Aug 10

The Nose Huggie?

Recently we came across a post from someone asking about the “nose huggie”.

Intrigued we looked it up and found what appears to be a modified hair clip being touted as a rhinoplasty alternative. Sadly, although it is true that the nose is made up of a lot of cartilage, you cannot simply mold the nose or its cartilage with pressure. In fact, when discussing rhinoplasty with our patients we go to great lengths to explain that cartilage and bone cannot simply be molded like clay.

So while there are occasional patients who we think can benefit from injection rhinoplasty, also called non surgical rhinoplasty- the nose huggie is not something that we frankly think works as a non surgical alternative to a real nose job.

nose huggie

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4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. ZHL October 2nd, 2009 10:47 pm

    I understand that a lot of rhinoplasty patients end up getting revision surgeries because they don’t let the nose heal well as the cartilages are tender for the next year. Things like sleeping on one’s side and therefore pushing the nose on the mattress or accidental events can have traumatic effects on the recovery progress. Some surgeons use a nasal splint to cover up the nose to maintain a straight profile post-procedure, so I was wondering if pressure from these types of splints are actually effective in a post-procedure scenario since you mention here that the nose cannot be molded with pressure.

  2. admin November 1st, 2009 11:24 am

    That’s a good question. True, a nasal splint is used in the immediate post-operative period to protect the bones from accidentally shifting if they were mobilized during surgery. Mostly, however, the splint helps to prevent some edema or fluid swelling of the tissues. The bones are pretty much fully healed within 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

    Beyond that, we may advise taping the nasal skin at night to help the skin and soft tissue shrink and wrap around the newly changed bony and cartilage framework. This process will happen regardless, but gentle pressure from taping will speed it up. So, pressure can help ‘mold’ the skin envelope after surgery.

    When we say that the nose cannot be molded with pressure alone, we are talking about cartilage. Cartilage of the external nose is elastic and maintains its shape via a natural spring. Research suggests that this type of cartilage may be molded in infancy when it is very soft, as is done in some countries for prominent ears using splinting devices. Beyond the first few years of life, this cartilage becomes more ‘calcified’ and firm, and these devices become largely ineffective. So, in order to truly change cartilage size and shape in the nose, a surgical rhinoplasty is needed. Hope that helps.

  3. J October 31st, 2011 4:44 pm

    How about if there is a combination of heat and pressure? A product called Nasofix claims it is effective in shaping noses because of the heat emitting silicone that they have in the device

  4. admin November 3rd, 2011 10:04 am

    Hi J,

    Thanks for your question. Please see my comment above. Products such as these depend on marketing a ‘secret technology’ that Plastic Surgeons don’t want you to know about. In truth, heat at body temperature cannot mold cartilage or bone. If that were true, products such as electric blankets and heat emitting patches for sprains and muscle strains would be outlawed as dangerous devices. In fact, for permanent remodelling of skin (another body tissue dense in collagen), we need to use thermal devices at extremely high temperatures (think lasers, etc.) that you wouldn’t want in contact with your skin for longer than a split second, and even those do not completely penetrate the skin. So, no, mild pressure and heat will not shrink cartilage or bone any more than they will turn coal into diamonds.

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