Nosebleeds 101

Best way to prevent further nosebleeds—moisturize! Your nose heals faster when moist.

  • Apply saline nasal gel to each nostril with a Q-tip or your finger
  • Don’t pick your nose!

Examples of Nasal Saline Gels

Courtesy of Ayr

What to do if you get another nosebleed:

1. Sit in an upright position with your chin tucked.

2. Grip the soft part of both nostrils at the bottom of the nose (see picture).

3. Do not grip the bridge of your nose, as that will not help the bleeding, and do not apply pressure to just one side, even if the bleeding is only on one side.

4. Hold steady pressure for at least 10 minutes.


If this does not stop bleeding, you may consider these additional steps:

  • Place cotton ball or nasal tampons/nasal plugs in the nostril that is bleeding.
  • Spray Afrin (oxymetazoline), a topical nasal decongestant spray, in the nose or on a cotton ball and place the soaked cotton ball in the nose. This helps to slow nasal bleeding. This is available over the counter at any pharmacy.
  • Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the bridge of your nose. This can help the blood vessels constrict and slow the bleeding.
  • Continue to apply pressure in the upright, seated position!

Seek emergency care if:

  • Bleeding will not stop after 30 minutes even after using the above steps.
  • Blood loss is excessive (>1 cup of blood).
  • It becomes hard to breathe because of blood running down your throat.
  • You begin to feel lightheaded, disoriented, or fatigued.
  • Bleeding occurs after an acute injury and you are concerned you may have broken your nose.