Facial asymmetry describes a lack of symmetry to the face and illustrates an imbalance or disproportion between both sides of the face. Very small differences in facial symmetry are common and provide individual quirks and features that we know and love in ourselves and others. However, major differences can be noticeable and affect the overall aesthetic view of the face. Facial symmetry can also be an indicator of health and have real consequences for interpersonal relationships as we perceive those with more symmetrical faces as being more trustworthy.
The causes of facial asymmetry are varied and can be classified into congenital, developmental or acquired irregularities. Whatever the cause, asymmetry arises due to differences in the facial bones and/or changes in soft tissue overlying these bones. Any asymmetry may become more evident with age due to changes in skin elasticity, soft tissue changes and gravity, and the ‘weaker’ side of the face often ages faster, rendering facial asymmetry more noticeable with time.