How Can I Tell if I Have Thick or Thin Nasal Skin?

Hello, I am wondering how to tell if I have thick or thin nasal skin. I am blonde with very fair skin; however, my skin does tend to be oily and I do have some visible pores on my nose. Does this mean I likely have thick nasal skin and will this interfere with rhinoplasty? Thank you

Doctor Answers 7

Skin Thickness Effect for Rhinoplasty Surgery

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

The thickness of skin plays a major role in rhinoplasty surgery and potential results.

Very thick skin, which is more common in non-Caucasian patients such as Middle Eastern or Persian, has higher chance of scarring & swelling after nasal surgery. On the other hand, very thin skin has higher chance of asymmetry after rhinoplasty.Thinner skin patients tend to show subtle cartilage irregularities through the skin, or bossae. Thick skin patients tend to have more rhinoplasty swelling and a softer, rounder, and less sculpted appearance after nasal surgery, or supratip fullness. Thick skin usually holds edema and swelling longer than thin skin.

Degree of skin oil may suggest skin thickness, but the effect of skin thickness on your rhinoplasty is determined by office evaluation by nasal plastic surgeon. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a rhinoplasty surgeon help determine effect of skin thickness for you.

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Thick or Thin Nasal Skin in Rhinoplasty

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

Hi Micby,

Nasal skin can have a great influence in the final outcome of rhinoplasty. Thickness of skin is routinely assessed during pre-operative evaluation.

It is fairly difficult to determine the thickness of your skin without evaluating you in person. An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon can tell you fairly quickly if you have a thick nasal skin. This is done by palpating the tissues, inspecting the quality of skin and presence of glands & pores and by comparing it to the surrounding tissues. 

Hope this helped.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Thick or thin skin

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

Without examining you it is impossible to tell whether or not you have thin or thick skin.  You would have to be seen in consultation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

You might also like...

Rhinoplasty in Blondes and Fair Skinned Individuals

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I think you have been over-reading Rhinoplasty comments. It is very true that in thick skinned individuals it is challenging to shape the tip because the skin may not easily re-drape and conform to the underlying new nose framework. However, this applies to Blacks, American-Indians, Mexican - Mestizo noses. In my experience it never applies to fair skinned / Blondes. Such individuals never have thick skin andas result never have skin redrawing problems. I really would not worry about it.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Determining if you have thick or thin skin

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

Determination of thick or thin skin is made by your rhinoplasty surgeon at the time of the consultation and not over the phone or internet. It has to be performed under direct visualization in the surgeon’s office.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Thick oily nasal skin verus thin nasal skin: To tell the difference, look at your knuckles

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

Thick nasal skin makes it difficult to see the contours of the underlying bone and cartilage. Sometimes we call this the facets of the nose, similar to the facets of a diamond. It is comparable to the apperance of your knuckles when your hand is outstretched, you will see very little details of the bone. However, when you form a closed fist, the details of your knuckle are quite visible. The same goes for thick skin on the nasal tip or bridge. Thick, oily skin prevents visibility of these structures whereas thin skin make it almost transparent, like a silk sheet.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Skin thickness in rhinoplasty

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

Hi Micbry,

As you have learned, skin thickness is very important in rhinoplasty. 

The best way to find out if you have thick or thin skin on your nose is to have a consultation with an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.  

We evaluate skin thickness several times a day, and can quickly tell you if your skin's thickness will have any effect on your expected surgical outcome.

With the right consultation, you may learn even more about your nose than you expect!

Dr. Torkian

Behrooz Torkian, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 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.