Surgical and Non-Surgical Options to Correct a Lopsided or Asymmetric Face
While on a video call or going through pictures on social media, you may notice that your face doesn’t look even – and that you have a ‘better side’ to show to the camera. Your nose might look crooked, or one cheek might look smaller than the other. This lopsided or unevenness in facial features on either side of the face is called facial asymmetry. Everyone has some level of facial unevenness that can be the result of sun exposure, ageing, injury, smoking, genetics, or other factors. But sometimes facial features can be so asymmetrical that they make your face look like it is lacking in harmony.
Several cosmetic options can help fix an asymmetrical face. These include facelift, rhinoplasty, chin reshaping surgery, jaw surgery, fillers, and fat transfer to the face. These procedures can make your face look more even and more aesthetically pleasing. After all, facial symmetry is the number one feature of a beautiful face.
Dr Jeremy Hunt and Dr Maryam Seyedabadi offer different solutions to patients with different facial asymmetry problems in Sydney and Wollongong. Because they understand how important facial harmony is, they design their surgical solutions to give you beautiful, natural, and long-lasting results.
What is Facial Asymmetry?
An asymmetrical face is a face with features that aren’t perfect mirror images of each other on either side of the face. Your face can look out of balance if one side looks very different from the other side. Facial asymmetry can be attributed to:
- One eyebrow is higher than the other
- One eye looks more closed than the other
- The nose is crooked toward one side or the other
- One cheek is fuller than the other
- The jaw or chin is uneven or asymmetric
- One ear looks bigger than the other
- One side of the face has more signs of ageing than the other
- One part of the face is more wrinkled and saggy than the other part
A certain degree of asymmetry in the face is natural and gives you a unique look. However, you may feel unsatisfied with the way your face looks if your face is too uneven.
Dr Maryam and Dr Jeremy Hunt can offer you a range of different alternatives that can make your facial features look more proportional and bring back a beautiful balance to your face.
What Causes Facial Asymmetry?
Although some faces come pretty close, no face is completely perfectly symmetrical. Uneven facial features are very common and can be found even in the most beautiful faces. You can often find people with a droopy cheek on the left side, a fuller lip on the right side, or a slightly crooked smile.
Asymmetrical facial features can be the result of:
- Genetics: asymmetric lips or noses can run in the family. When you have the same facial asymmetries as other members of your family, then it’s probably genetic
- Dental work: getting dental work done, like removing a tooth, can change your bite or make a part of your face look sunken. This changes the lower part of your face and makes it look asymmetric
- Injury: asymmetry on one side of the face can be because of an injury you’ve had as a child, at work, or in an accident. Face injuries include a broken nose, a fractured cheekbone, or a deep face cut that can leave marks on the face
- Bad posture: chronically applying more pressure on one side of the face than the other can contribute to the asymmetry in the face. This can happen when you frequently sleep on your face or rest it against your hand
- Sun exposure: exposure to UV sun rays can result in thick skin patches and dark spots unevenly distributed over the face. This is especially true for taxi and truck drivers who have one side of their face (the driver’s side) more exposed to the sun
- Ageing: with age, the soft tissue of the face starts to become lax. Different parts of the face experience different levels of tissue laxity. This can cause parts of the face to droop more than others, leading to uneven cheeks and other asymmetric facial appearances
- Smoking: when you smoke, you expose your face to a lot of chemicals including nicotine. These chemicals can make it harder for nutrients to reach certain parts of your face which can damage your face in different spots
How Can Facial Asymmetry Be Fixed?
Mild asymmetry of the face can go unnoticed and usually doesn’t need to be corrected. However, if the difference between your facial features is too prominent, there are several facial procedures than can be done to fix facial asymmetry:
1. Facelift Surgery
A facelift can help tighten and smoothen the skin on your face. During a facelift, your surgeon can make your face look more symmetric by giving both sides of your face the same degree of skin firmness and facial muscle tone. Different types of facelifts can target uneven facial features in different locations:
Upper facelift (brow lift)
During a brow lift, your surgeon will be able to correct your eyebrow asymmetry by lifting one eyebrow more than the other to bring them into the same position. Lifting the excess skin in the forehead can also decrease the pressure on the eyes and allow them to open properly. The fine lines and wrinkles on your forehead will also be smoothened giving your forehead a more unified look.
