The plunging nose tip is defined (in the aesthetic surgery world) as a nasal “deformity” where the nasal tip descends or “plunges” during smiling. But is the plunging nose tip a ‘real’ phenomenon? A new paper in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, (January 2014 vol. 34 no. 1 45-55) describes experimental research which examined the syndrome. The Simon tip rotation angle (STRA) was measured (smiling and non-smiling) in 25 women who had presented themselves for cosmetic primary rhinoplasty and who complained of a plunging tip.
“Our data demonstrate that the nasal tip changes its position less than 1 mm with a full smile. The concept of a ‘plunging tip’ is an optical illusion. In reality, the alar crease and subnasale elevate and the alar rim straightens, while the tip position changes minimally. Objectively, the tip moves less than 1 mm and less than 1 degree using the STRA.”
See: The Plunging Tip : Illusion and Reality (More information from the authors, including the above photo, is available here.)
Also see: The quest for an ideal nose