The Pinocchio Syndrome

Fact or fiction: Does your nose continue to grow as you age?

Experts explain that the nose doesn’t technically grow past a certain age, but subtle changes in the shape of the nose do continue to occur with age. These changes can make a nose appear larger.

According to Everyday Health, a person’s overall nasal shape is established by age 10, but the nose continues to grow until approximately age 15-17 for women and 17-19 for men. However, as we age, the nose can lengthen and droop due to gravity and the gradual breakdown of proteins, collagens and elastin in the skin.

iStock_000042501324_XXXLarge“When teenaged patients consult with me about rhinoplasty (nasal surgery), I explain why waiting a few years will be beneficial to them,” explains Dr. Jay Dutton of Rhinoplasty Institute of Chicago, Oak Brook and Tinley Park, IL. “There are two things to consider: the growth and development of the nose that is still occurring and the psychological maturity of the young patient.”

Dr. Dutton typically recommends that younger patients wait until their twenties to undergo rhinoplasty. “We think very differently as a 16 year-old than we do as a 26 year-old,” he explains. “Some people may grow to appreciate what they previously disliked about their nose or they may grow into their features and achieve a very proportionate appearance.”

As a person ages, the ligaments that hold tip cartilage together begins to stretch. This, combined with other factors including skin thickening, soft tissue laxity and gravity, causes the tip of the nose to droop and may result in the nose appearing bigger. In addition, most people experience volume loss in the face surrounding the nose, which can make the nose appear more prominent.

“I frequently meet with older patients who want to improve the tip of their nose because they have noticed its droopy appearance over the years,” explains Dr. Dutton. “This simple procedure often has a substantial effect on their appearance and can take several years off of their face.”

Dr. Dutton is board certified in otolaryngology (ENT) and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery with extensive experience in advanced rhinoplasty, performing more than 100 rhinoplasties each year.

If you are interested in exploring Rhinoplasty and facial plastic surgery options, contact us online or call 630-574-08222 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Jay Dutton.


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