New library article on Nasal Irrigations

Studies on nasal complaints in patients with ectodermal dysplasias have shown that although structurally things appear relatively normal inside the nose, patients often have problems with dryness, crusting and rhinoliths. You may call them “nasal rocks”, concretions or simply big boogers!

A mom holds a nasal rock from her toddler with HED after nasal irrigations
We don’t want to be gross but did want to show you what one mother shared with her us after she did nasal irrigations on her toddler son who has x-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. This can be the type of think mucous that can lead to crusting and be foul smelling. This is why nasal irrigations are important!

Many parents have expressed great difficulties in managing their children’s concretions and crusting in our private Facebook group for families affected by hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. Hard nasal “rocks” can grow to tremendous size requiring frequent removal, both by parents and healthcare professionals.

We have a new library article titled “Nasal Irrigations” written by Dr. Brandon Hopkins to help you manage at home the symptoms and complications caused by the concretions. He is a pediatric ear-nose-throat doctor (otolaryngologist) at Cleveland Clinic Head and Neck Institute who also serves on our Scientific Advisory Council. He shares in the article proper techniques on nasal irrigation and nasal rinses.

Importance of Removal

Nasal crusting is caused by abnormal mucus production or excessive accumulation. The mucus is thick and does not drain normally. Large crusts may form which may interfere with breathing or emit a foul odor. Parents frequently report these odors from their children’s noses.

My son is 12 and uses a Neti Pot. You won’t believe what comes out of his sinuses. Seriously, I’ve never considered that something so large could be inhabiting my son’s sinuses . . . know that it IMMEDIATELY takes away the smell.–CH

While the formation of these rocks or concretions seems to improve with age, problems with nasal obstruction and crusting commonly do persist in to adulthood. They are also predisposed to frequent sinus infections.

Saline Solutions

Dr. Hopkins recommends a recipe for a salt water rinse in his article on nasal irrigations. Perform rinses regularly to improve blockage and dryness symptoms. Many of our parents can attest that rinses are very effective in dislodging these blockages.

When my boys get stuffy, we will use repeated gentle saline misting every few minutes to really soften things up, and then it is easier to extract anything built up in there. Sometimes it will just pour out if they lay down for a bit. –RS

One parent said she made it a point to always irrigate her daughter’s nose before dental visits. Doing this helped her daughter breathe better when the dentist was working in her mouth!

Dr. Hopkins recommends that parents do not forcibly hold down their children when preforming these rinses. Instead, consider allowing your child to be in a sitting or standing position. This will make the nasal irrigations easier and more effective for both your child and yourself. Your child will be grateful for the experience and its effects.

We have now gotten to the point that we do a Neti Pot every night before bed, and it is amazing how clear his nose is! Pretty much every time we do the Neti Pot, we get concretions out and afterword my son says, “I CAN BREATHE! –MP

Alternative Nasal Irrigations

You might also consider using humidification to remove the nasal rocks. We recommend using cold humidification because it is safer to use cold steam than hot steam. Children can pull over the hot humidifier and subsequently acquire bad burns.

Swimming and bathing can also provide relief. Parents report that when their children soak in a bath or swim in a pool, it helped nasal irrigations to occur naturally.

Sound Off

Learn more from Dr. Hopkins’ article about how often you should irrigate, the benefits, recipe and proper method. What have you found to be helpful to clear out the nasal rocks? Tell us in the comments below! We aim to ensure that all of your health needs are being met and to keep you updated on all the latest information.

Download How to Irrigate Your Nose

28 comments on “Nasal Irrigations Prevent and Treat Crusting”

  1. 1
    Elizabeth Reed on October 27, 2019

    I am almost 70 yrold female. I have been to Dr numerous times with a horrible taste in my mouth. Mostly during the night and especially upon waking in the morning. Sometimes so bad during the night I need to get up and rinse my mouth out. It feels like it comes from the back of my throat area.I have dry crusties in the morning like bits and pieces. Phlegem upon waking too. These conditions are not evident during the day so think it has something to do with my lying down in bed. Have had numerous scripts of Nasonex but does very little if anything. Just purchased a neti pot and not seeing a lot of difference. Please advise

    1. 2
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on October 28, 2019

      Hello. Thanks for reaching out with your question. Are you affected by ectodermal dysplasia and if so, which type? This might help us better understand what could possibly be causing your issue. Thanks, Jodi, NFED, Director, Marketing and Communications

  2. 3
    Sue Peterson on December 19, 2019

    Try Nasaline syringe – much easier and less messy than Neti-pot. I am 67 yrs old and had sinus issues all my life until my ENT performed in-ofc sinuplasty. He prescribed compound Gentamicin & Budesonide capsules in the saline solution from Advanced RX, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. morning and night.

    1. 4
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on January 2, 2020

      Thank you for sharing what has worked for you. ~ Jodi, NFED, Director, Marketing and Communications

  3. 5
    Ken Boyd on January 6, 2020

    Should you switch nostril sides eg: do the right side then do the left side?

    1. 6
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on January 7, 2020

      Hi, Ken. If you download Dr. Hopkins’ article, you can read more about what he suggests you do for treatment. Good luck! ~ Jodi, NFED, Director, Marketing and Communications

  4. 7
    Dianna Woods on March 4, 2020

    I was referred to Virginia Mason and later to University of Washington, both in Seattle. Had to have a serious sinus surgery to get rid of infection. ENTs at both hospitals recommended using Ponaris drops to prevent dry crusting. It helps a lot but I had to order it through Walgrens since no one carried it in my city. Hope this is helpful.

