How to Prevent Nose Sores from CPAP Mask Use

How to Prevent Nose Sores from CPAP Mask Use

A common complaint from many CPAP users is nasal soreness, both inside and around the nose. While nose sores are a common side effect of CPAP therapy, they do not need to define your experience. Understanding why these nose sores occur is the first step to preventing them.

Can CPAP Cause Sores in the Nose? 

CPAP therapy can cause two types of nose sores: nasal passage dryness and exterior sores and red marks on the nose bridge or around the face. While these sores are most commonly caused by nasal masks, traditional full-face masks can also cause nose bridge irritation. 

Why Does My CPAP Burn My Nose?

Some nasal mask and nasal pillow users describe a burning sensation during therapy. The pressurized air from the CPAP machine plays a large role in nasal passage dryness. As this dryness continues over time, a burning sensation in the nostrils may occur.

How Do I Prevent Nose Sores from a CPAP Mask?

There are a number of ways to help prevent nose sores. Here are a few:

Use a Heated Humidifier

Heated humidifiers provide warm, moist air from your CPAP machine. Users experiencing dryness of the nostrils will most likely benefit from humidified CPAP therapy. Settings can be adjusted from your machine’s menu. Humidifiers may also help users with dry mouths or sore throats.

Use Nose Lubricant

Nasal lubricants can soothe nasal passages and keep them moist while using your CPAP equipment. Products like the Cann-Ease Nasal Moisturizer are hypoallergenic, allowing patients to insert the gel into their nose, providing moisture and preventing dryness.

Use Heating Tubing

Heated tubing work in concert with CPAP humidifiers. If the humidifier levels are too high, condensation forms in the tube. However, if lowering the humidifier level creates dry nose or mouth, then heated tubing may be needed. This provides a consistent temperature for the humidified air to travel through, providing users with the most comfort.

How Do I Prevent Nose Sores on the Bridge of my Nose?

In addition to nasal passage dryness, users may also experience red marks and skin irritation on the bridge of their nose. Here are some solutions.

Regularly Maintain Your Mask Cushions

Mask cushions should be wiped down or washed after every use. Dirty cushions frequently slide, causing leaks and making users tighten their headgear. Masks that are too tight will press into your face and cause irritations.

It is also a good habit to regularly replace mask cushions. Most cushions should be replaced every 90 days. Some, however, may require replacement sooner if damaged.

Use a Mask Liner

Mask liners, such as Snugz or Silent Nights, can help minimize nose sores and red marks by creating a comfortable contact point between the cushion and your skin. These liners are also useful if you experience frequent air leaks.  

Try Different CPAP Mask Types

Sometimes the fit of the mask is not for you. Try a different type of CPAP masks such as a nasal pillow mask or hybrid mask for a more comfortable fit.

Although nose irritation is a common occurrence with CPAP therapy, it can be avoided. Using a humidifier, nasal lubricant, or simply adhering to a regular cleaning schedule are only a few remedies that are available. For additional help or questions, contact our knowledgeable customer care team at 866-414-9700, or email them at

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.