How Long Will My Nose Appear Swollen?

There are several side effects to rhinoplasty and non-surgical nose jobs. One of these is swelling of the nose, cheeks, and eyes. You can expect more serious swelling if you go for the surgical procedure since it involves the dissection of your tissues and possible fracturing of the nasal bone. The time taken to get rid of the swelling completely will depend on the specific procedure you went through.



With rhinoplasty, you will have to wait for about six months before the swelling subsides sufficiently for you even to take nice photographs. In some patients, the nose will be presentable after only three months. This doesn’t mean the swelling will disappear completely. In fact, your nose may take over a year to heal completely and assume its final status.

After the procedure, your doctor will place a surgical splint across the nasal bridge to help with the swelling. This usually stays for some weeks and is meant to reduce swelling. It is important to take care of your nose so that you don’t affect these mechanisms and complicate the healing process unnecessarily.

The doctor will also use nasal taping to control swelling. This will be replaced after a week when the sutures are removed. After a few weeks of replacing the nasal tapes, your doctor will instruct you on how to apply the tapes yourself so you can do it every day before going to bed.

The severity of the swelling and the time taken to resolve will depend on several factors. These include:

  • The section of the nose treated
  • Whether the doctor used the open or closed approach
  • The thickness of the skin- Patients with thicker skin will experience longer healing time. The tip of the nose typically stays swollen for the longest period.
  • Post-operative care
  • An individual’s healing capability

If you go through extensive nose surgery, you can expect the healing process to take longer, and the swelling will similarly take some considerable time to resolve.



Here are some tips to help reduce your swelling after rhinoplasty:

  • Sleep in a recliner for some days after the procedure. Anything that can keep your head elevated at an angle of about 30 degrees will help to quicken the healing process. Patients can also use two fluffy pillows to achieve this effect.
  • Control your emotions and always stay level-headed, even if you don’t like the initial appearance of your nose. It will assume its final form eventually and only needs time. You should consider surrounding yourself with supportive people during the first few days. This is important because anger and other emotions can easily affect the stitches in the nose and even worsen the swelling.
  • Apply ice compresses or bags of frozen peas lightly to the swollen areas. This can relieve pain and ease the swelling.
  • Avoid cigarettes since the smoke can irritate the nasal lining and further increase the side effects of the procedure
  • Activities like sneezing and coughing can also make the stitches in the nose to bleed. For this reason, you should always open your mouth when you get the urge to sneeze or cough. Any irritants that make you get these urges should be controlled as much as possible.
  • For the first six months after the procedure, your nose should be protected from the sun, either with a hat or sunscreen. The sunscreen used should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

Before the day of the surgery, you will also need to implement certain changes to your lifestyle. These will help you recover faster and with fewer complications, meaning your swelling are also likely to resolve in a shorter time. Your surgeon will give you instructions on medications and drugs you should avoid for some weeks before the procedure. Some of these are blood thinners and tobacco. Some supplements such as fish oil might also affect the results of the procedure. At the same time, you will need to increase your intake of certain foods and nutrients.



The side effects of non-invasive nose jobs are much less severe and can even take a single day to resolve. This is because the procedure does not result in any serious injury to the nasal tissues and structures. Swellings resulting from non-surgical nose jobs are insignificant, especially when compared to patients of the invasive procedure.

With these procedures, you can expect to recover fully within 48 hours. At this point, all swellings will subside, and your nose will have assumed its final shape.

Before your full recovery, you can hide the swellings with makeup. That being said, you should not touch the site of the injections within the first 6 hours of treatment. Some people experience an urge to itch or massage the area after the procedure, but this will only complicate your problem further. After 6 hours, you can wash the area and apply makeup gently.

Arnica cream is often given as a treatment for the side effects. Alternatively, you can soak a piece of cloth in hot water, wring it out thoroughly, and then place it on your face. This should be done several times in a day until the swelling disappears completely.

It is also important to stay away from intense sunlight or intense cold. Wearing heavy glasses will not cause swellings on the nose, but can easily result in indentions which are just as bad. Within the first four weeks, the nose should be handled gently as it will still be malleable.



Surgical and non-surgical nose jobs result in swelling. With non-invasive procedures, the swelling will resolve fully in two days. If you still have swellings on the nose after this period, you should contact your doctor for further advice. The healing process for surgical nose jobs is much longer and can take more than a year. However, you will be able to attend major events within 3 to 6 months since the swelling will have subsided considerably. These procedures should be carried out by thoroughly trained and experienced surgeons since they are very delicate. Dr. Daniel G. Becker operates in Central and Southern New Jersey. You can visit his website for more information.

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