Why Is My Nose Always Cold?

Cold noses are not uncommon. As an extremity that remains uncovered most of the time, the nose is prone to getting chilly. Cold noses are usually normal and not cause for concern. However, some health conditions may result in a persistently cold nose.

This article explains why your nose may be cold, as well as treatment and prevention.

Person on couch feeling nasal itchiness, touching nose

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Causes of a Cold Nose

Medical conditions that can result in a cold nose include impaired circulation, hormonal fluctuations, high blood sugar, stress, and injury.


Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid (a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck) is underactive and produces too few hormones.

Cold sensitivity, especially in the extremities, is common in hypothyroidism. That's because the correct balance of thyroid hormone helps maintain the body's homeostasis (steady internal conditions). When the thyroid doesn't function as it should, it can disrupt the body's ability to convert energy to heat.

Fortunately, studies have found that when hypothyroidism is treated and thyroid hormones return to a balanced state, cold-induced thermogenesis (heat production) significantly improves.

Reduced Circulation

When cholesterol blocks some of your arteries, it can result in poor circulation (when blood doesn't flow efficiently through your blood vessels). If you don't have adequate blood flow to your nose, this can result in your nose feeling cold.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition in which blood vessels spasm in response to cold. This spasming usually causes the extremities, like fingers and toes, to feel cold and turn blue or white. Less commonly, this condition can also affect other body parts, including the nose.

High Blood Sugar

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) means you have too much sugar in your blood because your body doesn't make enough insulin. Chronic conditions, like diabetes, can cause high blood sugar. In addition, overeating, illness, and stress can also cause it.

If diabetes is the cause of your high blood sugar, you may notice coldness in your extremities and nose. That's because diabetes can lead to circulatory problems.

Heart Conditions

One symptom of congestive heart failure (a heart that can't pump enough blood) is cold skin. That is because inadequate blood flow can make the affected areas feel cold.


Frostbite is skin damage that occurs from overexposure to extreme cold. Before developing frostbite on your nose, it would be unbearably cold. Later, after the tissue is damaged, the cold turns to a burning sensation with increased pain and numbness.


Stress can lead to all sorts of health problems, and strangely, that includes a cold nose. A study of the physiological responses to mental workloads found that facial temperatures, especially around the nose, correlated with the workloads.


Cold nose treatment depends on the cause. For example, suppose a chronic health condition like stress, heart disease, poor circulation, diabetes, or thyroid problems causes your cold nose. In that case, managing those underlying conditions is the best way to treat your cold nose.

On the other hand, prompt medical attention is necessary if you have an acute injury, like frostbite.

If you are experiencing a run-of-the-mill cold nose from cold temperatures, you can try a few things to warm your nose:

  • Wear a face mask.
  • Put on more layers.
  • Drink or eat something warm.

When Should I See a Healthcare Provider?

If you notice that your nose is cold in situations in which other people are comfortable, or if other symptoms of related health conditions accompany your cold nose, it's probably a good idea to have a healthcare provider check it out.


If you have a persistent cold nose, seeking medical advice is essential to avoid potential complications. When a cold nose is the result of an untreated underlying health condition, it can lead to further complications, including:

  • Hypothyroidism leading to heart problems
  • Poor circulation leading to tissue damage
  • Heart failure leading to organ failure, stroke, or death
  • Frostbite leading to necrosis (tissue death)
  • Stress leading to respiratory, heart, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and nervous system problems


If you are prone to a cold nose, you can try preventative measures, like wearing a face mask or scarf over your nose. In addition, keeping your internal body temperature warm will help. Bundle up and try fueling your body with warm foods and beverages.

If you have underlying health conditions, managing them will help prevent the side effect of a cold nose.


Cold noses are common and usually not cause for concern. However, sometimes a cold nose is a symptom of an underlying health condition, like diabetes, thyroid or heart problems, or stress. It can also result from an injury, like frostbite. Treatment and prevention involve addressing the underlying cause.

A Word From Verywell

Everyone gets a cold nose now and then, especially when the weather is chilly or the air conditioning is blasting. However, if you frequently say your nose is cold and get quizzical looks from others, that could signal something else. Similarly, if you notice other symptoms with your cold nose, you should contact a healthcare provider for an evaluation to ensure it's not a symptom of something more serious.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I stop my nose from being cold?

    If your nose is cold, the best way to warm it up is to remove the thing causing it. For example, head inside or wrap your nose under a scarf or face mask if you are outside in chilly weather.

  • When should I see a healthcare provider for a cold nose?

    If your cold nose occurs in warm conditions or is accompanied by other symptoms, it's a good idea to see a healthcare provider. They can rule out other conditions that could contribute to a cold nose, such as circulatory problems, high blood sugar, or thyroid problems.

  • What is the fastest way to warm up your nose?

    Covering your cold nose is likely the fastest way to warm it up. Using a face mask or scarf over your nose and mouth does two things: It acts as a barrier against the cold temperature and allows your trapped breath to act as a little heater for your nose.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Maushart CI, Loeliger R, Gashi G, Christ-Crain M, Betz MJ. Resolution of hypothyroidism restores cold-induced thermogenesis in humansThyroid. 2019;29(4):493-501. doi:10.1089/thy.2018.0436

  2. Gornik HL, Beckman JA. Peripheral arterial disease. Circulation. 2005;111(13). doi: 10.1161/01.CIR.0000160581.58633.8B

  3. John Hopkins Medicine. Raynaud’s phenomenon.

  4. American Diabetes Association. Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose).

  5. Marinescu AC, Sharples S, Ritchie AC, Sánchez López T, McDowell M, Morvan HP. Physiological parameter response to variation of mental workloadHum Factors. 2018;60(1):31-56. doi:10.1177/0018720817733101

By Kathi Valeii
As a freelance writer, Kathi has experience writing both reported features and essays for national publications on the topics of healthcare, advocacy, and education. The bulk of her work centers on parenting, education, health, and social justice.