Fun facts about your nose

What is rhinophyma?

Share on PinterestA doctor can treat rhinophyma with medication or surgery.
Image credit: James Heilman, MD, 2013

There are a few different treatments for rhinophyma, depending on the progression of the symptoms.

Doctors typically treat rosacea with antibiotics and retinoids, but rhinophyma may not respond to the same treatments as other subtypes of rosacea.


Oral isotretinoin is often the first line of treatment. It is more likely to be beneficial if the rhinophyma is at an early stage or if the symptoms are not severe.

The primary aim of medication is to treat the underlying rosacea. Oral or topical antibiotics may reduce redness or inflammation in the area.

Common antibiotics for treating rosacea include:

  • tetracycline
  • metronidazole
  • erythromycin

Azelaic acid and other topical medications, such as cyclosporine, may help to minimize inflammation and redness too.

In some cases, doctors also recommend moisturizers or medications that help prevent the skin from drying out or becoming oily.


Surgery is often the best option for long-term treatment of rhinophyma. As the tissues and blood vessels in the area keep growing, it is crucial to perform surgery as early as possible to prevent permanent disfigurement.

There are several surgical treatment options for rhinophyma, including:

  • Dermabrasion, which removes excess layers of skin.
  • Cryosurgery, which freezes and destroys unwanted or abnormal tissues.
  • Sharp excision, where doctors cut away the growth or excess tissue with a scalpel.
  • Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, which may allow wounds to heal faster than using a scalpel.

Each surgical option has potential risks, so doctors will discuss all of the possible complications with the individual before helping them to decide on a procedure. Doctors may also recommend a combination of two or more techniques.

A person’s choice of surgical treatment can also vary according to the results they want to achieve, which may involve:

  • removing growths or excess layers of skin
  • reshaping a disfigured nose
  • reducing the appearance of tiny, superficial blood vessels in the area
  • improving the overall look of the skin

Lifestyle tips

Some lifestyle changes may help to manage symptoms. These include avoiding the following:

  • spicy foods
  • smoking tobacco
  • alcoholic drinks
  • caffeinated drinks
  • rubbing the face
  • too much sunlight
  • extreme temperatures

Eliminating these factors may help to reduce the appearance of blood vessels or redness for some people.

It’s a fair question: Does your nose keep growing as you age? If you’ve ever wondered about the ever-so-slight changes happening right there on your own face, rest assured that you’re not alone. Millions of people have found themselves staring at recent photographs or at their reflections in mirrors, trying to figure out why their faces look just a little bit, well, different than they used to look.

Does your nose really keep growing as you age?

If you’re one of those people (and we’re right there with you) with the sinking suspicion that your nose is getting larger, we have some unsettling news for you: Yes, your nose does keep growing as you get up there in years. We checked in with an expert — Gregory Levitin, MD, an otolaryngologist at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai — who explained that the nose doesn’t start or stop growing at any specific time; it just grows slowly and gradually throughout adulthood.

“It’s actually true,” says Dr. Levitin. “Over many, many years — decades and decades, really — the cartilage of your nose continues to grow and shift slowly over time. The nose of your youth is no longer the nose you have as you age.”

If it seems like a cruel joke that your body is playing on you, it’s not: There’s actually a pretty good explanation as to why this happens to our noses as opposed to other parts of our bodies.

Why does your nose keep growing?

“The nose is made up of skin — the soft tissue — cartilage, and bone,” says Levitin. “Bone grows through puberty and stops. Skin changes as we age; there’s tightness when we’re youthful and then it slowly stretches and falls as we get older. The cartilage is what continues to grow — and when the nose cartilage grows, it projects and it widens and gets longer, and then falls over, which is why you sometimes see very old people with those bigger, bulbous noses,” says Levitin.

Yikes! A little frightening, isn’t it? But before you go worrying that you’re turning into some twisted version of Pinocchio or a scary witch, there are a few reasons why you should relax. One, the change is probably not as noticeable as you think. Two, there’s not much any of us can do about it, short of rhinoplasty.

“It’s a natural part of aging, and it happens to all of us,” says Levitin. “Because it happens slowly, it’s rarely a noticeable process and usually doesn’t result in any significant change until late adulthood — i.e., over age 60. By that time, most people are comfortable in their own skin. But if the nose — or face — has changed one’s appearance in a negative way, then one can always consider medical or surgical options.”

Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered, “Do your nose and ears keep growing?” you’re right on the money there as well — ears are also made of cartilage, and they continue to gradually grow as you age as well, according to Levitin.

What else happens to the nose as we age?

Sure, the outside of the nose changes, but the inside of the nose also changes as well — and that might be more of a cause for concern.

“The tissues inside our nose — known as the mucosal tissues — lose some of their elasticity or resilience, so the nose gets a little stuffier and drippier as we age,” says Levitin, who notes that the problem can get progressively worse as the person gets older. The good news?

“We can treat that! For most older patients, this is a treatable condition in the office setting. There are several new office procedures to functionally improve the nose for those suffering from significant nasal obstruction or post-nasal drip,” he says.

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Why Old People Have Big Ears And Noses

The late baseball sage Yogi Berra once said that you can observe a lot by watching. And it’s true. Watch a person age from 20 years old to 90 years old, and you may observe that the ears and the nose just keep getting bigger. Yogi himself was a prime example.

Actually, there’s a reason that certain body parts get bigger, or at least seem to get bigger, as we age — but the science behind it all may surprise you. Trace Dominguezhas the scoop in today’s DNews report.

For most people, male and female, primary development ends around age 21. You’re not likely to get any taller, and while your cells will continue to replace themselves throughout life, you’re no longer growing as an organism, strictly speaking.

RELATED: Do Presidents Age Faster Than The Rest Of Us?

So why do the ears and nose get demonstrably bigger as we age? It has to do with cartilage. The body has four basic types of tissue — connective, epithelial, muscular, and nervous — and each has unique properties. Cartilage is a connective tissue that can be thought of as the body’s duct tape. It’s extraordinarily versatile and useful, and is used to patch together other tissue all over the place.

