Have I Ruined the Results of my Rhinoplasty by Picking at my Nose?

I had an open rhinoplasty and my cast and sutures came out 5 days later. Starting day 6, I began to retape my nose and touch it. I have also picked at it to ease in breathing by removing scabbing. I guess I didn't think about it at the time, but could this ruin the results of the procedure?

Doctor Answers 4

Nose picking after rhinoplasty

Dear rhinoplasty patient from Chicago, IL
It is unlikely that one time picking your scab after rhinoplasty can cause any long term damage. You should not manipulate you nose during healing process. However cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide soaked Q-tip and then application of antibiotic ointment is recommended. Good luck and good healing

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Not to worry

It is very unlikely that you have hurt anything. But you should be careful. The best way to clean your nose is as follows:


1. Rinse the nose gently with nasal saline

2. Apply peroxide to the areas with stitches o help clean them

3. Then apply an antibiotic ointment to the suture line


When your surgeon says it it is OK (1-2 weeks usually) you can start to blow your nose

Benjamin C. Marcus, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Is it okay to touch your nose after rhinoplasty?

It's unlikely that you ruined anything by picking at the crusts in your nose, but I would caution you to be careful during the first couple weeks after surgery. Crusts often develop on the dissolvable sutures used to close the incisions inside the nose so picking at them can disrupt the suture line.

To tackle the problem of the crusts blocking breathing, I recommend to my patients that they apply dilute peroxide (50/50 with water) to the crusts two to three times a daily followed by plain vaseline. This will help soften the crusts up so they can come off gently. Using a saline spray bottle several times a day to moisturize the inside of your nose also helps.

It is okay to touch the outside of your nose after the cast is removed, though I would be gentle with this as well. Normally, the nose is still somewhat tender early on which prevents touching it too hard.

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

Avoid Nasal Manipulation After Rhinoplasty

Although the likelihood is that you have not done any damage, you certainly can.  I recommend that my patients only barely touch the nose for two weeks after the cast comes off.  If you have crusting, the application of an ointment can be quite beneficial.  Under no circumstance should you pick at the nose.  Disastrous consequences that I have seen include infections, bleeding and perforations. Any questions or concerns should be directed to your surgeon.  Don't feel as though you are bothering them.  I would always rather take a phone call than deal with a bad complication.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 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.