Why Do I Get Pimples On My Nose


Do you struggle with keeping your skin free of blemishes? Are you tired of dealing with pimples? Well, let's dig deeper into understanding why that is and help you on your journey to make better choices for your skin.

Pimples (aka zits, spots, or acne) are a condition in which the pores in your skin get plugged due to the oil produced by glands under them, with this plug that can become a favourable site for normal skin bacteria to set shop. This can then lead that area to become infected and inflamed. Thus, we see those spots that are red/pink and hot/painful/ and hard to touch. It is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting people in their adolescence and early adult life.

In this article, we will raise awareness about what conditions (physical/environmental) can lead to this, how to avoid them, precautions to take before and after having spots, treatments, and a lot more. 1,2

What causes pimples in the nose

To deal with pimples better, we have to understand how they are formed. Let's talk a bit more technically. The skin, which is an organ of the body, has pores in it. Through this, we release a lot of waste products, like sweat and oils. Some of these pores have hair roots in them as well. Under these structures, there is a gland called a ‘sebaceous gland’ which makes the oil that we mentioned. If these pores get blocked, usually due to dead skin, the oil can't come out (aka sebum) and thus causes the area to swell and bulge upwards. This accumulated sebum, tends to be a conducive environment for tiny bugs, or bacteria, causing the area to go red and sore, due to the inflammation.

These bugs, are also part of the normal constituency of the skin, usually the bug that causes a sore pimple to form is called Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus) or other times Propionibacterium acnes. 

The reason it occurs more frequently in the early ages of life is that the human body starts going through hormonal changes. And the sebaceous gland is sensitive to androgens (male hormones). Therefore,  if there is excess production of male hormones or the gland is hypersensitive to the male hormones, then more sebum will be produced and thus resulting in more acne.4 5 6 7

Management and treatment for pimples on  the nose

Moving ahead with the management, people are encouraged to go see a doctor regarding their acne. Acne can/might have an enormous psychological impact on a person during their formative years. Specialist referral is advised.

Once you go to your doctor, he/she will advise two things:

  1. Lifestyle advice
  2. Medical treatment

Lifestyle: This usually consists of skincare advice and other prophylactic measures which  might include and are not restricted to:

  • Use neutral skin cleaning products.
  • Avoid oil-based skin cleaning products
  • Do not use oil-based make-up and always remove it at the end of the day. Allow skin to air dry after cleaning
  • Avoid popping spots
  • Keep your skin cool
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Avoid touching face

Medical: Treatment consists of using topical (surface application) agents over 6 - 12 weeks so that the effects are noticeable.

For any severity:

  • Topical adapalene + topical benzoyl peroxide (both creams)
  • Topical tretinoin (cream) + topical clindamycin (antibiotic cream)

For mild to moderate severity:

  • Topical tretinoin (cream) + topical clindamycin (antibiotic cream)

For moderate to severe acne:

  • Topical adapalene + topical benzoyl peroxide (creams), together with either oral lymecycline or oral doxycycline (both are oral antibiotics)
  • Topical azelaic acid (cream) + either oral lymecycline or oral doxycycline (both are oral antibiotics)

These can be usually started at a standard application rate, of two to three times a day. But in case of skin irritation, it can be started with an alternate day or short-contact application (washing off after 1 hour). 8 9 10

How can I prevent pimples on  the nose

Now, we all want to know how to prevent pimples and be done with oily skin and dry skin. Companies are hell-bent on swearing that their products are the best cure. But, as mentioned earlier, the simplest and most effective way to prevent pimples is some of the lifestyle changes we talked about above. It is important to address these, it can help in preventing the occurrence or recurrence of acne. They are discussed in a bit more detail below:2 11

