Dr. Serhan Derin, born in 1982, is a seasoned ENT specialist who graduated from Ankara University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Kocaeli University in 2010. Dr. Derin is a highly skilled surgeon specializing in functional and cosmetic nose surgeries, including Primary Rhinoplasty, Revision Rhinoplasty, Ethnic Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, Septorhinoplasty, Nasal Valve Surgery, and Sinus Surgery.
Acne formation after rhinoplasty is a very common phenomenon among patients. Depending on the type and severity of a specific case, doctors may suggest different acne medications for rhinoplasty patients. But how long after rhinoplasty before using acne medicine?
In this article, we have tried to give you a detailed and informative explanation of what kinds of medications there are for acne treatment and how long after rhinoplasty before using acne medicine. How they fight acne and their possible side effects are also explained. And finally, we have prepared a small list of natural products you can use to deal with acne breakouts if you are not a fan of medications or they are not suited for your case.
Now without getting you bored with this introduction already, let’s see what the real deal is.
When can you use acne medication after rhinoplasty?
Acne medications come in different types. Some of them are taken orally, and some of them are applied as a gel. These medications are not only used in acne treatment but also other types of skin diseases as well. The most commonly used acne medications are isotretinoin, retinoid, benzoyl peroxide, and tetracycline.
Here’s a table about how long after rhinoplasty before using acne medicine.
|Time to stop using
|Time to start using
|6 months before
|after 1-2 years
|2 weeks before
|after 2 weeks
|2 weeks before
|after 2 weeks
Isotretinoin is one of the strongest acne medications there is. It is taken orally, and the treatment usually takes, depending on the patient, 5 to 8 months to complete. It is mostly used in patients who have oily skin and severe acne. You may run into this medication under different names. No matter what its name is, they all have to be prescribed by a dermatologist with the patient’s consent.
But why is it dangerous to take before and after facial plastic surgery?
One of its curing mechanisms is to reduce the oil glands on the skin, which leads to thinning of the nasal skin. Other side effects include dry skin and nosebleeds. Most likely, this will be followed by a late recovery. A study has shown that isotretinoin usage within 6 months after rhinoplasty can cause nasal tip deformities such as bossa formation, asymmetry, and prominence of a composite graft.
Retinoid is a topical medication that helps a lot in curing acne. While it has no notable negative effects on nose job patients, it is sometimes even used before the surgery to improve the skin for a smoother operation.
Benzoyl peroxide usage
Benzoyl peroxide is preferred when patients suffer from mild acne. Products containing benzoyl peroxide fights the bacteria, but while doing that, it can cause your skin to go dry and even peel. One can observe this phenomenon most prominently during the first stages of treatment. Red skin and irritation can also be observed around this time.
Factors influencing the waiting time
Each patient has unique features that play a significant role during the surgical procedure. These features must be taken into account in great detail by the rhinoplasty surgeon.
- Patient’s recovery phase
- Acne medication type
- Rhinoplasty type
When prescribing the appropriate medication for post-rhinoplasty acne breakouts, doctors evaluate the severity of the acne and how far into the recovery period the patient is.
Consequently, the time frame between the surgery and the use of acne medication will be determined by the type of medication.
Another factor that affects the time frame is the type of rhinoplasty. By the type of rhinoplasty here, we mean open and closed rhinoplasty. Generally, the healing process of patients who underwent open rhinoplasty tends to be more tricky.
When comparing the open rhinoplasty to the closed approach, swelling and bruising are more intense in open rhinoplasty. For this reason, doctors recommend their open rhinoplasty patients use acne medications such as isotretinoin much later through the healing process.
Side effects of using acne medication too soon
In general, acne treatment doesn’t cause the patients that much of a problem. Mild and moderate side effects like dry skin, itching, irritation, and sensitivity to sunlight are common and disappear quickly. However, these not-that-significant side effects can harm when combined with a nose job surgery.
Acne medications can cause midsized and temporary side effects. But, rhinoplasty patients using acne medication who are in their recovery period may experience these side effects in a much more damaging way.
This is because the facial skin after rhinoplasty is already sensitive enough, so when we add the side effects of the acne medication, the skin will be even more sensitive and dry. It is the last thing a rhinoplasty would want to experience during the recovery time.
What to do if you experience acne breakouts after rhinoplasty?
Until this point, we have talked about the medications that are used for acne treatment after rhinoplasty and the possible risks that one can experience using them. Now, let’s give you a general idea of what you can do when acne breakouts occur.
