As winter approaches, we expect certain ailments to come along with it: colds, the flu, nosebleeds… Nosebleeds? Yes, winter is the season of the nosebleed.

Why are nosebleeds more common during the wintertime, and should you be concerned?

The common nosebleed, or epistaxis, is a hemorrhage from the nose. A person may lose just a little blood or lose quite a bit, and sometimes the condition occurs almost at random and just one time. For others, it can be a fairly regular occurrence.

During winter, the cold temperatures and dry conditions may cause the tiny blood vessels in the nose to crack. This can result in bleeding from the nostrils. The condition may seem more severe if the person has severe sinus problems or allergies that have aggravated the nose due to frequent blowing. Having taken an aspirin can also cause blood loss to be more severe, thus making the condition seem worse than it actually is.

If you experience a nose bleed with significant blood loss, be sure to sit down in case you get woozy. Pinch the nose high up, and don’t lean your head back. It’s better for the blood to drain out of the nose than down your throat. After you stop the bleeding, try not to blow your nose for up to a day. Stay away from anything that could make your blood thinner and avoid things like hot liquids, which can also thin the blood and start the bleed back up.

For severe cases—or recurring nosebleeds—you may need medical attention. You can be given a gauze pack once the wounded area is located; this will help it to heal more quickly. As a general rule, however, nosebleeds are not dangerous unless they are a symptom of a more dangerous condition, such as high blood pressure. Most winter nosebleeds are merely a result of the change in weather and are nothing to be too concerned about.