Is It Wrong to Clean the Nose with Cotton Stick Few Days After Nose Operation?

i am in despair! I had a nose operation 11 days ago. on the 3rd day after surgery I started to clean mu nose with cotton stick ( you know, those you clean your ears with). Is it totally wrong and I could bring bacteries into my nose ja damage my nose and there will be infection because of that or is it ok to do this? because my surgeon did that once and I thought I have to do it as well.

Doctor Answers 14

Cleaning nose after Rhinoplasty

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The advice regarding nose cleaning may differ slightly amongst surgeons but it is unlikely that you have damaged your nose. I recommend for my patients that moist cotton tip be used very gently around the sides of nasal openings but not at the suture line if any ... this is kept covered in a clear ointment for first few days ... if in doubt contact your surgeon

Q-Tip cleaning after Rhinoplasty

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Not to worry.  Often the inside of the nose gets crusty after rhinoplasty and can be irritating and  impair your breathing.  GENTLE cleaning of the nostrils with a Q-tip soaked with hydrogen peroxide will loosen the crusts and you can very carefully and gently moisten the crust.  It will often melt away or become soft enough that it falls out painlessly.  I have my patients coat the inside of the nostrils with bacitracin after the perioxide cleaning. 

Once the crusts are removed, after 10 - 14 days, there  should be no more crusts and therefore, no more need to clean. 

Q tip in the nose after rhinoplsty

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First it does not seem that you did anything wrong, yet.  Letting the water run off the outside of your nose while in the shower is one thing.  Taking a Q tip into the nostril is another thing.  Most rhinoplasty surgeons would not like the idea of poking inside the nose.  You may cause bleeding, infection or a tear in the suture line.  Always good to ask your surgeon what you can and cannot do, as he knows how he dd the operation. 

Cleanng your nose after rhinoplasty

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Relax. Don't panic. You're fine. I think it's fine to clean gently just on the inside of the nostril with a slight wet Qtip. It's just to clean the dry blood. I would not push the Qtip in any further than the actual cotton tip. I'm sure you didn't do any damage.

Cleaning the nose after surgery

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Usually I recommend that patients use a moist Qtip to clean up around the rim of the nostril so that dried blood and mucous doesn't build up. However, there are incisions inside the nose so patients should be careful to be too rough or to put the Qtip up too high in the nose. After about a week patients can be more aggressive in cleaning the nose.

Clean nostrils with q tip

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I routinely instruct patienst to clean their nostrils with a q tip and dilute peroxide. I then have them place some Bacitracin or Bactroban ointment as well. There are usually dissolvable sutures which can get caked with dried blood or mucus and become uncomfortable or cause blockage. This helps treat and prevent that problem.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Is it wrong to clean my nose with cotton swabs after my Rhinoplasty?

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 Yes, it is wrong IMHO for you to be placing anything inside your nose during the post-op Rhinoplasy phase.  This includes Q tips, fingers or anything else.  You won't create an infection but you could cause bleeding, premature suture removal or opening of the internal suture line...all of which is bad. 

 I do not allow my Rhinoplasty patients to do these things for months after their Rhinoplasty and these rules are for their own safety.  If you're concerened or need clarification of the post Rhinoplasty instructions, you should contact your Rhinoplasty surgeon.

Clean up on the outside only after rhinoplasty

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Though some surgeons might allow it, we prefer cleaning on the outside only for the first week or two after rhinoplasty. Infection is one concern, however bleeding is probably the greater risk. We would have you keep things out of your nose.

Best of luck,


Cleaning inside nose after rhinoplasty

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Some surgeons actually request that their patients gently clean the entrance of their nostrils with a cotton-tipped applicator, while others strictly forbid it. In general, most surgeons recommend against inserting anything deep in the nose. I think the best thing to do in your case would be to discontinue doing it until you discuss it further with your surgeon and seek his/her opinion on the matter. Letting your surgeon know your concerns will also allow him/her to examine you and make sure that you haven’t disrupted anything inside the nose. Hope this helps!

A Tip on Using Q-Tips on the Tip of the Nose: Cleaning Nose with Q-Tip After Rhinoplasty

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HI Mari,

Most likely you will be fine.  Discuss your concerns with your rhinoplasty surgeon.  I sometimes have my post rhinoplasty patients clean their external nostrils with a Q-Tip soaked in hydrogen peroxide solution to loosen the dried crusts of blood that can accumulate around the outer nostril.  It is not wise to pass the Q-tip deep into the nose.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.