The nasal cavity is lined by a thin epithelial membrane which secretes thin slimy mucus. The thin mucus is constantly produced by the cells of the epithelial lining or the mucus membrane. It helps to protect the respiratory tract from dust and microorganisms by trapping them in the nasal cavity. Mucus also keeps the nasal cavity moist. It also helps the olfactory nerve to sense the smell. Normally mucus drains into the back of mouth from the nasal cavity. People usually swallow it unconsciously. The thin hair like structures in the nose called cilia help pass the mucus back in the throat.
As mentioned above nasal mucus is viscous substance and spreads proportionately throughout the nostril. It drains backwards into the throat. However, under some circumstances the nasal mucus can dry and become a soft mass. Many people refer this small soft mass as crusties or boogers.
This dried semisolid mass sometimes becomes apparent when it sticks to the hairs inside the nose. When it is present in the anterior of the nostril, this dry crusty mass can slightly cause discomfort for the person as it obstructs the air flow in the nose. Most people remove the soft crust with their finger or rather ‘nose pick’.
What Are The Causes Of Dry Mucus In Nose?
Dry mucus in nose is not uncommon. Majority of people may have some amount of dry mucus in their nose on regular basis. It can occur due to physiological as well as environmental factors. The air that flows in and out of the nose has some drying effect on the epithelial lining as well as the mucus in the nose.
However, the condition gets more aggravated when the air in atmosphere is dry as in winter months. The mucus also tends to become drier if the secretion is thicker or if the person breathes rapidly. Dryness is further enhanced as the dust particles in the air gets trapped in the mucus while breathing.
Following conditions can give rise to dry mucus in nose.
- Dry climate
- Winter season
- Dust in atmosphere
- Abuse of nasal sprays.
- Air conditioned environment.
- Excess of mucus secretion in runny nose.
- Dry nose is also common in people smoking cigarettes.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Dried Mucus In Nose
Most people do not pay much attention to excessive dryness in their nose unless the hardened mucus starts to produce discomforting problems. The nose can becomes congested and bleed due to hard mucus, especially when a person picks the nose with his finger. The first step is to prevent dry mucus. If it has already formed, try to get rid of it.
There are many home remedies that may help to clear nasal dryness.
- Coconut oil is a natural moisturizing agent. Take half teaspoon of coconut oil in a spoon. Dip a cotton swab in the oil. The oil should be in liquid state. With the help of your fingers apply the swab inside the nose. Remove the swab after the oil is applied on the inside of the nostril.
- Almond oil is also a good substitute for coconut oil. It has natural emollient properties which help to make the inner mucus membrane softer. Applying almond oil also reduces the risk of cracks in the nasal lining in winter months when the climate is cold and dry.
- Turn on the humidifier in your bedroom during cold season. It maintains humidity in air which in turn helps to prevent nasal dryness.
- Drink enough water to prevent dehydration. At least 7 to 8 glasses in a day.
- Applying petroleum jelly in the nostril is also beneficial to prevent dryness of mucus in the nose.