Pinocchio’s nose grew in size as he persisted in telling untruths. Similarly, as a person grows older, they often have the impression that their nose is growing in size. It seems to grow longer and if there is a bump on the bridge, it seems to become larger. Are the bones and cartilages actually growing in size? Is something else happening?

For most people, there is no growth of nasal cartilage or bone as they age. On the other hand, the connections between the various bones and cartilages of the nose weaken with time. Ever present gravity then pulls the cartilaginous parts of the nose downward, actually lengthening the nose. As this happens, the tip droops. Furthermore, as the skin and fat slide downward, the slight bump that many patients have over their nasal bridge is unveiled, giving the impression that a new hump has grown.

What can be done?

• The tip cartilages can be surgically repositioned to where they were in youth and held there with sutures. Scar tissue will form around these cartilages, holding them in place.

• The bump over the nasal bridge can be surgically removed. If one does not wish surgery, fillers can be injected around the bump, giving fullness to the tissues, and camouflaging the bump.

• If the undersurface of the nose is hanging down, the end of the septum that pushes into that area can be surgically shortened.

• A forehead lift can be extended down into the nasal area, lifting the drooping skin between the eyebrows and even lifting the nasal tip to some degree. This avoids nasal surgery altogether.

Should you have further questions, please contact my office.

George Sanders, M.D.