How to Properly Clean the Nose After Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty (nose job) is a kind of cosmetic surgery through which the size and shape of the nose are changed for the better. If you wish to undergo a nose job, you should be fully aware of the post-operative care of this surgery to achieve a better result and speed up your healing process. This essay introduces the best ways of cleaning the nose after rhinoplasty.

Can I Clean Inside My Nose After Rhinoplasty?

Cleaning the nose after rhinoplasty plays an important role in nasal hygiene. If you clean your nose at least twice a day after the surgery, the nasal cavities will remain moist, preventing inflammation and blood clots inside the nostrils. Also, cleaning the nose after a nose job will remove the bad smell -caused by mucus and dry blood- in your nose and reduce bad breath odors.

Clean the Nose After Rhinoplasty

General Tips on How to Clean Nose After Rhinoplasty

  • For a couple of days after the nose job, be careful not to insert any foreign object into the nostrils when cleaning your nose.
  • Do not apply pressure to the nose
  • Avoid using your finger to clean your nose
  • Cough and sneeze through your mouth, not your nose
  • Use wet wipes -not tissue- to clean the areas around the nose
  • Although you may feel congestion inside your nose, do not blow it
  • Use ointments and creams after rinsing your nose to prevent nasal dryness

Rhinoplasty Aftercare: All Recovery Tips You Need to Know
Read more: Rhinoplasty Aftercare: All Recovery Tips You Need to Know

Cleaning nose after Rhinoplasty Timeline

Read on to get more information on how to clean your nose weeks after rhinoplasty:

The first week 

In the first week after rhinoplasty, the nose is very susceptible because its stitches are not healed, and there are still tampons inside the nostrils. Therefore, you can only clean the outer part of the nose with a wet wipe or a clean cotton cloth. However, in some cases, the surgeon asks the patient to use the saline rinse to wash the nasal passages to keep off any infection. 

The second and third weeks

Once the bandages and tampons are removed, you can wash your nose with warm water. Be careful not to rub the cloth or towel on your nose. Then, it would help if you rinsed your nostrils with 9% saline serum every six hours. Also, you can smear a Q-tip in saline serum and remove the dry blood from the nostrils using it. 

Fourth week and beyond 

In the fourth week, your nose is almost fully healed, and you can rinse it with saline serum and a syringe. However, you must be careful not to apply pressure on or push the syringe too far into the nostrils as it may harm the nose and affect the final results of the surgery.

Tampons after Rhinoplasty 

Tampons are necessary after rhinoplasty because they prevent nosebleeds or at least reduce the amount of bleeding during the recovery period. Also, the structure of the nose is pliable for a couple of days following the operation, so the tampons serve as an artificial structure that holds the nasal bones and cartilage in place. Despite their merits, tampons are uncomfortable and may make breathing difficult; however, you should refrain from removing them on your own. Your healthcare provider probably removes them 2 to 7 days after the surgery.  

Washing Face and Nose after Rhinoplasty

Although washing the face and nose can be tempting after rhinoplasty, some guidelines should be followed. First, you shouldn't wash your face as long as splints and tampons are in your nose. Instead, you can gently clean your face with a wet wipe or a wet cotton pad. On the seventh day after rhinoplasty, your bandages and splints will be removed, and you can wash your nose with lukewarm water. For rinsing the nostrils also, you have to use saline serum or a nasal spray. However, be careful not to insert sharp objects -such as nails- in your nose the first week after the surgery, as it can cause bleeding and more swelling. 

Bacitracin Antibiotic Ointment after Rhinoplasty

Bacitracin antibiotic ointment is one of the most common after the nose job. Cleaning the nose after the operation with this ointment prevents infection in the surgical site and keeps the inner part of the nose moist for hours. You can apply this ointment on stitches and wounds for up to three days and then use simple ointments such as Vaseline. Sometimes, bacitracin is combined with neomycin and polymyxin to minimize the scarring.

Nasal polyps
Read more: Infection in Nose After Rhinoplasty: Signs & Treatment

clean your nose after rhinoplasty

Removing Nasal Blockage after Rhinoplasty

Nasal obstruction is one of the standard and most discomforting side effects of rhinoplasty, which can interfere with your daily activities for the first couple of weeks after the operation. However, it would help if you refrained from blowing your nose or inserting objects in your nostrils to remove the blockage, as they can increase the swelling and prolong your recovery period. The nasal obstruction after rhinoplasty is primarily due to the swelling of the nasal veins, not the crusts and mucus.

