Infection in Nose After Rhinoplasty: Signs & Treatments


Just like other surgeries, rhinoplasty has some complications, most of which can be prevented or treated by following instructions or taking certain medications. Infection is a common and, sometimes, a life-threatening side effect of nose jobs that should be treated quickly and thoroughly. In this article, we discuss the reasons, signs, and treatment methods of rhinoplasty infection and answer some of your questions at the end. 

Infection in Nose After Rhinoplasty

Signs of Infection After Rhinoplasty

Although pain and swelling are common complications of rhinoplasty, they should gradually subside. If the pain, swelling, and bruising do not subside within a week, they can signify a nose infection. The other symptoms of nose surgery infection include:

  • Redness on and around the nose;
  • Yellow or green pus discharging from the incision site;
  • High fever, which does not break by regular medications;
  • The incision site and area around is warm or hot;
  • Frequent nosebleed;
  • A bad smell comes from the incision site.


Reasons for Infection After Rhinoplasty 

Various factors can cause nose infections after rhinoplasty, such as:

  • Using un-sanitized or low-quality surgical tools by the surgeon;
  • Low-standard clinic or hospital;
  • Choosing less skilful and experienced surgeons;
  • Bacteria entering from the air;
  • Removing too much of the nasal skeleton or tissue which leads to bleeding and infection; 
  • Scratching the nose or blowing it intensely;
  • Having a weak immune system;
  • Using unsterilized tampons and bandages;
  • Inserting a finger or a foreign object into the nose;
  • Having underlying diseases;
  • Having an infection that is transferred from another part of the body to the nose by blood;
  • Keeping stitches wet after showering or washing the face;
  • Having a sinus infection before the surgery;
  • An allergy to some pharmaceutical and medical substances, such as non-absorbable Prolene sutures.


Having a sinus infection may cuase nose infection after nose job.

Is Rhinoplasty Infection Dangerous?

Although oral or intravascular antibiotics can treat nose infections after rhinoplasty, it is important to identify its cause and prevent its recurrence. Usually, the initial signs of nose infection (fever, nosebleed, and green fluid discharge) emerge 3 to 7 days after the operation. So, you must carefully observe these symptoms because once the infection enters your blood, it can move all through the body by blood flow and cause an inflammatory reaction, shortness of breath, and heart attack.

How to Prevent Nose Job Infection?

To prevent nose job infection, first and foremost, you must spend lots of time finding a reputable surgeon and a clean and sterile clinic. Since most rhinoplasty stitches infections are related to postoperative care, you should consider the following tips after the operation:

  • Visit your surgeon frequently;
  • Keep the stitches and incision site clean and dry;
  • Change bandages and tampons just as your doctor has suggested;
  • Have a healthy diet to boost your immune system;
  • Sterile your hands before changing bandages;
  • Avoid going to crowded and polluted places;
  • Sanitize the area around the incisions repeatedly;
  • Contact your doctor as soon as you notice the first symptoms of infection.


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


To prevent nose job infection

Rhinoplasty Infection Treatment

Three methods can be used to treat rhinoplasty infection; rinsing the nose, using ointments, and taking antibiotics. In the following, each of these methods is discussed in detail:

Rinsing the nose to treat nose infection

After rhinoplasty, you must wait one or two weeks before rinsing the nose because the stitches should not get wet during recovery. After this period, you can dampen a Q-tip in saline serum and clean the nostrils. Keep in mind that you should not insert the Q-tip too far into the nostril, as the excessive pressure of the cotton swab will damage the nasal membrane and nasal skin. So, it’s better to clean your nose carefully, patiently, and according to your surgeon's guidance. 

You can also use saline drops or spray to moisten and clean the nose. These products prevent the nostrils from drying out and wash away blood clots and nasal infections.

Cleaning Nose after Rhinoplasty
Read more: How to Properly Clean the Nose After Rhinoplasty?

Using ointments for nose infection after rhinoplasty

In case of a moderate nose infection, the doctor usually prescribes creams or ointments such as Gentamicin or Mupirocin to reduce the infection. These ointments have antibiotic and disinfection properties. With the help of a Q-tip, the nostrils' inner surface and the nasal infection's exact location can be smeared with ointment. The amount of ointment you should use must be based on your doctor's prescription; otherwise, it may cause nose inflammation and scars.

Clean the Nose After Rhinoplasty

Taking antibiotics for nose infection after rhinoplasty

After rhinoplasty, your plastic surgeon prescribes oral or intravascular antibiotics, all of which must be taken on time. Many people stop taking their medicines after one or two days, assuming that they don't have a problem or serious infection, while the chance of infection in stitches is very high right after a nose job. So, take a full course of antibiotics to prevent or treat infection after the surgery.

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Bad Smell in Nose after Rhinoplasty

After rhinoplasty, you may experience an infection smell in your nose which probably goes away after a week or two. This bad smell is not always a sign of infection. It can come from blood clots, sutures, or mucus inside the nose. However, if it is persistent and makes your breath smelly, it can be a symptom of infection. It is noteworthy that the cause of the bad smell in your nose should be identified as soon as possible because if it is an infection, you can easily treat it with oral antibiotics and saline sprays while it has not progressed yet. 

FAQs on Rhinoplasty Infection

1) Is rhinoplasty infection common?

Yes, infection is the most serious and common complication of rhinoplasty. Of course, most infections can be treated after taking antibiotics.

2) Do I need another surgery because of a nose infection?

If the infection is too severe, the surgeon should remove it surgically. In some rare cases, the surgeon has to lift up the nasal skin and replace the implants.

3) Can wearing makeup cause a nose infection after rhinoplasty?

Using nonstandard and low-quality cosmetic products can cause nose infections. Also, it is suggested not to wear makeup until your wounds are completely healed, especially foundation and powders. 

4) Can my underlying conditions cause rhinoplasty infection?

People with underlying medical conditions such as sinus infection, allergy, asthma, and diabetes are more at risk of rhinoplasty infection.

5) How do you know if you have infected rhinoplasty?

If you faced skin complications after rhinoplasties, such as fibrosis, numbness in the incision site, cysts caused by mucus or subcutaneous granuloma, or fever and repeated nosebleed, you probably have infected rhinoplasty.

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