Redness or flushed skin around the nose can affect a person’s body image and spark fears of a serious infection or illness. However, many people experience this, and in most cases, minor irritation and dry skin cause the problem.

It is important to talk to a doctor if any symptom that occurs alongside redness or flushed skin around the nose lasts longer than a few days.

If a person is experiencing a lot of pain, they should contact a doctor as soon as possible.

This article will discuss what redness or flushed skin around the nose can look like and provide a list of possible causes and treatment options.

The appearance of flushed skin around the nose varies from person to person. It can depend on the specific condition that causes it, how severe the irritation is, and a person’s skin color.

Some people notice dry, itchy spots, raised or indented skin, or tiny blisters.

On dark skin

In people with dark skin, flushed skin around the nose may appear violet or purple. It may also be less noticeable, even when the rash is severe.

People with dark skin may also find that their doctors do not easily recognize the signs of various skin conditions. This may be due to dermatology textbooks that have focused on light-skinned patients.

For example, a 2020 study found that dermatologists might not recognize the skin manifestations of COVID-19 in Black patients. This can undermine their quality of care.

Learn about how rashes can look on dark skin here.

There are many different conditions or factors that could cause flushed skin around a person’s nose.

Dry skin and skin irritation

Simply wiping the nose over and over can irritate the skin. This is especially the case during dry, cold months when the skin is more likely to be dry and irritated.

A person may notice that their skin looks red or purple, and the pain may worsen when they wipe their nose.

Contact dermatitis

Some people develop mild allergic reactions to substances that touch their skin. Doctors call this contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis irritates the skin but does not cause an allergic reaction. It may cause flushed skin and a raised rash, but the rash should not spread or cause a fever.

Causes of irritant contact dermatitis on the nose may include:

  • using scented tissues
  • applying creams
  • wearing makeup
  • washing too often with hot water and soap

Allergic contact dermatitis

Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis, such as a rash, may appear 2 days after a person has come into contact with an allergen.

Some causes may include fragrances and the preservative thimerosal, which features in some antibiotic creams.


Less commonly, a person may develop a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This usually happens within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.

Anaphylaxis may begin as a rapidly spreading rash. If a person sees a rash on their nose, they should check their body for bumps or other rashes.

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. If a person sees a spreading rash or has trouble breathing, they should call 911.


Rosacea is a skin condition that causes flushed skin and inflammation. While rosacea can affect any part of the body, it often begins around the nose.

A person might notice flushed skin, damaged blood vessels, tiny bumps, or changes in the shape of the nose. Rosacea is not dangerous, but it can affect a person’s appearance.

In some people, rosacea may also be a sign of an underlying illness, such as an autoimmune disease.

Rosacea is more prevalent in people between the ages of 30 and 50 and in those with light skin. It is more likely to affect females than males.

Discover the best skin care products for rosacea here.


Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes dry, irritated patches of skin.

Sometimes the irritation is so severe that the patches crack open and bleed. Allergens and irritation can trigger an eczema flare, but dry skin is also a common culprit.

Redness around the nose may be eczema if it feels dry and itchy, looks white, red, or flaky, and worsens when the skin is dry.

Learn about what eczema can look like on black skin here.


A person can develop a sunburn just around their nose if they:

  • do not use sunscreen or use a low-factor sunscreen
  • wipe their nose frequently after applying sunscreen
  • do not cover or shade their whole face

If the redness is flat and turns flesh-colored when a person presses on it, it may be a sunburn.

Sunburn may also feel dry and very sore. Severe sunburns sometimes blister.

Sunburn on dark skin

Sunburn is a risk factor for skin cancer.

African American people have a lower melanoma survival rate than Caucasians. This may be due to delays in care.

Learn about how sunburn affects dark skin here.

Nasal vestibulitis

An infection at the entrance of the nose called nasal vestibulitis can cause flushed skin and tiny, blister-like bumps around the nose and just inside of it.

A person may feel pain, swelling, and intense sensitivity. Some people develop a fever, though a person does not have to have a fever to have vestibulitis.

Nasal vestibulitis happens when bacteria enter the skin of the nose, often following an injury or infection. It can happen after a person trims their nose hairs.

Nasal vestibulitis is easy to treat, but it can spread to other areas of the body, so it is important to see a doctor.

Varicose veins

Veins, which carry blood back to the heart, have valves in them to prevent blood from flowing the wrong way.

However, when these valves become damaged, the veins may look damaged and twisted. These are known as varicose veins.

Varicose veins often occur in the legs and feet. They especially happen in pregnant people and those who are overweight or obese. However, a person can develop varicose veins anywhere, including the nose.

The nose may look red, but when a person looks more closely, they might see tiny damaged blood vessels.

Learn 10 home remedies for varicose veins here.


Lupus is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack healthy tissue, leading to a wide range of symptoms and chronic illnesses.

Some people with lupus develop a malar rash, also known as a butterfly rash because it resembles a butterfly. This rash can cover the nose and cheeks.

In some cases, the butterfly rash may be the first symptom of lupus.

Learn about more symptoms of lupus here.

Skin infections

Infections of the skin can cause red, painful skin that may feel hot to the touch.

Cellulitis, one such infection, can begin with an injury — even a small one. It might be as simple as dry, cracked skin. Bacteria gets into the deep layer of skin, called the dermis, and begins spreading. A person might notice flushed streaks, heat, pain, or swelling.

Bacterial skin infections can spread to other areas of the body, potentially even endangering a person’s life. Therefore, it is important to seek prompt care.

See pictures of skin infections here.

Home remedies will not treat serious infections and will not work on all causes of nose redness.

However, a person can try:

  • moisturizing the area with a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic lotion that is safe for the face
  • applying petroleum jelly to the irritated area (Do not put petroleum jelly in the nose, as doing so over a long period of time can cause breathing issues or even pneumonia.)
  • wearing sunscreen to prevent sunburns and keep irritated skin from burning
  • taking allergy or cold medicine to decrease the need to wipe or blow the nose, preventing further irritation
  • keeping a log of symptoms for chronic conditions like rosacea to identify specific triggers for flares
  • moisturizing a sunburn with aloe vera (Try putting aloe in the refrigerator for a cooling sensation.)
  • stopping use of any creams or lotions that irritate the skin

The proper medical treatment will depend on the reason for the flushed skin.

Some treatment options may include:

Call a doctor if:

  • the flushed skin does not get better with home treatment
  • the flushed skin is very painful
  • a person has a severe sunburn that causes blisters or intense pain
  • a person has a fever or other symptoms of an infection
  • a person thinks they have rosacea
  • a person develops a butterfly rash

Go to the emergency room if:

  • a person has a rapidly spreading rash or trouble breathing
  • a person has symptoms of cellulitis and cannot get their doctor to see them
  • a person develops a high fever and painful flushed skin on the nose

Nose redness usually goes away on its own, with or without home treatment.

Some rashes, however, warn of a chronic illness or a severe infection.

Carefully monitor symptoms, and let a doctor know if they change or get worse.