How to stop a nosebleed fast

This site exists to teach people how to use the Thumbs Up method to stop nose bleeds. Why? Because it actually works. Like things that work? Take a minute to learn the Thumbs Up method.

stop a bloody nose

The Thumbs Up method:

  1. Keep calm.
    The sight of blood can be distressing. Be calm and take slow, deep breaths
  2. Make a 'thumbs up' with your hand.
    Use your right hand if bleeding out of your right nostril, left hand for left nostril note 1
  3. Press your thumb firmly against the side of your nostril.
    Don't press so hard that it hurts, just firmly enough that the nostril is flattened and closed note 2
  4. Sit or stand still.
    Lean forward slightly to stop blood running down your throatnote 3
  5. Hold your thumb in place for 5-10 mins.note 4
    Breathe normallynote 5
  6. Release the pressure on your nose gradually.
    You may feel a funny sensation as blood flows back into the vessels in your nose.

Right, that should have stopped your blood nose. If it hasn't, try it again.

Once the bleeding has stopped take it easy for a while, avoid heavy lifting, stay cool, and don't blow your nose for as long as you can.

If the Thumbs Up method hasn't stopped your nosebleed after two full attempts consider checking with your doctor. The Thumbs Up method works for blood noses where the bleeding is at the front of the nose (most common). Check our questions page to see if this technique is right for your nosebleed and for other frequent questions about nosebleeds.


  • Note 1: If you are bleeding from both nostrils use your thumb and forefinger to press both nostrils together.
  • Note 2: You can hold a tissue in the same hand so that it catches any dripping blood. Don't stuff the tissue into your nostril.
  • Note 3: Swallowing large amounts of blood is not the best idea - mostly because it can make you feel sick.
  • Note 4: Allow a full 10 minutes for a bad blood nose. For a minor nosebleed you might only need 3 minutes. You'll learn to judge this yourself over time.
  • Note 5: One of the reasons why we like the Thumbs Up method is that you can still breathe through the other nostril (if it's not blocked). This is more comfortable than having to breathe through your mouth only.
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