Why You Get Nosebleeds in the Winter (and How to Avoid Them)

The dry air that comes with the winter season can cause a number of physical issues. These can include dry skin, irritated throats and - you guessed it - nosebleeds. To combat dry skin, you can make it a point to apply lotion daily, and increase your water intake to ease sore throats. However, when it comes to soothing and preventing nosebleeds, there are a number of factors to consider. Here's how to reduce your chances of getting one and stay protected from the harsh indoor and outdoor conditions of the season.

Dry, Cracked Skin
Just as the skin on your hands and face becomes dry with the drop in humidity, the soft, delicate skin inside of your nose can also dry out and crack. Nosebleeds can happen as a result, and they can vary in severity. Some simply require a few tissues, and others can last much longer. If your nosebleed is extremely heavy or continues for a while, you should seek medical assistance.

To prevent dryness from occurring in the first place, there are a few things you can do. First, it's crucial to keep the air in your home full of soothing moisture. Try running a humidifier, like the Holmes® Warm Mist Humidifier, periodically to ensure that your home is as comfortable as possible during the harsh winter season. The soothing steam that's emitted from the device will help pump moisture into the air and combat the dryness that can cause nasal irritation. Additionally, staying hydrated can keep nasal passageways moist and protected. Drink your recommended eight glasses of water each day, and try to incorporate as many warm drinks into your diet as possible. Tea, hot chocolate and soup not only contribute to your daily intake of fluids, but the steam they produce can also help soothe your dry nose.

Frequent Nose Blowing
When you're outside in the cold, you may notice that your nose runs more than usual. This may cause you to use tissues and blow your nose frequently, which can result in a great deal of nasal irritation. In addition to the dry winter air, constantly putting pressure on your nose may also trigger a nosebleed. When clearing your sinuses, try to do so as gently as possible, and soothe your nostrils with petroleum jelly. The substance can help moisturize dry nasal passageways and reduce cracking. Apply it throughout the day as necessary and right before bed to keep the skin from overdrying.

Trauma to the Nose
Aside from overdrying, another common reason for nosebleeds is trauma. Your nose contains many blood vessels and, because of its protrusion from the face, they can easily pop and result in bleeding. Popular winter sports, like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding and, of course, snowball fights, can all make you and your family more susceptible to accidents that could cause a nosebleed. For this reason, it's important to wear appropriate head gear and padding when participating in a contact sport, and properly treat nosebleeds as soon as they occur. Rather than tilt your head up, as many do to contain the mess, arch your head forward and use tissues to catch the blood. Squeeze your nostrils for several minutes to encourage clotting, and keep your head above your heart to slow the bleeding. Refrain from lying down or resting your head between your legs.