Do You Need To Change Your Skincare Routine After A Rhinoplasty?

Because of the surgical stress and the medications used for anesthesia during the surgery, going under the knife for any type of operation can weaken your immune system and strain your body, a study in the Journal of Pain Research concludes. That's why postoperative care is critical to minimizing complications and ensuring your recovery is on track. Rhinoplasty, a nose-reshaping surgery intended to fix breathing difficulties or improve facial harmony, also comes with a set of post-op rules. The reason being is although a nose job is considered a generally safe surgery, its success depends on numerous factors, from the pre-procedure preps to the surgeon's competence to aftercare treatment. Some of the most common risks associated with rhinoplasty are infection, skin discoloration, swelling, abnormalities in skin sensation, and scarring, per The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


After a rhinoplasty, all patients are advised to follow a set of safety guidelines to accelerate healing, which includes avoiding physical activities and greasy, salty food for several weeks. Another hard pill to swallow is that patients recovering from a pervasive surgery like rhinoplasty are advised against letting faces come into direct contact with water to avoid getting their newly altered noses wet and susceptible to infection. That means most people cannot continue their skincare practices as usual. As complex as skincare is during a nose job healing, there are ways to maintain your facial hygiene without endangering your post-op nose.

Changes you'll notice after a rhinoplasty

After a rhinoplasty, expect substantial swelling and visible bruising for anywhere between three to four weeks. Depending on your chosen type of rhinoplasty and your personal health conditions, your recovery time can range from a few days to several weeks. For example, an open rhinoplasty takes longer to heal than a closed rhinoplasty. After a rhinoplasty, most surgeons habitually tape a nose splint to the surgical sites to stabilize the fragile nasal tissues, cartilage, and bones in their new position to lessen swelling and reduce the risk of misplacement or injuries, explains Dr. Jack Zoumaras from Artiste Plastic Surgery. In most circumstances, people have to wear nose splints anywhere from one to three weeks, depending on their healthcare providers' recommendations.


Another thing you'll notice is that your facial skin gets oilier after a nose job. That's because when your nose experiences stress from a surgery, it reacts by triggering the protective response, causing the glands to secrete more oil, says rhinoplasty specialist Dr. Shahram Shahadi. Besides, when your nose is covered with bandages for at least a week, the pores automatically become blocked, causing more oil to build up. Essentially, you need to cleanse your face every day to keep your skin clean and prevent infection around the incisions. However, you might need to adjust your cleansing routine.

How to clean your face after a rhinoplasty

When you go about cleansing your face, remember that under no circumstances should you let the bandages or the nose splint get wet. Instead of splashing water all over your skin, use a cotton pad or reusable cloth soaked with gentle micellar water to gently wipe dirt and excess oil off the skin around your bandages, dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe tells Allure. As your skin is usually tender and swollen during your first week post-op, avoid tugging and rubbing against scabs. It's not uncommon for the skin to become more sensitive during healing. Therefore, you might want to stick with delicate, non-soap, non-scented cleansers and a fragrance-free hypoallergenic moisturizer to keep your face clean and hydrated without disrupting the healing process, explains plastic surgeon Dr. Juan Carlos Fuentes from VIDA Wellness and Beauty.


Since UV rays can discolor your skin when it's still sensitive, take extra caution to shield your skin from the sun by wearing non-comedogenic sunscreen and a hat before going out. At the same time, wean yourself off makeup until your nose is completely healed and the swelling has subsided. Drinking plenty of water, around eight glasses of water per day during recovery, is just what the doctor ordered. Not only does it help to keep your mouth from being dry as you're supposed to breathe through your mouth for the first week post-op but it also reduces water retention and minimizes swelling.