Question: I’m African American and planning to have a nose job soon. I know that smoking is bad after surgery, but is this true of second hand smoke as well?
Answer: African-American ethnicity and smoking both have impact on rhinoplasty for different reasons. Darker-skinned individuals also tend to have thicker skin, which can affect the results in rhinoplasty. On one hand, the thick skin can camouflage some of the underlying irregularities in the shape of the nasal cartilages and make asymmetry less noticeable. On the other hand, a darker-skinned patient may not be able to achieve as dramatic result from rhinoplasty because the skin is thicker and may “hide” the changes underneath. Smoking, whether primary or second-hand, has a negative impact on rhinoplasty because it affects the circulation to nose and impairs healing. Many plastic surgeons will not perform elective surgery, including rhinoplasty on smokers or patients exposed to large amounts of second-hand smoke.