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Red itchy skin around nostrils that doesn't go away

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Old 09-09-2008, 12:14 AM   #1
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Red itchy skin around nostrils that doesn't go away

I'm allergic to dust, so I have mild symptoms all year round. 3-4 months ago, the skin around my nostrils started to get dry, red and itchy (inside and out). At it's worst I looked like someone with a really bad cold (or a bad cocaine habit), with raw red skin, but my runny nose was very mild. Over the months, I tried mentholatum, lotion, hydrocortisone cream, and a prescription antibiotic ointment. They all helped, but I could never shake it completely.

Now, I'm on day 5 of a Z-pack (antibiotics) for a sinus infection, and my nose has dramatically improved. The problem is still there but it's better than it's been in ages. If this was caused by a bacterial infection, I can't believe I had it for so many months.

Has anyone else had this kind of thing? If so, how long did it last, and what helped to control it?

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Old 09-09-2008, 04:19 AM   #2
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Re: Red itchy skin around nostrils that doesn't go away

There are a couple of possibilities. It could be that the skin has just gotten so irritated from the allergies and hasn't quite been able to heal, but it sounds like you've don everything possible to avoid that possibility.

The other possibility is that you've developed a spot of eczema, an inflammation of the upper layers of the skin, that happens to be affecting your nostrils and the area under your nose. Eczema is fairly common in people with allergies and it can be a pain to get rid of.

If it is eczema, the antibiotics may be helping because a Z-pak contains azithromycin, which is from a class of antibiotics called macrolides that also have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Typically you'd treat the eczema with an anti-inflammatory cream like cortisone but you might want to see a dermatologist.

Old 09-09-2008, 03:16 PM   #3
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Re: Red itchy skin around nostrils that doesn't go away

Thanks. That makes sense.

I get little itchy patches on my arms and legs, and I've been using Triamcinalone Acetonide cream for years. I think it has cortisone in it. I've been using it for so long, I no longer have the package insert. You're only supposed to use a tiny amount, and I don't think it's safe to use on moist tissues like inside my nose. But it helps with the dry itchy skin outside.

The doctor prescribed Mupirocin ointment without even looking at it. It seems to help inside.

I'm wondering if it's safe to use them both, one inside the nostril, one outside.

Last edited by lucylucy; 09-09-2008 at 03:17 PM.

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