Mid-facelift (cheek lift)
A mid-facelift allows your surgeon to evenly tighten your middle face area, reduce deep nasolabial folds, and lift droopy cheeks into a balanced position. This can help fix uneven cheeks and give the middle third of your face a more proportional look.
Droopy jowls and wrinkles on the chin can make the lower part of your face look lopsided, especially when one side of the face is sagging more than the other. During a lower facelift, your surgeon can contour your jawline and flatten the wrinkles on your chin. This can remarkably enhance the symmetry of your jaw and chin area and make the whole face look more even.
A full facelift can rejuvenate the entire face and fix the asymmetry in different portions of it including the forehead, cheeks, jaws, and neck.
2. Nose surgery (Rhinoplasty):
A crooked nose is a common cause of facial asymmetry. The whole nose might be tilted to one side of the face in some patients. In others, the nostrils might be uneven or the tip might be crooked. Fixing an asymmetric nose can be done with rhinoplasty, better known as a nose job. Rhinoplasty can fix a crooked nose and make the whole face more proportional and symmetric. Since the nose is the centre of the face, your whole facial harmony can be influenced if it isn’t perfectly straight and symmetric. That’s why rhinoplasty is one of the top surgeries to make the face more harmonious and even.
In some patients, the cosmetic nose concern might be localised in a small part of the nose, like the tip or the nostrils. These patients have the option of getting a less invasive nose job, such as:
Tip rhinoplasty (tip-plasty)
This nose surgery is done specifically to reshape the tip of the nose. If you have a nose tip that is boxy, large, bulky, pointy, or droopy. A tip-plasty can improve the shape of your nose tip making it look more in sync with the rest of your face.
Alarplasty – Nostril Surgery
This is a type of nose surgery that reshapes wide or flaring nostrils. During alarplasty, your surgeon can reduce the size of your nostrils making your nose look more symmetrical.
Septal deviation surgery (septoplasty)
A septoplasty is a surgery that focuses on straightening the nose septum to restore normal airflow to the nose and enhance its aesthetic appearance. A septoplasty can be done on its own or as a part of a full rhinoplasty.
A deviated septum can change the symmetry of your nose and affect the symmetry of your entire face. It is usually caused by nose trauma during childhood or adulthood. During a septal deviation surgery, your surgeon will straighten the deviated bone and cartilage. Since the septum acts as a “core” for the nose, straightening it will straighten the whole nose. Straightening the deviated septum gives the nose a better alignment in the centre of the face. A septoplasty can improve both the shape of the nose and its symmetry with the rest of the face.
3. Chin reshaping surgery:
The chin plays an important role in the balance of facial aesthetics. A chin that’s too small or over-projected can make your entire face disproportionate. Chin reshaping surgery can improve the proportions of the face by altering the appearance of the chin:
Chin augmentation surgery (mentoplasty)
During this type of chin surgery, your surgeon adds volume to the under-projected chin by inserting a chin implant or moving the chin bone forward. This will bring the chin forward making it look more prominent. Chin augmentation surgery can improve the proportions between your chin and nose and improve your entire facial appearance.
Chin reduction surgery
On the other hand, a chin that’s overly projected can be reduced by removing excess bone. The chin is then re-contoured into the desired shape that’s more in harmony with the rest of the face.
4. Jaw Reshaping Surgery
Jaw corrective surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a complex surgery that can correct facial asymmetry by reshaping the jaw.
Having an overbite, underbite, or crossbite can make your jaw look crooked and your whole face uneven. Corrective surgery of the jaw allows your surgeon to move your upper or lower jaw sideways, forward, or backward, making the oral opening more symmetrical with a perfect bite and even smile.
