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The Asymmetrical Face

A common concern that I hear as a facial plastic surgeon is that one side of the face is not exactly the same as the other. People come in asking “is it normal for my face to be asymmetric?” I begin by telling them that asymmetry is the norm and not the exception. Asymmetry, to […]

A common concern that I hear as a facial plastic surgeon is that one side of the face is not exactly the same as the other. People come in asking “is it normal for my face to be asymmetric?” I begin by telling them that asymmetry is the norm and not the exception. Asymmetry, to an extent, is beautiful and in recent literature we are learning that it is more attractive to have asymmetries. In fact, when you mirror image to create a perfectly symmetric face most people find it disturbing to the eye.

Now bear in mind that, as with most things in life, there is an acceptable range for facial asymmetry. Falling outside of this window may lead to someone being perceived as less attractive or desirable. The goal then is to correct the feature so that the face as a whole is once again within the goal range. The objective is NOT to achieve perfection, partially because this is often unattainable and partially because perfect symmetry is less ideal than having slight asymmetry.

The good news is that there are several options for correcting prominent asymmetry. Neurotoxin, such as Botox, can be used to temporarily adjust brow position or one’s smile. Filler, such as Restylane, can temporarily improve volume in the cheeks or correct a deep wrinkle. A silicone implant in the temple, cheek, or chin can permanently restore symmetry. Various surgical corrections are also possible to alter the brows, eyelids, nasal tip, and other facial features using minimally invasive techniques.

I often find that it is easier to see asymmetry in the midline structures, such as the nose and lips, and these are often the most fruitful targets for restoring symmetry and balance to the face. Remember, we all have some differences between the left and right sides of our faces and bodies.

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