My Nostrils Are Unequal in Size, Can I Do Anything About It?

When I was younger I had hygiene-OCD and used to clean my nostrils very often with tissues thereby stretching my nostrils, and until today I do it but much less frequently. I'm 18 and started doing this when I was 12 and when I look in the mirror I see that one of my nostrils is bigger than the other. Can I do anything about this?

Doctor Answers 4

My Nostrils Are Unequal in Size, Can I Do Anything About It?

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

     This is not a huge difference, and I would probably not recommend surgery.



Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA


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

Nasal surgery in males of your age with OCD is a mine field. No matter what the result is you will obsess about it. You need to seriously consider counseling in conjunction with any cosmetic surgery because the leap from OCD to body dysmorphic disorder is very small but can be devastating to all involved parties.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship in order to know if this assessment is valid.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Un equal nostrils

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

Yes they are unequal.  May be due to the stretching associated with your past obsession/compulsion.  Your nose is also slightly tilted to one side.  This may also contribute to the difference.  You have two options.  1) one sited alar base reduction.  2) Rhinoplasty to reverse tilt (and still may need alar base reduction).

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Minor Asymmetry in Nostril size

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

Perhaps the left nostril (on the right side of the photo as we are looking at it - I never know whether the photo was taken in a mirror or with the camera pointed directly at your face) is slightly larger in circumference than the right. However, nobody else is going to notice this.  Even I, as an expert, have to examine the photo closely to see the difference. So one option is try not to focus on or worry about this too much.

However, if you need to have something done about whatever asymmetry there is, know that there are many things that can be done about the shape, circumference and width of the nostrils and a surgeon, with enough experience and skill, should be able to change the shape of one or both of your nostrils.  As an aside, I have never heard of any study confirming that obsessive cleaning of the nostrils will increase their size.

Richard Parfitt, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 36 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.