What are the signs and symptoms before a perforated septum appears?

After a cold, I became obsessed with cleaning the inside of my nose. Two weeks ago my septum became sore and irritated. There is some puss and blood that sits on the side of my septum. My nose is very dry. I cannot get into an ENT for just over a month. I am worried that my septum has been permanently damaged and I will inevitably develop a hole. I keep it moisturized with nasal gel spray. Once there is damage (no hole yet), is it possible for the mucus membrane to heal? Can I help it heal?

Doctor Answers 2

Perforated nasal septum

the best treatment is moisturizing with a saline nasal spray (Ayr), and stop picking at it.  If the membrane is alive, it will heal, provided you are not using cocaine or meth.


Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon

Signs of perforation

Thanks for your question. Surprisingly most septal perforations are pretty asymptomatic, however whistling and excessive crusting are two common signs. You sound as if you are experiencing dryness and irritation and the moisture is the right treatment for that. I would recommend being evaluated to make sure that there is not a stitch or foreign body that is causing the irritation. As long as you aren't irritating/damaging the septum on both sides in the same area the risk of you causing a hole is pretty low, most septal perforations that are not caused by previous surgery are a result of cocaine abuse, afrin abuse, trauma, or excessive nasal picking. Hope this helps. 

Julian W. Dixon, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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