What is the best option if a patient has thin skin?

Is it best to operate on a patient with think skin by obtaining skin from other areas? is it absolutely necessary to do?

Doctor Answers 3

Rhinoplasty and Thin Skin

Thank you for your question about Rhinoplasty. Pictures would be helpful.

An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon should be able to navigate the details and challenges of rhinoplasty even if the patient has thin skin.

To be sure, see two or more experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeons in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.

I hope this helps.


Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 151 reviews

Thin skin

Thank you for your question.  Yes, performing a rhinoplasty on a patient with thin skin has both benefits and challenges.  The main challenge is that irregularities that lie underneath the skin are more visible.  In a patient with thicker skin, these irregularities can be better camouflaged by the increased padding of the skin.  

You are correct that we can borrow other tissue, such as temporalis fascia, to help camouflage under the skin, but this isn't always necessary.  Be sure to consult with a board certified facial plastic or general plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty about your goals and concerns for your nose.  

I hope that this helps!
-David Gilpin

David Gilpin, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Thin nasal skin

Thank you for your question.  Thin nasal skin is not in and of itself a problem.  Very thin nasal skin shows any irregularities underneath. We all have small irregularities of our bone and cartilage.  As an analogy, if you think of your nose like your bed at home and a small irregularity like a golf ball sitting on top of the bed.  If you have thin skin, it may be like having a sheet covering the ball.  It will look like a little lump in the middle of the bed.  On the other hand, if you have a thick down comforter over the bed, you may not even notice the golf ball.  These irregularities can be how your nose is naturally shaped, but can also be changes made from surgery.  Even small suture knots can be seen in patients with very, very thin nasal skin.  Depending on the changes that need to be made, you may or may not need tissue to "thicken" your nasal skin.  Temporalis fascia is frequently used for this purpose and has the effect  of making your skin look thicker.  All the best!

Sirius K. Yoo, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.