What does it mean when your nose itches?

For centuries, people have believed the superstition that each itch or scratch symbolizes an omen. When it comes to an itchy nose, this particular irritation is said to symbolize trouble heading your way or that you should expect a visitor, The Sun reports.

Superstitions aside, here's the truth science supports. While most itchy noses last just a few seconds and are often relieved by a sneeze, some may last longer because they are caused by a more significant issue. An itchy nose could develop from various causes, including allergies, viruses, or dry skin (via Healthline).

An itchy nose could be a health warning

While itchy noses are more common during the winter and spring when health issues like allergies and the common cold are prevalent, they can occur anytime during the year. 

According to Healthline, germs often infect your nose and sinuses first. When this happens, your nose will try to flush out the bacteria or germs with mucus. Since sneezing expels germs from your body, a tickle in your nose could be your body's response as it works to protect itself.

Allergies, the most common reason your nose may itch, occur when your immune system reacts to something in your environment. Mistaking something for a virus, such as the flu, your body reacts to something you're allergic to with cold-like symptoms. 

Although not common at all, an itchy nose could also be a warning to a more serious issue like a nasal tumor. Healthline notes that possible symptoms of a nasal tumor, in addition to an itchy nose, include loss of smell, sores in the nose and frequent infections.

An itchy nose could mean dry skin

Aside from warning you about potential health issues, an itchy nose could also simply mean your skin is dry, either on the inside or the outside. When nasal passages are dry, it can make it difficult to breathe and can cause nose irritation, itching, and pain. 

Using products that are harsh to the skin on the outside can strip it of natural oils, which can also cause dry skin that leads to itching. WebMD also notes that conditions like eczema are also associated with rashes or itching. 

How do you stop a nose itch?

Staying hydrated can prevent your nose from drying out, especially when you have a cold or sinus infection. Medical News Today says that for an adult, drinking eight glasses of water is a reasonable goal — however, the amount of water a person should drink varies by age and sex. 

Both Healthline and Medical News Today also suggest being aware of (and avoiding) triggers that could cause nose irritation, especially if you experience allergies. 

It is also important not to irritate your nose further if you have an itch by scratching at it or aggressively blowing your nose. Rinsing your nose out with a saline solution is a common way to relieve the itch instead.