Open Rhinoplasty post surgery recovery? When can I wear makeup/go for a night out without worrying about my nose?

Hi. I'm 18 and new to this ~ sorry if I post this in the wrong place etc Underwent open Rhiniplasty 3 days ago and since then have been feeling ok, other than the fact that I have an ear ache and my forehead & eyes feel tight and sore. Is this weird ? :0 I had a hump removed, tip changed, actual nose straightened and made less wide. (Sorry for lack of technical terms) . At what stage will swelling go& when can I wear makeup and continue as I did before ? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 8

Recovery after a rhinoplasty

Congratulations - I hope you have a wonderful recovery. I tell my patients that once the splint is removed (typically one week after surgery), they may have a small amount of bruising and some swelling, but can apply makeup at that point and resume normal social activities (school, work, socializing with friends, etc.). You should not exercise yet, but can resume most normal activities. The swelling in the nose takes a few months to completely resolve, but even when it is noticeably swollen at 1 week after surgery most patients are comfortable presenting their new nose to their friends, family, and co-workers. Good luck!

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Rhinoplasty recovery

Hello and thank you for your question.  I remove the splint after 1 week and tell my patients that they can expect to be able to return to work or be out in public without bruises at that point.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Rhinoplasty Recovery

Thank you for your question. 

Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you may be able to return to work within 7 to 10 days after surgery. Most normal activities including exercise can usually be resumed within three weeks.

It will be a few months before you can expose your reshaped nose to direct sunlight. Your nose will be sensitive during this time, and you must be conscientious about using a sunblock to protect your skin. If the bones of your nose were altered, it may be a number of weeks before you can wear glasses without special support such as tape. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 

Double Board Certified 

Plastic Surgeon 

Hoffman Estates 




Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Open Rhinoplasty post surgery recovery? When can I wear makeup/go for a night out without worrying about my nose?


Thank you for your question. 

There are different kinds of rhinoplasty operations however we can divide them as the one that requires bone excision and the one that does not need bone excision. The main fact that we classify the rhinoplasty operations like that is that the results and postoperative period is associated closely with this fact. In the operations like “nasal tip correction”, “simple rhinoplasty” there is no need for a bone excision however these minor operations cannot be beneficial for everyone. The operation type is need to be determined by the surgeon according to needs of the patient. In these minor operations the rhinoplasty is performed with closed method. The bone and the cartilage tissues are not involved in the surgery directly. Small nasal bumps can be removed in these operations.

In the operation that needs the bone and cartilage tissues to be involved; open approach is used. In the procedures with open approach, the size, shape and functionality of the nose can be improved. The big nasal bumps can be removed and septal deviations can be corrected providing a better nasal airway.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews


Thank you for your question.

It is important to consult with your surgeon about any questions or concerns you may have. Brusiing usually resolves over the first couple of weeks but swelling can last up to a year or longer. It takes 6 months for 90% of the swelling to resolve after a rhinoplasty. During this waiting period, several treatment options can reduce the swelling. First, post-operative taping is imperative to decrease swelling and mold the shape of the nose. This can be performed for a minimum of 2 weeks with recommendations commonly for 3 months. Second, a short course of oral steroids (Medrol dose pack) can be beneficial in the early stages to decrease swelling and pain. Third, I commonly use a dilute solution of Kenalog with Marcaine to decrease swelling of the nasal tip. Patients can usually return back to work or engage in social gatherings after a week if they are off all pain medications. I would wait to apply make up to the areas where there are incisions until they are healed to prevent introducing bacteria into them. Best of luck in your recovery!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Swelling , some advices:

Thank you very much for enquire.

Swelling after a rhinoplasty depends of the surgery complexity.
In this regard, the nasal swelling Post-op It can last from two weeks to two months.
To reduce this swelling, I recommend you perform delicates daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the face (around the nose) avoid sun exposure, and take pain/inflamation pills, as your surgeron precribe you.
Kind regards, 
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-  

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 273 reviews

Rhinoplasty Recovery

You can wear makeup as soon as the external nasal splint and tapes are removed. Many patients wear coverall makeup under the eyes to mask any bruising from hump removal/nasal osteotomies.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews


At three days out, bruising and swelling after rhinoplasty is normal. The bruising will go away quicker than the swelling.  Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.