Cartilage doesn’t have blood vessels or nerves, however, and as such doesn’t age and heal like other tissues. As cartilage gets older, it undergoes a kind of scarring processthat makes it thicker, heavier and less elastic. As you may have intuited, the structural elements of your nose and ears are made of cartilage.

So while nose and ears do get bigger as you age, they’re not actually still growing. In fact, the enlargement is actually due to a kind of slow-motion reverse decay, in which the tissue gets bigger as it degenerates.

Check out Trace’s report for more details, including some mythbusting around the belief that your hair and nails continue to grow after death.

— Glenn McDonald

LIVESTRONG.ORG: Symptoms of Torn Cartilage in the Ribs

LifeBridge Health: New Ways to Restore Joint Surface Damage

Exploring Nature Educational Resource: The 4 Basic Tissue Types in the Human Body

  • The nose has special cells which help us smell.

  • The technical term for sense of smell is ‘olfaction’.

  • Your nose can help detect dangerous chemicals in the air.

  • The human nose can smell many different odors but is far less sensitive than other animals such as dogs.

  • The human nose has 2 nostrils.

  • The 2 nostrils are divided by the nasal septum.

  • The nasal septum is made up mostly of cartilage, a tissue that is stiffer than muscle but more flexible than bone.

  • Found at the roof of the nose, the ethmoid bone separates the nasal cavity and brain.

  • The ethmoid bone is also one of the bones that make up the orbit of the human eye.

  • The nasal cavity is a large space found inside the head, above and behind the nose.

  • Air passing through the nasal cavity is warmed to match body temperature (or cooled if it is very hot).

  • Dust and other particles are removed in the nasal cavity by short hairs.

  • The floor of the nasal cavity is also the roof of the mouth.

  • ‘Anosmia’ is the inability to smell.

  • ‘Dysosmia’ is when things don’t smell as they should.

  • ‘Hyperosmia’ is having a very strong sense of smell.

  • On average, men have larger noses than women.

  • It is traditional for Maori people in New Zealand to press noses (hongi) as a greeting.

  • Plastic surgery involving the nose is called ‘rhinoplasty’.

05 Sep 5 Interesting Facts About Your Nose

Posted at 12:40h in Breathing by Elisha

5 Facts about the Human Nose

Our nose is something that we’re all born with, but do we really understand just how important our noses are?

Here are 5 facts about the human nose:

  1. Your nose humidifies the air you breathe. If you breathe through your mouth for a long time do you ever notice that your throat gets very dry? Well, this happens because your nose processes the air you breathe to prepare it for our lungs & throat, which do not take dry air very well. As inhaled air is passed through the nose, it is moisturized and humidified.
  2. The nose plays a very important role in breathing. There is a reflex that connects the nose to the lungs, called the nasal-pulmonary reflex. As the nose closes up, the lungs become more closed, and as the nose opens up, the lungs open up. (Hence why it is so important to breathe correctly during exercise). This is why we developed our Sports Aid, which will be launching next year, to help athletes and people partaking in exercise breathe more efficiently to maximize performance.
  3. Your nose regulates the temperature of the air you breathe. Furthermore, just like our lungs don’t like dry air, they also don’t like air that is too hot or cold. The passing of the air through the nose allows the air to become more like body temperature, which is much better tolerated by tissues.
  4. Different people have different sneezing styles & these styles are genetically determined. This means that members of a given family will have similar sneezing styles!
  5. Lastly, when sneezing irritants or particles which cause sneezing, are expelled at 100 miles per hour. Did you know our Allergy Filter blocks pollen, dust, pet dander and mould from entering the nose?

So, can you see how important it is to keep your nose healthy and congestion free? We love everything about noses here in Nasal Medical, and that’s why we created products to help people breathe more comfortably through their noses. Our Discreet Snoring Aid will help with snoring bed partners, but did you know that it also helps with nasal congestion? It works by opening up the airways and allowing more air to pass through the nose. Try it- you’ll be amazed!

You shop can our entire range HERE!

The human nose is more than just a flap of flesh and cartilage on the front of the face. Besides being part of the respiratory system that inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide, the nose also contributes to other important functions, such as hearing and tasting.

Size and shape

Human noses can have a wide array of shapes and sizes due to genetics and injuries. Men generally have larger noses than women, researchers say. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest human nose on a living person belongs to Mehmet Ozyurek of Turkey. His nose is 3.46 inches (8.8 centimeters) long from the bridge to the tip.


The two openings in the nose care called nostrils, or napes. They lead to two nasal cavities that are separated by the septum, a wall of cartilage. Inside the face is an intricate system of canals and pockets of air called sinus cavities. Sinus cavities span all the way to the back of the skull, right above the oral cavity, within the cheekbones and between the eyes and brows. All of these areas are responsible, at least in part, for breathing, smelling, tasting and immune system defense.

The human nose can smell over 1 trillion scents, according to researchers. The nose smells with the olfactory cleft, which is the roof of the nasal cavity. It is right next to the “smelling” part of the brain, which consists of the olfactory bulb and fossa. This part of the nose has many nerve endings that carry smell sensations to the brain, according to the American Rhinologic Society.

The nasal passageways on either side of the nose open into the choana and then into a chamber called the nasopharynx, which is the upper part of the throat. This chamber opens into the oropharynx, the throat area behind the mouth. When air is inhaled through the nostrils, it travels through the nasal passages, the choana, the nasopharynx, the oropharynx and the voice box and ends up in the lungs. Basically, in the respiratory system, the nose is a passageway for air.

Sinus cavities span all the way to the back of the skull, right above the oral cavity, within the cheekbones and between the eyes and brows. (Image credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki 

Snot and boogers

The nose is also the first line of defense against sickness. The nose is lined with fine, hair-like projections known as cilia. The sinuses are lined with mucus-making cells. The mucus (or “snot”) keeps the nose from drying out. Together, cilia and snot collect dust, bacteria and other debris before they can enter the rest of the body, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Typically, nasal mucus — made of water, proteins, antibodies and salts — is clear. But during an infection, snot can change to yellow or green, indicating the body is fighting off a bacterial or viral infection. The green color comes from a chemical secreted by white blood cells — specifically, the heme group in the iron-containing enzyme myeloperoxidase — to kill pathogens.

