A few years ago, when I was still living down in North Carolina, I worked as a part-time cashier at a grocery store. One day, a customer came into my line and whispered, “You just touched your nose. Could you use some hand sanitizer before touching my groceries?” Or, something to that effect. I was mortified. First off, my nose itch is chronic and constant. It’s embarrassing, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Second of all, I didn’t pick my nose, I scratched it with the back of my finger. I must do this at least 50 times a day without even thinking about it. Hearing this customer mention it, even politely, brought back terrible childhood memories of when children wouldn’t come near me and called me a “nose picker” because I couldn’t keep my fingers away from my nose.
It got so bad a doctor prescribed a topical analgesic (numbing cream) for my nose just so I’d stop scratching it and calling attention to myself. Of course, it didn’t do anything to address the underlying cause of the horrible itch, but at least it stopped it for a while.
Now, I just live with it.
The thing is, scratching my nose is so automatic and my memory is so terrible, I knew I was going to do it again before I’d finished ringing this customer out. I tried explaining this to her, but of course, she took it to mean I didn’t want to serve her. Not true. I just wanted her to know what she was getting into with me.
After I got over my embarrassment, I thought I would turn this experience into an article.
Here are some of the causes of chronic nose itch:
If you have chronic nose itch coupled with nasal discharge, congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, and post-nasal drip, you’ve probably got allergic rhinitis.
Thankfully, there are plenty of natural remedies for nasal allergies. These include local honey, echinacea, probiotics, and butterbur. These remedies, especially probiotics and local honey, have helped me a great deal.
Stinging nettle tea is another powerful remedy for chronic allergic rhinitis.
It is estimated that a whopping four out of five people have intestinal parasites. They can be picked up from soil, contaminated food or water, or from sexual contact.
Symptoms of intestinal parasites include itchy nose, gurgling intestines, chronic flatulence, chronic diarrhea, anal itching, personality changes, irritability, insomnia, and (oddly) waking around 3 in the morning.
If you are sensitive to certain foods, your immune system will produce a large amount of histamine each time you eat it. This can cause itchy nose, itchy skin, rashes, and swelling. Certain foods contain high amounts of histamine and may cause more chronic nose itch than others.
These foods include:
- Soy Sauce
- Hard Cheeses
- Red Wine
- Cured Ham and Bacon (Nitrates)
- Tomato Puree
If you notice your nose gets itchier when you eat these foods, you might be sensitive to them.
Also, gluten intolerance can cause chronic nose itch, nasal discharge, chronic diarrhea, constipation, sudden weight loss, brain fog, and/or muscle aches.
If you experience these symptoms, cut gluten from your diet completely for two months. Then, reintroduce gluten foods to test for a reaction. If your symptoms return, you’re likely intolerant to gluten.
Dry skin due to low humidity, dehydration, or autoimmune disease can cause irritating nose itch. A simple case of dry skin can be easily remedied by using a humidifier and moisturizing your skin with natural coconut oil or olive oil.
Skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, and hives can also cause chronic itchy nose. Psoriasis and eczema can flare up inside the nose, causing embarrassing nose itch and discomfort. Echinacea tea can help ease this terrible itch naturally. You can drink it or use it directly on the itch for immediate, lasting relief. Moreover, chamomile tea has similar anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Thankfully, most people won’t call you out for touching your nose unless they see you knuckle-deep, digging for gold, so just be stealthy about it. My ninja tactics include pinching my nostrils shut like I smell something horrible, using my sleeve to squish my nose into a pig snout, and wiggling my nose like a bunny.
Hey, whatever works, right?
Hang in there. Test yourself for food allergies and experiment with natural allergy remedies. Even if the chronic itch never completely goes away, you can at least get it under control.
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