Is It Possible to Thin the Skin on the Nose?

I've had thick skin on my nose since forever. I am looking into getting a nose job and I know the issues with thick skin involved in nose jobs. It also wouldn't hurt if I could have more minor issues like blackheads and excess oil dissipate, as well as thinning skin solution. Is there anything I can do to thin the skin on my nose? I have heard in the past that topical prescription corticosteroids naturally thin skin with long-term usage. Would doing this give my nose a better starting point for surgery? Can any dermatologist help me out?

Doctor Answers 4

Thinning the Skin during Rhinoplasty and Nose surgery

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The skin of the nose can be made thinner by removing the fat from under the skin. Some patients have excess soft tissue. The procedure should be done conservatively as to avoid skin loss or other complications. Even though I have done a great number of these procedures, it can be done safely with great result.

Hope this helps.

Thick skin and rhinoplasty

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You can thin the skin during rhinoplasty. This is done by conservatively defatting the skin primarily along the dorsum and around the nasal tip. The procedure is performed during your rhinoplasty and from below the skin. The surgeon cannot be over aggressive in this procedure as the potential complications from over thinning the skin can be catastrophic. It sounds as if you have had acne problems, too.
I would suggest a good skin care regimen and possibly topical or oral antibiotics for these problems. I would not suggest any long term use of topical steroid creams to help with these problems, however, your surgeon may elect to inject your nose with steroids following surgery in order to prevent scar tissue from building up and causing thickening of the skin around your tip.

Be cautious...

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Obviously it can be done... but I do not recommend it. When there is excessive soft tissue in the nose -specially in the tip area- we can remove part of this thicknes (during an open rhinoplasty) from below the skin in order to defat the cutaneous layer. Wth this manouver we can get a slight thining of the soft tissue layer (20-30% aproximately). But this is a highly risk manouver; there are many potential complications with this surgical step with no easy solutions. These include:

  • Irregularities
  • Vascular supply compromise
  • Sensitive alterations (numbness,...)
  • Skin loss, necrosis
  • Adherences
  • External notice of nasal osteo-cartilaginous framework
  • ....

Definitely it's a very risky choice. In my personal opinion, this manouver must be avoided in almost all cases (99.9%).

But nothing is an "axiom" in Surgery. Discuss with your board certified plastic surgeon thoroughly this possibility. And be sure to select a very experienced plastic surgeon (in nose surgery)!

Enrique Etxeberria, MD
Spain Plastic Surgeon

Seek out a reputable Dermatologist

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Seek out a reputable Dermatologist. There are no surgical methods to thin out naturally occurring thick skin. Thick skin usually limits the reslts of a Rhinoplasty as the thick cover will hide any fine cartilage or bone work.

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.