Can I Use Corticosteroid on the Nose for a Small Reduction?

Instead of a doctor peeling back nose skin from the tip to operate on cartilage, can I use corticosteroid on the nose for small reduction?

Doctor Answers 16

Steroid injection can reduce skin, fat, and cartilage volume


Thank you for the question.  You have some options for contouring the dorsum of your nose including closed rhinoplasty, open rhinoplasty, fillers, and steroid injection.  I would have a few consultations with board certified plastic surgeons to see which option would be the best for you and for you to understand the pros and cons of each option.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Can I Use Corticosteroid on the Nose for a Small Reduction?

Sorry but no, that won't work.  Steroid injections, uisng cortisone, are for the reduction and prevention of internal scar tissue, inside the nasal tissues, after a Rhinoplasty.  The steroid will not dissolve cartilage and would have zero effect on the bump in your nose.  Bumps need to rasped or sheved down during a Rhinoplasty.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Cortisone to reduce the nose

Don't over think it.  You cannot create structural reduction and shaping with cortisone injection. You read about it on this website but it is always in the context of post op swelling, not primary treatment.

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

Small Changes can be done with injectable fillers

Small changes are possible with injectable fillers, and are safer than steroids.

Small bumbs can be made to look less apparent with the placement of a small amount of Injectable filler above and below the bump to give a smoother appearance acroos the bridge of the nose. This can work especially well as the correction can be done very slowly to adjust the profile.

Fillers then can be repeated as necessary until a rhinoplasty works for you.

Edward Szachowicz, MD, PhD
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Steroids are not an alternative treatment for nasal contouring

Steroid treatment of the nose, either topically or by injection, is not a substitute for a formal rhinoplasty. It may be used as an adjunct for very specific though rare indications. On the down side,it can cause significant local side effects on the tissues with its narrow margin of safety.

If you want your nose contoured, then a rhinoplasty is your "choice".

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Cortisone is not for reducing nasal cartilage

Cortisone for topical or injection is not good for cartilage reduction. Steroid injections will help with tissue and skin swelling and is not suggested for pre-surgical thinning of the subcutaneous tissue of the nasal tip or the cartilage. Sometimes this treatment is used post rhinoplasty surgery to help reduce excess swelling. This is not the case for you and there is no true alternative except having rhinoplasty surgery. If steroids are used they may actually cause damage to the area making a rhinoplasty more difficult. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Open Rhinoplasty may be indicated

Without a consultation or photos it is difficult to access your nasal contour issues.  It is possible that your tip contains a lot of cartilage or is bulbous and your plastic surgeon mentioned an "open" approach where he would "peel back the skin from the tip" of your nose.  Topical or injectable steroids would not correct this issue and would probably make the skin thinner.  An open rhinoplasty, in my hands, is the best way to correct a bulbous nasal tip with excision, grafting and suture contouring techniques.  Some surgeons claim they can correct the bulbous tip with a closed technique, however, I'm happier with my results with the open approach.  Hope that helps.  Dr. Shaw



Lawrence W. Shaw, MD
Arizona Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Steroids will not reduce a nose without rhinoplasty

Steroid injections can help save the day for a very few with scar in the area above the tip after rhinoplasty, but injections will not allow shaping of the nose without surgery. You will only find trouble.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Rhinoplasty and steroids

Using corticosteroids in place of a rinoplasty is irresponsible and can result in difficult reconstructive problems.  Your skin does not have to be peeled back, this is called an open rhinoplasty and is associated with higher risks and prolonged recovery.  I prefer to use closed rhinoplasty which uses only access inside the nostrils.


All the best,


Rian A. Maercks M.D.

Rian A. Maercks, MD
Miami Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews


f you are talking topical, it will not work. If you mean injectable, then you are dealing with a highly unreliable result. Get a good consultation

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 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.