David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253

Does My Age Make My Nose Look Big?

Here’s one from the category of slightly weird science. A study was done by a “facial plastic surgeon” (that would be an ENT surgeon) looking at patients who had had rhinoplasties, or “nose jobs.” So this dude showed photos of people who had rhinoplasties to a bunch of independent observers. He took the feedback and surmised that the procedure makes your face look an average of one and a half years younger. He now touts the rejuvenation as an objective benefit of this operation. Without being overly cynical (who, me?), allow me to inject some common sense (i.e., sanity) into this finding.nose look bigYour Nose Knows Your Age?
So, everyone who is planning to have a rhinoplasty to look younger please raise you hand.  Anyone…anyone?  Thought so. Now, all those who are having a rhinoplasty to improve the appearance of your nose or to improve your breathing, raise you hand. OK, that makes more sense. The concept of selling a rhinoplasty as a way to look younger is just silly.

Beyond this bit of science fiction, how much younger is a year and a half really anyway? Does this actually mean anything? I think not. A good night’s sleep can definitely make me look better. Likewise, coming home from a great vacation I know makes me feel and look better. Conversely, staying awake all night working can definitely make me look terrible, older, crankier…..just fill in the blank.

Happier People Really Do Look Younger
The real point of all this was mentioned by some members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons who were interviewed in the article. Their take was this: these people were happier with their appearance and the appearance of their nose and thus they looked happier and looking happier made them look younger. With this, I agree. It’s a phenomenon that plastic surgeons see all the time. As one aspect of a patient looks better after surgery or other procedures, other aspects of their appearance look better, making them look even better overall.

The bottom line is this: have a rhinoplasty if you want to change the shape of your nose. When we are happier with how we look, we all look younger. It’s as simple as that.

David B.

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