    1. 8
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on March 4, 2020

      Hi, Dianna. Thank you for sharing what has worked for you. Hope your surgery was a success and you are infection free! ~ Jodi, Director, Marketing and Communications, NFED

  5. 9
    Denise on March 8, 2020

    Hello, I’ve been dealing with a very foul smelly odor coming from my right nostril. It started in 2009 from a failed root canal treatment that wasn’t discovered by CT scans by the dentist. It was discovered by a cone beam scan from the endodontist in 2016 that showed build up of infection in my right nasal cavity. The tooth was retreated..then later removed. I’ve been to 3 different ENT doctors and they all say my sinuses are clear. And antibiotics, nor medicated nasal rinses, steroids have helped me. I get nasal crusting, backed up drainage that sometimes comes out after neti pot…but the smell remains. It has ruined my social life. What can I do?

    1. 10
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on March 9, 2020

      Hi, Denise. We are sorry to hear about the issues you have been having. What type of ectodermal dysplasia do you have? ~ Jodi, NFED, Director, Marketing and Communications

  6. 11
    Angela Heard on April 1, 2020

    I am a 46 year old female and about 2 1/2 years ago the inside of my nose started crusting over. When I saw 2 different ENT doctors they both tried using tweezers to pull it out but couldn’t . One ENT doctor did biopsy of the inside of my nose. The biopsy said it was inflammation. So I had to go to a dermatologist. She gave me some facial cleanser. Still didn’t help. I didn’t get diagnosed with anything. With my biopsy showing inflammation doesn’t that mean something else is causing it?

    1. 12
      Mary Fete on April 1, 2020

      Hi Angela,
      boy that is a good question. Why don’t you discuss your biopsy results with both the ENT and Dermatologist? Please keep us posted if you learn anything that would help other families. I hope this crusting (your skin dried in your nose) resolves soon. It must be uncomfortable. Did your ENT recommend nasal irrigation to loosen the crusting? Keep me posted. Please stay safe and healthy during this challenging time. Mary, NFED Executive Director.

  7. 13
    Angela Heard on April 1, 2020

    Forgot to tell that the crust turned out to be my skin.

  8. 14
    Boll Driscoll on April 13, 2020

    How much Salt can I use for my Sinus Rinse made by NeilMed

    1. 15
      Mary Fete on April 14, 2020

      Hi Boll,
      Check out this article on the NFED website… you will find everything you need to know. https://www.nfed.org/learn/library/how-to-irrigate-your-nose/
      Please let me know if you have other questions. Take care during this stressful time. Mary, NFED Executive Director.

  9. 16
    louis Farkas on May 2, 2020

    I lost instructions. How much water, salt to use in Neti pot

    1. 17
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on May 4, 2020

      Hi, Louis. You can find the instructions in this article: https://www.nfed.org/learn/library/how-to-irrigate-your-nose/. Good luck!

  10. 18
    Urael on May 9, 2020

    Hi, I’m 34 years and I’ve been experiencing nasal congestion and crusting for 8months. I often blow out hard mucus substance from my nose with difficulty. Please I need help on how to treat myself. Thanks

    1. 19
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on May 11, 2020

      We are sorry to hear about the issues you are facing. We encourage you to download the article mentioned in the blog. Follow those steps in irrigating our nose daily and this may help you.

  11. 20
    Lyra Regala on May 10, 2020

    hi, i’m 23 yrs old. I’ve been experiencing a lot of mocus sicreation in a day. I am diagnosed with chronic sinusitis, and atrophic rhinitis. Please help me on how to treat myself. Thank you.

    1. 21
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on May 11, 2020

      Hello. ARe you affected by an ectodermal dysplasia that is causing your sinus issues? We always recommend that you talk with your doctor for how to best treat your personal symptoms. We offered the tips in this article for anyone with nasal crusting who has ectodermal dysplasia. ~ Jodi, NFED, Director, Marketing and Communications

  12. 22
    Edward Dean on May 28, 2020

    Hi, when I sneeze the smell of the moisture that comes out smells really bad. What it the best way to eliminate this issue? Thanks.

    1. 23
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on May 28, 2020

      Hi, Edward. Irrigating your nose on a regular basis may help. The article outlines how to do that. We would encourage you to consult your physician and ask. – Jodi, NFED, Director, Marketing and Communications

  13. 24
    Edward Dean on May 30, 2020

    Thank you Jodi. I did a neti pot rinse yesterday. I mixed sea salt, baking soda and Xylitol in some warm distilled water. My nose felt much better and I didn’t wake up with a stuffy nose. Felt clear this morning. Thanks

    1. 25
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on June 2, 2020

      Glad you got some relief! Jodi

  14. 26
    Edward Dean on June 2, 2020

    Thank you Jodi. 🙂

  15. 27
    Nina on June 4, 2020

    I’m 39 yr out have blk crust in n around my nasal passage in both nostil how do I stop it from crusting again

    1. 28
      Jodi Edgar Reinhardt on June 4, 2020

      Hi, Nina. We would encourage you to talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing. ~ Jodi, NFED, Director, Marketing and Communications

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