You can develop psoriasis in the nose, but it’s not common. When psoriasis affects the nose, it is usually on the outside. If you believe you may have psoriasis on your nose, see a doctor for tests to exclude other more likely conditions.

According to the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance (PAPAA), it’s possible, but very rare, for someone to get psoriasis on their nose.

Research shows that getting psoriasis on the face is common — occurring in 49% of cases — but there’s little data on nose psoriasis.

Keep reading to learn more about this infrequent occurrence, its treatment, and other likely conditions.

On lighter skin, psoriasis lesions that appear on the nose are usually white or gray. On medium skin tones, they can appear salmon-colored with silvery-white scale. On darker skin tones, psoriasis may look violet with a grayscale. It can also appear dark brown and difficult to see.

The PAPAA indicates that psoriasis in your nose is rare.

It’s also unusual but possible to have psoriasis lesions appear on:

  • your lips
  • inside your cheek
  • on your gums
  • on your tongue

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), facial psoriasis is more likely to occur on the following:

  • eyebrows
  • hairline
  • upper forehead
  • the skin between the upper lip and nose

Here’s what psoriasis lesions on your nose might look like.

Before treatment can begin, your doctor will confirm whether you have psoriasis. To diagnose the condition, your doctor will ask about your medical history and do an examination. Your doctor may also take a biopsy (a small sample of skin) to:

  • confirm that you have psoriasis
  • determine the type of psoriasis you have
  • rule out other conditions

Psoriasis treatment for your nose commonly involves topical steroids for treating moist areas. Since this is a sensitive area, always check with your doctor before using any topical creams om your nose.

Your doctor may recommend the following:

  • low potency steroids, such as hydrocortisone 1% ointment
  • tacrolimus (Protopic, Prograf), a topical macrolide immunosuppressant
  • pimecrolimus (Elidel), another immunosuppressant

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved two new topical creams for treating psoriasis: tapinarof (Vtama) and roflumilast (Zoryve).

Your doctor may also consider other psoriasis treatments, such as

  • light therapy, which uses natural or artificial ultraviolet light
  • vitamin D analogs, such as calcipotriene (Dovonex)
  • topical retinoids, such as tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage)

Follow your doctor’s instructions when using any of these treatments.

Crusty bumps in your are more likely to be a sign of something other than psoriasis, including:

  • Dry environment: Changes in climate, such as the arrival of winter, can make the air less humid. This may dry out the skin in your nose, sometimes causing small bleeds that scab over.
  • Sinusitis: Swelling and inflammation in the tissue lining your sinuses can produce scabs inside your nose.
  • Allergies: Scabbing can result from inflamed nasal passages caused by allergies.
  • Rhinitis: Swelling and inflammation of your nose’s mucous membrane caused by seasonal allergies or the common cold can lead to scabbing in your nose.
  • Trauma: The delicate skin in your nasal passages can be easily damaged by scratching, rubbing, or picking your nose. This can lead to scabbing.
  • Medication: When used over a long period, nasal sprays can cause extreme dryness in your nasal passages. This can lead to skin breaking and then scabbing.
  • Drug use: Inhaling drugs through your nose can irritate and damage your nasal passages, often with bleeding and scabbing.

Your doctor can help determine what’s causing crusty bumps or scabs and suggest treatments to relieve your symptoms.

In rare cases, lesions or scabs on the nose can be a sign of one of the following conditions:

  • HIV: This condition can cause nasal lesions that, along with being painful, may bleed and scab.
  • Nasal cancer: Persistent crusty bumps in your nasal passages that don’t respond to treatment could indicate nasal cancer.
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis: Also called Wegener’s granulomatosis, this rare vascular disease is one of a group of blood vessel disorders called vasculitis. Symptoms may include nosebleeds and crusting on the nose.

If you notice crusty bumps, lesions, or scabs in your nose that worsen over time or don’t respond to treatment, speak with a doctor. They can diagnose your condition and determine an appropriate treatment strategy.

Although it’s possible to have psoriasis in your nose, it’s very rare. You should see a doctor if you think you may have psoriasis in your nose. They can perform tests to confirm that it’s psoriasis and not another more likely condition.

If your doctor confirms psoriasis, they’ll recommend a specific treatment program that may involve:

  • low potency steroids, such as hydrocortisone 1% ointment
  • topical retinoids
  • vitamin D analogs
  • immunosuppressants
  • light therapy