What happens if you don’t tape your nose after rhinoplasty?

Nose taping after rhinoplasty might not be comfortable. You feel inconvenient having it on the top of your nose or just simply don’t want it to be obvious that you had nasal surgery. But have you ever thought about why nasal tape is important and what happens if you don’t tape your nose after rhinoplasty?

There are several reasons behind this. The important ones are to control the post-op swelling, provide support for the nasal bone and other healing tissues until they are completely healed and strong, and help stabilize the nasal structure for the intended nose shape after the operation.

In this article, we will explain do you have to tape your nose after rhinoplasty or not, and all the possible consequences if you don’t tape. We will discuss the importance and effectiveness of tapes after this major surgery. So, if you also have the same questions, stick to the end of this piece to find your answer.

Without further ado, let us begin.

It promotes better healing, but what if you don’t use it?

Yes, we understand, you do not like to be seen with some strip of tape on your nose, but do you know what happens if you don’t tape your nose after rhinoplasty? Why do rhinoplasty surgeons insist on taping your nose weeks or even months after the surgery?

When experts emphasize doing something, it means there’s a great deal, and the consequences of not listening can be huge. The same goes for nasal taping. The disadvantages of not putting tape on your nose after surgery can include:

  • Longer healing process
  • Increased swelling
  • Chances of nose deformities such as Pollybeak deformity
  • Complications such as bleeding
  • Possibility of dislocation 
  • Increased pain
  • Risk of infection

Regardless of the types of nose surgery you have received, the main disadvantage of not taping the nose is the prolonged healing period. This can eventually lead to all other risks and complications. The longer it takes for the nose to heal, the higher will be the chances of post-op infection. This is because this area is a potential place for bacterial growth.

Additionally, the patient is likely to experience more pain and discomfort during their long healing time. When the nose lacks the support that the pieces of tape provide, the chances of dislocation increase. A nose without taping might not conform well to its new shape and post-op nasal deformity may occur.

Can you still achieve good results without using nose tape?

Yes, it is possible to get good results, but it is not usually recommended. A prolonged healing period and the possibility of post-op deformities are among the risks of not using nasal tape following a nose job surgery. 

It is true that not all patients need to tape their noses after the operation. However, in most cases, nose taping the nose following the nose surgery is highly recommended. Nasal taping is done under your surgeon’s instructions. An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon knows the best ways for patients to recover and heal better and get their much-desired aesthetic goals. If needed, during your first post-op visit your surgeon will change the tape after the cast removal. They will teach you how to change it yourself and will give necessary instructions related to nose taping.

Why not put some pieces of tape on your nose for 1 or 2 months to faster achieve the appearance you always wanted? Is it not worth it?

Understanding the importance of nose tape

Taping is not scientifically proven to be effective, yet many nose surgeons suggest doing so. This is simply because of the great benefits they have for the final outcome of this cosmetic surgery. So, what are the advantages of taping the nose that facial plastic surgeons recommend it so much? Knowing the answer to this question, helps us understand the importance of post-op nose taping better. Taping the nose provides advantages to patients in different ways:

It keeps nasal edema under controlCheck Mark on emojidex 1.0.34
It helps form the final shape of the noseCheck Mark on emojidex 1.0.34
It provides more support for bones (1)Check Mark on emojidex 1.0.34
It prevents movements and dislocationCheck Mark on emojidex 1.0.34

The pieces of tape that are put on the nose apply gentle pressure on the nose skin, nasal bridge, and the tip of the nose. This prevents the swelling from growing and controls the edema.

In addition, this slight yet controlled pressure helps the nasal skin comply with the new nose shape and may control further movement and displacement. However, this is not scientifically proven. All these lead to a better and faster proper healing period.

In patients with thick skin, taping the nose plays an even greater role in controlling the inflammation, shortening the healing period, and helping to shape the nose. Usually, people with thicker skin are recommended to put nasal tape on their noses for a longer period of time compared to other patients.

What happens if you stop using it early?

The duration of nasal taping highly depends on the patient’s nasal and skin characteristics. According to these features, this time can vary between 2 weeks to 3 months after surgery. Patients with thick skin are usually recommended to use nasal tape for 3 months after rhinoplasty surgery, longer than patients who have thin skin.

But what if you stop using nose tape earlier than recommended? 

As we mentioned earlier, nasal taping is helpful to restrain swelling. If you stop using it early, the swelling might increase and take longer to subside. This will eventually lead to an extended healing time. The skin will probably shrink-wrap later.

On the other hand, it is suggested to continue taping the nose until 6 months after the operation. After this time, there will be no effect as the majority of edema has already eased off. 

Can I shower with a piece of tape on my nose?

Yes, once the cast is removed from your nose, you can shower more comfortably with the nasal tape. Shower times are actually quite helpful for removing your tape every time before applying new strings of tape on your nose. The moisture and wetness help take off the tape easily without any harm. Gently try to remove the sticky residues from the tape and clean the nose surface completely. After bath time, your nose surface is ready to be taped again.

Usually, 2 to 3 days after surgery you can bathe. 

If you need to take a shower before nasal cast removal, you should be careful to keep the cast dry and clean. You can use plastic wrap over your splint and the tape underneath.

An easier way is to just wash your hair and body without letting the water run across your face and your nose. Ask someone to help you wash your hair. Use lukewarm water and try to take a shower as short as possible. You can also take a bath using a wet sponge and damp washcloth.

Don’t want to be seen with a nose tape in public? Here’s what you can do:

If the presence of the nose tape irritates you so much or you do not want to appear in public places while having tape on your nose there is something you can do. You can tape your nose during specific hours.

After this period, you can tape your nose at night when the swelling usually increases and remove it the next morning. However, you should consult your doctor before doing so as this highly depends on your post-op situation.

Yet, you can start doing this two weeks after the surgery. For the first two weeks post-op you should be having nasal tapes 24/7.

Lastly, if you don’t want to be seen with a nose tape during the first two weeks, you can choose beige ones since they are less noticeable than the white tapes.

Even if you wish to tape your nose for a short period of time, you should be extremely careful each time you remove the tape to apply a new one. Especially after the time of splint removal, you need to be cautious and meticulous to avoid any sudden movements that lead to harm or malformation.

Additionally, apply the new strings of tape with the same caution in the same directions your surgeon has taught you. Use the right type of tape with the right thickness. You can discuss any discomfort you feel while putting the tape with your surgeon. We want the tape to help you achieve your desired nose shape, not the way around.

This has been our article on “What happens if you don’t tape your nose after rhinoplasty?”. Remember, you should always consult your surgeon for the dos and don’ts after rhinoplasty. This way the perfect result is granted. Do not forget that we will be by your side on this journey. We will be one call away if you require any further pieces of information. 


(1) Nahid K, Aw C. Taping after rhinoplasty for asian noses. Iran J Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Winter;25(70):57. PMID: 24303421; PMCID: PMC3846237.

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