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ENT Conditions and Procedures
How to use nasal ointment Download as PDF

How to use nasal ointment

A step-by-step guide

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Twist the cap anti-clockwise to remove it.
  3. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of ointment onto the tip of your little finger. Apply this just inside each nostril at the front. Don’t put your finger more than 1cm into the nostril. Alternatively, gently insert the nozzle of the tube into the nostril and squeeze out a pea-sized amount of ointment.
  4. Gently press your nostrils together and massage to help spread the ointment throughout your nose.
  5. A swab such as a cotton bud can be used if you need to apply it for someone else.

Illustrations by Thomas Newman (

Extra tips for nasal medications

  • If you have an unpleasant taste after using nasal medications, drinking water or a flavoured drink may help.
  • If you develop soreness or bleeding, you may be using the medications incorrectly. Re-check the instructions and make sure you are not pressing the container against the septum (middle part inside the nose). If this does not settle, speak to a medical professional.
  • Don’t use decongestant nasal sprays for more than five days in a row. This can actually make the congestion worse by causing the lining of the nose to swell every time it is stopped.


Disclaimer: This publication is designed for the information of patients. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the information contained may not be comprehensive and patients should not act upon it without seeking professional advice.


Date Published: 29/09/2022 Review Date: 29/09/2025

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