In general, it is best not to massage your nose after rhinoplasty as it is possible, although unlikely, that vigorous rubbing or manipulation in the first few weeks could pop a delicate stitch and disturb the corrections made or affect the cosmetic result. Some people habitually rub the tips of their noses. Recognize that this will not likely ruin the result but may cause more irritation and swelling.
That being said, your nose is not glass after surgery. In fact, it can often feel quite stiff and wooden for a period of several months after surgery. Rolling over onto your nose during sleep or lightly bumping your nose will not make it end up on the side of your head. So, you don’t have to walk around in a bubble after surgery.
After about a month, the skin starts to wrap around the cartilage, and the bone is pretty much set, so contact to your nose is less likely to cause any shift or problems with healing. Likewise, a small rind of fibrous tissue or scar has started to form that will likely hold the cartilage in place even if a stitch were to loosen at this stage.
Some surgeons recommend ‘nasal exercises’ which essentially amount to light lymphatic drainage. These will not be harmful but may not do much either. Instead, we ask patients to tape the nose at night for the first month to help skin contract and push out swelling. If you have any questions about nasal massage, ask your surgeon for his or her preferred routine after surgery.