Noses of different shapes

With review and feedback from ENT doctor FP Johns Langford, MD (Concord)

Some are wide. Some are long. Some are small like buttons. We all have noses, but why do people from different parts of the world have noses of different shapes?

Helping with humidity

For years, scientists have studied thousands of noses from around the world to determine if there is a correlation between their shape and the region of the world where people live.

FP Johns Langford, MD

Many scientists believe the quality of the air in a region is related to how noses developed over time. For example, in tropical climates, air is hot, humid, and more rarified. Therefore, nostrils are open and wider to let more air flow in.

Conversely, in colder climates, air is usually drier. Cold, dry air can irritate the nasal and throat passages, which can cause nosebleeds and other respiratory problems, CEENTA ENT doctor FP Johns Langford, MD, said. Therefore, people living in those climates have smaller, narrower nostrils. Less cold air is drawn into the body, allowing it to mix with the air already in the body and warming it up somewhat.

What else causes it?

That said, climate is only believed to cause a difference in nostril size. The height and overall size of the nose are influenced by other factors, and you can find people with different-sized noses in all parts of the world. For example, the aquiline, or hooked nose, is often associated with people from southern Europe, the Middle East, and Native Americans, but people of all ethnicities all over the world can have this nose shape.

Genetics are believed to have a minimal effect. There are some scientists who theorize that males, in general, have larger noses than females because they take in more oxygen than females.

If you are concerned about the shape of your nose and are considering a rhinoplasty, schedule a consultation at CEENTA. Our facial plastic surgeons are specially-trained ENT doctors who are not just aware of how to ensure you are able to still breathe freely after plastic surgery, but they are sensitive to the aesthetic needs of people of all ethnicities. So, no matter where you’re from or how your nose is shaped, you will get treatment that complements your natural look.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Would you like an appointment with Dr. Langford? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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