How to Treat a Dry Atrophic Nose

Written by sherry mao
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How to Treat a Dry Atrophic Nose
You can treat a dry nose with a humidifier. (Human nose macro shot image by Gleb Semenjuk from

Atrophic rhinitis is a form of chronic rhinitis that causes your mucous membrane to atrophy and the nasal passage to dilate, dry out and harden. Cells similar to those found in the skin replace those that have hairlike projections, which are usually found in the nasal cavity's mucous membrane. Atrophic rhinitis occurs more often in the elderly, and the cause is often viral, although it can result from bacterial infections and other irritants. The goal of treatment is to eliminate odour, restore nasal hydration and reduce crusting.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Humidifier
  • Topical antibiotics
  • Vitamin A and D spray
  • Oestrogen spray
  • Mineral oil or glycerine
  • Rose water or menthol
  • Oral antibiotics

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  1. 1

    Use a humidifier to moisten the air and promote air circulation in your house.

  2. 2

    Spray a topical antibiotic, such as bacitracin, inside your nasal cavity.

  3. 3

    Spray vitamins A and D or oestrogen into the nose to promote mucous production and reduce crusting.

  4. 4

    Rub anti-evaporation compounds, such as mineral oil or glycerine, in the nose to increase hydration and prevent drying out. Mix menthol, rose oil or other odour-masking ointments with the anti-evaporation topical treatment.

  5. 5

    Make an appointment with a doctor if symptoms persist. The doctor can prescribe antibiotic therapies or systemic therapies to alleviate the dryness.

  6. 6

    Follow a systemic antibiotic therapy using oral or intravenous medications that contain either floroquinolone or tetracycline to decrease discharge and odour. Pairing oral and systemic therapies with topical treatments, such as anti-evaporation compounds, can increase hydration and prevent drying.

  7. 7

    Contact an otolaryngologist---an ear, nose and throat specialist---to discuss surgical options to narrow the nasal passage. This might prevent the mucous membrane from drying because of a decrease in airflow.

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