What Causes Nose in Purple?

Purple nose is an issue where your nose’s color is starkly different to the rest of your face. It stands out and makes it seem like you have a cold at all times. It’s not only just looks bad, but also can indicate a deeper health issue. You would need to know what causes a purple nose in order to know how to get rid of it.

Three Main Causes and Treatments of a Purple Nose

1. Rosacea

A purple nose is actually often an indication of Rosacea, a chronic health condition. The purplish tinge actually indicates that the condition is in its most advanced stages. Rosacea starts off with the reddening of the face caused by broken capillaries. The redness then moves to the cheeks and forehead before the condition finally leads to a purple nose.


The treatment differs according to the patient’s symptoms. In most cases though, an antibiotic is given at first along with a topical cream. The antibiotic is tapered off while the topical cream is used as a long term solution to keep the problem at bay.

2. Malar Rash

The skin condition which causes rashes all over the cheekbones and over the nose is called the Malar rash. The rashes are normally purple or red and usually have a blotchy outline. The rashes may be flat or elevated. The rashes don’t cause any pain, though they might feel ithcy.


  • Sunscreen: SPF 30 or greater is the recommended UVB and UVA sunscreen for people with sensitive skin.
  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory and anti-malarial drugs which are also prescribed for lupus can help to fight the malar rash.
  • Home Remedies: Home remedies for malar rash include application of olive or cod oil or a small quantity of baking soda over the rashes.

3. Nose Piercing

Another purple nose causes is nose piercing. In this case, a purple nose would also be accompanied by inflammation.


  • First take an NSAID like ibuprofen to keep the inflammation down.
  • Then clean your nose. For the purpose, you should take one small cup of lukewarm water, add a quarter tablespoon of sea salt in it and then use cotton to rub it on your nose.
  • At last, put some cortisone cream on the affected region.

Other Causes of Purple Nose

Except the three main causes mentioned above, there are other factors and conditions may cause your nose to turn purple.

1. Eruption of Blood Vessel

Petechia refers to the condition in which the blood vessels erupt. The capillaries which are located closer to the skin surface are actually responsible for turning the skin purplish. Even though Petechia often affects the nose primarily, it is also possible that an eruption of blood vessels might happen at extremities of adults whose platelets are lower than normal.

2. Low Oxygen Level

Low oxygen level can be one of purple nose causes. Doctors actually take purplish nose as an indication of lower than normal oxygen levels in the person’s blood stream. Low oxygen level can be extremely dangerous and might be an indication of a chronic disease or a fatal disease like COPD.

3. Pressure

You might wonder how pressure can cause purple ears and nose? Well, pressure on your trachea can result in lesser than normal oxygen levels which can cause purple ears and nose. Further tests would obviously be required in order to know why the trachea is under pressure if that is the case. Anemia, lung problems and hyperlipidemia can all be responsible for it. Doctors often recommend a lipid profile, CBC and spirometry to find out the root cause.

4. Effects of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a nose altering surgery and it is common for people to actual experience a few different sensations at the tip of their nose. These sensations are often described by patients as cool and numb. Such sensations are often accompanied by a changed color, including purple, of the nose. This is usually caused due to an issue with the blood supply to the nose. While the sensations go away quickly, the purplish tinge might require treatment before it would go away.

5. Other Opinions About Causes of Purple Nose

There are also a lot of other opinions about what causes a purple nose. Many people believe that nose might turn purple as a simple result of constant vomiting, sneezing, smoking or alcohol abuse. The best way to treat such a condition is to visit your doctor to rule out any serious conditions.

Some other think that purple nose may be caused by moles, hay fever, cold weather, spider veins on nose area, viral respiratory tract infections, bruising, fracture or other nose injuries and fracture to the basilar bone in the skull.

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