Clumps of dried mucus, dirt and debris are called “boogers,” and despite the taboo, one Canadian scientist thinks “picking your nose” — and eating your boogers — may be good for you.

Scott Napper, a biochemistry professor at the University of Saskatchewan, hypothesizes that snot tastes sweet for good reason (take his word for it or try it yourself). That may be a signal to the body to eat it and get immune-boosting benefits.

“By consuming those pathogens caught within the mucus, could that be a way to teach your immune system about what it’s surrounded with?” Napper told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

His hypothesis fits on with other theories about the link between improved hygiene and an increase in allergies and autoimmune disorders, he said. “From an evolutionary perspective, we evolved under very dirty conditions and maybe this desire to keep our environment and our behaviors sterile isn’t actually working to our advantage.”

Other senses

Without the nose, the body wouldn’t be able to taste food nearly as well. What humans call “taste” is actually a mixture of different sensations. One of the sensations is smell. When food is eaten, the nose smells the food and sends information to the mouth in a process called olfactory referral. This is why those with a cold or other nose condition finds that food lacks flavor.

The nose also plays a role in hearing. The nasopharynx is flanked on either side by eustachian tubes. These tubes connect the nasopharynx to the middle ear. The nasopharynx fills the middle ear with air, equalizing air pressure in the ear with the atmosphere around it, which is an important part of hearing properly, according to the American Rhinologic Society.

Diseases & conditions

Since the nose is complex, there are many things that can go wrong. “The most common ailments people come to our office with are difficulty breathing through the nose, nasal obstruction, nasal allergies, chronic sinus infections, and nasal polyps. Another thing we’re seeing more of is people coming in for a poor sense of smell,” said Dr. Seth J. Kanowitz, attending physician at the Department of Otolaryngology at the Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey, and co-director of the hospital’s skull-based surgery program.

The most common cause for the loss of the sense of smell is a viral infection, like a cold, Kanowitz told Live Science. Sinus infections, nasal polyps, tobacco use, head trauma and, in exceedingly rare instances, tumors, may also cause smell loss. Some loss of smell also occurs during the natural aging process, much akin to visual and hearing loss.

Sinusitis is another common nose condition. “Sinusitis is a condition meaning inflammation of the sinuses,” Dr. Rob Straisfield, medical contributor for MJ Wellness, told Live Science. The inflammation can come from allergies, viruses and certain diseases. Some symptoms are weakness, fever, fatigue, cough and congestion, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

The nasal septum, the flat plate of cartilage in the center nose, can be damaged and pushed to the left or right, or the nose can grow crookedly. This condition is called a deviated nasal septum. A deviated septum can cause breathing problems and discomfort because one or both of the nasal chambers are smaller than they are supposed to be. Sometimes a deviated septum is corrected with surgery.

Many people have problems with clogged sinuses or a stuffy nose. This can be caused by swollen tissue or the blockage of mucus. Often, these problems can be dealt with at home. “Nasal saline irrigations with high volume, low pressure bottles have been shown to be very effective to keep the nasal passageways clear, remove allergens and thick mucus, and alleviate sinus infections — potentially removing the need for antibiotics,” Kanowitz said.

Things coming out of the nose can be a problem. A runny nose is caused by the production of mucus in the nose. The production of mucus can be triggered by anything that irritates or inflames the nose, such as allergies, a cold, the flu or dust, according to the Mayo Clinic. Bloody noses are caused when the tiny blood vessels in the nose break due to dry air, irritants, chemicals, impacts to the nose and various other factors.

Additional Resources

  • NLM: Nose Injuries and Disorders
  • Emory University: The Nose and Mouth
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology: Your Nose, the Guardian of Your Lungs

How Does Our Nose Shape Change with Age?

While it is true that your bones stop growing by the time you reach puberty, certain bodily tissues may continue to change throughout one’s lifetime. Your nose, which is comprised of bone, soft tissue/skin, and cartilage, may change shape as you age. The structures and skin of the nose lose strength with time and, as a result, the nose stretches out and sags downward. The glands within the skin, especially in the area of the tip may enlarge, causing a wider appearing nose which is actually heavier. While there is debate whether the cartilage itself actually grows, it can certainly appear that way from the outside.

More Info Here

How Your Nose Changes As You Age

By midlife, a nose that was just the right size and shape for your face throughout adolescence and young adulthood may suddenly appear too large, bulbous, or long. Over time your nose becomes entirely different than the one you become accustomed to viewing in the mirror in your youth. It may also work differently, as airflow patterns will be shifted as the nose changes shape.

While this process can be entirely normal, it is not always preferred. The nose is the centerpiece of the face- the main attraction. If its shape, size, or length is off-kilter, it will cause the rest of the face to appear less balanced and consequently, less attractive.

In today’s aesthetically-driven society, this can be a bitter pill to swallow.
But there are many corrective options available to patients who are unhappy with the toll time has taken on the overall structure of their nose.

Rhinoplasty for the Aging Nose

One such procedure, rhinoplasty, is utilized to modify overall nose structure, create facial balance, correct proportion, and improve function. It can also alter/ improve:

  • Nose size in relation to facial balance
  • Nose width at the bridge or in the size and position of the nostrils
  • Nose profile with visible humps or depressions on the bridge
  • Nasal tip that is enlarged or bulbous, drooping, upturned or hooked
  • Nostrils that are large, wide, or upturned
  • Nasal asymmetry

Do not let a sagging nose drag you down. Be bold, take charge, and achieve a naturally balanced look.

Facial cosmetic surgeon Dr. Richard Westreich is an expert on facial structure and aging. If you are concerned with the aesthetics of your nose, schedule a free consultation at our New York office. Dr. Westreich will evaluate your unique situation and create a surgical plan individualized to your needs.

