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Nasal Contusion

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 6, 2023.

A nasal contusion is a bruise that appears on your nose after an injury. A bruise happens when small blood vessels tear but skin does not. When blood vessels tear, blood leaks into surrounding tissue, such as soft tissue or muscle. You may develop swelling and bruising around your eyes and cheeks.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You cannot breathe through your nostrils.
  • You have bleeding from your nose that does not stop when you apply pressure to your nose.
  • You notice a change in the shape of your nose.
  • You have watery, clear fluid draining from your nose.
  • You have tingling or numbness in or near the injured area.
  • You have any changes in your vision.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve with treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Acetaminophen decreases pain. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.


Apply ice on your bruise for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps decrease tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.


Sleep with your head elevated to help decrease swelling.

Help your contusion heal:

Do not massage the area or put heating pads or other warming devices on the bruise right after your injury. Heat and massage may slow the healing of the area.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return within a week to have your injury checked again. Write down any questions you have so you remember to ask them in your follow-up visits.

Prevent a nasal contusion:

  • Use safety belts and child restraints.
  • Use safety helmets when you ride a bicycle or motorcycle.
  • Use a mouth and face guard during sports.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.