Nose widens when smiling (Photo)

The front view of my nose is narrow when resting, albeit the tip is slightly bulbous. However when I smile, my nose widens greatly and the tip lowers significantly. I'm considering rhinoplasty for this issue, however I've read on RealSelf that rhinoplasty cannot correct how much a nose widens upon smiling. Any expert advice would be incredibly appreciated, many thanks!

Doctor Answers 6

Nose and smiling

It is common for the nose to widen when you smile. This is common and is not corrected with surgery.  

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

rhinoplasty procedure

A rhinoplasty procedure to accomplish narrowing the nostrils and narrowing the tip at rest.  To prevent the tip from drooping when smiling requires releasing the depressor septi ligament.  

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

Nose widens and tip drips on smiling

Thank you for your question.It would appear you have very active nasal depressor muscles (depressor nares muscles) which cause your nasal tip to drop upon smiling. These can be disinserted during a rhinoplasty procedure. I would suggest you consult with a plastic surgeon who carries out rhinoplasty procedures regularly in your local area.Kind regards.

Ivo Gwanmesia, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you may benefit from a tip refining rhinoplasty. Your surgeon can accomplish this by trimming, suturing, and reshaping the cartilage in your lower nose. Cartilage grafts may also be used to help improve tip refinement.   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 125 reviews

Nose widens when smiling

Everyone mentions this.  Yes, as you have stated there is no way to prevent widening of the nose with smiling.  A rhinoplasty to narrow the tip and the alar base, and the mid vault will reduce the widening affect but not eliminate it.  The only way to prevent widening is to not smile.  But I would not suggest that smiling is good for you and for the people around you. 

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Your nose

No matter what you do, your nose will always widen when you smile. You can not prevent this no matter what you do. Your mouth also widens when you smile --- it is just part of nature. 

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 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.