To remove blockage after rhinoplasty, soak a towel in warm water and gently put it on the areas where crusts and obstructions have been formed. The wet and warm towel will soften the crusts and reduce the swelling. Also, you can rinse your nostrils with saline solution or use a saline spray to reduce the congestion in your nose.

Cleaning Nose with Hydrogen Peroxide Solution and Q-tip

One of the most common methods of removing the dry blood inside the nose is hydrogen peroxide solution, which can be used from the day after the operation. First, soak a cotton swab (Q-tip) in the fluid to clean the nose with this solution and gently insert it into the nostrils. Then, spin the Q-tip inside the nostrils to remove the dry blood.

It is worth mentioning that hydrogen peroxide solution does not prevent infection and cannot kill all pathogenic bacteria. Also, this method can be used only after all packing and tampons are removed from your nose and face. So, before using this technique, consult your doctor.

Saline Solution and Spray after Rhinoplasty

The nose can be cleaned with normal saline solution or saline spray from the day after rhinoplasty. Most plastic surgeons recommend using normal saline spray four times daily and two puffs in each nostril. The normal saline spray helps keep the nose moist, reduces the risk of infection, and prevents the formation of dry blood clots. If you intend to use a homemade saline solution, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water and let it cool down.

Then, you can administer it with a special applicator purchased from the drugstore. Using the saline solution, lean your head to one side and pour the solution into the upper nostril. The solution will move through the nasal passage, remove the obstructions, and exit from the other nostril.  

nose cleaning after rhinoplasty

How to Clean the Outside of Your Nose after Rhinoplasty?

Sometimes, the mucus forms hard crusts around the nose, which a nail or hard object should not remove. To clean the outer part of the nose, you should soak a napkin or towel in warm water and gently put it on your nose. The warm water will soften the mucus and reduce the swelling around the nose. You can also use a sterile solution -like alcohol- and a cotton pad to clean the skin of your nose and remove the blackheads on the tip of your nose.

Remember that you cannot clean the outer surface of your nose until there are splints on your nose, i.e., for at least seven days. Also, scrubs and powerful skin cleansers should be avoided until your nose is fully healed.

The Bottom Line

As the nose job capital of the world, Iran has the highest rate of rhinoplasty, with annually about 200,000 people going under the surgery. The popularity of rhinoplasty in Iran has caused an increase in the number of experienced Iranian specialists, well-equipped hospitals, and high-qualified healthcare services. 

For a cost-effective medical trip to Iran, please get in touch with our team at Raadina Health. Our packages include visas, hotel, transfers, doctor’s visits, surgery, post-operative care, etc.

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FAQs about How to Clean Nose After Nose Job

How long after the nose job can I start cleaning my nose?

You can start cleaning your nose one or two days after the surgery but be careful not to put pressure on it. Also, it would help if you refrained from washing the nostrils until a week after the operation.

Why can't I wash my nose after rhinoplasty?

Right after rhinoplasty, the surgeon wraps your nose with a bandage and puts splits and tampons inside and outside your nose. These wrappings should not get wet until removed; therefore, you cannot wash your face and nose as long as bandages and splints are on them.  

For how long after rhinoplasty should I clean my nose?

It is recommended to rinse your nose with saline serum for eight weeks after the surgery. Then, you can continue cleaning your nose with saline spray. 

Can I use soap to clean my nose after rhinoplasty?

The best liquid for cleaning the nose after rhinoplasty is saline serum. When the splints are removed, you can use fragrance-free soaps to wash your nose's outer part.

Is cleaning dried blood inside the nose a day after rhinoplasty okay?

Although dried blood can be a huge problem after rhinoplasty, you should wait two or three days before removing them with nasal spray and cotton swabs. If you try to remove them sooner, you may rupture the sutures.

Can I pick my nose after rhinoplasty?

The simple answer is no. It would help if you refrained from picking your nose for two weeks after the operation, as you may hurt the stitches. Instead, you can use a saline spray to keep the nostrils moist and mucus-free. 

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