Reducing or Eliminating Nostril Scar After Rhinoplasty?

I had Rhinoplasty about 10 weeks ago, and one of my nostrils was reduced as part of the surgery. I like my nose, but hate my nostril scar. I really wish my doctor would have told me how hideous the scar was going to be, so I could have told him to leave my nostril alone. Sadly, what is done is done, and it's permanent. Can anything be done to PERMANENTLY reduce or eliminate the nostril scar?

Doctor Answers 4

Scar can be camouflaged

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Nothing can be permanently done to remove a scar. There are multiple techniques that can camouflage a scar such as cortisone injections, dermabrasion. It is important to make sure that the scar is well healed and not causing any other issues. Occasionally, an unsightly scar can be surgically excised, removed, and placed in a better anatomical position.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Scar Revision is possible but...

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... nobody can promise that the scars will heal significantly better. In addition, every time the scar is revised, the nostril will become a tiny bit smaller which may limit the procedure in the first place.

You should wait at least 6 to 9 months before making any final decisions about further procedures. Although other procedures are used for facial scars, they may have limited efficacy for scars after alar base reduction.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

It may be possible to improve the scar

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I'm sure you're very frustrated right now with the level of healing of your nostril scar. There should be some reason for reassurance because, when it comes to scars, time is on your side. It will probably improve somewhat just with passage of time alone. There are some things that can be done to improve healing now and later on if you're still unhappy with it.

When it comes to nostril scars, we need to differentiate if the problem is just a poor scar or if too much tissue has been removed. Tissue loss is harder to deal with, but a poor scar alone can often be improved.

In the short term, if the scar is raised, its firmness and thickening can be flattened with gentle daily massage, silicone gel, and sometimes steroid injections. These treatments can range from being just a little to very effective depending on the scar and your tissue response. Even so, nothing will change a poor scar into a favorable scar overnight.

In the long term, some options for permanent improvement include resurfacing with a laser or dermabrasion, a pulsed dye laser or other vascular laser to reduce discoloration, and possible scar revision in the right situation.

I'd advise you to raise your concerns with your surgeon at your next visit. Perhaps he can get you started down the road to being happier with your healing.

Best of luck,

Jason Litner, MD

Jason Litner, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Yes it is possible.

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 It depends on why the nostril looks bad. If there is a step, it can be redone. If the line is the problem, there are several ways to handle this. You should wait at least 6 months to see if it will look better, unless there is a step problem. A step means the 2 sides don't come together at the same level.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.