Does Nose-picking Enlarge the Nose / Nostrils / Affect Results of Healing Rhinoplasty?

On my 10th day post-op rhinoplasty (no grafts), I used a finger (!) to clean out scabs. I picked the nose for about 10 minutes straight and went past the first knuckle. That is about an inch inside each nose with my large fingers. :( I don't know what I was thinking, but once I started, I just could not stop. Anyway, I have since gone and bought hydrogen peroxide, q-tips and neosporin. I'm worried the results might be different because of this. Will it be affect the final size/shape in any way?

Doctor Answers 6

Picking nose after rhinoplasty

I tell patients that I prefer that they avoid blowing their nose for the first three weeks, and only used q-tips gently after the nasal splint is removed and until three weeks after surgery.  Finger picking is only good for banjo and guitar playing!

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Nose picking after rhinoplasty

In general, picking your nose after rhinoplasty will not affect the result. However, from your description of what you did and are doing, I would consult a professional to ensure your behavior is not rooted from some obsessive compulsive issue. I would also discuss this with your surgeon.

Michel Siegel, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Traumatizing nose after surgery

As stated by others it is a bad idea to manipulate any surgical site so soon after surgery.  Hopefully you have not caused any damage.  Follow up with your surgeon if you have any concerns

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Results hurt?

In general spending ten minutes possibly disrupting sutures and stretching an early rhinoplasty result is probably a bad idea. Hopefully nothing was injured. You are correct that q tips and hydrogen peroxide are a better idea from now on. If you didn't stir up any bleeding during the event then I would take that as a good sign and really try to follow your plastic surgeons directions closely from now on.

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews

Picking your nose after rhinoplasty is NOT recommended.

You didn't say if you had an open rhinoplasty incision, but even with a closed rhinoplasty, the internal incisions are within reach of your first knuckle and can or could have been disrupted by your 10-minute exercise in inappropriate behavior. When is it ever OK to pick your nose for 10 minutes?

(Even minimal) bleeding = scar tissue = bad results = re-operation.

Don't mess with your nose at 2 weeks post-op. Things aren't fully healed yet, and you COULD ruin your result. DO NOT blow your nose for at least another week, or you could force nasty bacteria into your nasal tissues beneath the skin and cause major problems--think "flesh-eating bacteria" if you need help to avoid this. DO NOT use hydrogen peroxide, Q-tips, or Neosporin either. These aren't much better than nose-picking and can DELAY healing rather than help it.

Please, follow your surgeon's advice and stop this self-destructive behavior. You are truly a set-up for a poor result and your obsessive tendencies will make you think you have done "everything" to enhance and "help" your result when in fact you are increasing your chances for a rotten outcome (that of course must be your surgeon's fault since you were so careful and "proactive" in your self care).

Saline mist and gentle sniffling are the only things I would allow at this point in time. Good luck.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Healing after Rhinoplasty

Generally speaking, it can take 6 to 12 months to completely heal after surgery. Please keep in touch with your surgeon or his/her clinical team to discuss your ongoing concerns.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 116 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.