Jaw surgery, thus, helps correct the alignment of your jaw and its shape. With better jaw alignment, you’ll have more harmonious facial features.
5. Facial Injectables & Fillers – A Non-Surgical Solution
Injectables like dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections are two very popular non-surgical options to help correct facial asymmetry:
Facial fillers usually contain hyaluronic acid (HA) or other volumising substances. The injected filler gives more volume where it’s needed in the face. They can be strategically injected to correct uneven cheeks, balance asymmetric eyebrows, and make the lips more proportionate.
Wrinkles in the face can be caused by facial muscle contractions. Botulinum toxins can paralyse and relax the muscles in the face. This smoothens out the facial wrinkles that might be appearing only on one side of the face and causing facial asymmetry. Anti-wrinkle injections can also be performed to open up the area around the brows. This can help fix droopy and uneven brows and restore their balance.
Keep in mind that injectables don’t have permanent effects and you’ll likely require recurrent injections every few months.
6. Fat transfer to the face
Another way to correct facial asymmetry naturally is by facial fat transfer.
During fat transfer to the face, no foreign material is used. Your own fat is removed from another part of your body (like the stomach or buttocks) and strategically injected into targeted areas of your face. Facial fat injections are commonly used to fix facial unevenness by augmenting specific parts of the face, like the chin, cheeks, or jaw, to make it more symmetric and harmonious with the rest of the face.
Despite the many advantages of fat grafting, injected fat can shrink after a while, so you may need more than one injections to reach the desired facial volume.
7. Buccal fat removal
Buccal fat removal surgery removes fat from the inside of the cheek if one of the cheeks is bigger than the other. Full cheeks can be very attractive, but if one cheek is fuller than the other it can make your face look chubbier on one side. The results of this surgery can outlast the results of injectables or facial fat transfer since the removed cheek fat does not come back.
During chubby cheeks reduction surgery,a small amount of tissue and fat will be removed from the inside of one or both of your cheeks. Dr Maryam and Dr Jeremy Hunt make sure that they remove just the right amount of fat so that your face maintains a natural symmetry and balanced proportions.
Which is the Right Treatment Option for Facial Asymmetry?
The right facial asymmetry treatment for you depends on your own goals and the specific cosmetic problems you have. It also depends on your age, the degree of facial unevenness, and the presence of other cosmetic concerns.
For some, a facelift might fix facial unevenness. For others, additional fat grafting or dermal fillers alone might do the job. It all depends on what you have.
Dr Jeremy Hunt and Dr Mariam will thoroughly explain different options to fix facial asymmetry during a consultation and will help you choose the suitable one.
In the end, keep in mind that the beauty in each face isn’t about symmetry alone; it’s also how all the facial features come together to give a unique and captivating look. That’s why performing face surgery needs more than just surgical skills.
Further Reading about Face Surgery options
- Read Dr Hunt’s Nose Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Septoplasty procedure page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Deep Plane Facelift procedure page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Face Surgery page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Face Surgery Before and After Photos
- Read Dr Hunt’s blog about Chin Implant vs Jaw Implant
- Read Dr Hunt’s blog about Difference between Neck lift or Lower Facelift Surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s blog about Solutions for a Receding Chin
Medical References about Facial Asymmetry
- The Relationship between Age and Facial Asymmetry
- Factors contributing to facial asymmetry in identical twins
- Smoking: Does it cause wrinkles? – Mayo Clinic
- Eyebrow asymmetry: ways of correction
- Crooked nose: The asymmetric face – ScienceDirect
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon performing breast, body, face and nose surgery in Australia. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is optimal for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and, through his guidance, can achieve good results.
Dr Hunt’s personal, one-on-one service and attention to detail has given thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia the aesthetic results they desire.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. He completed a Fellowship at the prestigious University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from some of the world’s very best plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
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If breast reduction is something you’re considering, Dr Hunt can thoroughly explain all the options to you in a one-on-one consultation.
- Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.