What is Facial Asymmetry?

Article Details
  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Scientists have determined that crocodiles evolved to become vegetarians at least three times in their existence.  more...

December 10 ,  1948 :  The UN adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.  more...

An individual whose face is not identical on the right and left sides is said to possess facial asymmetry. This can come from many different sources, ranging from asymmetrical freckles or parted hair to serious facial deformities, such as those caused by physical harm or birth defects. Physically, possessing perfect symmetry does not tend to significantly influence one's health or functionality. Studies have suggested, however, that asymmetry may have a significant effect on interpersonal relationships. People tend to subconsciously interpret symmetry and asymmetry in different individuals as an indicator of one's general level of health and attractiveness.

Fluctuating asymmetry is a term used to describe variance in the body's normal bilateral symmetry that occurs over the course of one's life. Fluctuating asymmetry is one of the primary causes of facial asymmetry, but it also applies to other bodily traits that normally exhibit bilateral symmetry, such as the lengths of fingers on one's right and left hands. It is believed that fluctuating asymmetry occurs when one's genome is not fully able to produce and maintain completely ideal traits in unstable and often non-ideal environmental conditions. Based on this notion, one may interpret facial asymmetry as a sign of poor genetic ability to handle environmental strain.


It should be noted that true facial symmetry is extraordinarily rare and almost never occurs. Differences in hair patterning and teeth, minor skin imperfections, and even slight variation in bone structure are quite common. These differences tend to be either too small or too ordinary to be considered particularly significant.

Facial asymmetry is considered to be important largely because of its impact on attraction and interpersonal relationships. One may, for example, subconsciously perceive facial asymmetry resulting from fluctuating asymmetry as a sign that one is genetically unable to successfully cope with environmental conditions. This perception may influence how attractive someone finds a potential mate to be.

Fluctuating asymmetry is by no means the only possible cause of facial asymmetry. Significant injuries to the face or head can alter bone structure, damage teeth, or leave scars that cause visible asymmetry. Misalignments of the jaw can also lead to visible facial asymmetry. Even if it is not caused by environmental factors, asymmetry of any kind can suggest poor health or a weak genetic makeup, particularly to potential mates. It is possible to correct some forms of asymmetry through various forms of plastic surgery, skin treatment, and tooth and jaw treatment.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 5

I was fat once, then after I hit puberty I lost some weight. The right side of my face has no jaw line and it looks weird. I asked the doctor and he explained that we tend to chew food on one side. At that time, I was chewing foods on my right. Now they look symmetrical (to me).

Post 4

My facial asymmetry has given me depression. I've had it ever since puberty and it's only gotten worse the older I get. Now in my early twenties, I have such anxiety about the asymmetry of my face and my general appearance, that it has come to the point I feel sorry for the people around me, and that I have an obligation to spare them from looking at me.

I don't know what to do to help myself, because I'm still in college and it's either that or pay the several thousand dollars for braces and orthognathic surgery to make myself look normal, but I know I need a college education.

I have never had a significant other, nor anyone

interested in me whatsoever, and so I feel like there is no hope to ever be in a happy relationship. I have nothing going for me. I will always be alone. What they say about facial asymmetry is true. And it hurts. I can't even imagine what it must be like to feel beautiful.
Post 3

Is there such a thing as a facial asymmetry surgery to make the face more of a reflection of itself?

I have a very asymmetrical face and it has always bothered me. I have never had any work done, but if there was a procedure that was subtle but effective I would consider it.

Does something like this exist? How intense is it?

Post 2

I have heard people say that beauty comes from a symmetrical face, but I think the reverse is true.

It is the anomalies, imperfections and asymmetries of our faces that give them their character. They are what makes us unique, and what makes us beautiful in the end.

Post 1

I have seen programs that will take a picture of your face and make it perfectly symmetrical. You usually end up looking pretty weird and more different from yourself than you would expect. I guess that asymmetry is a good thing.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?