Nose Cold Sores

Nose Cold Sores

Cold sores usually appear on the lips and areas around the mouth. But sometimes they can appear on the cheeks, on the nose and in your nostrils and worse case scenario, around the eye area or on your eye. If you ever get a cold sore around the eye area, see your doctor IMMEDIATELY to get this seen to, as it can lead to blindness if left untreated. The virus travels through nerve paths and can find its way to other areas of your face if these areas are near the initial vicinity of infection and if you have had the initial outbreak of cold sores dry out and crack, releasing the virus in the fluid that secrets out. Getting cold sores or fever blisters in and around the nose and on other parts of your face can be more painful than the ones that generally appear on the lips and around the mouth.

Are Cold Sores on the Nose the same as around the Mouth area?

The cold sores or fever blisters in and around the nose are similar to those that appear on your lips and mouth. They swell and form blisters which erupt, produce scabbing and finally heal, usually leaving no scars. This is called nasal herpes. Basically, the virus goes through the same stages that oral herpes goes through; that of the ‘prodrome’ stage, the ‘weeping’ stage and the ‘healing’ stage. As you can see from the photo, they can be very painful and spread very easily.

The cold sores or fever blisters in and around the nose can be a result of autoinoculation, where you actually spread the virus from one area to another yourself. Cold sores are highly contagious. Picking your nose when you accidentally touch an active outbreak of a cold sore is one way of transmitting the virus to your nostrils. Being conscious of what you touch and where your hands have been will help avoid spreading the virus to other parts of your body. Washing your hands often with soap and water as well as applying a hand sanitizer after washing will also help prevent autoinoculation .

Nose Cold Sores and Other Illnesses

The cold sores or fever blisters in and around the nose can get really irritating and extremely painful particularly if you have the flu or a cold at the same time, which can be a common occurrence as your immune system is low and once you have had them in this area, they will tend to reappear there anytime your immune system is compromised. The conditions inside the nose, being moist and warm, make the virus thrive which can increase its chances to infect nearby areas and can lead to a longer healing time than usual. When the scabbing stage begins, the crusting becomes hard due to the constant flow of air in the nostrils. This means the scabs can easily break and bleed with just a movement of your nose. The skin in the nostrils is fragile and thin which increases the possibility of the scabs breaking and bleeding easily. This can promote further infection of the virus. All in all, not a very nice outbreak to be experiencing!

Applying home remedies like placing ice on the nose can help relieve the pain of the cold sores or fever blisters and can speed up the healing time. Taking L-lysine can also shorten the duration of the episode as well as applying liberal amounts of Vaseline to the area to keep it moist and to avoid the drying out and crusting phase. If Vaseline is applied in the early stages, you will be able to avoid an outbreak as seen above.

Having cold sores or fever blisters on any part of your face is unpleasant enough. But having cold sores and fever blisters in and around your nose could possibly be the worst.


  1. Gail says:

    can over the counter remedies such as abreva be helpful when you have an outbreak in the nose.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Gail, yes Abreva is a good over the counter remedy that is easy to apply to the nose area… basically the same rules apply as they do to the mouth area, and it’s much easier to rid of them around the nose area because you are not constantly touching it like you are with your mouth.

    Remember to wash your hands after applying ANY treatment to a cold sore outbreak.

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