Advice Column, Child, Health

Five ways to prevent a red, chapped nose this winter

A red, chapped nose is one of the more visible side-effects of colds and flu, for children and adults. Here’s five practical ways to prevent a sore or raw nose this winter, from mom of three, Dirna Grobbelaar, Oral Hygiene Advisor at Ivohealth. 

A runny nose can cause dryness and chafing as frequent blowing and wiping, strips natural moisture from the skin and causes irritation. 

Apply some type of barrier cream, balm or ointment such as petroleum jelly or coconut oil to form a protective layer over the skin. Or ideally, use Letibalm, the only product available in South Africa specifically designed to protect and repair the delicate skin around the nose and lips. It’s made with natural and active ingredients including ancient healing herb centella asiatica with proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties; nourishing cocoa butter and antioxidant vitamin E. 

Whichever balm you use, it’s vital to apply it several times a day, especially before and after blowing the nose. Keep a tub or tube of Letibalm handy in your bag, child’s school bag and the car, so there is one available whenever needed. 

Wiping with the correct tissues will minimise irritation. Wet wipes aren’t suitable as they may contain cleansers, chemicals or other irritants; rather use a soft tissue, ideally ones infused with aloe vera or calendula. Instead of wiping the nose, gently pat or dab the skin. 

Blowing the nose less often will help prevent ‘tissue burn’. Rinsing the nostrils with a saline spray or homemade saline solution can help clear stuffiness. Buy a nasal spray at the pharmacy or make your own saline solution with a cup of cool, boiled water and half a teaspoon of salt.

Steam helps relieve congestion and moistens the nasal passages, another good reason to enjoy hot soups and herbal teas when you’re feeling under the weather. Steaming your face over a bowl of hot water under a towel may be helpful, or sit in a sauna or steamy bathroom, probably a safer steaming method for children. 

Keeping the body and skin hydrated is important in preventing dry skin. Using a humidifier can add moisture to the air. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water or herbal tea, is always recommended and especially when you have the sniffles. A clean washcloth soaked in warm water can be used to gently moisturise the face. Avoid harsh soaps, facial scrubs or anti-ageing products but do use plenty of moisturiser to keep the skin soft, in addition to a balm around the nose and lips. 

The best advice is to do all you can to stay well this winter. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet; get lots of fresh air and exercise; regularly wash your hands to avoid germs. But should the sniffles strike, these few simple steps can make it nicer and less nasty for your nose . 

Five tips to prevent a chapped nose this winter:

  1. Regularly apply a barrier cream, such as Letibalm nose and lip repair
  2. Use soft tissues, ideally infused with aloe vera or calendula. Gently pat rather than wipe
  3. Blow the nose as little as possible. Use a saline spray or solution to help clear stuffiness
  4. Use steam to moisturise the skin and help relieve congestion 
  5. Keep the skin hydrated and mucous thin – use a humidifier and drink plenty of fluids

For further practical advice from Dirna Grobbelaar read the Ivohealth blog on www.ivohealth.co.za.

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