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What is the most effective way to stop a bloody nose?

I started to get bloody noses over the last year or so. What is the best way to make them stop once they start? I've tried a few different methods but want to know what the most effective one is.
The vast majority of bloody noses happen because of dryness and cracking, or from trauma to the mucosal lining of the nose (like picking). Thus like most medical conditions, the best way to treat the disorder is by prevention. If it is from picking, the answer is obvious...avoid further nasal trauma. If it is from dryness and cracking (particularly during the dry winter months, or in dry climates) then the answer is usually humidification. A humidifier by he bed at night will sometimes help, or there are different things that can be bought over the counter. Nasal saline sprays will help moisturize, but don't necessarily hang around very long to maintain moisture. There are some topical moisturizing gels or creams that can be found at just about any pharmacy. Just ask for a "nasal moisturizer" and they can point you in the right direction. Many patients find it helpful to buy a bottle of oxymetazoline (nasal decongestant) to leave at home which causes vasoconstriction. When bleeding, a few squirts on the bleeding side, combined with finger pressure (squeezing the soft part of your nose tight) for ten minutes will usually stops most bleeds. You should consult a physician before using oxymetazoline however, because it may affect your blood pressure. I recommend seeing your primary care physician about the issue to get their input. Best of luck.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.

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