Is It Okay to Clean Dried Blood Inside Nose a Day After Rhinoplasty?

I just had my rhinoplasty done yesterday and my doctor didn't put in any packing because he said that there was very minimal bleeding and it would make me more comfortable. So because of this, I had quite a bit of discharge and now that the bleeding has stopped, I have a lot of dried up blood inside my nostril. I've read that you can clean with hydrogen peroxide and water but I was wondering if the day after rhinoplasty is too soon to clean it? I don't want to injure anything in my nose...

Doctor Answers 24

Is It Okay to Clean Dried Blood Inside Nose a Day After Rhinoplasty?

From the day after surgery you may gently clean the dried blood at the entry of the nostrils with a wet cottonbud (Q-tip).  Avoid inserting the cottonbud too far into the nose to prevent any damage to the internal wounds.  After 2 weeks following surgery you can start to use a saline nasal spray to clear any deeper congestion.


Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Clean With Caution

You can certainly clean the lower portion of your nose the day after surgery, but go slowly and take extra care when doing so. Moisten a cotton swab with hydrogen peroxide and insert just the soft tip into your nose, gently passing it over the areas where blood has dried. (Emphasis on "gently".) Avoid "digging around" in your nose or injuring the inside walls of the nostrils. This should help keep you comfortable while also preserving your results.

Jerold Olson, MD
Tucson Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Post-operative wound care

After rhinoplasty surgery, many patients will experience crusting and dried blood along their incision lines. It is safe to gently clean just inside the nose with half-strength hydrogen peroxide and to also use nasal saline spray to help with the intranasal crusting. This is advised to begin on the day after surgery. Antibiotic ointment may also be applied to the incision lines twice daily for the first week to help accelerate healing.

Use dilute hydrogen peroxide by moistening a Q-tip and gently treat the crusts on the incision lines to help aid in their removal. However, overly aggressive cleansing of the area can irritate the incisions and may cause additional bleeding. Keeping the wounds clean can reduce discomfort and make suture or splint removal more comfortably. Saline nasal spray can be used several times per day to help with keeping the nasal passageways clean.

Jeffrey Rawnsley, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Peroxide on a Q-Tip is recommended to dissolve dried blood in the lower nose after rhinoplasty surgery.

We suggest our patients start using peroxide on an applicator when all discharge has stopped, typically 1-2 days postoperative. The moistened Q-Tip may be placed into the nostril, just to the end of the cotton tip, and it is twirled like a baton while holding it between the thumb and index finger.Hope this helps.Dr Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Cleaning Nose After Surgery

I instruct all of my patients to clean their nostrils with half-strength hydrogen peroxide using Q-tips. We go over this preoperatively and also do it for them the first time when they return for an office visit the day after surgery.

The method we teach is to dip a Qtip in hydrogen peroxide diluted by half with water. Our patients may insert the Qtip into the nose - the length of the cotton of the Qtip only. We instruct they should insert the Qtip low and to the side, where there generally are no incisions. They then twirl or roll the Qtip around the entire nostril, then repeat the process with a dry Qtip to absorb whatever blood has been loosened. This is to be done 2-3 times per day.

When the nostrils have been narrowed by a base reduction, I generally insist the patient come for a return visit the day after surgery so that I can show them and do it for them the first day. In these cases the patient is a bit more tender and understandably nervous about doing it incorrectly or damaging something, so we bring them in and I do it the first time. In patients who did not have base reduction, if they and I are confident that they can do this, then the day-after office visit is optional.

Daniel G. Becker, MD
Voorhees Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Cleaning the inside of the nose one day after a rhinoplasty

It is best to follow your surgeons instructions first. It is acceptable to place saline on a Q-tip up inside the nose in the first few days after the procedure to help with crusts.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Is It Okay to Clean Dried Blood Inside Nose a Day After Rhinoplasty?

You can clean the area and should follow your surgeon's advice on how he/she likes this to be done.  The most important issue to be very careful and gentle.  Best wishes.

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Cleaning nose

Yes you can. I typically see all my patients on their first post op day to show them how to clean the dried blood from their nostrils. You want to get rid of the dry crusts which clog you up but not start new bleeding. Saline spray can help as well.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Cleaning the nose after rhinoplasty

Yes. Patients should clean their nose after surgery. Use Q-tips and hydrogen peroxide several times a day. You can use water but its not as good. It will take several cleaning before all the mucous and dried blood have been removed. It gets easier every day as the amount of nasal discharge diminishes, you become more confident and the initial crusts are finally all removed. The riskof moving the nose and causing it to change its shape are very minimal and a reasonable person isn't going to be so aggressive.

Oakley Smith, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Post Rhinoplasty Cleaning

The best thing would be to gently clean the area with a Qtip dipped in saline (salt water). Place a small amount of antibiotic ointment, such as Bacitracin,  in the nostril twice a day. The moisture from the ointment helps loosen present scabbing and prevents new scabs from forming.

Elliot M. Heller, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.