Is a Bulbous Nose with a Thin Bridge a Problem with the Skin or Actual Bone? (photo)

Hi, I'm an 18 year old teenager and I've never liked my nose. I've always found it bulbous and not matching with my face. My friend once tried to thin it with photoshop and she said that a thinner nose really actually didn't fit my face. My nose is actually a bit thinner at the upper bridge, but then gets bulbous. Should I get a rhinoplasty to correct this? If so, how much would the procedure cost? Also, is this a problem with my skin or bone structure?

Doctor Answers 9

Bulbous nose can be improved.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question. The bulbous nasal tip is a combination of thick skin, and week tip cartilages

An open rhinoplasty with cartilage grafting and lengthen and help narrow the bulbous tip, however the thick skin can lessen the effectiveness of this technique.

The upper bony portion of your nose will likely also need to be narrowed to make the new tip match the upper portion of your nose.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is an expert at rhinoplasty plastic surgery specifically

Bulbous nose is due to thick cartilage and skin

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The bulbous look is created with wide and thick cartilages along with thick skin in the tip area. These issues are addressed through the rhinoplasty surgery. The cost for rhinoplasty is around $7,000 which includes the operating room, anesthesia and the surgeon’s fee for performing the procedure.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Rhinoplasty to thin the nose

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Dear Valentinaxoxo,

  • You can change the shape of the nose to make it look thinner
  • I would add a little bridge and work to refine the tip
  • You would get an improvement in the bulbosity of the tip, it wouldn't be as refined as someone who has thinner skin
  • Overally, I think you would be happy with a rhinoplasty
  • The costs do vary, make sure you go to someone who is qualified, not just based on price

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani


Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

The Skin is a Part of The Puzzle When Considering a Rhinoplasty For A Nose With a Bulbous Tip

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Here's the problem. When we do a rhinoplasty of the tip, we are refining the cartilage underneath the skin, and then laying the skin back over the top of the changed cartilage.There are 2 problems with thick skin. First, the thicker your skin, the less you will be able to see the changes made in the cartilage below it. Second, the thicker your skin, the stronger you need the underlying cartilage to be in order to support it, and therefore, the less you can do to the underlying cartilage that would weaken it. These are some of the reasons why we are able to get a nice, delicate, refined tip in some people, and cannot in others. What does this mean for you? An important part of the evaluation process prior to any rhinoplasty is to asses the thickness of the skin and the strength of the underlying tip cartilage.This will, in part, determine how aggressive we can be and still do a rhinoplasty safely.It also underscores how important computer imaging can be  during this preoperative assesment in that it can be used to show you what really can be accomplished with YOUR nose (and not what could be accomplished if you had thinner skin and stronger cartilage). My recommendation- start with a consult with an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who does computer imaging as a part of the preoperative assessment. Good Luck.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Bulbous Tip

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You do have a bulbous tip primarily due to tip cartilage over-projection. This can be refined with a rhinoplasty procedure which will resculpt the tip cartilages and remove the bulbosity. Depending on where you live this can cost anywhere from 4000 to 12000. Make sure you choose a competant surgeon and not the cheapest one. Feel free to send your pics to the link below for free computer imaging.

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 285 reviews

Bulbous nose

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your nasal tip is definitely  what is referred to as bulbous.  You appear to have thery thick tissues and an amorphous tip.  Some refining can be achieveed, but you have to be realistic in terms of the definition that you will achieve becuase the the tissues are so thick.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Bulbous tip nose for rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi, thanks for the photos which always make the discussion a bit easier. However, an in person consultation is still critical. A bulbous nasal tip like the one shown on your photos is a combination of thick skin and cartilage underneath it. You can reshape the tip of your nose by changing the cartilages around your nasal tip. A tip rhinoplasty will help improve your nasal tip shape and make your nose looks more proportional. The procedure cost can vary quite a bit depending each surgeon. It's best to have at least 2 to 3 consultations with different surgeons. Find a treatment plan that makes the most sense to you.

Best Wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD FACS, Wang Plastic Surgery 

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Rhinoplasty questions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question and for providing the photos. While photos are not a substitute for an actual exam, they are helpful. The goal of a rhinoplasty is to bring your nose into balance with the rest of your face. When I look at your pictures, your tip does seem a bit wide and out of proportion with the rest of your face. A rhinoplasty could help with this.

The fullness of the tip is a combination of the thickness of the skin and the contour of the underlying cartilages. If the cartilages are shaped in a more rounded fashion, or are separated,  the result can be a tip that is bulbous. The bones are not involved in the creation of the nasal tip.

I do think that you would benefit from a rhinoplasty. The cost depends on the area in which you live, and averages are available at many websites. In NY, this type of rhinoplasty would cost around $6000. I would suggest consulting with a plastic surgeon to discuss the specifics of your nose. At that time, a realistic cost estimate could be given.

Best of luck with your nose.

Jeff Rockmore 

Rhinoplasty for the bulbous tip and wide nostrils.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Rhinoplasty for the bulbous tip and wide nostrils is due to the slightly thick skin and cartilage. Your nostril width is slightly wide. Your bone is fine. See an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon for the best result.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.