Our ears and noses contain a special tissue that’s softer than bone but stiffer than muscle. Reshaping this tissue for medical reasons usually requires “cut-and-sew” surgery. Healing from that type of surgery can be painful and leave scars. Soon, however, surgeons may avoid these problems by using electricity instead of a scalpel.

The special tissue is cartilage (KAR-tih-lidj). It’s difficult to reshape because its inner structure is very strong. It always bounces back into its original shape. The body has different types of cartilage. The form in our ears and nose is less rigid than the type in our joints, tendons and spinal discs.

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Brian Wong is a surgeon who works at the University of California, Irvine. He’s also a biomedical engineer. He uses engineering know-how to solve medical problems. A few years ago, Wong was looking for ways to fix a deformed nose without cutting and stitching.

The cartilage that separates the nostrils inside the nose is known as the septum. In some people, this tissue is off-center or crooked. Such a “deviated” septum can make breathing difficult. Some people might be born with the problem. A sports injury or other trauma might also alter the septum’s shape.

Traditional septum surgery is challenging. The area that needs fixing is hard to reach. The space is tiny. Cutting into cells with blades tends to damage or kill the cells, creating scar tissue. The healing can prove painful. And mistakes can be quite visible.

To avoid some of these problems, Wong had tried heating the cartilage with an infrared (Inn-fruh-RED) laser as a new way to reshape the septum without a scalpel. That’s less invasive than cutting into the nose with a knife. And it worked. But the heating still damaged cells. This procedure also was expensive.

Electric current to the rescue

So Wong’s team decided to try heating the cartilage with an electric current. They started by working with a sample of cartilage in a lab dish. The current indeed let Wong reshape the tissue — but with hardly any temperature increase.

That was a big surprise.

To figure out what was going on, Wong contacted Michael Hill. He’s a chemist at Occidental College in Los Angeles, Calif. Hill studies how electricity affects chemical processes. And when he learned that 75 percent of cartilage consists of water, he had a hunch that the water might explain what happened. An electric current can split water into two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. Chemists call this process electrolysis (Ee-lek-TRAHL-uh-sihs).

Hill’s hunch turned out to be right. And here’s how that electrolysis softened the tissue. That cartilage in our ears and noses is weblike. Its fibers are made from a protein called collagen (KAHL-uh-jen). Electric bonds between the molecules hold those fibers together. The negatively and positively charged parts of the molecules glom together like the positive and negative poles of two magnets.

So pulling apart the collagen web is like pulling apart two magnets. “If you let go, the molecules snap back together, like the magnets would,” explains Hill. “The electric bonds give cartilage the ability to hold its shape. But if we can briefly turn off the bonds, we can change that shape.”

The energy to turn off those bonds came from splitting the water in cartilage. Exposing a small region of the tissue to an electric current created hydrogen atoms that were positively charged. They canceled out the tissue’s negatively charged molecules. And that broke apart the electric bonds to make the cartilage malleable, like Play-Doh.

Now a surgeon could reshape the tissue. As soon as that doctor turned off the current, the electric bonds would quickly reform. The tissue’s new shape also would become permanent.

Bend an ear

Hill and Wong first tested the process on the ear of a rabbit that had died. Their goal was to permanently bend the ear 90 degrees from its normal, upright shape. To do this, they made a 3-D image of the ear. Using special computer software that the researchers had developed, they analyzed that image and printed a 3-D mold of the new shape they wanted to give that ear.

Their software then showed them the best place in the ear to place two tiny needles. Pulsing an electric current through these needles softened the tissue there. The software also figured out how long to send the current pulsing through those needles.

While delivering the current, the researchers bent the softened tissue into the new shape and then held it in place with the 3-D mold. Turning off the electricity allowed the cartilage to harden. It then kept that new shape after the researchers removed the mold. The entire process took only a few minutes.

“The chemistry couldn’t be simpler,” Hill says. “Not so simple,” he notes, “was figuring out how to zoom in on the small region we want to treat.”

The researchers first described this process three years ago in the journal Angewandte Chemie: International Edition. (The first part of the journal’s name is German and means applied chemistry.)

It took much longer to develop the computer software and test the reshaping of cartilage in live rabbits. The process killed very few cartilage cells, which proved a big advantage over traditional surgery. Hill reported his team’s new test data this past April at the American Chemical Society spring annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Those animal tests were really important, says Taylor Lawson, who was not involved with the research. He works at Boston University, where he studies knee and hip cartilage.

“You want to avoid injuries around the needle-insertion site,” he says. “You also need to know how much voltage to apply for a desired new shape. And you have to learn how to limit the electric current to just the area of interest.”

These are some of the things the researchers will now test in larger animals. Eventually, Hill and Wong hope to extend their team’s tests to humans. First, they have to ensure the new method will be safe to use in people. New medical procedures require many rounds of tests. Some are known as clinical trials.

If approved for humans, the new technique might be used to fix a deviated septum and other nose problems. It also could adjust ears that stick out. (This would help kids who get teased about “Dumbo” ears, says Hill.)

Eyes on the future

Hill and Wong wonder if their molecular surgery might have even broader uses, such as fixing vision problems. If it also works in people, Hill and Wong think their technique could help millions of people who are nearsighted, farsighted or have trouble reading as they get older.

Eyeballs aren’t made of cartilage. But like cartilage, the transparent layer on top of the eyeball — the cornea (KOR-nee-uh) — is made from a web of collagen fibers. In nearsighted people, the eyeball has grown too long, so the cornea is overly curved. That makes far-away objects appear blurry. Flattening the cornea fixes this problem. And electrolysis may be one way to do this.

A mild electric current might one day be used to reshape someone’s eyes to correct certain vision problems. This could offer an alternative to glasses, contact lenses and laser surgery.Darunechka/iStock/Getty Images Plus

So far, working in a lab dish, the researchers have only tried the technique on a rabbit’s cornea. They printed a mold for a contact lens and then painted electrodes onto it. After they put the mold onto the cornea, the researchers applied an electric current. This succeeded in changing the cornea’s shape.

