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Are there any steps I can take to prevent nosebleeds?

Marilene B. Wang, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
The best way to prevent nosebleeds is to keep the nose moist and do not disturb it, so avoid picking, blowing, or rubbing your nose very hard. You can also use saline sprays to moisten the inside of the nose. 

At night, you can apply ointment to the inside of your nostrils to keep them moist. A humidifier or vaporizer at your bedside can also help.

Occasionally you may have nosebleeds because of an underlying medical condition or medication. Some medications thin your blood and make you more prone to nosebleeds. If you have high blood pressure, you may also be susceptible to nosebleeds. Certain genetic conditions make you prone to nosebleeds as well.

When you have a nosebleed, apply pressure with a cold washcloth, sit quietly, and let the nosebleed stop. If it doesn't stop after about 10 minutes, you may need to seek medical care.
To help prevent nosebleeds:
  • Humidify your home using a humidifier in the room.
  • Breathe moist air, such as from a shower, if your nose becomes dry.
  • Use small amounts of moisturizing ointment in your nose, such as Vaseline, to help prevent bleeding. Do not put anything in your nose if your nose is bleeding.
  • Keep fingernails trimmed and avoid nose picking
  • Avoid forceful nose blowing. 
  • Limit the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as they can interfere with blood clotting.
(This answer provided for NATA by the Georgia College & State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

There are several things that you can do to prevent nosebleeds from occurring.

  • Humidify your home (especially in the winter when the air is dry).
  • Keep heat low in the bedroom.
  • Breathe moist air (such as in the shower) when your nostrils are very dry.
  • Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly in each nostril to keep them moist.
  • Avoid overuse of aspirin.
  • Avoid overuse of steroidal nose sprays.
  • Avoid picking your nose.
  • Avoid vigorous nose blowing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.