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What do sores in the nasal cavity indicate?

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Quick Answer

Sores in the nasal cavity can indicate a bacterial or viral infection or simple irritation of the skin. However, in some cases, they may indicate a rare form of cancer, reports the National Cancer Institute.

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Full Answer

The most common causes of sores in the nasal cavity are fairly benign and generally easy to treat, according to Dr, Chris Iliades for Everyday Health. These include bacterial infections, such as impetigo, which can occur anywhere on the face but often occurs around and in the mouth and nose. The herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores, can also affect the nose instead of the more common locations on the mouth. Irritation from environmental causes or drug use also can cause small sores in the nasal cavity.

Some people get nasal polyps, which may be mistaken for sores. These are small lumps of inflamed tissue and have a variety of causes, including infection and environmental irritation. They are more common in people with asthma, allergies and chronic sinusitis, among other conditions, explains Diana Rodriguez for Everyday Health.

Nasal cavity cancer is fairly rare, but a sore that does not heal can be a symptom, states the National Cancer Institute. People who are at least 45 years old and smoke tobacco are at a higher risk of this type of cancer. Those who work in certain professions where they are exposed to dust and chemicals, such as woodworkers, bakers and shoemakers, may also have a higher risk.

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