Your body will naturally take care of healing and debridement most of the time, although your body’s processes may not be as quick as you’d like. It’s possible to clean your nose without disrupting the healed tissue as long as you follow two rules: always listen to the surgeon who performed the procedure and be gentle while cleansing.
Q-tip and hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is sold under a variety of names including:
- Dihydrogen dioxide
- Hydrogen dioxide
- Hydrogen oxide
It is commonly sold in drug stores at concentrations of 3%, more or less. When cleaning at home, some doctors will recommend that you dilute it even further by half, using clean water. The q-tips, which should also be clean, can be inserted inside the nostril to remove dried blood and mucous. Do not insert the q-tip if there’s packing already in your nose as you don’t want to change the shape of your nose by forcing the absorbent material up your nostrils further.
Nasal irrigation can be used starting one week after the surgery, and some doctors will encourage the use of saline rinses to keep the area hygienic.
A saline rinse uses a clean bulb that can be squeezed, which sends a low-pressure stream of water through one nostril while the water exits through the other. The saline rinse imitates the salinity of your bodily fluids (blood, sweat, tears, etc.), which is around 0.9% and can be obtained by boiling half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Once cooled, it can be stored for later use.
Sometimes your nose may be clogged by hardened blood and mucous so that it partially or completely seals the airway. While this congestion makes breathing more laboured and may even force you to breathe through your mouth, you should hesitate to blow your nose or insert a finger to help with the plug’s removal. Instead, focus on using a saline spray or saline drops to keep the lining moist. Use a clean finger to apply petroleum jelly on the suture line to help with healing.
Use a moist towelette
To clean hardened crust from around your nose, gently pat the area with a moist napkin to soften the dried fluid. Warm water can be used as it’s more comfortable than cold water.
Within four to six weeks of the surgery, most of the swelling will be gone. At this point, you can resume washing your face regularly.