Know your nose: managing playa dust in yer sniffer

Good taste alert:  this post may make some of you a little squeamish. It’s not about the environment per se; rather it’s about the impact the environment on the playa has on you, and what you can do about it. More to the point, it’s about playa dust, your nose, and how to make them live happily together.  And it’s another post from our dear friend Molly Golightly–you can see the red headed menace in this photo from BM2k.3


From Molly: “Neti Pot: Saver Of Sinuses

Playa boogers happen. They are terrifying nose goblins of previously
unknown proportions. I don’t want to know how something that big came
out of a nose a small as mine, but it happens. Caustic playa dust
wrecks havoc on sinuses and dries out the nostrils. For years burners
have been advising to bring squirty bottles of saline and tissues to
alleviate Extreme Playa Nose. But those little plastic bottles aren’t
very earth-friendly ( I came home with TEN!! empties one year) and I’ve found a more effective means of nasal/sinus irrigation and health: the neti pot.

Let me state that the neti pot (also spelled netti) has changed my
life. It has eased my allergies by pushing out particles that can’t be
reached by the saline squirty spray bottle. I use my neti pot every
day and my eyes are less red and my head is less congested. On the
playa the neti pot is like a shower for the inside of your head.

Neti pots are an ancient Indian remedy. You fill the small pot with
warm water and (for smoothest results) non-iodized non-sea salt. It
takes a bit of practice but essentially the water is poured in one
nostril, travels through the sinuses of the head, and out the other
nostril — bringing it with it debris, boogers, dust, whatever you’ve
got up there. Now you do the other side. The lowly saline bottle has
nothing on the effects of the neti.

[note: if you want to see one in action, click here–but be warned the person in the video looks like they’re a robot. it’s a little creepy, actually]

You can find them online or I bought mine at the health food store.
Some are ceramic, others are glass. Ceramic is probably more

A final thought–I know it’s Burning Man and all, but please: don’t share your neti pot.”


About the author: Tom Price

Tom Price

Tom Price is the former Executive Director of Black Rock Solar. Prior to that he was the Environmental Manager for Burning Man during the Green Man theme, and was in the Gulf Coast for six months during the genesis of Burners Without Borders. He's been attending Burning Man since 1997, and he's proud to say that his decade plus streak of breaking down from sun stroke on the playa on day three remains intact.