While a runny nose is an uncomfortable nuisance, on the other end of the spectrum, an overly dry nose can be equally uncomfortable.
The nose requires a certain level of moisture to work properly, but at times, the nasal passages become very dry. The most common cause of a dry nose is blowing your nose too often, whether it is due to a cold or an allergy.
Other causes of dry nasal passages are low humidity, dry air in your home or office due to air conditioning, nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, hypothyroidism, use of antihistamines, side effects of medications, menopause and chronic atrophic rhinitis, which is nasal inflammation caused by having too little nasal mucus.
The problem is more common among people who live in areas with dry weather and who smoke tobacco or marijuana.
In addition to being uncomfortable and painful, a dry nose can also cause nagging headaches that do not abate.
Also, excess dryness and irritation can cause the skin inside the nose to crack and bleed, which can make the condition even worse.
While this problem is uncomfortable, treating it is very easy. There are several natural home remedies that you can use to relieve a dry nose and the symptoms associated with it.
Note: If the dryness lasts for more than 10 days, consult your doctor. It may be a sign of a serious underlying condition.
Here are some of the best ways to get relief from a dry nose.
1. Saline Spray
Saline water is a simple and very effective home remedy for a dry nose. The salt water acts a humidifier and can help moisturize your nose, while also cleaning out any dust, dirt, pollen and congestion.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt with ½ cup of water. Pour it into a spray bottle. Lean your head back and spritz the solution a few times into the nasal cavities, then let it drain out.
- Alternatively, you can put some of the saline water in your palm and inhale it gently so that the solution reaches the nasal cavities. Then blow your nose gently. Do it 3 or 4 times a day.
- Another option is to buy an over-the-counter nasal spray at your local pharmacy and use it as directed by the manufacturer.
2. Steam Inhalation
Frequent steam inhalation can help remoisten your mucous membranes and prevent your dry nasal passages from becoming crusty.
It also helps clear out your nose, so you don’t have to blow it so often, which is a common cause of a dry nose.
- Pour hot water into a large bowl.
- Add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice (optional).
- Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam from the bowl for about 10 minutes.
- Do this 2 to 4 times a day.
Even a hot, steamy shower will allow steam to circulate in your nasal cavity.
3. Sesame Oil
Another good home remedy for a dry nose is sesame oil.
Being high in vitamin E, sesame oil works well as a moisturizer for your dry nasal cavities. Applying the oil internally is also safe.
A 2001 study published in the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery showed that using sesame oil is better than saline irrigation to relieve nasal dryness (1).
- Put some lukewarm sesame oil in a dropper.
- Tilt your head back and pour a drop of sesame oil in your nostrils, one at a time.
- Inhale deeply so that the oil reaches the internal nasal passages.
- Do it twice a day.
4. Coconut Oil
Like sesame oil, coconut oil is also beneficial in the treatment of dry nose symptoms. It works as a great moisturizer for your nasal cavities. It can also help lessen the pain by filling the gaps between the dry cells.
Plus, it has antimicrobial properties.
- Place ½ teaspoon of extra-virgin of coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and warm it up for a few seconds.
- Using cotton swabs, apply the oil generously inside each nostril, so that there is a good thorough coating.
- Apply it 2 or 3 times a day, especially before going to bed.
You can also use extra-virgin olive oil in place of coconut oil to treat nasal passage dryness.
5. Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E oil is extremely beneficial for dry skin, including dry and cracked nasal cavities. It helps hydrate the nasal mucosa and reduces the dryness.
Another plus is that this oil is a non-sticky formula that you can use anytime.
- Pierce a vitamin E capsule with a pin.
- Tilt your head back and squeeze 2 or 3 drops of the oil into your nostrils.
- Repeat twice a day.
To deal with dry nasal passages, nothing can be better than a humidifier.
A humidifier helps adjust the humidity in your house. You must use it especially in the room where you sleep to keep your nasal passages moist at night, which is when they are likely to dry out the most.
Running a humidifier also helps keep the mucus loose, so you can easily cough it out or blow it out.
Fill your humidifier with water and a few drops of essential oils of your choosing. Leave your humidifier on while you are sleeping.
Be sure to clean the humidifier accordingly and change the water daily so that bacteria does not grow.
Dehydration is one of the reasons behind dry nasal passages. Hence, you need to keep your body well-hydrated from within.
Depletion of body fluids makes the body tissues dry, while a hydrated body can make the nasal tissues work efficiently.
Drink a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Drink it throughout the day to keep your nasal passages moist and supple.
Along with water, herbal tea, milk, coconut water or fruits and vegetables high in water content can also be helpful.
At the same time, avoid coffee, soda and energy drinks containing caffeine, which has a dehydrating effect on the body.
8. Sauna Bath
If you can afford a sauna, it is certainly one of the best ways to treat your dry nose.
The heat generated from the sauna increases your heart rate and causes your blood vessels to relax and dilate. More importantly, the steam and heat from the sauna help clear mucus from the bronchial and nasal passages. This in turn helps keep the nasal passages moist.
You can enjoy a sauna bath for 10 to 15 minutes. However, do not stay in the bath for a long time as it can lead to a runny nose.
- You can moisten a facial tissue with water using a spray bottle, then use it to wipe the lining of your nostrils. You can also use baby wipes.
- Turn down the room heater, as the heat dries out the air and will worsen the symptoms.
- Do not apply petroleum jelly internally.
- Eat hot and spicy food like soups to help bring up mucus and get relief from a dry nose.
- Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake. They have a dehydrating effect on the body.
- A diet rich in vitamin C and antioxidants is beneficial, as it helps fight any infection.
- Do not go outside in the sun if your nose is still irritated.
- If you suspect that a medication may be causing dry nasal passages, talk to your doctor.
- If you have other health issues along with nasal dryness, treating the underlying health problem may resolve the dry nose.
- Antihistamines can cause nasal dryness. Try using a natural antihistamine.
- See a doctor if your nasal dryness is accompanied by dry eyes and a dry mouth.
- Pure Sesame Oil vs Isotonic Sodium Chloride Solution as Treatment for Dry Nasal Mucosa. JAMA Internal Medicine. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/482595. Published November 01, 2001.