The researchers have yet to try this on living animals. That means it will take many years to assess whether it is safe enough for people. But if it is, it one day might replace glasses and contact lenses in those who choose to have the procedure. The researchers think their method might pose fewer risks and side effects for correcting vision problems than laser surgery now does. That surgery “shaves off” thin layers of the cornea, instead of reshaping its tissue.

Hill and Wong are also working toward their original goal. Wong hopes he can soon fix ear and nose problems in a five-minute, low-cost procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office without causing pain or scars.

Chemist Stefanie Sydlik, who was not involved in the work, thinks that is a realistic goal. She studies cartilage and other body tissues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn. This new technique should have great potential, she says, if the researchers can prove that it’s safe.

“The science behind it is really cool because it’s such a simple concept,” Sydlik says. “You use the water inside your own tissue to create the energy for changing its shape.”

This is one in a series presenting news on technology and innovation, made possible with generous support from the Lemelson Foundation.


10 Fun Facts about Your Nose

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The human nose is many things. A key part of the olfactory system and filter to our lungs just to name a couple. They can be big or small, round or pointy and they are one of the most fascinating parts of our face. We don’t usually pay them any mind, but our noses are more than just the lump of cartilage we think they are.

Here are ten fun facts about your nose we bet you’ve never heard. Some are scientific and others make no scents at all.

1. A rose by any other name…

Your sense of smell is an amazing thing. We smell when signals to the brain are delivered through the olfactory nerve. Our brains contain other things, like memories. So when you smell a scent that triggers a memory, it’s no coincidence.

Your olfactory nerve is carrying the information directly into your brain and it interacts there to trigger a response. Whether that response is a memory, aversion or attraction is a matter of who’s doing the sniffing.

2. Too many smells!

It turns out we can smell much better than we can see or taste. Folks over at the Monell Center for taste and smell have determined that humans have over 400 different olfactory receptors. They can form near limitless combinations in how we experience and feel smells. By comparison we have about 40 sensors to taste and just four to perceive colour in vision. Yikes.

3. Deep breaths.

In the average adult it’s estimated that about 20,000 litres of air pass through the nose every day! The nose is what processes this air constantly, doing an excellent job unless affected by the sinuses.

The nose also filters particles entering the airways down to the tiniest size. It regulates the temperature of inhaled breath to match your internal thermometer. It also makes sure that moisture makes its way to the lining in your lungs so that they don’t get dry.

4. It’s very statuesque.

Recently Nozin Blog, a great place for information on the nose and sinuses linked an Israeli study that identified 14 different types of noses. Which one are you?

5. This smell makes me happy. This one makes me sleepy.

Aromatherapy uses essential oils, absolutes and infusions from flowers and plants to elicit a physical or mental response in patients. Depending on the properties of an oil the smell can travel along your olfactory nerve to trigger reactions like alertness, relaxation or even concentration in the brain.

6. This tastes funny.

Our noses actually contribute quite a bit to how we perceive taste. As mentioned above we only have 40 sensors with which to analyze taste. Most of the time our nose is adding information to our brain, forming a picture. Want to see how? Eat something and savour the taste. Now try again with your nose plugged.

7. What’s that called?

The space in between your nostrils is called the septum. This thin wall of cartilage is sometimes pierced for aesthetic reasons. Due to trauma or from birth some people have a deviated septum, which doesn’t separate the nostrils in a straight line. Certain things can alter the structure or even dissolve the septum like nasal polyps, sinus infections, drug use and chemicals!

8. It keeps going, and growing.

Your nose will continue to grow as you age. It reaches its main shape by the age of 19 but from then on it will lengthen slowly and more noticeably droop downwards. The droop isn’t due to growth, but rather gravity.

9. Sir, do you know how fast you were going?

The abrupt expulsion of air we produce when we’re allergic to something or sick is usually caused by foreign particles bugging our mucosa. About 40,000 droplets are blasted from our nostrils and mouth when we sneeze at a speed of up to 300 miles per hour. This can travel over five feet in front of us!

10. You’re all sticky!

Our noses work hard to keep us healthy but they do a messy job. Mucus is produced to protect our lungs from airborne bacteria and viruses. How much mucus is made? Up to a litre a day and it doubles when we’re sick! That isn’t even the gross part – you swallow most of it. Your nose can’t run on autopilot all the time though and it’s important to ask a pro when your sinuses or breathing start to feel off.

As unbelievable as it may sound the nose has many more interesting functions and features than what’s listed above. A lot of these discoveries are recent and all entertaining trivia aside, I’m sure as time goes on we’ll learn how much more vital our nose and sinuses are to our wellbeing. It’s fun to speculate at how the future will change our understanding of it but really, we’re just guessing. At the end of the day who nose?

Did You Know? 8 Interesting Facts About Your Nose

The human body is an amazing machine, and this includes all of your body parts, including the nose. You might take your nose for granted, but it has some pretty diverse and impressive abilities- some you may not even know about! Read on to learn more about some of the interesting facts about your nose.

Top Facts About Your Nose:

1. Your sneeze size might be a hereditary trait that was passed down. Recent research has suggested that your sneeze style is not unique, as it might be a genetic trait and is inherited. This is because tissues are often similar within families, and this means other actions such as laughing and smiling is also similar.

2. You have an air filter in your nose, and it’s a very effective one. Thanks to the hairs that line the inside of your nostrils, germs from dust and other particles are blocked. Also, when you breathe through your nose the air is moistened and warmed. This is why you should be breathing through your nose on a cold day, as this process helps protect the sensitive tissue found in your lungs.

3. Your sneeze is more powerful than you think. While sneezing is an involuntary reflex (which means you can’t stop it from happening), it can propel germs into the air at an average speed of 100 miles per hour. This is why it’s important to cover your mouth when you sneeze!

4. Noses come in different shapes, 14 that is. According to a survey featured in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 14 different human nose shapes were identified. However, some experts don’t feel like this covers all of the variations, due to the complex structure of the nose. See, even your nose is unique!

5. According to the University of Washington, the average human has approximately 400 types of scent receptors. This means you can detect at least a trillion different smells! However, this number does decrease with age; this is why people become less sensitive to smells when they age.

