Does Your Nose Get Smaller When You Lose Weight?

You wake up one morning and decide to get a different kind of haircut, so you visit the barber. As the barber is cutting your hair, he casually drops a few words about your appearance: “You look great, but your nose seems to be getting smaller.”

If you’re anything like the average person, you may have already considered a few of the ways your nose could be changing due to gravity. After all, when you lose weight, you usually have a bit of a dip in nose size. But what happens when your body shape changes and you don’t feel like you have as much ‘gravity pull’ on your nose?

The way your partner reacts when you tell them you want a different kind of haircut or the way your nose changes shape when you lose weight may provide clues as to how you should respond. For example, if your nose starts to appear more like a banana, you may want to get worried. But if your partner reacts differently, maybe it’s not as bad as you think.

Your nose is one of the most important aspects of your face. Not only does it help you to identify yourself and your partner in a crowd, but it also affects how people perceive you. If you’re worried that your nose is gradually getting smaller, perhaps it’s time to reassess what’s important to you.

The History Of The Nose

Your nose has been a source of conflict for millennia. Prior to the 20th century, most people had an average of around 10 pairs of nasal cavities. However, around that time, there was an ‘evolution’ in nasal physiology, marked by the doubling of the nose’s principal muscle, the dilator naris. This anatomical shift made it possible for individuals to breathe through their noses more effectively.

As a result, the number of people who suffer from nose disorders increases. The most common of these is called ‘deviated nasal septum.’ In this condition, one or both of the nasal septa (the partition between the two nasal cavities) deviates (goes out of alignment) with the other septa. This is most often the result of repeated nosebleeds or due to an injury sustained during birth. The septa can’t reset themselves, so in most cases, this results in some degree of nasal obstruction or a sense of incongruity when breathing through the nose. (For more information on this disorder, check out the American Association for Respiratory Disorders’ description here.)

While some people are more affected by this condition than others, all humans have a fundamental right to a quiet breathing experience. As a result, those who suffer from a deviated nasal septum often find themselves in a frustrating cycle that usually involves nosebleeds and pain. If you’re worried that this might be the case for you or someone you know, be sure to get checked out by a physician.

The Difference In Appearance

When you lose weight, it usually results in a visible difference in the way your nose looks. For the average person, this involves a noticeable decrease in the size of their nose. Depending on your partner’s perspective, this could be good or bad. For instance, if your nose starts to look more like a banana, you may want to get worried. But if they believe that your nose has gotten smaller, maybe it’s just a temporary condition.

However, it’s important to remember that your partner won’t be able to provide an objective opinion regarding your appearance. Instead, they’ll have to rely on their own experiences, whether positive or negative. As a result, you might want to consider how you want them to react to your changing appearance.

In most cases, your partner will notice the change in your nose first. In fact, they may even remark how much more attractive you are than you were before you lost weight. Of course, they’ll have good reason to say this. After all, you’re now getting to see the beauty of your skin clearly for the first time in a while.

What About The Shape Of The Nose?

Another way your nose can change is in terms of its shape. This is especially common among those who lose a significant amount of weight as a result of sickness or medical treatment. After they’ve recovered, they often report that their nose has shifted to a more bulbous shape, akin to that of a cartoon pig. (For some strange reason, cartoon pigs and people with oversized noses seem to be BFFs.)

This is probably due to the fact that when your body is at rest, your nose tends to sit lower on your face. As a result, it has more ‘gravity pull’ than usual, causing it to swell. So while your partner may notice a decrease in the size of your nose, they won’t necessarily notice an increase in its shape. (Unless you have a very oblong nose. Then they’ll notice everything.)

Still, in most cases, the shape of your nose will return to its pre-loss state once you’ve gained back some weight. This is mostly due to the way your facial bones grow together when you take in more food. Regardless, this condition can be corrected with surgical implants or mini-invasive procedures. If you’re worried that this might be the case for you, be sure to consult with your physician to see what options are available to you.

Does Your BMI Make A Difference?

Even those who’ve never measured their body mass index (BMI) may know what it is. Simply put, the BMI determines your weight by taking into consideration your height and your weight. So if you’re taller than average and thus have more ‘gravity pull’ on your nose, it may become smaller. But if you’re shorter than average, it may start to look the same as most other parts of your body. (Oddly enough, most animals have body proportions that make them appear more squatty than tall. This is why most mammals have a smaller nose than most other parts of their body. Although, some of them have very large noses.)

In general, those with a higher BMI will have a smaller nose than those with a lower BMI. (Since humans are the only animal on the planet that regularly consumes junk food, perhaps it’s no surprise that we’re the only ones who have a problem with our nose size. At any rate, those with higher BMIs usually have narrower noses than those with lower BMIs. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, some people with extremely high BMIs have significantly enlarged noses.)

Other Reasons Why Your Nose Changes

Besides the above, there are several other reasons why your nose might change. These include but are not limited to:

  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Nasal diseases (such as sinusitis or chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS))
  • Nasal surgery
  • Osteoporosis/Osteopenia (Decreased bone density. Often confused with osteosclerosis, which is decreased bone tissue volume)
  • Autoimmune disorders (such as arthritis and lupus)
  • Side effects of medication (such as Accutane, chemotherapy medications, and some antibiotics)

If you’re wondering what the most common cause of decreased bone density is, it’s usually due to aging. As humans get older, their bodies start to lose the ability to produce new bone. This leads to a significant decrease in bone density and a higher chance of osteoporosis. (Osteoporosis is one of the major causes of bone fractures. In fact, around 10% of those with osteoporosis will experience significant breaks or fractures in their bones. This can be quite dangerous, especially since these individuals are usually very old by the time this happens.)

Aging isn’t the only thing that decreases your bone density though. In most cases, pregnancy lowers your bone density. This is mostly due to the effect that pregnancy has on your body’s production of estrogen. As its name would suggest, estrogen has the effect of making your bones and all other parts of your body more ‘feminine.’ While in the rare case of preeclampsia, high blood pressure can also decrease your bone density. (Preeclampsia is a form of pregnancy-induced hypertension. During pregnancy, it’s relatively common for those with preeclampsia to develop osteoporosis. This is due to the effect that this condition has on their body’s production of estrogen. (For more information on preeclampsia, check out the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists here.))