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 20

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.

Voorhees Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 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
4.5 out of 5 stars 114 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 9 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
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 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.

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
4.5 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Best not to touch inside of nose after Rhinoplasty

Without specific instructions from your surgeon, it's best that you not place q tips or anything else inside your nose in an attempt to clean it right after a Rhinoplasty.  You could disrupt stitches or cause a nose bleed.  Better that you go have one of the nurses clean out your nose and give you specific post Rhinoplasty cleaning instructions.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Dried blood in the nose is normal after rhinoplasty

It is completely normal to have dried blood in the nose the day after rhinoplasty. Before you do anything, I would recommend that you contact your surgeon to see what his/her recommendation would be. While some surgeons encourage nasal hygiene during the first few days after surgery, others prefer that patients not insert anything inside the nose for the first few weeks. Personally, I usually see my patients the first day after surgery and clean out any dried blood. I continue to closely follow them for the first couple of weeks. I also encourage my patients to use saline nasal spray and allow them to clean the area OUTSIDE the nose with hydrogen peroxide. I discourage my patients from cleaning inside the nose because of risk of disrupting the healing process or stirring up more bleeding. Hope this helps!


Sarmela Sunder, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Dried blood after rhinoplasty

It is normal to have dried blood at the nares after rhinoplasty.  I have patients us nasal saline spray 4 times daily and clean the area gently with saline soaked gauze.  This will help prevent further crusting and hopefully help you breath better.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Keeping your nose clean and moist will speed the healing process

It is normal to have dried blood in your nose.  

The blood usually accumulates around some of the sutures inside your nose used to close the incisions.  It is best to keep your nose moist by placing Vaseline or antibiotic ointment with a q tip inside your nostrils three times a day.  This should be preceded by cleaning your nose with q-tips soaked in peroxide and sniffing saline spray.  The peroxide will dissolve the bloody scabs and the ointment will prevent them from building up.  Keeping your nose free of crust will hasten healing and will also make it more comfortable during the initial healing period.  These crusts are mostly gone by the first to second week.  I have my patients continue to use the ointment and saline spray for a total of 6 weeks.  This will allow for the sutures to dissolve inside your nose in a timely manner.

Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 147 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.