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How to Tell if You Have Thick Nasal Skin?

Scanning through the questions regarding rhinoplasty, the term 'thick nasal skin' has been abundant; I would like to know more about this and if there is a way to check whether I myself have thick nasal skin? Also, how limited do rhinoplasty options become in the case of a patient with thick skin? Thank you in advance.

Doctor Answers (11)

Rhinoplasty with thick skin

+3

Another great, insightful question.

When assessing patients for rhinoplasty, one of the things we are concerned about is thickness of the skin. Think of it this way. You can take a camping tent apart and make the poles longer, shorter, or just different. Then when you drape the tent over the poles how much will you see both of the underlying poles and the overall change. Very thick tents will mask finer details ( a sculpted delicate tip), while a very thin tent material (thin skin) will show every darn minute irregularity. We are only human afterall. And this challenges the surgeon to do the work almost perfectly (in pts with ultra thin skin) for fear of very minor irregularities showing in a very prominent part of your face.

Dr. Portuese answer is a good one. Pinch it. But you have to have something to compare it to. Others here have rightly alluded to oily skin, sebaceous glands, and various ethnicities. Indian people for example,  many Asians and many african decended individuals have thicker skin. Gotta have some experience and have "pinched a few" to give you the best answer. See several docs beofre you jump in.


Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How to Tell if You Have Thick Nasal Skin?

+2

Not only the skin, but also the tissue intimately related to the undersurface of the nasal skin play a significant role in the design of the operation, as well as the extend to which the desired result can be obtained. Definetely an improvement regardless of the thickness of the skin can be achieved. There is no way for you to measure your nasal skin thickness. You should obtain an opinion from an experienced specialist Rhinoplasty surgeon.

Kris Conrad, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Determining Thickness of Nasal Skin

+2

If you cannot see the clear outline of your nasal cartilages, your skin is relatively thick. Because the judgement of thickness is relative, have a rhinoplasty surgeon help you evaluate your skin and describe its impact on rhinoplasty surgery. Thicker skin will limit the refinement definition that can be achieved.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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Thick Nasal Skin

+1

The concern and judgment of thick nasal skin with regard to the benefits and drawbacks involved in a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the nose should be left to the assessment, judgment and skill of a good, experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.  You would derive no benefit by making your own decision as to the thickness of your skin and how it relates to the success of rhinoplasty.

There are pros and cons of having thick nasal skin.  It may be beneficial in hiding slight past operative defects and undue structural prominences.  On the other hand, the ultimate result may not give the delicate sculpted appearance as with thin skin.  Nevertheless, rhinoplasty is performed primarily to improve the contour of the bone-cartilage architectural shape of the nose.

There are pros and cons of having thick nasal skin.  It may be beneficial in hiding slight past operative defects and undue structural prominences.  On the other hand, the ultimate result may not give the delicate sculpted appearance as with thin skin.  Nevertheless, rhinoplasty is performed primarily to improve the contour of the bone-cartilage architectural shape of the nose.The concern and judgment of thick nasal skin with regard to the benefits and drawbacks  involved in a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the nose should be left to the assessment, judgment and skill of a good, experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.  You would derive no benefit by making your own decision as to the thickness of your skin and how it relates to the success of a rhinoplasty. 
 
There are pros and cons of having thick nasal skin.  It may be beneficial in hiding slight past operative defects and undue structural prominences.  On the other hand, the ultimate result may not give the delicate sculpted appearance as with thin skin.  Nevertheless, rhinoplasty is performed primarily to improve the contour of the bone-cartilage architectural shape of the nose.
There are pros and cons of having thick nasal skin.  It may be beneficial in hiding slight past operative defects and undue structural prominences.  On the other hand, the ultimate result may not give the delicate sculpted appearance as with thin skin.  Nevertheless, rhinoplasty is performed primarily to improve the contour of the bone-cartilage architectural shape of the nose.The concern and judgment of thick nasal skin with regard to the benefits and drawbacks  involved in a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the nose should be left to the assessment, judgment and skill of a good, experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.  You would derive no benefit by making your own decision as to the thickness of your skin and how it relates to the success of a rhinoplasty. 
 
There are pros and cons of having thick nasal skin.  It may be beneficial in hiding slight past operative defects and undue structural prominences.  On the other hand, the ultimate result may not give the delicate sculpted appearance as with thin skin.  Nevertheless, rhinoplasty is performed primarily to improve the contour of the bone-cartilage architectural shape of the nose.

Sigmund L. Sattenspiel, MD
Freehold Facial Plastic Surgeon

Determining whether you have thick nasal skin

+1

You are able to find out how thick your skin is by pinching the skin at the top, the mid portion, and the bottom of the nose and note the thickness between your fingers in all three locations. The skin thickness varies throughout the entire nose. It is also different at the alar nostrils. Rhinoplasty can be performed on individuals with thick skin, however there are some limitations.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Thick nasal skin

+1

I would really need to perform an examination on an individual in person to determine whether or not they have thick nasal skin. Thick nasal skin is usually apparent by the size of the tip, and by the amount of skin around the nostrils when viewed from underneath. When patients have thick skin, they may not achieve the definition they are looking for with rhinoplasty. On the other hand, thick nasal skin may also hide any imperfections. Please feel free to send any photos to my office and I would be happy to evaluate them for you. My contact info is listed in my profile. Thank you and best of luck to you.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

How to tell if you have thick nasal skin.

+1

 Pinch the skin only of the nasal tip. If it easily moves, it is probably thin. Thick skin is not very easily slid over the underlying nasal cartilage.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Thick Nasal Skin

+1

This is something your plastic surgeon can tell you. It just limits the results that can be achieved as a lot needs to be done to have a smaller improvement.

Have a plastic surgeon evaluate you and let them know what you would like to achieve and see if is reasonable.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Thick nasal skin

+1

Thick nasal skin is fairly obvious. It is often very oily of vertain ethnicities and it is difficult to see the outline of the underlying bony and cartilaginous structures.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Thick nasal skin

+1

Thick skin is typically thick due to the oil glands (sebaceous glands that are present). However, this term is often used to describe patients with thicker adipose tissue in the nasal tip as well. Generally the tip of the nose has shapes and facets similar to a diamond. When the tip of the nose lacks these facets and has a blunted poorly defined tip and the nasal cartilages and bones are not visible we label the skin as being thick.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.