What Is The Proper Way For Me To Clean The Dried Mucus Out Of My Nose 3 Weeks Post-Op?

I had a revision rhinoplasty 18 days ago. I had a lot of dried mucus in my nose and had been trying not to pick or blow my nose. However, this morning I couldn't take it anymore and I picked my nose with a Qtip. I am now very worried that I could have interferred with the healing. Could I have done something to harm my nose? My nose does seem more swollen and tender today than it was yesterday. What is the proper way to clean the nose?

Doctor Answers 13

Clean up your nose!

Wound care after rhinoplasty is an important part of the procedure and important to prevent issues.  
I recommend cleaning all the incisions with a q-tip dipped in peroxide to dissolve and remove the crusts. This includes the nostril incisions.  Then apply a coat of any ointment the incisions, I generally recommend Aquaphor.  
I also recommend 2-3x daily rinsing with a Neilmed irrigation bottle.  One key is to keep the noise moist as it is generally very dry after any septoplasty or septorhinoplasty.  For that I recommend Nasogel squirt bottle (nasal saline gel) which softens the crust so you can wash it out.  I also recommend a cool mist humidifier.
Nose blowing is a surgeon specific guideline.  I personally allow sniffing during the first week and then gentle blowing after that, but absolutely n o compressing the nostrils.  Absolutely no hard blowing for a few months.  

Often times even these measures will not clear the nose and the crusts needs to be removed by the doctor.  I would call and ask your doctor.   


Troy Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Care for rhinoplasty

You are doing just fine. I ask the patients to cleanse the inside of the nose with Q-tips and peroxide. This seems to get rid of the mucous. Then I ask them to apply a coat of bacitracin for lubrication

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Nasal cleaning after rhinoplasty

Nasal cleaning after rhinoplasty is quite important. Diluted hydrogen peroxide on qtips followed by Bacitracin or Vaseline is imperative. Also the nose loses its ability to humidify and moisturize after rhinoplasty, especially if a septoplasty was done as well. It is important to use nasal saline at least for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery to help the feeling of dryness and to prevent obstructive crusts. Hope this helps!

Giancarlo Zuliani, MD
Rochester Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Cleaning the nose following rhinoplasty

Thanks for your question. It's common to have dried blood and mucous building up in your nasal cavities and nasal vestibules following nasal surgery of any kind. The best ways of dealing with this are to clean your nostrils with diluted hydrogen peroxide on a q-tip then applying antibiotic ointment or vaseline. For further up in the nose, using saline nasal spray helps clear out any debris. Sometimes your doctor will need to remove some of the build up for you. Good luck!

Robert S. Schmidt, MD
College Station Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Cleaning Nose Post-Op Rhinoplasty

The nostrils may be cleaned with Q-tips and hydrogen peroxide followed by application of antibiotic ointment. You should also keep your nasal passages moist with saline rinses or spray a five to six times daily

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Nasal cleaning after rhinoplasty

I recommend using Ocean Nasal Saline spray to keep the nasal passages moist and clear of any mucous/debris.  If crusting collects along any internal suture lines, then you can use a Q-tip dipped in hydrogen peroxide to gently remove them.  Also, applying antibiotic ointment to the wounds helps keep them moist.  It also helps to keep hard, painful crusts from forming.  

Clyde Mathison, MD
Knoxville Otolaryngologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Cleaning your nose after rhinoplasty

After a rhinoplasty, mucus can be rinsed from the nose using nasal saline mist or saline irrigations (Neti pot or sinus rinse bottle).  Dried mucus or bloody crusts within the nostrils can be gently broken up and removed with a cotton swab soaked in hydrogen peroxide.  It is important not to blow the nose the first week after a rhinoplasty to minimize the risk of a nosebleed.

After the first postoperative week, patients can begin blowing their nose gently and can continue using nasal saline as needed. Patients that had internal work to improve their breathing such as a septoplasty or turbinate reduction may develop more dry crusts during the first month as the nose adjusts to the increased airflow. Nasal saline rinses are often helpful in keeping the nose moist and minimizing crusting.  

William D. Losquadro, MD
Westchester Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Cleaning nostrils after revision rhinoplasty

It is common to have dried blood and mucous in the nostrils following rhinoplasty. In most cases there are incisions placed just inside the nose for rhinoplasty and sutures to close these. Blood can tend to dry in this area. If you removed some of this dry mucous in this area 18 days after surgery, it is unlikely that you damaged anything deep such as the cartilage. The skin incisions heal very quickly after rhinoplasty. If there is still some dried blood and mucous, make a solution of half hydrogen peroxide with half saline and using a Q-tip moistened in this solution to dab onto the crusted blood. This will help to dissolve and remove the crusted blood. If you have thick mucous inside your nose, saline nasal spray can be used to help soften this mucous so that it can drain. You will find that you feel less congested and breathe better after doing so.

Proper way to clean dried mucus out of your nose after a rhinoplasty

 Since it has been 3 weeks after the rhinoplasty, it is acceptable to  blow your nose. Saline irrigations can also help. For resistant crusts, hydrogen peroxide mixed with saline can also help.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Cleaning the nose after rhinoplasty

I always recommend saline nasal spray after rhinoplasty. This loosens dried mucous and blood and is soothing to the mucous membranes.  Heavy crusts early after surgery should be gently cleaned in the doctor's office.

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.