How to Clean My Nose After Deviated Septum Surgery

Updated July 20, 2017

Cleaning your nose after deviated septum surgery must be done with care. You'll need to keep your nose cold to relieve pressure, reduce swelling and pain associated with surgery. To relieve crusting, your doctor may recommend a nasal saline solution and ointments to use on the incision and in the nostrils. To clean the nasal passages, apply a water and peroxide solution to the inside of the nostrils; to prevent infection, clean the incision with the peroxide solution and apply an antibiotic ointment to both the inside of the nostrils and incision.

After surgery, your nose needs special treatment to heal properly. Apply cold packs to your nose for the first 24 to 48 hours. Your nose may periodically bleed as part of the draining process, if so, apply a new gauze under your nose until it stops bleeding.

If your nose begins crusting, your doctor may prescribe a nasal saline solution to relieve congestion, loosen crusting and provide comfort. To use, bend your head to one side and gently insert the tip of the saline solution in each nostril, pushing the top down so the solution sprays uniformly. Repeat on the other side.

To clean the nostrils, soak a Q-tip with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water, then gently insert into one nostril, twirling the Q-tip around and allow to dry. Grab a new Q-tip and repeat the process in the other nostril. Clean daily and apply an antibiotic ointment to the inside of the nostrils.

To clean an incision on the outside of the nose, grab a new Q-tip and soak in the hydrogen peroxide and water solution. Gently roll the Q-tip across the incision and allow to dry. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment over the incision up to three times a day.

If your doctor prescribed a nasal solution, continue to use the nasal spray for several weeks, you can also apply an ointment like vaseline to the nostrils with a sterile Q-tip.


Change the gauze under your nose if there is bleeding or a discharge. Use an humidifier to ease breathing and reduce dryness and crusting.


Always follow the directions and advice given by your doctor. Don't use decongestants or antihistamines without your doctor's approval. Don't blow your nose until your doctor says it's OK. Don't hold back a sneeze, instead sneeze with your mouth open. Don't massage your nose even if it's uncomfortable. Don't sniff, doing so could loosen the nasal packing or cause pain. Don't pick the inside of your nose, even if it's crusty.

Things You'll Need

  • Sterile nasal mist spray
  • Sterile gauze
  • Vaseline
  • Sterile Q-tips
  • Cold packs
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antibiotic ointment
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Karen Kleimann has a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She works as a photographer and managing editor at a North Jersey Media Group newspaper. Kleimann has also interned at CNN, "NC State" alumni magazine and Dowden Health Media, where her articles appeared online, in print and through broadcast.