I'm a 17-year-old with a long, wide nose and small mouth. Will I Grow into My Nose?

I'm a 17-year-old with a long, wide nose and small mouth. My nose is straight when I'm not smiling, but when I smile, the nostrils are pulled up and my nose almost touches my lip, and no longer looks straight. The tip of my nose has so much cartilidge that I can actually press up and bend back. Will I grow into this nose (I doubt it) or will I need a surgery?

Doctor Answers 1

Factors Affecting Nasal Growth

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During adolescence, the face (and nose) undergoes significant growth. Both the cartilage and boney structures of the nose grow during this time period. The nose typically reaches its final size by the time people finish puberty. In males this can range from age 15 to 18. In females, the age range may be somewhat less. After this time period the nose dose not grow any appreciable amount.

There is a misconception that a person's nose continues to grow as they age. Older patients do sometimes have a nose that "changes" or appears to be larger. This is because the skin and support structures of the nasal framework loosen and the nose elongates -- thus, giving it a larger appearance.

Several factors contribute to the droopy appearance of the tip when patients smile. Some of these can be corrected with surgery. For instance, there is a muscle that attaches your upper lip to the edge of your septum at the base of your nose. Some patients have a hyperactive muscle that pulls the tip downward when they smile. Another factor (than a rhinoplasty cant help much) is the cheek muscles. When patients smile, the cheeks pull the nostrils up and can give the nose a droopy appearance.

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