New Glasses Problems: How to Avoid Marks on Your Nose

By Patrick Conroy
Reviewed by Maria Horan
Maria Horan

Reviewed by

Maria Horan
Holding a BSc Honours in Ophthalmic Dispensing awarded at Anglia Ruskin University, Maria has over 17 years of optical experience.
They may seem unavoidable, but there are measures you can take to prevent your glasses from leaving marks on your nose.
man wearing metal frame glasses

The benefits of wearing glasses – namely, being able to see and interact with the world around you – far outweigh the downsides, but there are still a couple of small inconveniences that can come with the territory.

One of these is the indentations or red marks they can leave on your nose. These unsightly impressions can be a source of discomfort and annoyance, especially after a long day of wearing your favorite frames.

If you’re tired of those tell-tale red patches that broadcast to the world that you wear glasses, this article will guide you on how to enjoy the functionality of your specs, without having to put up with the notorious nose marks. 

Thanks to these practical and effective solutions, you’ll never have to Google “mark on nose from glasses” again!

Why do I have marks on my nose from my glasses?

Some people have no issues with nose marks from their glasses, while for others, they’re a daily occurrence. If your glasses leave marks on your nose bridge, there are a few possible explanations, many of which are linked to how they fit you.

Weight distribution and pressure

The primary reason glasses leave marks on the nose is due to the combined weight of the frames and lenses. The nose pads are the primary point of contact between your skin and your glasses.

All of the pressure created by the weight of the glasses is exerted through the relatively small surface area of the nose pads and the small area of skin they rest on. 

The heavier your frames and lenses, the greater chance of nose marks. If the weight of your glasses is unevenly distributed, the glasses marks may be intensified on one side of your nose bridge.

Skin sensitivity

The skin on our noses is delicate, making it more prone to indentations. Prolonged pressure from the nose pads of glasses can cause the skin to compress, leading to temporary marks. For some individuals with especially sensitive skin, this can even lead to irritation or redness.

browline glasses
browline glasses

Sweat and friction

Sweat can exacerbate the situation. When our noses sweat, it can reduce the friction between the skin and the nose pads. This leads to the glasses sliding down the nose, and the wearer pushing them back up, creating more pressure and friction, which further contributes to those pesky marks.

Material and type of nose pads

The material of the nose pads can also play a significant role. Some materials may be harder or less forgiving than others, leading to more pronounced indentations. Soft nose pads made from silicone, for instance, may be gentler on the skin than harder plastic varieties.

Short-term solutions

If you’re looking for a quick fix to make the marks on your nose disappear, there are a few things you can do to ease the redness and irritation in the short term.

Massage your nose

Regularly massaging the bridge of your nose can help improve blood circulation, which, in turn, can speed up the healing process and reduce the appearance of red marks.

Using your fingertips, gently rub the affected areas in circular motions for a few minutes daily. This not only stimulates the blood flow but also soothes the compressed skin.

You can enhance this massage by applying a moisturiser or a gentle natural treatment like aloe vera gel, both known for their soothing properties.

Wash your face regularly

A clean face not only feels refreshing but can also prevent and soothe red marks. Using a gentle facial cleanser, wash your face at least twice a day, especially after any sweaty activities.

This helps to remove any build-up of oils, sweat and dirt that might exacerbate skin irritation. 

After washing, pat your face dry with a soft towel and apply a light moisturiser. This will keep your skin hydrated, aiding in the faster healing of those marks.

Take a break from your glasses

Giving your skin some breathing room can make a world of difference. If possible, consider switching to contact lenses for a portion of the day. This provides your nose with a much-needed break from the constant pressure of glasses and their nose pads.

If contacts aren’t an option, try taking off your glasses for short intervals when you don’t need them, such as when reading up close or before bedtime.

Remember, even a brief break can significantly reduce the prolonged pressure that contributes to red marks.


Lightweight plastic frames with a fixed pad bridge are the best option for avoiding red marks.

Long-term fixes

The steps outlined above can provide some relief, but they don’t exactly address the root of the problem. If red marks on your nose bridge are the bane of your life, you’ll want to try some of these solutions.

girl moving glasses down her nose
girl moving glasses down her nose

Choose lightweight glasses

The weight of your glasses plays a significant role in the intensity of the red marks. The heavier the frames and lenses, the more pressure they exert on your nose.

Opt for frames made of lightweight materials such as titanium or thin plastic, as opposed to heavier metals or bulky constructions.  

Similarly, if you have a strong prescription, consider high-index lenses, which are thinner and lighter than standard lenses. The reduction in weight minimises the pressure and the resulting marks.

Choosing glasses that have an enlarged flat surface on the inner section of the rim  – known as a fixed pad bridge – instead of nose pads can also be a solution to the problem.

These types of glasses rest directly on the nose bridge and often distribute the weight better than those with small nose pads, reducing the likelihood of red marks.

Loosen the temples

The temples of your glasses, if too tight, can exert excessive pressure on the sides of your nose, causing discomfort and leaving marks. If your glasses constantly feel tight, it might be time for a simple adjustment. 

Loosening the temples slightly can make a huge difference. Visit an optician, as they will know exactly what they’re doing, and many offer free adjustments.

Remember, glasses should fit snugly but not tightly. They should sit comfortably on your nose without pressing into your skin.

person adjusting glasses frames
person adjusting glasses frames

Adjust the nose pads

The nose pads of many glasses are flexible, and can be adjusted by hand, without using any tools. Try varying the positioning and angle of the nose pads for greater comfort.

If they aren’t flexible, don’t force them. Instead, bring your frames to an optician and ask them to adjust the nose pads for you. 

There’s always a solution

Red marks from glasses on your nose don’t have to be a daily annoyance. Try out some of the tips we’ve suggested here to deal with them, and the next time you buy a new pair of glasses, keep those points about lightweight styles and adjustable nose pads in mind. 

For more advice on how to deal with eyewear issues, take a look at our Optical Centre articles, and feel free to reach out to our opticians if you can’t find the answers you’re looking for.

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