If we were to liken a nosebleed to a cut on our arm, an anterior nosebleed would be more like a surface scrape. Bleeding takes place towards the front of the nose, with 90% of cases usually occurring in a region of the septum known as Little’s area, according to a 2022 article published in StatPearls. Usually affecting only one nostril, anterior nosebleeds generally do not require medical treatment and can be self-treated (via Cleveland Clinic).
Conversely, posterior nosebleeds are the opposite of a mild arm scrape and can be thought of as a deeper wound that has penetrated down below the skin’s surface. In these cases, damage has been inflicted on larger blood vessels deeper within the nasal cavity. Those with a posterior nosebleed may find themselves swallowing or coughing up blood which can obstruct the flow of oxygen. This type of nosebleed can affect both nostrils and often requires emergency medical attention to control.