Can Picking Your Nose Shortly After a Rhinoplasty (1 Week) Increase Swelling?

I recently had a rhinoplasty surgery on April 27, and I've caught myself a few times picking or trying to dig at some left over build up or crust in my nose. I try hard to avoid it, but it's very hard not to. Can picking so soon after a rhino increase the swelling or even worse disrupt or disfigure the results of the surgery? I am worried now, and I still have alot of build up to get out.

Doctor Answers 7

Light Picking After Rhinoplasty Unlikely to Have Any Deleterious Effects

I understand after a Rhinoplasty, the inside of your nose can be filled with crust and debris.  I can be an uncomfortable feeling.  All rhinoplasty specialist give their patients specific post-op instruction on how to clean their nose.  This cleaning is not only to insure the nose will heal the best, but also make the recovery as comfortable as possible.  (remove the debris and crusts)  

It is unlikely that light nose picking at this time will have any effect on the long-term result of your surgery or increase your swelling.  During a rhinoplasty, the nose is constructed with a strong foundation that cannot be disrupted by light nose picking.  If you nose was stuck or hit then it has a greater chance of affecting the long-term results.

 I always tell my patients and would encourage you to call your doctor with any concerns.  The doctor will be happy to see you and during the appointment/call he or she will answer your questions.  This will calm your nerves, enable you to relax, and allow the doctor to evaluate your nose.  


I hope this helps!

Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Can Picking Nose Cause Nasal Sweklling after a Rhinoplasty?

Irritating your nose by picking after a rhinoplasty can cause increased swelling, but it is unlikely this will disrupt the result. I think you should try even harder not to do this. Talk to your surgeon re how to clean your nose.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Picking nose after rhinoplasty

I usually recommend to my patients to use a q-tip gently after coming out of the shower for the first few weeks. Picking is not recommended and certainly blowing the nose is avoided to minimize bleeding.

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

Will picking hurt my rhinoplasty results

It's unlikely that light picking will jeopardize your rhinoplasty results. If you get too aggressive you may detach some of the sutures or cause an infection. The best plan would be to perform saline rinses to loosen up the crusting on the inside of the nose which will clean the nasal cavities and lessen the urge to pick.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Picking The Nose At 1 Week Post Rhinoplasty

Dear Sean,

Nose picking could be a serious issue depending on its intensity especially at 1 week post-op;"gentle" nose picking may be fine down that line.

That being said, I recommend that you try to have a better control over your behavior and to have your surgeon in the loop of what is happening as he/she may be able to clean your nose from bothering scab crusting.

I encourage you to follow your surgeon's instructions and to protect your nose from any possible trauma also.

Thank you for your post and the best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Any trauma, even if slight, can increase swelling in the nose shortly after rhinoplasty.

Shortly after any operation, because the capillaries are leaky, trauma to the area can cause more fluid to leave the capillaries and enter the tissue--more swelling. 

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Nose picking

It definitely can increase swelling or disrupt the mucosa or move cartilages and I have seen it in one of my patients. Control yourself you have a large investment in yourself.

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 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.