Older by a Nose: The Aging Nose is a Giveaway

Have you ever noticed that older people have larger noses, and that cute little button noses are reserved for younger people? Or the noses of your friends and relatives may have changed over the years, but you’re not quite sure why.

So, why do older people’s noses get bigger or distorted? The answer is that cartilage never stops growing. And there’s plenty of cartilage in the nose – in fact, there are four cartilages – plus a cartilaginous septum. Ears get bigger too. And so do parts of our ribs. Have you ever noticed how the chest in older people gets larger? You got it: cartilage never stops growing.

Here’s what happens to the nose as it ages. It becomes more bulbous on the tip, the hump may enlarge and the nose begins to point downward. Also, the angle between the upper lip and the nose becomes more acute.

If you’re undergoing a facelift or even a nonsurgical facelifts, you might want to consider addressing the aging nose, or a rhinoplasty, to achieve a more youthful appearance. It can be done under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia, according to a patient’s preference.

The procedure reduces the enlarged cartilages with the incisions through the nostrils or through the nostrils and a very short one across the columella (the skin that separates the nostrils). The skin is then redraped across the new cartilage foundation, which give it a more youthful shape and smaller size.

A more youthful nose can do wonders in reversing the look of the aging face. This, of course, can be combined with any number of anti-aging procedures from a forehead lift to a facelift to treating the aging mouth or skin resurfacing.

Please feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation to discuss any concerns that you may have.

E. Ronald Finger, MD, FACS