If asian and black noses are similar (low bridge, bulbous tip, wide nostrils), why are the results so drastically different?

I notice that even amongst doctors who specialize in ethnic rhinoplasty, their asian clients tend to have much more streamlined and drastic results than their black patients with similar nose qualities. As far as I understand it, the skin thickness is about the same - can anyone explain why the stark differences / why this is the case?

Doctor Answers 5

Asian and African-American noses are completely different

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Asian and African-American noses are completely different, therefore different techniques were used to make the appropriate changes to the nose yet give a natural result.  For many examples and more information, please see the video and the link below

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Why are Results with Asian and Black Noses Different?

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Some Asian and Black noses have similar characteristics but no two noses are exactly the same; skin thickness, width, and, projection will vary. You can find excellent results in patient of both ethnic backgrounds. . Consult with a rhinoplasty specialist who will discuss your goals and set reasonable expectations for you. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


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There are many anatomical differences between Asian and Black patients. In particular the thickness of the skin on the tip of the nose is much thicker on Black patients and that cannot be modified with the Rhinoplasty. Other difference is Asian patients have a narrower nasal bone base, and a low radix, so an augmentation on the bridge of the nose has much better results, in Black patients the nasal bone base is wide, the bridge is very low and the results from a dorsal augmentation are less dramatic. Black patients tend to have an important alar flaring and thick nasal ala, that Asian patients usually do not have. Also there are other differences like the shape of the face, acne, etc.

Skin thickness and technique determine results

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With thick skin noses, whether black or southeast Asian, the skin thickness and technique used determine results.  In general these noses need structure added to the nose, such as rib graft or an implant.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Asian/African rhinoplasty

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Yes! You are correct for the most part. Asian noses and black noses have more structural similarities just as Indian noses and Caucasian noses are more similar. However, compared to Asian noses, black noses tend to be wider at the lower 1/3 and the skin is somewhat thicker skin. This may affect the final result at the nasal tip, but in general, the principles and techniques should be the same. Without seeing pictures of the rhinoplasty results you are referring to, another consideration is the patient's preference and desired end result. This may also affect the results you were viewing.

Melissa Hu, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.