If you’ve spent any time on social media, chances are you’ve seen the buzz about what many are calling a “liquid nose job,” also known as a non-surgical nose job.
Before-and-after photos show dramatic results thanks to the quick procedure, which touts zero down time and minimal pain at a much lower cost than rhinoplasty.
But while this new trend might seem like an easy solution, doctors warn it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, crediting social media as contributing to its popularity.
Dr. Cangello of Cangello Plastic Surgery in New York City told Fox News that selfies have led to an increase in cosmetic facial procedures on the nose, both surgical and non-surgical.
“I think that people are made more self-conscious by the frequency with which they take pictures of themselves. This leads them to seek correction of their perceived imperfections,” he said.
Liquid nose jobs use fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm to “fill areas of structural deficiency in the nose,” according to Dr. Cangello. “They can camouflage imperfections such as a dorsal hump and make the dorsum appear straight.” The results last on average about six months, but some patients get up to a year, depending on what’s been done.
“It’s understandable that not everyone wants to go under the knife. So filler can be used to fill around the bump and camouflage its appearance making it an option for these people,” he said.
While liquid nose jobs are a relatively inexpensive and easy alternative to surgery, they have some downsides that often aren’t discussed, and Dr. Cangello warns the procedure shouldn’t be used as a long-term solution.
“The filler tends to spread, since it is like a gel as opposed to a solid material. Over time, repeated trauma from injections with a needle causes inflammation, and the filler material itself causes an inflammatory reaction,” he told Fox News.
“The result of inflammation along with the accumulation of filler that spreads through the tissue (instead of remaining in the place it was initially put) can lead to thickening of the soft tissue of the nose, which leads to a wider and bulkier appearance,” Dr. Cangello said.
He also warns that people need to be wary of the extreme transformation photos on social media, even if they’ve been posted by a doctor. “If something looks too good to be true in before-and-after photos, you have every right to question authenticity,” Dr. Cangello said.
“I’ve heard firsthand that some clinicians have made noses larger than they were to begin with [in the before photo] by using Photoshop. So their before-and-after pictures show really dramatic improvements. If a nose looks large to begin with, and then looks more petite in the after picture, you really have to beware. While some optical illusion can occur from changing the shape of the nose, you really can’t make a nose appear smaller by adding material to it,” he explained.
For these reasons, Dr. Cangello said he prefers the surgical route, rhinoplasty, for better results that will last long term. “People should understand a non-surgical nose job is not as good an option as surgery, and it has its pitfalls. Over time, the cost of filler can add up to be much more than the cost of a rhinoplasty,” he said.
Additionally, Dr. Cangello said oftentimes what people need is for the overall size of the nose to be decreased, which can’t be done with fillers. “While fillers can make a dorsum go from humped to straight, the overall size of the nose is increased by adding filler, when really the problem is that the nose needs to be reduced in size,” he said.
He said that in addition to potentially falsifying photos, doctors might try to sell a patient on the non-surgical route simply as a way to make money. “Often the temptation is to sell to a patient only what can be offered instead of what is the best course of treatment. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. I think the patient’s best bet is to see someone who can offer you both surgical and non-surgical treatments as opposed to one or the other.”