How to Reduce Nasal Tip Swelling After Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that involves reshaping the nose. Also referred to as a nose job, rhinoplasty is performed to straighten an unbalanced nose, remove unwanted bumps and treat airway obstructions that are caused by an accident or malformed nasal bones. Recovery from rhinoplasty can take 10 days to 6 weeks, depending on the level of work and the overall health of the patient. Steps to reduce swelling and maintain the integrity of the stitches also can help to decrease pain and increase healing.

(Image: Marili Forastieri/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Step 1

Keep the head elevated for at least a couple of days, say the surgeons at Spalding Drive Cosmetic Surgery in Los Angeles. Sleep in a recliner for the first couple days following surgery and recline on raised pillows for another week to ensure the least amount of swelling.

Step 2

Control your emotions. Even though the trauma of the surgery, the isolation and confinement that usually follow the procedure, and fears about the end result may intrude, it is important to maintain a calm demeanor. Anger and crying can make the stitches bleed inside the nose and increase the swelling on the outside.

Step 3

Apply lightweight ice compresses or bags of frozen peas to the nose and eyes to help reduce swelling.

Step 4

Open your mouth to sneeze if you must. Sneezing, coughing and nose blowing can pop stitches and cause the tip of the nose to swell. Use a humidifier if your room is dry and causes you to cough. Avoid cigarettes and secondhand smoke so as not to irritate the nasal lining.

Step 5

Cover your nose with sunscreen anytime you go outside. Sunburn can cause the tip of the nose to swell. The redness on the tip of your nose will look unnatural if exposed to the sun. Wear at least an SPF 15 sunblock for at least 6 months after a rhinoplasty procedure.

Things You'll Need

  • Recliner

  • Pillows

  • Sunscreen


Take your pain medication as directed and don't wait for pain to strike. Shooting pain can cause elevated blood pressure levels that can cause nosebleeds and cause the tip of the nose to continue swelling.


Limit your activity for at least a week and avoid picking up anything that weighs more than 10 pounds, even babies and young children. Walking is encouraged, however, to ensure that blood clots don't form following the surgery.

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