Crooked Noses: Treatment, Surgery, and More

Having a crooked nose can detract from overall facial symmetry and attractiveness. It can also cause breathing problems for some people. There are various surgical procedures and techniques available to improve the appearance of asymmetric nasal structures and/or restore proper nasal function.

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There are unlimited shapes and sizes of noses, crooked included. A crooked nose angle is simply one that is out of central vertical alignment with the rest of the face. How curved a nose is depends on its cause. For instance, physical trauma that causes a broken nose can result in a severe twist, while a small nasal tumor may cause only slight crookedness.

A deviating nasal structure can be classified as either a C-, L-, or S-shaped. In most cases, a crooked nose causes only cosmetic concerns. In other cases, nose deformity or nasal trauma causes breathing problems or other medical challenges.

There are various surgical and nonsurgical treatments for correcting crooked noses. These include a plastic surgery procedure called rhinoplasty (“nose job”), placement of dermal fillers like Juvederm®, and makeup application techniques.

What Causes Crooked Noses?

According to Medscape, “asymmetric noses are typically characterized by the deviation of the bony upper third and/or the cartilaginous lower two-thirds of the nose.”

To better understand treatment options, it is important to understand the cause of a crooked nose. There are two primary classifications. The first type is caused by a deformity of the nasal structure’s complex system of bone, cartilage, and fibrous tissue.

Nasal deformity may result from:

  • Physical trauma that causes a broken nose
  • Nose surgery (rhinoplasty)
  • Severe nasal infection
  • Genetic defects
  • Tumors

The second type of crooked nose results from a medical condition called a deviated septum. The nasal septum is the cartilaginous wall that divides the right and left nostrils. When a septum deviates, it shifts to either the right or left, partially blocking off one of the nostril chambers.

Aside from causing the nose to appear crooked, a deviated septum can also cause challenges sleeping, loud breathing, and nose bleeds.

Nose Anatomy Terminology

Before exploring the available treatment options for a curved, hooked, or humped nose, it is helpful to be familiar with some basic medical terms.

Cartilage grafts: Cartilage tissue removed from elsewhere in the body, used to straighten, strengthen, or enhance the appearance of the nose Cartilaginous septum: Hyaline cartilage tissue that forms the septum Caudal septum: Portion of the septum located directly behind the columella Columella: Skin and cartilage bridge that forms the bottom of the nose between the nostrils Deviated septum: Displacement of the nasal septum to one side of the nose Dorsal septum: Portion of the septum above the caudal septum Nasal dorsum: The bridge that connects the nasal tip to the face Nasal valve: Narrow area between the mid-nose and lower nose that limits air intake Saddle nose: Loss of nose height because of a collapse nasal bridge Septal cartilage: The cartilage tissue that forms the nasal septum

It is best to work with a plastic surgeon to figure out the cause of a crooked nose. This allows the doctor the opportunity to determine the best treatment option for correcting it.

Fixing a Crooked Nose

Correcting nasal deformities and septal deviation is a complex undertaking with various patient-specific variables that must be accounted for. To determine the best treatment option, a plastic surgeon has to carefully consider facial asymmetry, nasal obstruction and function, and nasal bone proportion.

Various surgical procedures are used to correct a nasal fracture or otherwise deviated nose. The blanket term for these surgical techniques is rhinoplasty.

Rhinoplasty Rhinoplasty refers to a facial plastic surgery procedure used to enhance the function or appearance of the nasal structure. It is often recommended in more severe cases of septal deformity or when breathing is obstructed because of a crooked nose.

During an open approach rhinoplasty procedure, an incision is made between the columella between the nostrils to expose the nasal structure with additional incisions inside the nose to correct nose angle. Although scarring is minimal, it is often still visible upon close inspection.

In a closed approach rhinoplasty, the incisions are limited only to the inside of the nostrils, making post-surgical scarring invisible to others. Endoscopic rhinoplasty refers to the use of a special scope to enhance the surgeon’s view of the interior of the nose during a closed procedure.

Septoplasty is commonly recommended for restoring the ideal position of the septum for patients with septal deviation. This technique is used to reshape and straighten the cartilage that forms the septum, and to relieve nasal obstruction that blocks either of the separate airways.

Liquid Rhinoplasty Liquid rhinoplasty is also called a “liquid nose job”. It refers to the use of synthetic dermal fillers to reshape areas of nasal deviation. It offers an alternative to those who are not able, willing, or well-suited to receive surgical rhinoplasty.

Some injectable dermal fillers used in liquid rhinoplasty are Juvederm®, Perlane®, Radiesse®, Restylane®, Voluma®, and Sculptra®.

They are commonly injected on the bridge of the nose just under the skin for nasal hump reduction. Increasing the height of the nose on either side of a bump creates the illusion of a straighter nose. Fillers, while commonly used to improve the appearance of fine lines, deep wrinkles, nasolabial folds, jowls, and other cosmetic concerns, offer patients instant although temporary results.

Contouring a Crooked Nose with Makeup

There are numerous techniques suggested to improve the look of a crooked nose with makeup. With proper application, makeup can significantly enhance the contours of the nose, improving facial aesthetics and creating a more balanced facial appearance.

Following are some makeup application tips you can experiment with:

  • Use a cream-based highlighter straight down the nose from the top of the ridge to the tip. This helps to deflect light rays away from the nasal bridge and smooth out any unevenness.
  • Use a darker base makeup on the side of the nose with the pronounced curve. Use a lighter foundation of the other side of the nose. Carefully blend the two sides to create the appearance of facial symmetry.
  • Smooth out a nasal hump by applying a darker foundation directly on it, and then, blending it out as delicately as possible. Then, diffuse the blending further by applying a lighter foundation on each side of the nose, from the tops of the ridge down the exterior of the nostrils.
  • Avoid darker lipstick shades, which draw attention to the center of the face, and thereby, nasal symmetry. Additionally, you can part your hair to the opposite side a crooked nose leans toward to create a more balanced facial appearance.

Conclusion: Embracing Your Nose

It’s very common to have a crooked nose and/or other factors that contribute to facial asymmetry. According to Healthline, up to 80% of people have some type of septum deviation. Except for cases where breathing is compromised, there are no medical reasons that make the treatment necessary.

As plastic surgery procedures to correct nasal asymmetry are nearly always requested by patients for cosmetic reasons, they are not normally covered by health insurance. Of course, if they are medically necessary, they may well be covered. Ask your healthcare provider to be sure.

Many people simply choose to embrace their crooked or misshapen noses instead of seeking any type of corrective treatment. Indeed, celebrities like Tom Cruise and Owen Wilson have done quite well careerwise by embracing their atypical nasal structures.

If you do choose to straighten your nose for personal cosmetic reasons, then it’s best to seek professional medical advice. Ask your doctor if injectable dermal fillers or rhinoplasty surgery are good options for you.

Remember that all plastic surgery procedures have risks for side effects, can be quite expensive, and may not create the ideal nose that you have in mind. It’s important to remain realistic about the possible outcomes that may fall short of your expectations.

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