What's wrong with my nose? And what can be done to fix it? (Photo)

Ok. So I've always had trouble breathing out of my nose, and for as long as I can remember I've mostly relied on breathing out of my mouth. My nose also has a wierd appearence. There's lines/shadows that go down the side from the ridge which are super distracting in photos. It makes my nose look jagged and overall makes my face look wonky. Can anything be done to fix this?

Doctor Answers 11

What's wrong with my nose? And what can be done to fix it?

The breathing problems can likely be addressed by opening the narrow part of your nose with cartilage grafts.  There may be additional reasons for the breathing problems, and an exam would be necessary to delineate these.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Jagged looking lines and shadows on nose

From your photographs it appears as though the cartilage in the middle of your nose is collapsed inward. This area is known as the internal nasal valve. Without examining the inside of your nose it is impossible to tell if you have a deviated septum as well. Both valve collapse and a septal deviation can cause obstructed breathing. I recommend a consult with a local facial plastic surgeon. Both of these issues are easily corrected surgically and can markedly improve your nasal breathing and the appearance of your nose. All the best,

Dr. Brace

Matthew Brace, MD
Ontario Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Spreader grafts?

You have some mid vault collapse and may benefit from spreader grafts. They will make the mid vault wider.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Scarless Closed Rhinoplasty can address this

Scarless Rhinoplasty is absolutely the answer.   This is the approach all celebrities, models and actresses take because there is no external cuts or scarring.  The goal is to refine the nose, not drastically change the nose.  By doing subtle refinements we are able to finesse the sculpt the nose to match your face perfectly.  For your nose I would suggest spreader grafts and shaving of the bones and upper lateral cartilages.  In Short we could build a straight and smooth dorsum (bridge) of the nose by strengthening it instead of weakening it.   By doing this via a scarless (closed) approach, there are no external cuts ever on your nose.  This prevents the dreaded complication of external scarring at the base of the nose, which even if rare, if it occurs, is devastating.  Through a scarless approach you can accomplish almost everything needed to be done to the nose with no scarring, less healing time, less bruising, and less swelling.     

Do consult a board certified plastic surgeon who performscarless rhinoplasty as 100% of his/her surgical practice and does hundreds of these procedures a year.  

All the best!

Deepak Dugar, MD
Scarless Rhinoplasty Expert
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Deepak Raj Dugar, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

What's wrong with my nose? And what can be done to fix it?

From the limited photos, it appears that there are concave upper lateral cartilages in the midportion of the nose. When patients have this issue, spreader graft placement is performed to make them more convex and blend in with the bridge line. The grafts are harvested inside the nose from the nasal septum. For more information about spreader grafts and many  before and after examples, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews


You have a deviated nose on the outside which is almost always a reflection of the deviated septum internally. Sine we can see all of your nose views it is hard to judge what else you would benefit from. You can post or e-mail your other views for a more meaningful advice or consult someone who specializes in rhinoplasty.

Good Luck 

Bahman Guyuron, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

What's wrong with my nose? And what can be done to fix it?

Every nose is different and unique to that individual. If the appearance of your nose concerns you enough to do something about it, it can be improved with a natural artistically performed rhinoplasty. What would be the best option and exact procedure would depend on an in person examination (not just an online consultation) and discussion about desired outcome. Excellent results can be achieved with either a closed or open technique.

Keep in mind that following advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you exactly what to do and how technically to do it based on two dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling your tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history and discussing the pros and cons of the operative procedure would not be in your best interest. Natural appearing results need to be individualized and what is appropriate for one patient is not necessarily the best for someone else. I would suggest that you find a surgeon with extensive rhinoplasty experience certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and one who is ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, M.D., FACS

La Jolla, California


Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you may benefit from spreader grafts to help straighten your nose and improve your breathing.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and not just a computer animation system. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 124 reviews


Thank you for your question and photographs.

When it comes to diagnosing thing internally, it is pretty impossible to do by looking at a picture. You really need to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in nasal procedures. Due to having breathing problems, you may have a deviated septum and a septoplasty could correct this and make your breathing better. If you have insurance, this should be covered but anything externally that you do not like the appearance of such as the bridge of your nose, is considered cosmetic and would be required to be paid out of pocket. I would discuss these with your plastic surgeon during you consultation. Best of luck in your endeavors.

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Functional rhinoplasty

Troubles breathing can be caused by any number of internal issues, the most common being a deviated septum. This isn't something that can be diagnosed, however, from a photo. So, schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to be assessed in person and discuss options. There is no reason for you to continue to be uncomfortable. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 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.