What Causes Nosebleeds?

The medical term for nosebleeds is “epistaxis”, but you don’t have to remember that.

The “skin surface” inside our nostrils is thin and delicate. It has tiny lots of tiny blood vessels in it. So, it doesn’t take much to cut or crack that ‘skin’ and cause it to bleed:

  • An injury to the nose.

  • Picking your nose.

  • Blowing your nose too hard and too often from a cold or allergies.

Anything like this can cause a nosebleed.

Watch out for Dry Air:

The inside of the nose is normally moist. When the air is dry, like in winter months, especially if you heat with a wood stove, this dries out your nostrils. This makes that thin delicate skin prone to cracking, which makes it even easier for a nosebleed to start.

How to Stop a Nosebleed?

The key is simply to apply pressure and let the blood clot and stop itself. Pinch your nose for a good 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t take the pressure off and check too early because it will only likely start bleeding again.

If you take blood thinner medication, you may have to apply pressure even longer.

Tilt your head forward a little so that the blood doesn’t drip down the back of your throat, which can make you feel sick.

Once you get the Bleeding to Stop:

Once you get the bleeding to stop, you feel stuffed up and congested. It may be annoying and difficult to breathe through your nose.



This will only cause it to start bleeding again.

Think of it like this:

If you fall and cut your knee, it starts to bleed. The blood starts to dry and form a scab, which stops the bleeding.

But if you pick the scab off, the cut just starts bleeding again.

This is the same thing that is happening with your nosebleed. The blood has dried and formed a protective scab. But if you blow or pick your nose, this will remove the scab that formed and it will start bleeding all over again.

How to Prevent Frequent Nosebleeds?

Once you get one nosebleed, it’s easy to get more over the few days. As explained above, this is because that cut needs time to heal, but it’s easy for it to bleed again until it gets fully healed.

Here are the things you should do to prevent frequent nosebleeds:

  • As noted above, avoid picking your nose or blowing your nose too hard.

  • At night, gently massage a small dab of Polysporin up the nostrils. Not because anything is infected. But rather, because Polysporin is a water-based lubricant. It will help moisturize and protect the dry, cracked skin.

  • Get a humidifier for your bedroom at night to help moisturize the air you are breathing.

  • Consider nasal saline or moisturizer sprays during the day time.

Video Summary

Here is a short video (6 minutes) on all of this information:

When to see a Doctor?

  • If you have tried all of the above, but it is not helping.

  • If you are getting other types of easy bleeding or bruising, not just nosebleeds.

  • If you are concerned something else may be seriously wrong.

  • If the bleeding is so severe your fear you are losing a lot of blood, then go to the Emergency Department.