  • Make-up: With this, you are covering your pores, which is how pimples form in the first place. In a quest to cover up pimples, women just end up further aggravating the condition. Therefore, try to have makeup-free days, and on the days that you do use make-up, use neutral pH make-up
  • Face touching: Touching your face provides a mode of transportation for germs already present on the face. This, in turn, makes it possible for pimples to spread and exacerbate quicker
  • Keep cool: In hot environments, we tend to sweat more, therefore the extra sweat blocks pore. Thus, wash your face with cold and hot water to open up the pores. Skin products: If using skincare products like moisturisers, avoid oil-based products
  • Medication: medicine can make acne worse, if you take any prescribed medication that you might be suspicious of, do not  stop them immediately but tell your doctor. So that they can provide an alternative. Contraceptives also come under this category

When to see a doctor

Going to see a doctor is a subjective preference when it comes to acne. If you have mild acne, speak to a pharmacist about medicines treatment. But, If you feel like the medication from the pharmacist is not helping and it is disturbing you psychologically and causing stress,  then you should go see your doctor regarding the same.

In other cases, it becomes rather necessary to go see a doctor, like when someone has ‘’acne  fulminans’’, this is when acne presents widespread and is acutely painful, ulcerating, and bleeding.

Your doctor will probably provide treatment as mentioned earlier, and in some cases might refer you to a dermatologist, usually, this happens when:2 11

  • There is diagnostic uncertainty
  • The acne is not responding to a completed course of treatment
  • There is acne with scarring
  • Acne is contributing to persistent psychological distress or mental health disorder
    • In this case, one might also be referred to mental health services


Pimples (acne , zits, or spots) are a frequently presenting skin condition  affecting many people at one time or another. They are most commonly present on the face, but can also be present on the back and chest. There are 6 types of spots (blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts). Usually affecting teenagers and young adults between the ages of 11 to 35. And this is most likely due to hormonal changes but can also be genetically associated. So, if you have close family members who were affected by this condition, then there is a probability that you might as well be affected. One do not necessarily need to see a doctor to address their problem, you can just speak to your pharmacist. But in case  one feels that it requires more attention, then attending your doctor will be best. 

Finally, there are things that one can try, certain self-help techniques. In order to reduce the effects. Like, not washing the face more than twice a day. Washing the area with mild soap and lukewarm water can also help. Do not clean out blackheads and squeeze spots, because this can cause further scarring. Do not use oil-based products (look out for the ‘’comedogenic’’ label). Make sure to remove your make-up at night and so on.1 2 3


  1. Acne vulgaris - dermis [Internet]. DermIS.net. [cited 2023 May 26]. Available from: https://dermis.net/dermisroot/en/36249/diagnose.htm
  2. Acne [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2017 [cited 2023 May 26]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/
  3. Bhate K, Williams HC. Epidemiology of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol. 2013 Mar;168(3):474–85.
  4. Bergler-Czop B, Brzezińska-Wcisło L. Dermatological problems of the puberty. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2013 Jun;30(3):178–87.
  5. Connolly D, Vu HL, Mariwalla K, Saedi N. Acne scarring-pathogenesis, evaluation, and treatment options. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017 Sep;10(9):12–23.
  6. Acne - causes [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2017 [cited 2023 May 26]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/causes/
  7. Winters RD, Mitchell M. Folliculitis. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 [cited 2023 May 26]. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547754/
  8. Oge’ LK, Broussard A, Marshall MD. Acne vulgaris: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2019 Oct 15;100(8):475–84.
  9. Habeshian KA, Cohen BA. Current issues in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Pediatrics. 2020 May;145(Suppl 2):S225–30.
  10. Acne - treatment [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2017 [cited 2023 May 26]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/treatment/
  11. Acne: causes, symptoms, and treatment [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 May 26]. Available from: https://patient.info/skin-conditions/acne-leaflet
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Shahzaman Ganai

Doctor of Medicine (MD), Medicine, Charles University

Shahzaman is a Junior Doctor currently working in India, over the last year, with future specialist interests in psychiatry. Along with his Interests in medicine, he is an ardent follower of finance, business and health tech news and events. He plans on further enhancing his knowledge in medicine with his interests in business and health tech for future endeavours.

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