10 Things to Avoid After Rhinoplasty Surgery

Rhinoplasty is one of the most sought cosmetic procedures in the country. Anyone unhappy with the function or aesthetics of their nose can benefit from it. Whether you’re planning to have the procedure for cosmetic or medical reasons, it helps to know what to expect at every step of the process.

Many patients assume that once their procedure is over, they’ll be completely back to normal after a few weeks of recovery. While much of the discomfort and noticeable signs of the procedure will eventually fade, complete healing and optimal results will take much longer. In most cases, it can take up to one year or longer for rhinoplasty results to fully develop and for patients to recover.

Dr. Matt Hershcovitch, M.D., Facial Plastic surgeon extraordinaire, offers some suggestions on things to avoid after rhinoplasty surgery.


Things to Avoid After Rhinoplasty Surgery

Scheduling a consultation and your nose job appointment are not the only ways you can prepare for the procedure. Much of the nose job process occurs after the procedure, during recovery, and beyond. In order to prevent delays, complications, and undesirable effects, you’ll need to avoid certain things after rhinoplasty surgery.

1. Strenuous Activity

Avoid strenuous and high-impact chores, activities, sex, and exercises for the first week or two after rhinoplasty surgery. Also, activities and exercises that involve your face should be avoided. For several weeks after rhinoplasty surgery, your nose will be quite sensitive, and the likelihood of nosebleeds, nasal pain or trauma, and headaches is high.

Too much activity like chores and high-impact exercise can cause you to experience nosebleeds and additional issues that compromise your recovery and results. Light exercise and low-impact activities are allowed.

2. Showering and Swimming

You may be aware that swimming, showering, and any activity that causes your face to get wet are no-nos. But, you may not realize how long or why you need to refrain from them. Water is full of infection-causing microorganisms that can harm your nose and health. Most rhinoplasty patients receive clearance to resume showers by the end of the first or second week after rhinoplasty. Pool water is treated with chemicals that are harsh to the skin, like chlorine which is why swimming activities are to be avoided for three to four weeks after rhinoplasty.

4. Blowing or Picking Your Nose

Until your nose job results settle down and your nose heals a bit, avoid touching it, sneezing (if possible), sniffling, and coughing for two weeks after your procedure. Sneezes and coughs are forceful actions that can cause additional injury to the treatment site or cause recovery delays or complications. Because sneezing and coughing are involuntary actions, suppressing them is not always possible. If you must sneeze or cough, try to do so with your mouth open to help reduce the force and discomfort to avoid disturbing the procedure site.

5. Prolonged Sun Exposure

Avoid the sun as much as possible. While you don’t have to stay indoors until your nose heals, you don’t want to damage your rhinoplasty results. Too much sun exposure can increase the discomfort you feel during recovery. It can also cause skin discoloration and damage.

The best way to avoid these concerns is to wear a hat, use an umbrella, and stick to the shade during the first few weeks after rhinoplasty. Once you receive the go-ahead from Dr. Hershcovitch to resume more of your usual activities, use SPF sunscreen to avoid issues.

6. Alcohol, Smoking, and Recreational Drugs

The harmful effects of recreational substances like alcohol and smoking are well-documented. Still, Dr. Hershcovitch reminds patients to avoid smoking, alcohol, and smoke exposure to avoid complications like nose bleeds, nasal dryness, and severe pain for at least one week. Bonus points for those who refrain from these substances even longer.

7. Tight Clothing

Be mindful of your clothing choices. For the first few weeks after rhinoplasty, you should avoid wearing clothes with tight head and neck openings that require you to pull or lift over your face and head. Dr. Hershcovitch also recommends choosing garments that can be buttoned up or fit loosely around the head and neck to prevent accidental touches and bumps to the nose. Restrictive clothing can increase swelling and bruising risks.

8. Poor Dietary Choices

What you eat affects your skin, nose, and rhinoplasty recovery and results. You may be eager to resume eating more of your favorite not-so-healthy foods, and that’s okay. However, you should  hold off on eating fried, fatty, greasy, or spicy foods for at least the first two weeks postoperatively.

Adopting healthier eating habits can help speed up your recovery and enhance your results. Not to mention, doing so also helps to keep your skin clear and blemish-free. Fried, greasy, fatty, and spicy foods have an inflammatory effect on the body and can lead to prolonged swelling, redness, and inflammation.

9. Wearing Glasses

During the first portion of the postoperative phase, your nose will be covered in bandages which may include a splint. Your nose will also be very delicate. Even the slight weight of eyeglasses or makeup can create dents, bumps, bruising, scar tissue, and additional trauma and complications that impede your healing or tarnish the overall effects of your rhinoplasty procedure. If you normally wear prescription eyewear, let Dr. Hershcovitch know so he can work with you and provide alternative recommendations.

10. Wearing Makeup

Most health and beauty products contain harsh ingredients that are known skin irritants that can increase your pain, discomfort, and infection risks. It may seem like it’s a good idea to use makeup to hide the traces of your procedure, but it’s not. The truth is until some time has passed since your rhinoplasty procedure (usually four weeks), it’s best to enjoy your natural look sans the beauty and skincare products.

The first few weeks after rhinoplasty is when the nose and surrounding areas are the most fragile and vulnerable to complications. During this time, you’ll need to be diligent about following your post-operative instructions, seeing Dr. Hershcovitch for follow-up care, and how you manage your nose and recovery.

If you have questions or concerns about any part of the rhinoplasty process, from consultation to recovery, contact Dr. Hershcovitch, M.D., Facial Plastic Surgery, at (818) 206-2539.