Nose jobs, or rhinoplasties, are one of the most commonly requested procedures among men and women, and for a good reason. The procedure can redefine the entire facial appearance for a more balanced look. When done correctly by an experienced board-certified facial plastic surgeon, rhinoplasty is typically a one-time procedure with lifelong results.

Despite the incredible popularity of this extremely safe procedure, you may be wondering whether a rhinoplasty will leave you with scars. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about nose job scars.

Does Rhinoplasty Leave Scars?

Whether you’ll have nose job scars following your procedure will depend on several factors. These include the type of rhinoplasty you receive, how your body heals, the surgeon’s experience, and more. 

The good news is that the actual scars that could result from a nose job are so minor that most rhinoplasty patients have difficulty seeing them once they have healed. Additionally, it’s common for cosmetic surgeons to camouflage incisions within the nose’s natural creases so if any scars do develop, they aren’t easily visible.

Rhinoplasty Incisions

Incisions are the source of nose job scars as this is where your surgeon will open the skin. There are two major incision techniques for rhinoplasty surgeries; open and closed. Your doctor may choose to enlist either technique depending on the severity of changes you’d like them to make. The two options differ in the types of incisions made, the quality of the results, and the potential for scars.

Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty

It’s important to know the differences between open and closed rhinoplasty as they significantly relate to nose job scars. During closed rhinoplasty, your cosmetic surgeon makes two incisions within the inside of the nose. It is through these incisions that your plastic surgeon makes all alterations.

Open rhinoplasty involves a small incision on the underside of the nose between the nostrils in somewhat of a Z-shaped pattern. Open rhinoplasty allows your doctor better control and precision because they have more visibility. However, with an open procedure, you are more likely to have some form of visible scars. In contrast, with closed rhinoplasty, visible scarring is less likely because the incisions are found within the nostrils.

Nose Job Recovery

After your rhinoplasty procedure, you’ll be eager to see the results right away, but the recovery process takes time. Below we’ll outline the recovery timeline, and what you can expect with swelling, and how proper recovery can help with nose job scars.


The first thing to understand about rhinoplasty recovery is that it can take up to a year for the swelling to completely subside and the final shape of your new nose to emerge. Most patients will see a gradual change in appearance over the first few weeks as the tissues heal and the swelling continues to disappear. 

After three weeks, you can safely return to exercise activities such as jogging, swimming, and cycling. In three to six months, the numbness and abnormal sensations in your nose will significantly resolve but it may take up to a year for the healing process to complete.

Bruising and Swelling

Minor swelling may remain after the first few weeks and can take longer to resolve. This residual swelling is typically minor and will resolve in the weeks and months after surgery. Bruising, however, is actually not very common after rhinoplasty. 

There are a few things that can help reduce swelling, and promote your body’s natural healing capabilities, including the following:

  • Keep your head elevated when sleeping
  • Use a cold compress
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Maintain a healthy diet

How to Prevent Nose Job Scars

While the formation of nose job scars is often dependent on the procedure and the incisions your plastic surgeon makes, there are a few actions you can take yourself.

Avoid Smoking

Nicotine lowers blood vessels which leads to poor scar healing. You should also avoid alcohol, as it causes dehydration and can lead to increased swelling and bleeding which can make nose job scars more visible.

  Avoid Sun Exposure

It is best to minimize sun exposure for the first month after surgery. If your overexpose your nose to the sun, it may increase swelling. To minimize scarring, you should carefully protect any scars from the sun for at least one year after your rhinoplasty, as sun exposure can cause nose job scars to become darker in color.

Avoid Strenuous Exercise

Rhinoplasty leaves the blood vessels in your nose very sensitive, and exercising too soon after surgery can cause nose bleeds and affect the final results. You can start taking light walks the day after surgery, but you should avoid running, jogging, or bending over for at least one week as this could hinder your recovery and produce unsightly nose job scars. 

Keep Incisions Clean

It’s important to keep external stitches clean and dry following treatment, which helps limit the risk of infection, as well as decreasing the chance for less than optimal nose job scars. If your plastic surgeon made any incisions on the outside of the nose, then starting 2-3 days after surgery, gently clean the incision by rolling Q-tips with hydrogen peroxide over the suture lines. 

Choose the Right Plastic Surgeon

Nose surgery is a complex surgical procedure, so it’s important to choose a board-certified rhinoplasty surgeon with years of experience. Even if you opt for non-surgical rhinoplasty, the rhinoplasty surgeon’s knowledge and skill is the deciding factor in providing a natural, scar-free appearance post-procedure.

Schedule a Consultation with Elite Facial Plastic Surgery

If you’re ready to make a change and improve your nose, we invite you to contact Dr. Castellano at Elite Facial Plastic Surgery to schedule your complimentary consultation today. He is double board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, so you can know you’re in good hands with honest assessments of nose job scars.

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