Feb 12

After my rhinoplasty, when my surgeon removed my cast he found I had red, swollen skin with multiple tiny pustules. Is there anything I can do?

We recently received a question from a patient who had underwent rhinoplasty elsewhere and noted that a few days later her nose was very itchy. Upon removal of the cast she had red, swollen skin with multiple tiny pustules. She wrote to us in a panic wondering what had happened.

Of course without an evaluation, we told her that we would only be speculating. But we did note that on rare occasions, there are people who have allergic reactions to the adhesive on the tape that is used on the bridge of the nose after surgery. The tape and splint are intended to help keep pressure on the skin in order to help reduce swelling and to prevent the nasal bones from moving after surgery.

allergic skin

When an allergic reaction occurs, most patients generally report in hindsight that they noted some itchiness starting as soon as the day after surgery but that it only became intolerable after a few days. Of course once the tape is removed the allergen- the thing that is causing the allergic reaction- is gone but it generally takes days for the swollen, red, itchy skin to return to normal. The long term consequences of this are generally negligible outside of the transient initial itchiness and discomfort, but it does occasionally mean that it will take a while longer for you to see the final results of your surgery.

Depending on the severity of the reaction, some surgeons will provide anything from a topical to an oral steroid to help in treating your itchiness as well as in helping to reduce the swelling and inflammation. Hope this helps.

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