- After the tape removal, cleanse your face to reduce acne formation.
Although nasal tapes serve a good cause as protecting your nose from receiving injury, during the short period of time of their usage, they can also lead to acne breakouts.
Patients will only be able to clean the oily skin after the tapings are removed. Once removed, the skin will eventually return to normal, and the acne formation will stop. Washing the face is the best way to clean the pores and reduce acne formation.
- Be careful with your medications to prevent possible side effects.
Patients may suffer from skin problems because of postoperative medications like antibiotics and painkillers. In some cases, these drugs display their side effects as itching, rash, and other skin problems like acne. If you have one of these inconveniences on a moderate level, contact your doctor to change your medication.
- Wait for the swelling and bruising to resolve before taking any further action.
Acne formation around swollen and bruised areas is normal. These areas tend to be more sensitive and oily. Fortunately, this acne breakout usually disappears as the swelling resolves after the first month. This process can even take less time with people who have clearer skin by nature.
Safe alternatives to acne medication
Dealing with acne breakouts without medication is not easy, but you can always take your chances. There are two ways of fighting acne that you can master on your own if you are wondering how long after rhinoplasty before using acne medicine.
- Keep your face clean
- Keep your hands away from your face
- Avoid sun exposure
- Use natural products
The last method to fight acne has to do with natural products that have anti-inflammatory properties. But remember, these products can only be used after the nasal dressings are removed and are not primary solutions for acne breakouts.
Let’s briefly mention some of these home remedies that can at least help to reduce the discomfort caused by acne:
Tea tree oil: Thanks to its antibacterial nature, the tea tree oil potentially kills the bacteria that takes take a role in acne formation and reduces swelling.
Green tea: With its antioxidant components, consumption of green tea clears the pores and sebum, which ultimately reduces acne formation
Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a product known for successfully reducing inflammation. Because it consists of zinc, sugar, and amino acids, it can be used to moisturize the skin as well.
Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil has partial anti-inflammatory properties, which are good for reducing swelling and speeding up wound healing.
Vitamin C: When applied as a topical cream, vitamin C is very helpful in treating inflammation and reducing too much sebum production, a precursor of acne formation.
Honey: Honey is a great product to treat clogged pores on the skin thanks to its components that have antioxidant effects.
Fish oil: In addition to its tons of other benefits for the human body, fish oil can also treat inflammation and, thus, acne formation.
Zinc: Topical creams that contain zinc can be very effective in healing acne lesions and reducing inflammation.
Why does acne occur after nose job surgery?
This may come as a surprise, but actually, the primary reason for acne breakouts after rhinoplasty surgery happens to be the anxiety caused by the surgery. According to a study, the number one cause of acne formation after rhinoplasty happens to be anxiety related to the surgery.
However, there are other factors that also increase the risk of acne formation as well.
Different aspects of the rhinoplasty procedure are considered to be the reason for acne breakouts. If we evaluate the acne formation according to the extent of the surgery, patients who underwent open rhinoplasty were more likely to have acne breakouts than those who underwent closed rhinoplasty.
In some cases, nasal tapings cause acne breakouts because it makes it impossible to clean the skin during the first week after surgery. In other cases, patients show negative reactions like acne formation to the medications used to relieve the postoperative pain.
Another factor can be environmental. Climate and air pollution might play a role in acne formation. Ethnicity can also be a factor because different skin types react to ethnic rhinoplasty surgery in different ways. Finally, skin injuries caused by surgical strikes can also lead to acne formation.
Although it is a frequent occurrence among rhinoplasty patients, acne breakouts after rhinoplasty have not been examined properly.
However, here are some numbers if you’re interested.
In a study done in 2020, 36.1% of patients experienced acne formation during the first week, while the peak was 45.8% a month after the surgery. The least amount of acne formation was seen 3 months after rhinoplasty. The good news is that severe acne formation was never seen in any of these patients.
1. Allen BC, Rhee JS. Complications associated with isotretinoin use after rhinoplasty. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2005 Mar-Apr;29(2):102-6. doi: 10.1007/s00266-004-0041-5. Epub 2005 Apr 7. PMID: 15803349.
2. Bakhshaee M, Poursadegh M, Irani M, Yazdanpanah MJ, Fayyazi Bordbar MR, Rasoulian B. Post-Rhinoplasty Acne, Frequency and Role Players. Iran J Otorhinolaryngol. 2020 Sep;32(112):319-325. doi: 10.22038/ijorl.2020.41593.2358. PMID: 33014909; PMCID: PMC7515625.