Use fragrance-free products.
  • Always moisturize after showering, bathing, or hand washing.
  • Use moisturizing soaps.

Anti-itch treatments

Products and ingredients that can help ease itching include:

  • calamine
  • hydrocortisone
  • camphor
  • diphenhydramine hydrochloride
  • benzocaine
  • menthol

It is important to remember that some products can make dryness and irritation worse. If this happens, the person should stop using the product and speak with their healthcare professional.

The most common areas of the body where psoriasis can develop are:

  • elbows
  • knees
  • scalp
  • around the belly button
  • on the lower back

But psoriasis can develop anywhere on the body. It can develop on more than one part of the body at once.

Common locations and types of psoriasis include:

  • Genital psoriasis: Up to two-thirds of people with psoriasis will experience patches on the skin around their genital area, as well as their upper and inner thighs.
  • Scalp psoriasis: This develops around the hairline, on the forehead, on the skin in and around the ears, and on the back of the neck. It affects more than 60% of people with psoriasis.
  • Palmoplantar psoriasis (PPP): This is psoriasis that affects the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. Between 12–16% of people with psoriasis experience PPP.
  • Psoriasis of the nails: This type of psoriasis occurs in around half of all people with the condition.
  • Intertriginous psoriasis: Also called inverse psoriasis, this develops in the folds of the skin. Commonly affected areas include the armpits and underneath the breasts.

Learn more about the different types of psoriasis here.

Some people with psoriasis develop patches in and around the nose. It is common to experience psoriasis around the nose, but rare for it to occur inside the nose.

Doctors might recommend a range of psoriasis treatments for psoriasis of the nose, including steroidal creams or pills. OTC medicines and home remedies, such as moisturizing using a heavy, non-fragranced cream, can also help.

Other conditions that might look like nose psoriasis include eczema, cold sores, and nasal vestibulitis.