Can a punch in my nose distort it permanently?

I got punched in my nose 2 days ago. It didn't bleed or anything, and when I touched it, I just felt a very minor pain. It seems swollen however, and does not look like the way it used to look. Will it look misshapen and swollen for the rest of my life even if I don't think it's broken or fractured?

Doctor Answers 10

Nasal deformity...

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It is very common after nasal trauma to have some swelling. Just give it 3 weeks or so to go down before evaluating its shape. You can massage it daily to help it heal in the middle as well. If a deformity persists, you can always have it corrected with surgery.

Nasal Injury

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I am sorry to hear about your nasal trauma. The swelling will go down, but if your nose is misshapen secondary to fracture- this should probably be addressed sooner than later. The only way to know for sure if you fractured your nose is to be fully evaluated and to undergo imaging, such as an XRAY. If you sustained a nasal fracture, this needs to be addressed within 7-10 days of the injury- before the nasal bones scar in their new position. If you do not address nasal fractures in this initial time frame- they may be addressed down the line, although you will end up requiring a more extensive procedure. My advice: seek medical attention from either a board certified plastic surgeon or a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Helen Perakis, MD
Nanuet Plastic Surgeon

Possible Nasal Fracture

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Swelling after nasal injury can alter the appearance of your nose. It is best to see either a Facial Plastic Surgeon or a Plastic Surgeon to evaluate your nose soon as there can be a limited time in which any nasal fractures can be optimally treated.  

Also related to your nasal injury it is possible to develop a septal hematoma.  This should be treated in a timely fashion as it is possible to develop a permanent change in you nose if left untreated.

Paul Carniol, MD
Summit Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Nasal trauma

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Nasal trauma should be evaluated in person.  One can not say just from the description in this query.  Best of luck.

Nasal evaluation

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Hello and thank you for your question.  The best advice you can receive is from an in-person consultation.  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

Signs of a nasal fracture include nasal bleeding, nasal swelling, eyelid bruising, and a possible change in nasal appearance.

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Nasal fractures are best determined during a history and physical examination by a reputable nasal specialist. If there is a shift in the nasal skeleton such that there is a crooked appearance, an in-office closed reduction of a nasal fracture may be considered for a straighter nasal appearance provided this is recognized within 10 days of trauma. Hope this helps, and wishing you well. Dr Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 429 reviews

Noses hurt.

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A punch in a nose can hurt like heck. Bruising and swelling are almost always a consequence, and if there is indeed a fracture, it can be hairline, or truly displaced. This can generally be determined with a physical examination by a board certified or board eligible plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon. ER docs will generally go straight to ordering an x-ray, which can almost always be avoided. If displaced, there will most likely be a resultant deformity. If not, you will probably be ok. Get seen. Put your mind at ease. Good luck. 

Nasal injury

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It is difficult to tell if you have fractured your nose without an exam.  However, since your nose didn't bleed and you have no bruising, it is possible you are experiencing temporary swelling from the trauma.  This should resolve with time.  If you do not note improvement, I recommend you schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon for further evaluation.

Swelling in nose after punch to the face

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Impossible to say without seeing you. My guess is that your nose is simply swollen and, with time, it will return to normal. However, if it doesn't improve over the next couple of weeks then schedule an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon to have it assessed in person.


Kouros Azar

Impact to the nose

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Thank you for your question. Without actually seeing your nose it is impossible to answer with complete certainty. However extreme impact to the nose, like a punch, can be enough to deviate the septum. A deviated nasal septum can lead to swelling and a permanently misshapen nose. I would advise you to visit a board-certified facial plastic surgeon for a consultation in order to examine your nose and answer your questions. 

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.