What are the symptoms of an infected nose?

There are different types of nose infections, and symptoms vary depending on the cause. An infected nose often implies a sinus infection, located in the sinuses and nasal passages, or an infection in the nasal passages caused by blisters, infected piercings, ingrown hairs, or similar problems. A sinus infection is usually caused by allergies, viruses, bacteria, or fungi, and symptoms can include fever, nasal congestion, headache, and facial tenderness. An infection in the nasal passages can be caused by an outbreak of the herpes simplex virus, ingrown hairs, a cut or a nose piercing. Symptoms usually include localized pain and swelling in the affected area, and sometimes pus discharge.

When an infected nose is caused by a sinus infection, also called sinusitis, the infection often starts with a regular cold or flu, or an allergy flare-up. Nasal congestion, cough, sneezing, fever, and headaches are common early symptoms. Nasal congestion and inflammation of the sinuses inhibits the elimination of natural bacteria within the nose. This can cause further inflammation and an infection of the nose with symptoms including swelling, redness, pressure and pain where the sinuses are located, i.e. the eye, nose and cheek area.

Other symptoms of sinusitis include itchy nasal cavity and a thick, green discharge of mucus from the nose. Sometimes an infected nose can also reduce your sense of taste and smell. Recommended treatments for a sinus infection include over-the-counter decongestants, pain relievers, and so-called expectorants that help thin mucus. A doctor should be consulted if the infection lasts for more than a week. Prolonged cases of sinusitis may indicate a bacterial infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics.

An outbreak of the herpes simplex virus can sometimes cause an infected nose, which usually starts with a small, tender blister inside the nose. Ingrown hairs inside the nostrils can also cause nasal infection. Both of these conditions can usually be treated with antiseptic cream, but if the infections do not clear up, a doctor should be seen.

A nose piercing can also cause an infected nose if the pierced area is not cared for properly. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and pain where the piercing was done. Sometimes there is also bleeding and discharge of pus. This type of infection can usually be cleared up by thoroughly cleaning the affected area with warm salt water before applying hydrogen peroxide or another antiseptic cleanser. The ring or stud on the piercing should be removed and the piercing allowed to heal.

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