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We all know the functional importance of the nose: it helps you breathe, helps you smell, helps you taste, and so on. But how important is the nose aesthetically? What makes the nose worth changing in ways that are both big and small? Those questions are worth asking for a couple of reasons.

How Important is those Nose Physically and Aesthetically?

First, rhinoplasty is an incredibly common plastic surgery procedure, and non surgical cosmetic alternatives abound. So there must be something about the nose that is quite important aesthetically speaking.

Second, there’s almost nothing about the nose that sticks out as all that important at first glance. Obviously, the nose must be important, otherwise changing its appearance would not be a popular procedure. So what is it about the nose that makes it so important aesthetically speaking? And what are some of the changes that people request when discussing rhinoplasty procedures of all stripes? In other words: how important is the nose?

The Role of the Nose

The function of the nose and the role of the nose are two totally different things. As we’ve talked about, the function of the nose is pretty straightforward. That’s the part where you use it for sniffing and breathing. But the role of the nose is where we start discussing the overall aesthetics. What is the role of the nose aesthetically speaking?

Well, it’s interesting. The nose actually has several important roles that it’s typically fulfilling at any given time:

  • Balance: Because of its position in the center of the face, the nose has a fairly unique balancing act to perform. The nose acts as a balance against all of your other features–it’s kind of like the centerpiece of the face.
  • Centerline: The nose also provides the centerline for the face. The centerline is how the bilateral symmetry of the face is evaluated.
  • Orientation: In whichever direction the nose points, the head points. More or less. The nose is often used to determine the aesthetic orientation of the face.

As you can see, the nose is conveying a significant amount of information. Somehow, it’s usually able to do this without drawing too much attention to itself. And that’s part of the role of the nose: blending in. Because it’s harder for the nose to balance the features of the face or act as the centerline when it’s the star of the show. And that usually happens when something’s amiss.

Variety and Changes

Noses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Sometimes, the shape of the nose can change throughout your life–either due to aging or some trauma, perhaps. And in some cases, people might not be especially happy with how the nose itself looks.

That’s when rhinoplasty procedures come in. These days, patients can choose from surgical rhinoplasty (which can make big changes but takes a long time to recover from) or non surgical rhinoplasty (which can make subtle changes but the recovery is pretty much instant).

Rhinoplasty and Aesthetics

In many cases, rhinoplasty procedures are tasked with changing one particular part of the nose–fixing a dip, for example. But when surgeons are planning how to fix that particular aspect, they must also take into account the broader overall aesthetic purpose of the nose. They need to think about the balance, the centerline, and so on.

This makes rhinoplasty a particularly aesthetically-focused plastic surgery procedure. And as a result, surgeons have to make some very artistic choices. Most patients, after all, want a rhinoplasty result that will help their nose blend back in with the rest of their features. They want their face to be star of the show, not their nose.

The Nose is Important

There’s no getting around just how important the nose is, then. It’s doing a lot of work, both functionally and aesthetically. And that’s why rhinoplasty procedures need to be very careful about what they’re changing.

It might also be why revision rhinoplasty is relatively common. For as simple as its shape might seem, the nose is actually incredibly complicated. The complexity of the nose’s aesthetics should give us a strong hint about that.

In general, surgeons are going to be able to balance those aesthetic and functional elements quite well. That’s what they’re trained to do. But it’s helpful for patients, too, to know just how important the nose is aesthetically. As far as your face is concerned, the nose is what’s holding everything together.

There are all kinds of things that can muddy that role. How important is the nose aesthetically? Well, it’s holding all those features together, so I’d say it’s pretty important. Pretty important indeed.


About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about cosmetic and plastic surgery for over four years. He’s constantly talking with surgeons about the latest and most innovative cosmetic surgery procedures.

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