J Rhinol.  2007 Nov;14(2):110-113.

The Clinical Effects of Topical Lanolin Ointment for the Treatment of Dry Nose

  • 1Catholic ENT Clinic, Gumi, Korea.
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, Korea. hsseung@cu.ac.kr


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Many people experience problems with a dry nasal mucous membrane, often without wondering why. The cause of problem is known as rhinitis sicca, senile rhinitis, and atrophic rhinitis, etc. A common form of treatment for patients who have such symptoms has been to begin by rinsing the inside of the nose with saline solution, to drop peanut oil, to apply antibiotic-ointment and moisturizing agents. Lanolin has been know as a safe skin moisturizing agent and used to treat dry nose. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of lanolin on a group of patients seeking treatment for dryness of the nose. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ninety-three patients experiencing problems with dry nasal mucosa were selected from the out-patient clinic. Fifty-seven patients, average age 36.3 years old, were treated with 1:2 mixture of lanolin and vaseline ointment. Thirty-six patients, average age 32.0 years, were treated with vaseline ointment. Both ointments were applied three times a day for two weeks. The efficacy of treatment was determined with pre and post-treatment six symptoms on a visual analogue scale: nasal obstruction, crust formation, mucosal dryness, respiratory discomfort, sleep disturbance, and general discomfort.
For subjects treated with lanolin, the average VAS value for nasal obstruction was 5.84+/-2.28 and it decreased to 2.89+/-1.29, while the corresponding values for subjects treated with vaseline were 4.39+/-1.77 decreasing to 3.11+/- 1.24 (p<0.05). Crust formation of lanolin treated subjects were 5.67+/-2.39 and it decreased to 2.09+/-1.46, while the vaseline treated subjects were 4.83+/-1.99 decreasing to 2.33+/-1.31 (p<0.05). Average total symptom improvement was 65.7% (from 27.95+/-9.30 to 9.86+/-4.58) in lanolin treated group, while it was 44.8% (from 20.9+/-76.59 to 11.64+/-4.18) in vaseline treated group.
We found that the efficacy of lanolin was statistically signigicantly better than that of vaseline. During the study period, there was no local reactions have been reported, nor have any allergic reactions. The present study underlines the fact that the way to treat nasal mucosal dryness is to use lanolin ointment.


Dry nose; Lanolin; Visual analogue scale
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