What is a dorsal hump?
A dorsal hump is a “bump” caused by an irregular projection of bone and/or cartilage on the nasal dorsum. This area that runs from between the eyes to the tip of the nose is also commonly referred to as the bridge of the nose. A dorsal hump curves outward, like a small hill on the nasal bridge.
Unlike other nasal medication conditions such as a deviated septum that can make a nose appear crooked while also causing difficulty in breathing, dorsal humps pose little to no risk to one’s health. The main concern people raise about dorsal humps is aesthetic—how the bump on their nose makes them look.
As the center point of our face, the shape of our nose, particularly the bridge, heavily influences our entire face’s appearance. From a frontal view, a bump on the bridge of the nose may go unnoticed but stand out starkly from the profile view. This is why most people concerned about their dorsal hump come to our clinic— they are looking for a smoother, more aesthetically appealing nasal bridge from a lateral perspective.
Common causes of dorsal humps
A frequently asked question by patients who come to our clinic: Is it possible that the hump on my nose is inherited? The answer is yes. Actually, the main contributing factor to dorsal humps tends to be genetics. This means some people are genetically predisposed to develop a bump on their nose.
That said, dorsal humps due to genetics rarely show up early in life during childhood. In fact, they show up during puberty’s growth spurt when one’s nose is growing and developing. If you were concerned if the dorsal hump will keep growing, nasal growth usually slows down or stops after puberty, which means the hump also stops growing.
An adult should not be having a rapid change to the nose occurring over a short period. If that's the case, it's probably worth having the nose examined to rule out other causes of nasal shape change (benign and malignant soft-tissue and bony tumors, fibrous dysplasia, etc.).
Injury or Trauma
The second contributing factor to dorsal humps is injuries. Common causes are auto accidents, sports-related injuries, or physical fights. This brings up another common question: can nasal bump caused by injury go away? This depends; is the bump due to swelling or damage to the nasal dorsum bone or cartilage?
Two to three months after a nasal injury, soft tissue swelling should have resolved. So if you still have a bump, it’s likely permanent. If you broke your nose, but it heals abnormally, the bone or cartilage may set in a way that creates a large bump on your nose.
As you can see, humps on the nose bridge can appear for any number of reasons. Therefore it is important to seek medical advice to determine the source of the issue. (Talk to us today!)
Dorsal hump removal with surgery
Traditional rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure done for medical reasons such as rectifying breathing problems. It can also be used to remove the dorsal hump whereby the surgeon alters the shape/size of the nose by modifying the bone and cartilage in the bridge of the nose. This is a permanent solution; you don’t have to worry about the dorsal hump “growing back” after it’s removed.
But this is a delicate surgical procedure with potential complications, and not everyone is an ideal candidate for rhinoplasty, especially people with thick inelastic skin. Given the high number of revision rhinoplasties(1 out of 10 rhinoplasties in the UK will require a revision), a desirable outcome is not always assured.
Dorsal hump removal without surgery
An effective and low-risk alternative to surgery is nonsurgical rhinoplasty, also called liquid rhinoplasty. Performed by injecting dermal fillers to fill out the areas around the dorsal hump, this procedure requires only topical anesthesia and can be completed in about half an hour.
The results can last between 6 months to 2 years, which means one will require touch-ups down the line to maintain the results. On the plus side, it’s significantly less expensive than a rhinoplasty, has fewer potential complications, and there’s little to no recovery time before you can resume your regular activities.