Nose tape after rhinoplasty: benefits, simple steps & tips

Tape for the nose after a rhinoplasty procedure is almost a must and is actually a way to distinguish rhinoplasty patients. If you see someone who got their nose taped, it’s probably because they recently got a rhinoplasty surgery. This term exists because it helps to reduce post-rhinoplasty nose swelling. However, if you are here to learn more about nose tape after rhinoplasty, you’re in the right place!

We even care about the tiny black holes on our noses, having to carry the nasal tape is something much bigger. However, once you learned the benefits of nasal tape you would not bother using it. The way it looks might be out of fashion but the benefits of this treatment make it inevitable, as long as you know how and when to use it. 

Surgeons place it on your nose with a proper placement style, you might even need to apply this by yourself and protect it from getting displaced. Here in this article, you will learn all about nose tape after rhinoplasty.

What is nose tape and how does it work?

Tape is a cover used right after nose surgery to help with the healing process. Many pieces of tape are attached from the upper part of your nasal bridge until below the nostrils. This helps you heal faster during your rhinoplasty recovery, but how?

The gentle grip of the tapes applies pressure on your nose holding the skin in its position and limiting the swelling up to a point. Either way, your nose swells, though when the tape is applied it becomes less prominent and subsides easily.

There are different types of tape are used after rhinoplasty surgery. Depending on your needs and considering your skin type surgeons opt for one of them. How to choose the best one for your needs, then? Can you use any ordinary tape? Let’s see what tape to use after rhinoplasty.

rhinoplasty tape, nose tape after rhinoplasty

What tape to use for the nose after rhinoplasty?

You might have lost your tape or gone on an emergency trip and left your tape at home. Don’t worry, you can tape your nose by yourself, but what tape to use for the nose after a nose job?

Nose surgeons generally use adhesive hypoallergenic surgical paper tape with 0.5-inch tape width. They are sticky enough to attach to your nose but also removed easily without damaging the nasal skin. Other options are:

  • White cloth adhesive tape
  • Thread supported tapes
  • Silk tapes

There are lots of different products used in these tape adhesives, your rhinoplasty surgeon might be using any one of these tapes for the nose after rhinoplasty. You might be allergic to some adhesives like zinc, so you should tell if you have any allergies, and your doctor will test the tape type for your skin before applying.

Why use nose tape after rhinoplasty?

Having swelling and bruising around your nose is common after nose surgery and these side effects heal by themselves after a while. Why tape the nose after a rhinoplasty surgical procedure then?

Nasal taping will accelerate the recovery speed and will help your nose skin to recover from bruising and swelling easily. Especially after a vigorous surgery like a secondary rhinoplasty, taping is most beneficial for revision rhinoplasty patients. Not just for swelling but also for many other reasons, nose taping will be helpful.

Benefits of using nose tape after rhinoplasty

The main reason why surgeons tape the nose after a rhinoplasty operation is to reduce swelling both in the short and the long term. It comes with lots of other benefits as well. Here are the benefits of taping after rhinoplasty:

  • Helps decrease swelling and bruising
  • Gives you psychological adjustment time
  • Provides better surgical outcomes
  • Prevents possible risks (supratip deformity, excessive swelling)

The amount of swelling after a rhinoplasty operation might be worse than expected. It depends on the individual’s skin type and the surgical techniques. In this condition, taping will be way more important. Some studies also proved it is helpful in defining your nose better (1)(2).

So far, we gave you the reasons for the question “Why do you tape your nose after a rhinoplasty operation?”. Now let’s talk about how you can do it.

How to apply nose tape

Okay, so far we learned that taping is helpful, and even necessary for some cases, but we still do not know how to tape your nose after rhinoplasty. The taping method is so simple with a few steps:

  1. First, you need tape and scissors.
  2. Cut 2 inches (5 cm) long 5-6 pieces from the tape.
  3. Then, while making gentle pressure with your one hand on your nose start placing the tape beginning from the bridge, like an arc.
  4. After that for the tip, cut a long strip and place it from one side to the other like a “U” shape that will overlap your bridge tapes.
  5. Finally, go over the placed bridge tapes with the same amount of pieces.

We took a brief look at how to tape nose after rhinoplasty, but are you done yet? What’s the ideal time? It is important to continue using the tape for a while after your surgery but for how long, and moreover how can you remove the tape?

How long after rhinoplasty should I tape my nose?

Taping your nose after two weeks after your nose job is usually optional, and you might continue taping your nose even after 2 months after your surgery. Some surgeons recommend taping for 1 month, and some others for 3. This depends on individual differences and your surgeon’s preferences. Additional taping will not do harm to your nose as long as you do it in the instructed way.

How long should you wear nose tape after rhinoplasty?

The taping might be applied a week later after the cast removal or sometimes instead of cast surgeons only uses tape. Either way, your nose will be covered for two weeks after the surgery. This is the time when taping is most useful against postoperative edema. 

So, your question “How long to tape nose after rhinoplasty?” has variable answers depending on your surgery results, skin type, and doctor’s recommendations. In general, you will be taping your nose for at least 2 weeks and then it might go up to 3 months. After two weeks it is up to your surgeon how long you should tape your nose.

How to remove the tape from nose after rhinoplasty?

You need to be cautious while changing your nose tape and remove it without ripping. If you pull it fast you might damage your skin tissue and affect the way your nose looks, especially during the critical period.

Be gentle and remove every part of the tape slowly beginning from the sides. First, remove the upper layers and then slowly go with the below ones. You might use recommended adhesive removal solutions to remove easily.

Tips for using nose tape after rhinoplasty

While using your tape you might need to change it by yourself during your recovery period. For example, it can get wt or displaced. Here in this part, we gave some tricks to make this process easier and how to protect your nose tape after rhinoplasty better.

Keep your tape dry

If you are in the first weeks after your rhinoplasty surgery, make sure to keep your nose tape dry and clean. If it gets wet you might need to change it to continue getting benefits from it. If you need to take a shower keep your face dry, going to a hairdresser might be useful to clean your hair only. If you have the option, taking a bath is also recommended instead of showering.

Tape your nose at night

Taping at night is better than the day. When you sleep your head level becomes closer to your heart, increasing the swelling in the nose. Taping before sleeping will decrease this effect. Many people also prefer this to avoid hanging around with a taped nose in the daylight. This is only the case if you are not in a critical period. Follow your surgeon’s advice on when to change your tape by yourself.

Do not use too much tape

Well, it is okay to use a single or double round of tape on your nose but too much taping can actually misshapen your nose, especially around the tip. That is why make sure your taping is firm enough to keep it in good shape but do not go off the limits unless your surgeon tells you so.

Massage your nose

Some surgeons massage their patient’s noses right after their tape removal. Some of them also recommend their patients continue massaging after each tape removal. This will help you reduce the swelling and improve the surgical results of both male and female patients. Make sure to massage in a way that your surgeon showed you.


(1) Guyuron B, DeLuca L, Lash R. Supratip deformity: a closer look. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2000;105(3):1140-1153. doi:10.1097/00006534-200003000-00049

(2) Farahvash MR, Khorasani G, Mahdiani Y, Taheri AR. The Effect of Steri-Strip Dressing on Patients’ Satisfaction and Reduction of Ecchymosis in Lower Eyelid, Malar and Cheek Following Rhinoplasty. World J Plast Surg. 2016 Jan;5(1):51-7. PMID: 27308241; PMCID: PMC4904139.

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