First aid

Updated 09 June 2014

First aid for nosebleeds

Nosebleeds can be treated successfully at home. Here is what you should do.

Nosebleeds are common, especially in winter. They can usually be treated successfully at home. Common causes include nose-picking ad forceful nose-blowing, a dry climate, colds and allergies, injuries to the nose, and high altitude.

To stop a nosebleed: Sit and lean forwards to prevent blood from running down your throat. Firmly pinch the soft part of your nose, just below the bridge, for five minutes while breathing through the mouth.

If bleeding does not stop, hold the position for a further 10 minutes. Try not to blow or pick your nose for 24 hours afterwards. If you feel the need to sneeze, do so with your mouth open. Sleep with your head elevated and avoid exercise for a day after the nosebleed.

See a doctor if bleeding cannot be controlled or is the result of a head injury, if you feel faint or weak, if nosebleeds happen frequently (especially in children), if you are taking blood-thinning medication or if you bruise easily.

To prevent nosebleeds, humidify the room. Rub Vaseline inside your nostrils a few times a day. Saline nose drops are also useful.


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