A crooked nose is one that is bent or twisted out of shape or place. A crooked nose may be slightly C-shaped or S-shaped, or it can be to the right or the left of the face.
A crooked nose may result from trauma or birth irregularities. Commonly, a crooked nose is the result of a deviated septum, where the nasal septum, or thin wall between the nasal passages, becomes displaced.
Some crooked noses may not cause any medical problems. It is common to have a crooked nose. At other times, a crooked nose can cause functional issues, including breathing difficulties.
The treatment for a crooked nose will depend on the type and severity of any problems. No single method is suitable for fixing every kind of crooked nose.
Treatment options may be surgical or nonsurgical.
Surgical treatments are typically necessary for severe cases. Types of surgery include:
Rhinoplasty can alter the shape or position of bone, cartilage, and skin.
This type of nose surgery is a cosmetic procedure that aims to change the appearance of the nose, including its size, shape, or proportions.
Research indicates that rhinoplasty is a very successful treatment for a crooked nose. As with all surgeries, rhinoplasty carries risks, including:
- reaction to anesthesia
Other risks include:
- an uneven looking nose
- difficulty breathing through the nose
- permanent numbness around the nose
- persistent pain or swelling
- septal perforation, or hole in the septum
A doctor or surgeon can discuss the risks of rhinoplasty if a person has concerns.
Functional rhinoplasty is similar to cosmetic rhinoplasty. However, a doctor will perform this type of surgery to correct functional problems, such as breathing difficulties.
The risks of a functional rhinoplasty are similar to those of cosmetic rhinoplasty.
While a rhinoplasty focuses on the outside of the nose, a septoplasty fixes the septum, which is inside the nose.
People who have a deviated septum will typically require a septoplasty to straighten a crooked nose and to relieve any blockages in the nasal passages.
For less severe cases of a crooked nose, a doctor may recommend first trying soft tissue fillers, which are a nonsurgical treatment option.
Fillers involve injecting materials into the soft tissues of the nose. This fills in areas of the nose that appear out of shape or place to disguise the crookedness.
Soft tissue fillers may be a more appealing alternative to surgery for some people as they:
- are minimally invasive
- less costly than surgery
- require less recovery time
- potentially carry less risk, such as reaction to anesthetic
There are different types of fillers, and some carry more risks than others. Potential risks of all fillers include thinning skin and infection.
In rare cases, nasal fillers can cause necrosis, or skin loss of the nose.
A surgeon must consider each individual for their suitability for treatment with nasal fillers. People should discuss the advantages and potential risks of fillers and other types of treatment with their doctor.
Some individuals and websites claim that exercises can reverse or correct a crooked nose. Some exercises involve the use of devices to achieve results.
However, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that any exercise works to correct a crooked nose. Changing the position of bones or cartilage through exercise is not possible. Only surgery can do this.
A crooked nose may be the result of an issue with the bones, cartilage, or other tissue in the nose, or it may result from a deviated septum.
Potential causes of a crooked nose include:
Possible causes of a crooked nose at birth may include:
- congenital abnormalities of the nasal septum
- congenital masses or bumps on the nose
- pyriform aperture stenosis, or blockage of the bony opening of the nose
A crooked nose may also be associated with a cleft lip or cleft palate.
Occasionally, nasal septal deformities can occur during delivery, including forceps assisted delivery or breech birth. Research indicates that this may be the case in 1.25–23% of all newborns.
A traumatic injury to the nose can displace the bones or cartilage. Types of injuries that commonly cause a crooked nose include those that occur during a traffic collision or contact sports. An injury may also result from being hit in the face.
Surgery on the nose may cause the nose to appear off-center. If this occurs, further surgery may be necessary to correct the displacement.
This type of crooked nose occurs when the septum leans to one side. It can block one side of the nose and cause discomfort, nosebleeds, and breathing difficulties.
A deviated septum is very common. Approximately 80% of people have some degree of deviated septum. This deviation often results from an injury, although some babies are born with the condition.
Other potential causes of a crooked nose include severe infections or tumors that skew the shape of the nose.
People should see a doctor if their crooked nose is causing:
- pain or discomfort
- breathing difficulties, including noisy breathing
- sleep problems
- issues with confidence or self-esteem
They should also seek medical attention if their nose recently became crooked, as this could be a sign of an infection or tumor.
If a crooked nose has been present since birth, and if it does not cause any issues, medical treatment is not usually necessary.
It is very common to have a crooked nose. Several treatments exist to fix a crooked nose, either for functional or cosmetic reasons.
Those who have concerns about their crooked nose, or who wish to find out more about the available treatments, should speak to their doctor.