Nose infections are initially characterised by pimples inside the nostrils, but more serious instances may lead to boils or even cellulitis. Infections of this type are typically caused by staphylococcus bacteria.
- Type of staph infection
- Can develop if left untreated
- Medicated with antibiotic ointment
We do not offer treatment for this condition through our online service. See your GP in person if you think you may have a nose infection.
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Nose infections are caused by the presence of a bacteria in the nasal passages. This bacteria is often of the staphylococcal variety, and is more commonly known as a staph infection. Sometimes the MRSA bug can also be responsible.
The symptoms of a nasal infection during its milder, less invasive stages include the formation of a crust in the nostrils, as well as the appearance of pimples in the same area. When the infection is left untreated, it can become worse: particularly if the person carrying it has a weakened immune system; or if the bacteria spreads to a wound or another susceptible part of the body.
In more serious cases, boils can manifest in the nose, and progress into a condition known as cellulitis. This is where the tissue underneath the skin becomes inflamed and painful.
The bacteria can be spread through physical contact, such as by transferring it from a contaminated surface or object with your hands, to your nose. It can also be transported through air, and reach the nostrils through inhalation. Staphylococcus is not an uncommon bacteria. Many people have it naturally on the surface of their skin. However, it becomes dangerous when it is present in large amounts or comes into contact with broken skin, or a cut.
Treatment for bacterial infections is usually issued in the form of antibiotic medication. However, there are strains of staphylococcus which are resilient to these drugs. These are called methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, more commonly referred to as MRSA. For this reason, more specific pathways of treatment are required. Bactroban nasal ointment, made by GlaxoSmithKline, has been developed specifically for this purpose.
Mupirocin, the functioning agent of Bactroban, targets the staphylococcus bacteria and stops it from multiplying in the body. The ways it does this is to inhibit the generation of an enzyme the bacteria needs to sustain itself and reproduce. Once the bacteria has been weakened, it is then prone to attack from the immune system, and subsequently eradicated.
Naseptin is an alternative treatment. This contains a different antibiotic agent, and therefore works in a similar way to Bactroban. It also contains a disinfectant agent.
Please note that you cannot buy treatment for nose infections from our UK pharmacy. If you are experiencing any symptoms which may be indicative of a nose infection, you should see your GP, who will issue a prescription antibiotic if necessary.
Types of Treatment
The recommended course of action for bacterial infections is antibiotic medicine. For those caused by staphylococcus which affect the nose, one of the most effective drugs is Bactroban, which is supplied as a nasal ointment made by GlaxoSmithKline. This is the first line treatment for nose infections.
Naseptin, a nasal cream made by Alliance, is also available.
How do they work?
In Bactroban is a substance called mupirocin calcium.
The active ingredients in Naseptin are chlorhexidine dihydrochloride and neomycin sulphate.
These treatments both tackle the bacteria causing the infection by negating its capacity to reproduce. The bacteria is then open to attack from the body’s natural defences, which kills what remains of the infection.
What are the side effects?
One of the benefits of using an applied ointment as opposed to tablets is that the risk of side effects is often not as significant. The most common among those for Naseptin and Bactroban are localised tingling, burning or irritation at the site of application.
Can I take them with other medications?
You can in many cases. But it is vital to let your doctor know during consultation if you are using any other medicinal items.
What’s the difference between the medications?
Bactroban nasal ointment is different to other antibiotics, as it is applied directly to the infection site, and is specifically meant for the treatment of nasal staph infections.
Naseptin performs a similar function, but is considered only as an alternative in cases where Bactroban is contraindicated.
Should I take Bactroban or Naseptin?
Bactroban is the first line treatment for nasal infections. It is only suitable for infections of the type described above. If you have another type of illness, it may not be suitable. You should also not use it if you are allergic to any containing ingredients.
Are there different side effects?
Yes, but these may not affect everyone. The most commonly reported side effects for Bactroban nasal ointment are stinging and irritation at the administration site.
Is it right for me?
Nose infection medication is not available to buy through our website.
Talk to your GP if you suspect you might have a nose infection. If you require treatment, the medication you use will be determined by your doctor during consultation.
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