6. By the age of 10 your overall nasal shape is formed, and it continues to grow until age 15 to 17 if you’re a woman. While a male’s nose continues to grow until age 17 to 19. However, in time your nose lengthens and will eventually drop down thanks to gravity, and from the breakdown of elastin and collagen.

7. The smell of a newborn baby triggers the production of dopamine, as it triggers the pleasure centers of the brain. Dopamine is also secreted when you take addictive drugs, have sex, or eat certain foods. It’s true, love is addicting!

8. You might not think that mucus has a function, but despite its irritating nature, it plays a vital role in helping you stay healthy. When you breathe in, dusts and other microbes get stuck and trapped within the mucus lining. This helps protect us from allergens and infections, so while snot can be disgusting, it helps you out more than you think.

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“Every feature on your face tells you something about yourself and who you’re intended to be,” says Jean Haner, an expert in face reading and author of The Wisdom of Your Face. Your facial features “can tell you things about your physical health, personality, and a certain time in your life”

According to Haner’s work in the 3,000-year-old practice of facial reading, your forehead reveals things about your 20s, your eyes tell you about your 30s, your mouth reveals things about your 50s, your chin says things about your 60s, your jaw relates to your 70s, and the sides of your face tell you about your 80s and 90s.

Krystalina Tom

Your nose, however, speaks to your 40s specifically, Haner says. “The top area between your eyes speaks to the year you turn 40, the top third refers to your early 40s, the middle correlates to your mid 40s, and the bottom half reflects to your later 40s,” she says. “And no matter what your race or ethnicity, shapes of noses all carry the same messages across the board.”

Your nose also represents the overall potential that you can achieve in your life, Haner says. That’s why, according to her, it’s so important not to change your nose, because based on Chinese face reading, if you change your nose, you change your destiny.

While other features on your face come together to give you a full reading about who you’re meant to be, here are 19 things your nose likely predicts about you:

1. If your nose is somewhat large, isn’t especially plump or bony, and doesn’t have a bump on the bridge: This likely means your entire 40s will be a powerful time for you. It also means you’re a perfectionist and you care a lot about the quality of your work. However, because you care so much about your job, you can be very critical of yourself and end up working too much. On a more positive note, you have really great manners and are also really gracious with people.


2. If you have a bony nose much larger than your other features: Again, the large size means you’re a perfectionist, you like to be in control, and that your 40s will be a powerful time for you (it could be powerful as in good, or powerful as in challenging). The boniness, however, speaks to you having trouble letting things go. It also means you can often read people’s energies very easily, but you also like to be alone a lot, since sensing other people’s energies is exhausting. The location of your bump roughly corresponds to when you’ll face that powerful time in your 40s (e.g., middle of the nose, middle of the decade).


3. If your nose is on the larger side and plump: You’re a little more laid-back and like to enjoy life. “These types of people are often collectors of things like fine art,” Haner says. “They also tend to work really hard and like spending their hard-earned money on things that allow them to enjoy life.” Plumpness on the face tends to relate to accumulating things, so the plumpness of a large nose means your 40s will not only be powerful, but you’ll start “collecting” even more items than you already did, such as purchasing in a new home or getting a car.


4. If you have a small nose: It means your 40s won’t be the most powerful time in your life, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to be tough for you either. You like to get things done and move on. “People with these types of noses are more efficient with their work and would rather work smart, not hard,” Haner says. “They’re not necessarily perfectionists, but they’re not sloppy with their work either. And they often get frustrated with people with large noses, since large-nosed folks can’t always let things go.”


5. If you have a soft, petite nose: The softness in the nose means you’re friendly and kind, you like to enjoy life, and you can’t wait to have a home and a family. The tininess of the nose can mean you won’t have so much to struggle with or handle during your 40s, so you’ll likely have an easier time during that decade, but they won’t be as powerful.

Getty Images

6. If your nose is medium-size and doesn’t have any bumps: It means you can easily achieve things in life that you’re proud of. “In Chinese facial reading, the more perfectly formed the nose is, the more positive the time in your 40s will be,” Haner adds.


7. If your nose is scooped with a turned-up tip: It’s a sign you’re a sentimental person. “These types of people also really enjoy holidays and family memories, and they’ll lend money to a friend or family easily, and always get paid back for their generosity,” Haner says. You will have more power in the latter part of your 40s.


8. If your nose hooks down at the end: This relates to the last couple of years in your 40s. “If your nose turns downs, it means in the end of your 40s, you’re meant to slow down, but if you push yourself and don’t relax, you might end up feeling like the rug has been pulled out from under you,” Haner says.


9. If the tip of your nose extends more at the tip: This means there will be more happening for you right at the end of your 40s. And if the extended tip is bonier, you’re more of a perfectionist. If the tip of your nose is plumper, you can easily roll with the punches and won’t stress out over minute details, Haner says.


10. If you have a cleft nose: Otherwise known as when you have an indentation at the tip of your nose, this means you’re very open-hearted. However, it also means you can be very vulnerable, and you can trust people too easily and end up getting hurt. It can also mean that at the end of your 40s, life could get slightly more difficult, but the time frame would fall somewhere between 49 and 50, and whatever strife you experience won’t last long at all.


11. If you have a crooked nose: This means your 40s will be harder for you. However, the hard times you go through are meant to make you a better person, Haner explains. Interestingly enough, even if you’re not born with a crooked nose and it’s the result of an accident, it still means there will be challenges or changes that you didn’t otherwise expect. “This is because, according to Chinese face reading, because you had the accident, your destiny changed and you now have to learn a lesson in your 40s that will make you come out on top,” she adds.


12. If you have a faint horizontal line across your nose toward the tip: This means there will be a big change in your life in your 40s. It could be positive or negative, like a whole new career or a divorce; it’s referred to as a break with the past in Chinese facial reading.


13. If you have a bulbous tip at the end of your nose: You’re someone who loves enjoying the pleasures of life. You might also be indulgent or a pleasure seeker, and not always think of the repercussions. The roundedness at the end of your nose also means you’ll really enjoy the end of your 40s and you’ll likely have a lot going for yourself at that time.


