WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Embarrassing Bodies, 9:00pm Thursday 24th July 2014 on Channel 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

Conditions

Nasal Septal Perforation

Nasal septal perforation (Photo from Wellcome Trust)

When former Eastenders actress, Daniella Westbrook, was photographed at the British Soap Awards in 2000 with her septum eroded from excessive coke-snorting, she not only became the poster girl for the ravages of cocaine, but also brought nasal septal perforation into the limelight. The septum, composed of cartilage and thin bone, can develop a hole in the cartilage, not only through cocaine use, but also as a complication of previous nasal surgery, excessive nose picking, trauma, cancer, or diseases such as tuberculosis or syphilis. As damage reduces blood supply in the septum, the cartilage begins to die, and a hole develops. Many septal perforations don’t need to be closed, and small perforations may need only frequent rinsing with prescription saltwater solutions and applying lubricating gels. Septal ‘buttons’ can also be inserted to fit the hole, which can be an alternative to surgery. However, there are various surgical techniques available for larger perforations, which can be performed under general anesthesia.

Comments and Questions

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I have a hole in my septum - I seem to pick my nose in my sleep and the hole is getting bigger I feel. I am so worried, anxious, embarrassed about this. Will I pick the nose tip away? I feel sick with worry but not brave enough to go see anyone.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Eeeekkkk...finally have appointment to see ENT specialist ...... sooooo nervous! I just hope he is kind and not judgemental





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My story. I have a large septum hole for years...I suffered extreme anxiety for some time, until my darling husband said...honey its a nose, I would worry if you had cancer, but its a nose, he helped me get things into perspective. I now go to the gym several times a week and enjoy good friends. As for my nose, I use a saline rinse every few days and keep it moisture...and its not causing me any problems at all...afterall, its just a nose.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

i have septum perferation ( hole in Bothe side)it difficult to breath pls solve the problem





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I had operation in nose but i have found holes nose septal perferation nose it is difficult to breathe can you give me suggestion





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

What op did you have?

If you have two holes in your nose (each side of the nose) one smaller then the other side. Can the larger hole heal to the side of the smaller hole?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I don't have a hole in my nose but iv been abusing coke for years over the past 5 months it's nearly everyday inside has worn away but I don't have a whole can it still collapse with a hole?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I ment I don't have a hole can it still collapse???

Firstly apologies for the spelling in my previous post — rushing about as usual! I wanted to add that the three ENT consultants I have seen on the NHS have all dismissed my symptoms as being due to the small perforation. In fact I was pretty annoyed at one consultant when he shrugged his shoulders and literally said "I have no idea what to do". I did have polyps removed several years ago and similarly the consultants told me that my sinuses are in good health after follow up scan and FESS camera. As mentioned, I have terrible anxiety and depression about my symptoms and whilst I know this makes matters worse I have ground to a halt and I lost my job. I can't afford private consultations and I am at a loss as to how I can proceed. My doctors are not very sympathetic either so things are not good for me right now. It seems that there is a lot of conflicting information with regards to this issue: some say leave it alone; others say get if fixed, and others say that surgery has a poor rate of success. As far as I can see there are no surgeons in the UK who offer surgery on the NHS and yet my gut feeling is that if I had mine repaired whilst it is still small then I might feel better. Each day I clean my nose out with a douche and at the moment I am using sesame seed oil (a product called Nozoil). I sense though that I can't ever get the membranes to heal and after a few hours I feel dry and perhaps this is the issue.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi I wondering if any one can help me I have a hole in my septum its not causing me a problem at the moment I have seen a consultant about this and he recommended a button repair Can I put this of or should I go ahead and get the repair I'm real upset about it can someone help





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have a tiny - pin prick - size hole in my septum and have developed severe anxiety because I feel that it is causing all my nsal symptoms: dryness, inflammation, crusting and so on. I have seem several consultants all of whome say that a how this size will not cause these symptoms and that I should seek help with the mental health issue. I actually find it hard to believe that my symptoms are not caused by this because when I shine a torch up my nose I think it looks bad. I hate sinus rinses because they seem to irritate me and I am struggling to find anything to help me manage the symptoms.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi martin..use a sinus rinse, so important to keep clean. Then use a medicated ointment.. ask your chemist, and tell him what its for. I have suffered extreme anxiety until I realized how many people suffer from septum problems....





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.



Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.



Please don't swear or be rude in your questions, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting questions. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Episode 2 - Kids

    In Episodes - This week's episode includes a young girl with vile verrucas that m…

  2. Consultation: Second Adult Circumcision

    In Videos - Dr Jessen examines a patient in need of a new circumcision

  3. James Russell

    Doctor Info - Find out more about James Russell.

  4. Dr Priya Manickavasagar

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Priya.

  5. Consultation: Soreness on the Penis

    In Videos - A patient is examined for soreness around his penis

  6. How To Check Your Testicles

    In Videos - Dr Harper's guide to how to self-check your balls against testicula…

  7. Dr Dawn Harper

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Dawn.

  8. Dr Pixie McKenna

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Pixie.

  9. Dr Christian Jessen

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Christian

  10. Bodies Behaving Badly

    In Episodes - Episode 1 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies examines conditions includ…

  11. How To Check Your Breasts

    In Videos - Dr Dawn Harper explains how to self check your boobs for breast can…

  12. Breasts

    In Episodes - In this second of four specials, the Embarrassing Illnesses doctors…

  13. Men

    In Episodes - The EI Docs go in search of the most elusive creature in the doctor…

  14. Vaginas

    In Episodes - The EI team roll into Norwich to setup a clinic in one of the count…

  15. Boys, Boys, Boys

    In Episodes - Episode 3 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies takes a closer look at bin…


Be On Embarrassing Bodies

The clinic is opening again for a new series.
Apply for Embarrassing Bodies >