What is a Button Nose?

Also known as an ‘upturned nose’ or ‘celestial nose’ in the medical field. When the shape of your nose projects upwards from the bridge and is small with a rounded tip it is known as a ‘button nose’.  It is determined by a rounded nasal tip. Those who are mostly of an Asian ethnicity would typically have this type of shaped nose.

Corrective surgery done on this shape helps to change its appearance to a flatter, straighter or refined nose. The angle of such shaped noses can vary either from an exaggerated angle to a less slightly upturned one. Some people refer to them as a ‘pixie nose’. However, it is a normal thing just like any other facial feature.

Rectifying a Button Nose

The shape of any individual’s nose evolves over time and age and can be impacted by factors such as illness or injury over time. Different ethnic groups have different shapes of noses. Obvious differences then are usually determined by the ridge length of the nose, protrusions, and other things.

According to research and evolution, the climate that our ancestors were born into, determines the unique shape of our noses. Typically, there are two types of noses, i.e. a button nose and a short nose. For many, it can be a case of not liking the shape of your nose and seeking to rectify it through means of surgery, while for others it is a case of their nose interfering with health issues that need to be solved.

Fortunately, there are many ways to seek a solution for enhancing, changing, and improving one’s nose. We look at both the surgical as well as the non-surgical solutions offered at many surgeries across the world.

Causes of a Button or Upturned Nose

In the medical field, a button nose is no cause for any concerns, unless it has been interfering with aspects of your health such as not being able to breathe properly. However, if the shape is bothering you both nonsurgical and surgical operations can be done.

There may be a few common causes of this, including:

Different Genetics

Genetics i.e. your DNA plays an important role in how we look and the features on our face. It goes back to our ancestors and heritage and is also partially influenced by the environment we are brought up in.

Certain Injuries

Those who face a sudden trauma to the nose can have their nose-shaped altered. Mostly a severe injury would be a culprit like a blow to the nose. Which can cause an upturned nose.

Common causes of broken noses include:

  • Physical assault, such as being punched or kicked in the nose
  • Upturned nose after rhinoplasty
  • Motor vehicle collision
  • Walking into a wall
  • Falling down
  • Contact sports injuries and being hit in the nose


During a surgical procedure to fix this, also known as rhinoplasty, if too much cartilage is removed from the septum or the tip of the nose it can shorten it and cause the upwards look. It is common especially if the nose lacks a certain projection before the surgery and an unprofessional surgeon removes too much of the tip during a procedure.

Some people, however, want this look as, according to some research done on appearances, an upturned nose is an attractive feature in people, especially women.

Birth Defects and Gene Mutations

Sometimes a rare gene mutation can cause certain medical conditions which will inevitably affect the physical development of an infant still in the mother’s womb. One of these things affected is the nose. Other things that may be affected include intellect, limbs, stature development, and eyes.

Other times it’s a case where the baby will suffer from a ‘microcephaly’ or a birth defect that affects the baby’s head making it smaller than it should be, leading to smaller brains that have not completely developed.

Other disabilities that can cause an upturned or button nose to include:

Toriello-Carey syndrome

Which is a brain abnormality associated with distinctive craniofacial features and typically the infant would have heart difficulties, breathing problems, and moderate intellectual disability.

Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome

Another developmental disorder that affects certain parts of the body especially the facial features, as well as behavioral and learning problems.

Cornelia de Lange syndrome

This is also a genetic condition from birth. These characteristics of which are evident in the facial features, intellect, and behavioral aspects as well. Children who have this are usually smaller in size and the circumference of their head is affected too.

Kaufman oculocerebrofacial syndrome

Another reason for children having an upturned nose, based on a medical condition is the Kaufman oculocerebrofacial syndrome which affects their facial features, mental retardation, and eye abnormalities amongst other aspects.

What is a Short Nose?

A short nose, on the other hand, is one that has a nasal bridge sitting lower than the ones mentioned above and the proportions would be shorter, and wider, and makes the face appear shorter as well. The nostrils in this type of shape are more exposed. And mostly those of an African ethnicity have these shapes.

To rectify these irregularities, surgeons provide certain surgical procedures, some non-invasive and others more extensive. If you are not sure if you are a likely candidate for a nose job, the below concerns can help you decide the shape of the nose you have and if you should speak to your surgeon about helping you to reshape it.

In general, there are two main types of rhinoplasty to alter a button nose shape or any other:

  1. Open Rhinoplasty
  2. Closed rhinoplasty

1. Open Rhinoplasty

Both are different in their level of invasiveness. We look at both briefly below.

As the more invasive option of the two, the closed rhinoplasty uses a wider opening for the surgeon to perform the surgical procedure making the nostrils wider and an incision is made between the two nostrils.

The flaps of the nasal skin are then lifted from the nose, to expose the cartilage and nasal bone. This is a good method for those who want the tip of their nose reshaped as well as any alterations to do with their nasal septum or deviated nasal bridge. It allows for the removal of the dorsal hump.

2. Closed or Endonasal Rhinoplasty

Unlike its open counterpart, a closed rhinoplasty involves making an incision on the inside of the nose, and all three – cartilage, septum, and bridge are operated on. This technique offers less swelling and downtime, but there are a few restrictions on how much work can be done on the nose, especially if it’s a case of having to alter the tip of the nose.

If you are not happy with the shape of your nose and looking for a solution to alter it without any scarring, then this may be the ideal procedure for you. Anything from altering the tip of the nose to getting rid of bumps like a dorsal hump or shortening the nose can be performed. The advantage of closed rhinoplasty is that it is a quick procedure and has minimal swelling as well as a faster recovery time and is done under general anesthesia.

What Parts of The Button Or Any Other Nose Job Can Be Altered by Surgery?

Besides the tip of the nose, there are also other areas that the surgeon can operate on to produce the results of an aesthetically pleasing nose. Some of the most stunning Rhinoplasty procedures are done by skilled specialists only because the patients communicate with them about their needs and desires.

If you have any concerns with the different parts of your nose, you should voice them to them before you go under surgery. Some people are not aware of the extent to which they can alter their noses and besides getting the tip of the nose changed there are also other aspects you can discuss with them.


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