14. If you have a pointed tip: You are fascinated with life. One downside of that is you have a tendency to gossip because of your curious nature. In Chinese facial reading, any feature that is pointed has to do with excitement, passion, joy, and fun, so if you have a pointed nose, your 40s will be really enjoyable.


15. If you have a diamond-shaped nose: This means the last half of your 40s will be a more powerful time than the first half, especially in terms of career opportunities but also in your personal life. The pointedness of this diamond-shape also refers back to wanting to explore new things and having fun, yet it can also tend to mean you put your nose, pun intended, in other people’s business.



Nostrils don’t speak to your 40s, but they do reveal how you are with money. Again, all of your features come together to give you a thorough reading, but here are what your nostrils likely reveal about your spending habits.

16. If you have visible nostrils when you’re looking straight forward: That’s a sign you spend money very easily.


17. If you have tiny, hidden nostrils: The smaller the nostrils and the more hidden they are, the better you are with money — aka the less you’ll spend easily.


18. If you have nostrils that you can see just a bit: You don’t spend too much or too little.


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Carly Cardellino Carly Cardellino was the beauty director at Cosmopolitan.

Question: Is there an ideal nose and what is it?
Answer: A nose that is considered ‘ideal’ is one which is harmonious with the other favorable facial features. Our perception of beauty helps define what makes an ideal shape for a female or male nose. There is also always a bit of an artistic element to this, thus the ideal cannot always be boiled down to simple lines and numbers alone. However, artists and plastic surgeons alike can devise some guidelines or proportions that represent the aesthetic ideal by studying beauty and faces that are universally thought to be beautiful. Artists have long made studies of beauty and aesthetic proportions and, today, facial plastic surgeons must similarly understand beauty in order to make changes that can enhance their patients’ beauty.

Of course, much to your relief no doubt, some lines, numbers and measurements do exist. Shown below are the lines and measurements that facial plastic surgeons use as a guideline to the aesthetic ideal as reprinted with permission from TheRhinoplasty Dissection Manual by Drs. Becker and Toriumi.

Major surface reference points are shown in the first two figures below. These will help you to understand the subsequent material on this page.


The “ideal” face, as shown below, can be divided into equal horizontal thirds:

Facial thirds:
(Figure 1)

Upper third: trichion to glabella
Middle third: glabella to subnasale
Lower third: subnasale to menton.

Figure 1:

The “ideal” face, as shown below, can also be divided into equal vertical fifths:

Horizontal fifths:
(Figure 2)

Five equally divided vertical segments of the face.

Figure 2:

The face must be in a standard position for reproducibility of measurements for the angles that follow. Some of these angles may change if the patient’s head is tilted down or up. The standard facial position used by most facial plastic surgeons is defined by the Frankfurt plane.

Frankfort plane:
(Figure 3)

Plane defined by a line from the most superior point of auditory canal to most inferior point of infraorbital rim.

Figure 3:

The naso-frontal angle is the angle formed where the nose and forehead meet. The nose can appear relatively short if an overly sharp naso-frontal angle divides the forehead from the nose, whereas the nose may appear longer with an overly shallow angle.

Nasofrontal angle:
(Figure 4)

Angle defined by glabella-to-nasion line intersecting with nasion- to-tip line. Normal 115-130 degrees (within this range, more obtuse angle more favorable in females, more acute in males).

Figure 4:

Forward protrusion of the nasal tip from the face (like Pinocchio) is known as nasal projection. Listed here are two reliable measurements of nasal projection:

Nasal projection: (Figure 5)

Forward protrusion of nasal tip from face.
Goode’s method – A line drawn through the alar crease, perpendicular to the Frankfurt plane. The length of a horizontal line drawn from the nasal tip to the alar line (alar point-to-nasal tip line) divided by the length of the nasion-to-nasal tip line. Normal 0.55-0.60.
Crumley’s method – The nose with normal projection forms a “3-4-5 triangle.” ie., alar point-to-nasal tip line (3), alar point-to-nasion line (4), nasion-to-nasal tip line (5).

Figure 5:

The nasofacial angle is one way of assessing the projection of the nose from the face. The nose is likely too far from the face if the nasofacial angle is large, or the opposite may be true if the nasofacial angle is too short. You can simply look at the nose in profile in order to get an impression about projection, but these measurements add ‘science’ to the art of facial analysis.

Nasofacial angle:
(Figure 6)

Angle defined by glabella-to-pogonion line intersecting with nasion-to-tip line. Normal 30-40 degrees.

Figure 6:

The nose can often appear larger when set against a small chin. A surgeon may analyze the role that adjustments to the chin may play in achieving facial harmony by paying attention to the nasomental angle (in conjunction with other measurements).

Nasomental angle:
(Figure 7)

Angle defined by nasion-to-tip line intersecting with tip-to-pogonion line. Normal: 120-132 degrees.

Figure 7:

The lips should also be assessed by the surgeon to see whether they are in proper relationship to other facial parts.

Relationship of lips
to nasomental line:
(Figure 8)

Upper lip 4mm behind, lower lip 2 mm behind line from nasaltip-to-menton.

Figure 8:

One desirable feature is a sharp mentocervical angle.

Mentocervical angle:
(Figure 9)

Angle defined by glabella-to-pogonion line intersecting with menton-to-cervical point line.

Figure 9:

An acute nasolabial angle can lead to a droopy nose, whereas an obtuse nasolabial angle can lead to a short or ‘uplifted’ appearance.

Nasolabial angle:
(Figure 10)

Angle defined by columellar point-to-subnasale line intercepting with subnasale-to-labrale superius line; normal 90-120 degrees (within this range, more obtuse angle more favorable in females, more acute in males).

Figure 10:

Too much or too little ‘columellar show’ is, from the side, undesirable. As shown here, there are a total of nine possible configurations for the alar-columellar relationship as there are three possible configurations for the columella (normal, hanging, or retracted) and another three possible configurations for the nostril rim or ala (normal, hanging, or retracted). One of these nine configurations must be diagnosed by the surgeon.

