Nose thread lift: Top things you must know before considering nose threads

By Dr. Aaron Stanes

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    Nose thread lifting is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that involves the insertion of long strings of medical grade material (commonly polydioxanone, or PDO) known as threads into the nose to change its shape. It is sometimes known as the Hiko nose thread lift.

    The threads are loaded onto needles and inserted at the nose tip. The needles are withdrawn, leaving the thread in place.

    Threads are often promoted as safer than nose fillers, however, there is much more to the story than this.

    Nose threads work by stimulating collagen forming a dense tissue scaffold to reshape the nose. Claimed benefits include refining and lifting the nose tip, defining the nose bridge and giving the nose tip a sharper appearance. Despite the claimed benefits there are some important considerations.

    Nose thread lift treatments have the following characteristics:

    • Non-reversible, requiring surgery to remove if you change your mind
    • More traumatic to insert compared to nose filler, causing trauma and scar tissue
    • Risk of damage to delicate nose structures
    • May cause a lack of definition and a swollen nose due to swelling related to the production of collagen
    • Threads can become infects and extrude through the skin
    • May make future nose surgery more complicated due to the collagen bundles
    • Treatment can be quite uncomfortable, with frequent post-treatment swelling

    Which is better nose thread or nose filler?

    The better treatment will depend on your personal circumstances, however for most cases, nose filler is more precise, less traumatic and fully reversible. While not perfect, most clinicians with extensive experience in non-surgical nose reshaping prefer dermal filler because it is highly precise, reversible and does not cause damage to the native nose tissue.

    Nose threads are reasonable if your nasal bridge lacks structure and projection, and you do not have a dorsal hump. If you have a dorsal hump passing the thread along the contour of the nose can be extremely difficult if not impossible, as the needle used to insert the thread is rigid and cannot be guided around a bump without the thread becoming too shallow.

    How many times can you do nose thread?

    If you choose to proceed with nose threads and want to repeat the treatment, it can be redone every few years. With subsequent treatments, you can generally space out treatments longer due to the build-up of collagen.

    Are nose threads reversible?

    Nose threads are not reversible. One type known as Aptos can be partially removed using a hook, but other types need to be removed with surgery. If there are complications from the nose thread lift or you don’t like the result then the treatment may be very difficult.

    Do nose threads affect nose surgery?

    The collagen build-up in the nose caused by threads can affect future nose surgery. This is because it makes the nose tissue more dense, and can cause different structures to stick together. If you explore surgical options after having nose threads, the actual procedure may be much more difficult and complex.

    Nose threads or nose filler, which to choose?

    On the balance of pros and cons, nose filler is generally preferred by most people who want to change their nose without surgery.

    Nose filler is lower cost, less traumatic, more precise and fully reversible. The downside of nose filler is that the result may not be stable for everyone, as the body constantly breaks down dermal filler. This aside, nose filler has a very high satisfaction rate, and is categorised as a low-risk procedure when done by an experienced cosmetic doctor.

    Nose threads are higher cost, more traumatic, less precise and not reversible without an invasive procedure. Nose threads are appropriate if you have a very flat nose and lack nose bridge definition, a minority of patients.

    Watch Cosmetic Connection’s Dr. Aaron Stanes discuss nose threads vs nose filler on Instagram.

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