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Swelling of tonsils due to strep, having bruised appearance of skin on bridge of nose. What is this?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2349 Questions
ENT concerned with bluish skin on my nose- why? :

Hi all -
I visited a respected ENT today to discuss swelling of my tonsils due to strep. The first thing he asked me upon entering the room was if I had been hit on the nose. He showed me that the bridge of my nose does have a bluish/slightly bruised appearance which I had not noticed before. He asked me several questions about this - was is normal part of my appearance (I'm not sure - I had never noticed it before)? Had I noticed any flattening or widening of my nose? Was it sensitive to the touch?

Since I don't recall any changes to my appearance, he asked me to discuss the issue with my family to get their observations before our follow-up appointment. He didn't want to discuss what this could be a symptom of, which was frustrating. But he asked no fewer than five follow-up questions about it during the course of our visit, and even had a nurse verify the "bruised" appearance of the skin on the bridge of my nose.

Does anyone have a clue what this could be about?

I'm a 36 year old white female in good health. I have no unique medical history except that I have had three c-sections in the past six years. I don't smoke and have 2-3 drinks a week. There's nothing really exceptional about my medical history.

Many thanks!
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 9 hours later


Thanks for the query.

Bluish discoloration of the nose could be due to various causes such as fracture of the basilar bone in the skull, easy bruising (blood related disorders), cold weather, hay fever, nasal surgery, genetic, fair skinned people, etc.

Your doctor could have suspected the discoloration to be either nasal trauma or some blood related disorders. Many a times, the bluish discoloration is also seen in thin and fair individuals as the blood vessels below the superficial skin layer will appear prominent and this is a normal phenomenon.

I do feel it could be normal discoloration, as there is no previous history of trauma over the nose or easy bruising over the joints, or over the places exposed to trauma, etc. Easy bruising is seen in blood related disorders (the condition related to the problems with the blood vessel or problems with the blood itself); to mention a few - Hemophilia (coagulation problems), Leukemia (blood cell disorder), Scurvy (Vit C deficiency), Vit k deficiency, etc. or as a normal phenomenon in few females which is purely benign.

To sum it up, the discoloration of the nose could be a normal thing, if your doctor still suspects the possibility of any of above mentioned conditions you can run through a battery of test to rule out the same.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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