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Drooping Nose Tip

Written by: Alice Hart-Davis

Last Updated: 22 September 2023

As the name suggests, this is when the tip or point of your nose droops down. In medicine, this is called nasal ptosis. You’ll also sometimes hear it referred to as a ‘caudal nose tip’, where ‘caudal’ means ‘towards the tail end’. Scroll down for the FAQs about treating a drooping nose tip.

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What is a drooping nose tip?

While a drooping tip is predominantly an aesthetic concern, it can also cause breathing problems because it has the potential to narrow the airways. Nose surgeons tend to consider a nose to be drooping if the nasolabial angle is less than 90º in men and 100º in women. “What’s the nasolabial angle?” you might well ask. Well, imagine your face in profile and draw an imaginary vertical line running from just behind your chin, up to where the nostril meets your cheeks, and then up to where your brow. Then draw another imaginary line, this one running from the tip of your nose to the bit where the bit in between your nostrils meets your upper lip. The angle between these imaginary lines is the nasolabial angle.

There are other methodologies, such as tip rotation measured against the Frankfort horizontal plane and calculating the columellar-facial angle, but they get rather technical and, in any event, are essentially just different ways of talking about the same thing. But if you go to a consultation and hear them talking about these other methods, don’t worry, they’re just talking about facial angles to measure droop.

If your nostrils flare up quite dramatically, it can give the appearance of a drooping tip, even if the nasolabial angle isn’t under the supposed technical threshold. There are also a good number of people who only find their nose tips seem to droop when they smile. This isn’t at all strange; in fact, most people’s nose tips will be drawn down slightly by smiling. This is due to the muscle behind your upper lip (called the depressor septi nasi) shortening as you smile, which tugs the tip of your nose downwards.

Why does my nose tip droop?

There are a number of reasons why the nose tip might droop. I’ve already mentioned smiling, where the muscle behind your upper lip pulls the nose tip down as you smile. Most of the time, however, it’s due to the structure of the different bits of cartilage in your nose. You have probably seen a skull before and noticed that there is a hole where the nose is—that’s because the rest is made up of cartilage. These fit and link together to form a sort of tripod structure, over which additional soft tissues lie, creating the nose you see in the mirror.

There are many different cartilages in your nose— exactly how many actually varies, depending on how your nose developed and how you choose to define the distinct cartilages—as a rough guide, we’re talking around eleven in total. They’re made of collagen, something you will see mentioned repeatedly across this site. Collagen is the most common protein in the body and one of its primary building blocks. Over time, collagen deteriorates, which leads to a number of characteristics associated with ageing, including a drooping tip. Fun fact: the old adage that noses (and ears) don’t stop growing is false; they do get bigger though, and that’s because the collagen deteriorates and can’t support the nose against the forces of gravity as it used to. This causes the subdermal structures to descend resulting in stretching of the skin and an enlargement of the area.

The size, arrangement and shape of the different cartilages determine the shape of your nose, as well as any drooping. As you get older, drooping will become more pronounced, for the reasons explained in the preceding paragraph. Since cartilage is comparatively delicate, blunt force trauma can often distort one or more of the cartilages and result in a differing shape.

Why does my nose have a drooping tip after rhinoplasty?

This is a question that pops up from time to time. I’m afraid the answer is not one you’ll want to hear. Sadly, the rhinoplasty (or ‘nose job’ to most people) you had either wasn’t right for you or wasn’t performed well. I’m no expert on surgery, but a number of the practitioners on my website are, so if you’re not happy with the results of your rhinoplasty and want a second opinion, take a look at the plastic surgeons I have listed.

drooping nose tip

How do you fix a drooping nose tip?

A drooping nose tip is one of the easier concerns to address using non-surgical tweakments. Dermal fillers are gels that add volume where the deterioration of collagen or trauma has resulted in a loss of volume. By injecting filler under the tip of the nose, a skilled practitioner can lift the tip and visibly change the angle. While this is only a temporary solution, it is effective and relatively inexpensive—and much less disruptive than plastic surgery.

However, do bear in mind that dermal fillers are hugely under-regulated and while I and many others in the industry are campaigning to tighten regulations, it’s still the case that nearly anyone can inject you with anything claiming to be a filler. That’s why you should read my page about dermal fillers and find yourself not just a reliable practitioner whom you can trust, but preferably a practitioner who is a plastic surgeon with training in surgical rhinoplasty, as they will fully understand the complex demands of working around the nose tip.


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FAQ ABOUT Drooping Nose Tip

Does toxins help with a drooping nose tip?

Toxins only affect the muscles, so it will only really be effective if your nose droops when you smile. If it’s the cartilage structures that need adjustment, then you want to look at non-surgical rhinoplasty using dermal fillers.


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