Does Your Nose Grow with Age?

March 8th, 2012

I’m sure you have heard the saying that your nose and ears continue to grow as you age. Let’s take a look at the facts.

How does the nose change with age?

Different areas of the nose change in different ways.  The nose is supported by an underlying bony cartilaginous framework.  The top part of the nose is supported by bone while the lower part near the nostrils is supported by cartilage.

nose with bones and carilages Does Your Nose Grow with Age?

A youthful appearing nose:

ideal nasal profile1 Does Your Nose Grow with Age?

Overtime, the cartilage becomes weaker and this causes the tip of the nose to droop, otherwise known as tip ptosis.  The bony part of the nose becomes weaker, but it does not move.

The skin of the nose actually becomes thinner, but the sebacous component of the skin increases.  The increase in the sebaceous skin makes the skin heavier and more vascular, which will cause the nasal tip to droop.

The bone that supports the nose from below, the maxilla, begins to reabsorb and shrink. This loss of support also contributes to tip ptosis.

Does the nose grow with age?

The answer to the question is both yes and no.  As one ages the nose does not grow, but it changes in shape, which often makes the nose appear larger.

As the support of the nasal tip weakens and the nose begins to fall, the nose appears longer from the side or profile view.  Additionally, it will make an existing nasal hump appear larger or cause a small hump to appear as the tip falls.

ideal nasal profile aging changes Does Your Nose Grow with Age?

The arrow pointing down shows the direction of movement of the nasal tip as we age.  The red line shows the outline of the anticipated appearance of the nose after the tip falls.  This illustrates how the nose is longer from the side view and appears to grow as we age.

Watch a video of me explaining the descent of tip of the nose with age.

How do these changes affect a rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job?

As a Charlotte nose job specialist, these changes are critical to understand.  A nose job performed on a patient that has a falling nasal tip secondary to the aging process is a very different operation than a young female seeking nasal refinement.    Generally speaking, a young patient with a large nose and hump will need the nose to be made smaller. An adult with a drooping tip which causes the nose to appear larger will need the tip lifted first to restore a youthful and refined appearance.  If additional changes are warranted, they can also be accomplished during surgery.  If the surgery were to be performed identically in both types of patients, the patient with the fallen tip could end up with a nose too small for their face.  As a Charlotte nose job specialist, I understand the anatomical changes of the nose as it ages and will tailor the operation to achieve the desired results.

Next read Major league baseball player gets nose job.

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Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh

Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh, founder and director of Carolina Facial Plastics, is one of the country’s leading experts in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. After training in the most competitive facial plastic surgery market in the world and sharing his southern charm with the faces of Hollywood he has returned to his home, the Carolina's, to open his practice. You can find Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh on Google Plus.