Bad Rotten Smelly Nose Causes, Sinus & Treatments

Why does my nose smell rotten and bad

Table Of Contents

Why does the inside of my nose smell bad? Is it smelly mucus problem I have or my breath is the origin of this foul odor? How do I treat this rotten bad smell inside my nose?

Having a smelly nose is a problem that affects a considerable number of people in the world. Even though most people with nasal odor don’t seek help, the problem immensely affects their personal lives and the way they relate to others.

You may fear seeking help for the bad breath from your nasal cavity and live with it forever, but do you know that the bad smell can be a sign of the more serious life-threatening condition. I also don’t understand why you should let this problem affect you, yet you can seek treatment and get rid of the nasal odor for good.

Causes and treatment for stinky nose

Why does my nose smell rotten and bad

What causes nasal odor?

There are several causes for bad smell coming from your nose. Here are some of the most common ones.

Foreign bodies

Foreign bodies in your nostril will disrupt the normal airflow in the nose and lead to an odor. Foreign objects can be deposited in the nasal cavity as food particles when you vomit. Sometimes kids just put foreign objects in their noses intentionally as they play, and this may lead to a foul odor.

Sometimes, a neglected foreign body can also manifest itself in the form of unilateral nasal discharge. This smelly discharge can be the reason for the foul smell in your nose. Presence of foreign bodies is one of the main causes of a foul smell. If left unattended, foreign bodies in the nose can lead to a problem called rhinolith


  • If the smell is being caused by a foreign object present in the nasal cavity then the treatment is to remove the object.
  • You can have someone remove the object using a pair of tweezers if it is visible from outside. But as they do this, they should not injure the healthy nasal tissues surrounding the foreign object.
  • You can force the foreign object out by closing the unaffected nostril and blowing out through the affected nose.
  • Most times, a foreign object in the nose cannot be seen by a naked eye In such a case you will need to seek the services of a qualified physician to remove the foreign object.

Post-nasal drip

A postnasal drip is one of the main causes of nasal odor. It refers to the production of excessive mucus by the body. This can be caused by cold, sinus infection or allergies. People with this condition often clear their throats more than normal.

The excess mucus can be trapped in the back of the mouth and provide a breeding ground for bacteria which exist in the mouth which exists naturally there, this will result in a stinky nose breath and foul-smelling sputum.  Other symptoms may include a sore throat and a coughing at night. Post nasal drip is a problem that is becoming more frequent thanks to the many.


  • Bad odor in nose treatment for post nasal drip includes drinking plenty of water to keep the mucus flowing smoothly and prevent dehydration.
  • Try to prop up your pillow when you sleep to reduce the amount of mucus at the back of your mouth or throat.
  • You can use nasal sprays to flash out the mucus build up. This will also clear airways and reduce mucus content in your body
  • The best way of treating nasal odor associated with this condition is to avoid things that may trigger the condition like overcrowded areas.
  • If your case is accompanied by bright yellow nasal discharge, then seek immediate medical attention from a physician because this can be a serious infection.

Sinus infection (sinusitis)

If your nose smells bad, there’s a higher probability that you have a sinus infection. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the air cavities within your nasal passages. This is caused by allergies, infection, and irritation of the sinus and results in over secretion of mucus in the sinus. The mucus gets trapped in the sinus and attracts bacteria.  The bacteria work on the mucus and produces excess waste which leads to the foul smell in the nose and mouth. The smell is also referred to as sinus infection smell.

Other symptoms of sinusitis may include fever, the feeling of nasal stuffiness and in rare cases; face stuffiness.


  • Although uncomfortable, a sinus infection always goes away on its own after a few days
  • Rinsing with salty water can clear the mucus and limit bacterial growth in the sinus
  • Applying a warm compress on the nose may relieve some swelling and discomfort.
  • Drinking hot fluids can help unblock the sinuses
  • Taking rests is also known to help patients with sinusitis
  • If symptoms persist beyond seven days, then you will need to see a doctor.
  • Surgery may be required if the sinusitis resists all treatment.

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are fleshy swellings that develop in the lining of the sinuses. They are non-cancerous and maybe yellowish-brown or pink. Large polyps block the nose and prevent air circulation around the sinus. This then invites bacteria which can cause a foul smell. Individuals with asthma, frequent sinus infections and allergies are at a high risk of developing nasal polyps.

The symptoms may include a chronic running nose, persistent blocked nose, postnasal drip and poor sense of smell. The cause of nasal polyps is still unknown.


  • A doctor may prescribe steroid spray or nose drops which will shrink the inflammation thus reducing the size of the polyps. This will be after making a diagnosis. The diagnosis is made by asking symptoms and examining the patient’s nose.
  • Very large polyps may require a surgical procedure known as polypectomy. This is whereby a surgeon cuts the polyps using micro telescopes with the help of a tiny video camera inserted into the nostril.


As I have pointed out above, there are several causes of a smelly nose and it is often hard to know what is responsible for the bad smell in your case. A foul nasal is not something that should worry you because most often it will go away on its own after a few days.

Home remedies for bad breath from nose include eating a balanced diet will protect your body from respiratory diseases causing a smelly nose. If you have a flu, then keep yourself hydrated by taking a lot of water.

You should seek immediate medical attention if your nose does not stop smelling in seven days or is accompanied by other symptoms like fever, a very dry cough, and nausea.

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