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A nasal infection is a condition caused by a bacteria that affects the skin in or around your nostrils, and it can be uncomfortable, irritating, or unsightly.
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A nasal infection is a condition caused by the bacteria staphylococcus. Staphylococcus is a commonly found bacteria that often lives on your skin without causing problems. But if you have small cuts in or around your nostrils, this bacteria can get inside and cause the infection.
Sometimes a staph infection in your nose can clear up on its own, and it usually only leads to redness, swelling, inflammation and crusting. But in rare cases it can lead to more serious conditions such as sepsis or toxic shock syndrome.
Anyone can get a staph infection in their nose, but you’re more likely to experience it if you’ve picked your nose too much or blown it a lot. It’s thought that your nose is one of the most common places for staphylococcus bacteria to live on your skin, so it only takes a small cut or abrasion in this area for you to develop a staph infection there.
Nasal infections are very common. It’s estimated that around 50% of the general population experiences intermittent ‘colonisation’ (where the bacteria have multiplied to high levels) of the nose from staphylococcus aureus – the bacteria that causes nasal infections.
Are Host Genetics the Predominant Determinant of Persistent Nasal Staphylococcus aureus Carriage in Humans? The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 202(6), pp.924–934.
The Role of Staphylococcus aureus in Patients with Chronic Sinusitis and Nasal Polyposis. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, 19(4).
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The bacteria that causes nasal infections, staphylococcus aureus, is usually harmless. You’ll often have it on your skin without it causing any issues. But sometimes it can enter a break in your skin and multiply – giving you some irritating symptoms.
Some of the things that can make you more likely to develop cuts or abrasions on or in your nose include:
Nasal infections can potentially cause a range of symptoms, such as:
If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms and think you might have a nasal infection, chat with us about your health. Our clinical team should be able to diagnose you and offer suitable treatments based on your needs.
Most of the time, a staph infection in your nose will clear up on its own – often without the need for treatment. But sometimes it can develop and cause further issues.
On rare occasions, staph infections in your nose can enter your bloodstream and quickly worsen. This could lead to you developing more serious secondary conditions such as cellulitis (a bacterial infection that affects the deeper layers of your skin), cavernous sinus thrombosis (CST) – a rare condition that causes a blood clot to appear between your brain and eye sockets, or sepsis.
If you notice your symptoms quickly worsening, it’s important that you seek medical help to avoid your condition becoming more serious.
Nasal infections are treated with antibiotics. You might be prescribed either an antibiotic tablet, or a topical antibiotic that you apply to the infected areas.
If your nasal infection can be managed and treated without medication then this might be the best option. Doing so can minimise the risk of side effects, or antibiotic resistance.
But if your symptoms are particularly strong or persistent, then antibiotics will likely be the most effective option to clear up the condition.
There are some things that you can do on your own at home in order to help you with your symptoms. Some people find it useful to apply a clean, warm damp cloth to painful sores and crusting in order to soothe any irritation.
If your infection or symptoms aren’t improving after a few days, it might be worth chatting to our clinician about treatment options to speed up your recovery.
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