Wide Nostrils


“Wide nostrils” is a term denoting larger or broader nostrils, mainly influenced by genetics, particularly ethnic background. Clinical causes can include a deviated septum or nasal trauma, which can alter nostril appearance. Age and environmental factors can contribute as non-clinical causes, leading to changes in the skin around the nostrils. Certain habits, like persistent nose picking, might potentially stretch the nostrils over time. While wide nostrils usually aren’t a health issue, they can lead to cosmetic concerns or breathing difficulties, prompting individuals to seek interventions such as rhinoplasty or non-surgical nose jobs.


“Wide nostrils” is a common term often used to describe a physical characteristic where the nostrils are broader or larger in appearance compared to what’s usually considered “average”. The term isn’t a clinical one but rather a descriptive one, commonly used in plastic surgery or cosmetic dermatology fields.

Clinical Factors:

  1. Genetic inheritance: The shape and size of one’s nostrils are mainly determined by genetic factors. An individual’s ethnic background often plays a significant role in determining these features. For instance, individuals of African, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent often have wider nostrils as it is a common trait in these populations.
  2. Deviated septum: A deviated septum, which is when the thin wall between your nostrils is displaced to one side, can sometimes cause one or both nostrils to appear wider than they normally would.
  3. Trauma or injury: Trauma to the nose, whether from an injury or previous surgery, can also lead to changes in the size and shape of the nostrils.

Non-Clinical Factors:

  1. Age: As we age, our skin loses elasticity and firmness. This can lead to a widening or drooping of the nostrils.
  2. Environmental factors: Long-term exposure to certain environmental elements such as sun, wind, or dry air can lead to changes in the skin, potentially affecting the appearance of the nostrils over time.
  3. Habits and lifestyle: Certain habits or practices, like excessive nose picking, can potentially stretch the nostrils over time, though this is relatively rare.

It’s important to note that having wide nostrils is typically not a medical issue but more of a cosmetic concern. However, if there are issues like difficulty in breathing or if the individual is unsatisfied with their appearance, they might seek medical consultation for potential solutions, such as rhinoplasty or a non-surgical nose job.


In terms of diagnosis, it’s essentially a visual assessment. There’s no medical test to determine if someone has “wide nostrils” as the perception of wide can be quite subjective and is often influenced by cultural and individual aesthetic preferences.

That being said, if wide nostrils are associated with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, recurrent nosebleeds, or nasal congestion, it could indicate an underlying condition such as a deviated septum or other nasal deformity. These symptoms would need to be evaluated by a healthcare provider who may perform a physical examination or potentially use imaging techniques, like a CT scan, to examine the internal structure of the nose.

If the concern about wide nostrils is primarily cosmetic, and the individual is considering a procedure like rhinoplasty to change the shape of their nose, the diagnosis process would involve a consultation with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. They would assess the person’s overall health, discuss their aesthetic goals, and evaluate the structure of the nose and face to determine the best course of action.

Prognosis and Impact

However, the “impact” of having wide nostrils can be more significant, and it largely depends on the individual’s perceptions and feelings about their appearance. For some, it may not matter at all, while for others, it may affect their self-esteem or self-image. These feelings can have a significant impact on one’s psychological well-being.

If wide nostrils are causing breathing problems due to an underlying structural issue, such as a deviated septum, the impact could also be physiological. Difficulty in breathing, for example, can interfere with daily activities or sleep.

As for “prognosis” after a corrective procedure, like rhinoplasty, it is generally very good. Most people who undergo these procedures are satisfied with the results. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications, so it’s essential for anyone considering such a procedure to discuss it thoroughly with their healthcare provider and weigh the potential benefits against the risks.

Treatment Options

However, for those who are dissatisfied and wish to alter their appearance, several treatment options exist:

  1. Rhinoplasty: This surgical procedure, also known as a “nose job,” can be performed to alter the shape, size, or proportion of the nose, including the nostrils. There are two types of rhinoplasty – open and closed. In an open rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes a small incision at the base of the nostrils, whereas in a closed rhinoplasty, all incisions are made inside the nostrils.
  2. Alar Base Reduction: This is a specific type of rhinoplasty that focuses on reducing the width of the nostrils. The surgeon removes small wedges of tissue from the area where the nostril walls meet the cheeks, known as the alar base.
  3. Non-surgical Rhinoplasty: Non-surgical rhinoplasty uses fillers to reshape the nose. While this procedure can’t reduce the size of wide nostrils, it can balance the nose’s overall appearance by modifying other areas.
  4. Septoplasty: If wide nostrils are caused by a deviated septum that is causing difficulty with breathing, a septoplasty might be required. This procedure straightens the septum, the wall between the nostrils.

Risks and Side Effects

Here are some potential risks and side effects for each of the treatments:

  1. Rhinoplasty: Risks associated with rhinoplasty include infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, persistent pain, swelling, bruising, nosebleeds, and, in rare cases, difficulty breathing through the nose. There’s also the possibility of not being satisfied with the aesthetic outcome.
  2. Alar Base Reduction: Similar to rhinoplasty, risks include infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and potential dissatisfaction with the cosmetic results. There might also be a change in the natural curve of the nostrils, leading to an unnatural appearance if not done carefully.
  3. Non-surgical Rhinoplasty: While generally considered safer than surgical alternatives, non-surgical rhinoplasty can cause temporary redness, swelling, and bruising. More serious complications, although rare, can include infection, filler migration, and vascular complications leading to skin necrosis.
  4. Septoplasty: Risks and side effects include infection, bleeding, adverse reactions to anesthesia, septal perforation (a hole in the septum), alterations in the sense of smell, and an unsatisfactory change in the shape of the nose.

FAQ Section

What causes wide nostrils? 

Wide nostrils are mainly a genetic trait, influenced by your ethnic background. Other factors, like aging, environmental impact, or certain habits can also affect the shape and size of your nostrils. Sometimes, medical conditions such as a deviated septum might make the nostrils appear wider.


Are wide nostrils a health issue? 

Wide nostrils themselves are not typically a health issue. They are more often a physical characteristic or a cosmetic concern. However, if wide nostrils are associated with difficulty breathing, it could indicate an underlying issue such as a deviated septum.


Can wide nostrils be reduced? 

Yes, wide nostrils can be reduced through various procedures like rhinoplasty or alar base reduction. A consultation with a plastic surgeon or a cosmetic dermatologist will help determine the most suitable treatment based on individual needs and goals.


What are the risks involved in procedures to reduce wide nostrils? 

As with any surgical procedures, risks can include infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, persistent pain, swelling, bruising, and dissatisfaction with the aesthetic results. Non-surgical procedures can cause temporary redness, swelling, and bruising, among others.


What can I expect after a procedure to reduce the width of my nostrils? 

Post-procedure, you may experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which usually subsides in a few days. Full recovery time and final results can vary based on the specific procedure. Most people are satisfied with the results, but it’s essential to have realistic expectations.


Can non-surgical procedures reduce wide nostrils? 

Non-surgical procedures, like filler injections, cannot directly reduce the width of the nostrils. However, they can balance the overall appearance of the nose by altering other areas, making the nostrils appear less wide in relation to the rest of the nose.


  1. “Rhinoplasty” entry from Mayo Clinic:
  2. “What to consider before getting a nose job” from Medical News Today:
  3. “Cosmetic procedures – Nose reshaping” from NHS:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *