What’s a crooked nose?
Just like humans, crooked noses come in all shapes and sizes. A crooked nose refers to a nose that doesn’t follow a straight, vertical line down the center of your face.
The degree of crookedness may be very subtle or more dramatic, depending on the cause. While crooked noses are usually only a cosmetic concern, they can occasionally affect your breathing.
When it comes to treating a crooked nose, the internet is full of exercise routines that promise to straighten your nose. Keep reading to learn more about whether these exercises actually work.
What causes a crooked nose?
Before looking into treatment options, it’s important to understand what causes a crooked nose. There are two main types of crooked noses. One type is caused by an issue within the complex system of bones, cartilage, and tissue that make up your nose.
This may be the result of several things, including:
- birth defects
- injuries, such as a broken nose
- surgery on your nose
- severe infections
Depending on the cause, your nose may be C-, I-, or S-shaped.
The other type of crooked nose is caused by a deviated septum. Your septum is the internal wall that separates your left and right nasal passages from each other. If you have a deviated septum, it means this wall leans to one side, partially blocking one side of your nose. While some people are born with a deviated septum, others develop one following an injury.
In addition to making your nose look crooked, a deviated septum can also cause:
- loud breathing
- difficulty sleeping on one side
Work with your doctor to figure out what’s causing the crooked shape in your nose. This will make it easier to determine the best treatment option.
Can exercises help?
When you look up crooked noses online, you’ll quickly find a long list of facial exercises that are said to straighten a crooked nose. Some of these exercises involve devices, such as nasal shapers, which you place over your nostrils while flaring them.
These exercises promise an inexpensive, easy fix. But do they really work?
If straightening a crooked nose through exercise sounds too good to be true, it’s because it probably is. There’s no scientific evidence that these exercises work. In addition, the structure of your nose is largely made up of bones and tissue. It’s not possible to change the shape of either of these through exercise.
Try this instead
If you’re looking for a nonsurgical way to straighten your nose, skip the nasal workout and talk to your doctor about soft tissue fillers. These are injectable materials that can camouflage the crookedness of the bones and cartilage by filling in the soft tissue areas of your nose that are off-center.
Soft tissue fillers include:
- hyaluronic acid (HA), such as Juvaderm
- calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) gel
Both HA and CaHA have few side effects, but silicone may cause a severe form of inflammation called granuloma. Keep in mind that all types of fillers increase your risk of thinning skin and infection. Fillers tend to work best on noses that are only slightly crooked, but your doctor can give you a better idea of how well they’ll work for you.
What about surgery?
While fillers can help to straighten a slightly crooked nose, surgery is usually needed for more severe cases. Rhinoplasty is a type of plastic surgery that generally focuses on the outside of your nose, while septoplasty straightens the wall that divides the inside of your nose in two.
There are two types of rhinoplasty, known as cosmetic rhinoplasty and functional rhinoplasty. Cosmetic rhinoplasty focuses solely on appearance. Functional rhinoplasty, on the other hand, is done to correct breathing problems.
Regardless of the type of rhinoplasty, a 2015 study found that rhinoplasty successfully straightened crooked noses in participants with and without facial symmetry. Facial symmetry means that both halves of your face look similar.
Septoplasty helps to straighten your nose by reshaping the wall between your nasal passages. If you have a crooked nose due to a deviated septum, your doctor will likely recommend septoplasty. In addition to straightening your nose, septoplasty can also relieve nasal airway blockage caused by a deviated septum.
The bottom line
Crooked noses are very common, whether they’re due to an old injury or a deviated septum. In fact, its estimated that about 80 percent of people have some form of deviated septum. Unless your crooked nose causes breathing problems, there’s no need for treatment.
If you do want to straighten your nose for cosmetic reasons, exercises likely won’t help. Instead, talk to your doctor about soft tissue fillers or surgery. Keep in mind that these procedures all carry their own side effects and may not produce a “perfect” nose.