Columellar show:
(Figure 11)

Alar-columellar relationship as noted on profile view, 2-4 mm of columellar show is “normal.”

Figure 11:

Question: What are some of the characteristics of the ideal female nose and the ideal male nose?
Answer: This ideal, whether for a female or male patience, is simply a frame of reference or a goal and it must be modified to take into account the particular facial features of each patient.

Question:Can you describe how a surgeon analyzes a patient’s nose?
Answer: A surgeon will first consider the ‘first impression’ of the nose, such as whether it’s too big, twisted, has a large hump or has been over-operated on. Often times, this first impression is what bothers the patient as well. The surgeon will also find out from the patient exactly what it is that he or she dislikes about their nose.

Next, the surgeon will examine the nose from the front. He will make a note of whether the nose is straight or twisted, whether the nasal tip is asymmetric, bulbous or otherwise abnormal, and whether the nose is too wide, too narrow or normal. The surgeon will also examine the skin to determine its quality, whether it is thick, thin or medium.

A side view of the nose is also examined. This will allow the surgeon to determine whether the nose is too short or too long and if the profile of the nose has a hump or is a ‘ski slope’. At this time, the tip of the nose is also examined so the surgeon can determine if it is over-projected or under-projected or just right. The surgeon will also see if there is too much nostril show present.

The nose is examined from all angles in order to provide important information about the nasal anatomy that is crucial to the planning of a successful surgery. In addition, the surgeon will feel the nose.

Question:Can you provide an example of a specific patient and your analysis of their nose and what you did for them?
Answer: Shown below is a patient who came to me in hopes of improving the appearance of his nose because he felt it was too big for his face and because he had trouble breathing. My first impression of the nose was that it was, indeed, too big for his face. When I examined his nose from the side, I discovered that he had a large nasal hump and that his nose was over-projected (it stuck out too far from his face). On a positive note, the length of this patient’s nose is just right, neither too long nor too short, and, from this angle, the nostrils have a normal shape.

Though the patient is not interested in a chin implant, I did notice that his chin was a bit underdeveloped. In fact, that’s likely why he chooses to wear a goatee as it adds a bit more prominence to the chin and facial balance.

A very subtle twist to the nose was seen after careful examination of the front view, though the patient himself had never noticed it before. Though some twist may persist, we planned to make every effort to improve this. The front view also shows that the nasal tip is a little full, which can be enhanced with some conservative refinement of the nasal tip. Also determined at this time was that the patient’s skin was of medium thickness and that his nose was of normal width.

I then examined the nose from the base or bot tom view which reiterated that this patient’s nose sticks out too far from his face. Again, we found that the nose was not too wide for his face, but that the tip was a little full or bulbous. By feeling, or palpating, the outside of the nose, I discovered that he has relatively short nasal bones and relatively long upper lateral cartilages, which compromise the nose’s middle portion. It is important that we know this in order to provide the cartilaginous ‘middle portion’ of the nose with some extra support.

They key element of our face that plays a very important role in determining our overall look, which is evident from our obsession with it—Nose.

Every nose shape is unique and different, and interestingly speaks volumes about our personality. The nose shape reveals fun and quirky insights into our inner selves, and the nose comes in different shapes and sizes which makes it even more fun to analyse what each implies. Try and identify your nose, and see how accurate is your personality analysis!

1. Small Nose

Don’t mess too much with that friend of yours who has a typically small nose, just because she is cheerful and affable. That’s their nature, but sometimes, they can lose their temper and boy, do they get really mad then! Also, they are quite anal about their privacy.

2. Long Nose

You’re the one who is born to be a leader. Equipped with a good sense of business, driving ambition, razor-sharp instincts—you can easily carve our your own road to success. Your biggest problems are often derived from your greatest strengths.

3. Big Nose

The bridge of this nose can either be short, or long. But they have wider tips, with nostrils that are really large. The size of the nose is directly related to the sense of power, drive, leadership, ego, and desire to work independently exuded by the nose-bearer. They have a mind of their own, and find it difficult to work under someone else. Also, they hate small talk.

4. Button Nose

A nose that resembles a button, it is the cutest nose of the lot. Women with button shaped nose are said to be imaginative and are usually proud of the shape of their nose.They are particularly caring, loving, optimistic, nurturing and kind. However, button nosed individuals are also known for their emotional instability. They normally feel threatened by persons of stronger will.

5. Fleshy Nose

Basically, a nose that has a narrow root which gradually expands to craft a rather snub end. People who are quick, they think fast and act even faster! They’re street-smart and don’t waste much time, which sometimes seems a tad bit too aggressive. But, they make extremely loyal, and caring partners.

6. Greek Nose

The Greek nose is a perfectly straight nose, which has pretty narrow nostrils. People born with the Greek nose are highly skilled, and driven by logic. They are naturally intelligent, and hence dependable. You can totally count on them to have your back, always.

7. Roman Nose

This is the nose which has a bridge that effortlessly pulls your attention towards itself. Probably the reason behind the name of this nose-type, people who have this nose are notably very headstrong, and ambitious in nature. They are able to influence others with their words, and know how to make an impact.Their organisational skills are definitely worth a mention!

8. Nubian Nose

Kinda like the long nose, the Nubian nose is distinguished by its wide base, which practically stands out. A classic example of this nose type, is of the former President of USA—Barrack Obama. These people are known to be emotionally expressive, and curious in general. Attractive and charismatic, they have an open mind, they are great at handling conversations.

9. Celestial Nose

Characterised by a dent in the middle of the bridge of the nose, with an upturned tip, people who have the celestial nose are insanely optimistic in life. Their warm personality makes them fiercely loyal friends, and they would readily take a bullet for their close ones. Note: They are extremely adventurous in bed! 😉

10. Hawk Nose

Think about how the beak of a hawk looks? Its nasal counterpart is quite similar. Slightly bent in the centre, with sharp edges, it’s that nose type which can be easily identified. People sporting the hawk nose are oozing with confidence, and don’t take sh*t from anybody. They believe in living life on their own terms, and naturally stand out amongst their peers.

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