What can help and is safe for dry nose after rhinoplasty?

It's winter right now in Massachusetts. The air is really dry. I'm 3 months post op rhinoplasty. I would like to know what can I use to help alleviate my dry nose. I've tried vaseline but it helps temporary. I'm planning to turn on my humidifier. I have forced air and use oil to heat my home. Thank you:)

Doctor Answers 4

Dry Nose after Rhinoplasty...

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Hi, this is a common Rhinoplasty recovery question as drying of the nose and possible nosebleeds can be quite uncomfortable and inconvenient post-operatively, and may also pose some potential health risks. It is important, especially during the dry, winter months (not uncommon in Massachusetts) to keep the nose moist for comfort and to help reduce nosebleeds.

You can follow some of these steps to help with the drying of your nose...

1) Control your home (or office) environment -- a humidifier is a good idea.  A warm, moist humidifier will heat the water to form steam; bacteria and mold are killed in the process. The humidifier is most important in the bedroom, where you will sleep for a significant amount of time. Humidifiers on the heater are helpful, but they are usually not enough.

2) Stay hydrated -- drink at least 8 glasses of water a day

3) Keep your nostrils moist by utilizing an over-the-counter saline spray (like Ocean spray) -- in addition to moisturizing your nostrils, saline nose sprays will also clear any debris in the nasal cavity as well as improve the function of your mucous membranes. Many of these sprays also include an anti-bacterial ingredient that can also lead to less dryness and fewer nosebleeds.  Use the spray 6 to 10 times per day. Keep it in your pocket when you leave home. The effects are short-lived: about 1 hour. Ocean spray has a removable spray tip, allowing one to refill the bottle after making new saline. To make saline: boil 1 quart water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and add 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate to reduce any chance of stinging. Let the solution cool before use! Saline can also be delivered into the nose by sniffing, using a baby’s nose bulb-suction, or with a Grossan irrigator (a special tip for a Waterpik).

4) You can also maintain the moisture of your nostrils by applying an ointment (Neosporin or petroleum jelly) in a small amount, or by applying a moisturizing lotion to your nostrils (such as Aquaphor).  Many use the ointment or moisturizer twice per day: morning and evening, since the effects last longer than the saline spray -- about 6 hours or so.   To use the ointment or lotion (or even a gel), wash your hands, place a dab on your finger, and wipe it inside your nostrils. Alternatively, you may apply the gel with a Q-tip, just be careful to not insert too far up.  (I would talk to your surgeon before you do this, even though you should be safe 3 months out.)  Then pinch your nostrils closed to spread the solution, and sniff;  this will spread the solution along your septum and throughout the nose.

5)  A vacation to the tropics also helps... ;)

Good luck.

Dr Markarian

Dry Air After Rhinoplasty

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At this point, saline spray may be your best option.  Please do keep in touch with your surgeon to obtain his/her guidance.  Or, you can always move to Florida where the air is never dry :).  Best of luck! 

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Humidification after rhinoplasty

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After 3 months, most humidification measures should be safe. You can try ocean spray, Ayr gel, nasal saline rinses such as Neil Med Sinus rinse, or Vaseline/Aquaphor ointment to the inside of the nostrils. An air humidifier for the room would also be very helpful. Best wishes!

Thomas J. Walker, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Dry nose post Rhinoplasty

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You can use Normal saline spray. Like Ocean Nasal spray.  You can also place a small amount of aquaphor inside the nostril area which will keep it moist.

Michael Nagy, MD, FACS
Freehold General Surgeon

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.