Does My Skin Type Effect Recovery Time After Rhinoplasty?

I had a closed rhinoplasty (remove a hump) three months ago.My nose is still pretty swollen. I went to my surgeon and he said that this is due to my skin type. Alhough my skin is not thick at all but apparently it just swells. My doctor suggested that I remove the tape on my nose for a couple of weeks. He thinks maybe I'm kind of allergic to the tape. Have you surgeons seen any case like this? And if you have, what's the solution and how long should I wait to see the final result of rhinoplasty?

Doctor Answers 12

Skin type and rhinoplasty

Skin type does affect post rhinoplasty edema.  Taping may or may not affect this.  Usually an allergic reaction to tape will also produce skin redness.  It may take over a year for nasal edema to totally resolve.  This usually occurs sooner with a closed rhinoplasty vs an open rhinoplasty.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Swelling after rhinoplasty

Skin type means different things in different contexts.  If you talk to a dermatologist, they will refer to Fitzgerald skin type, which relates to pigmentation.  A rhinoplasty surgeon will be referring to skin thickness. You say that you don't have thick skin, so there must be another reason for the swelling.  I personally don't have my patients use tape beyond a week or two.  I feel the act of putting it on and taking it off is traumatic to the skin.  Also, as some of the other doctors have said, including your surgeon, you may be allergic to the adhesive.  Stopping the taping sounds like a good place to start.  Also, in some cases, it just takes a longer time for the refinements created at surgery to show. It could take 6-12 months to see the final result. I know it is hard, but you just have to be even more patient. Good luck

Paul W. Loewenstein, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Yes it can happen, generally due to thickness of the skin, agree with removing tape

Yes it can happen - generally due to the thickness of the skin.  I agree with removing the tape as your surgeon suggested.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Does my skin type effect my recovery after my Rhinoplasty?

 Since we don't have any photos, I'm not certain what skin type you are.  In general the thicker, more oily the skin, the more post Rhinoplasty retained swelling leading to scar formation...can be expected.  It's always possible for any skin type to have an allergic topical response to tape which is typically treated with a short course of oral steroids as well as topically applied to the affected area. 

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


I don't know why you have tape this late in the game. However, in the overall picture, you have a long way to go in the healing process.

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

Swollen Nose 3 months after surgery


Everybody is different. some people have persistant swelling up to a year. Most is cleared by 6 months. If you have sensative skin ( allergy to tape) which you might then you need to stop the tape. I suggest a couple of additional things for my patients. One use a warm moist wash rag for 5 minutes. Two when the nose is warm then do a gentle massage from the dorsum to the sides.  This physical action sometimes helps more the fluid trapped in your nose.
I hope that this is helpful for you . Jon Sattler, MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Glendora, California.

Jon Sattler, MD
Glendora Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Taping will not improve your rhinoplasty

Taping and splinting help to control swelling after rhinoplasty, though after one week they will have very little effect, and certainly by three months you will have no benefit from taping the nose. In three more months, you may wish to have another look to see if the hump has been effectively reduced and the bridge shaped to your liking.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Skin type and how it effects post operative swelling

Skin types do make a difference in swelling in the post rhinoplasty recovery. Some types have a higher propensity for swelling and for prolonged swelling. I personally do not tape noses post surgery and it is highly unlikely it is helping this far post surgery. Remaining on a low sodium diet is helpful in controlling the swelling, and remain sleeping elevated with several pillows behind your back. Adhesive is a common allergy people have and stopping the taping is a good idea as you may have a reaction to the tape as well. Remember also time is on your side while the majority approximately 70% of swelling dissipates in the first three months the remaining 30% may stay for a full year. Best regards!

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

Skin type and post-rhinoplasty swelling

Yes, I have encountered patients with nasal skin that isn't so much thich, but more reactive or sensitive. Some patients also develop a contact allergy to the adhesive used on some tape as well so stopping this like your surgeon suggested is a good idea.

Other things to help with tip skin swelling include:

  • Follow a low sodium diet of 1500 mg a day or less. This acts like a diuretic and reduces fluid retention in the body
  • Sleep with your elevated 30 degrees or so to have gravity help drain the tissue fluid from your nose
  • In some cases a dilute steroid or 5-FU injection can help if the swelling is persistent.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Skin type and rhinoplasty

Skin type can affect both recovery from as well as the ultimate result of rhinoplasty.  Some skin types are more predisposed to swelling and can actually mask the degree to which the structural work performed is appreciated. I have seen patients develop reactions to taping, and the taping probably isn't helping you much at this point, so I would remove it as your surgeon suggested and give it some time.  

B. Aviva Preminger, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.