After your parents have ticked off the last mark on your childhood growth chart, after you’ve stopped outgrowing shoes, and when the horrors of puberty are a distant memory, you may think it’s safe to claim that you’ve “stopped growing.” But there are two significant parts of your body that apparently didn’t get the memo. Once the growth of the rest of your body has slowed to a stop, your nose and your ears continue increasing in size. (So does that make it… three body parts that never stop growing?)
Dr. Ryan Neinstein, a plastic surgery practitioner at NYC Surgical Associates and Neinstein Plastic Surgery, explains what makes these two facial features different from the rest of your body. Dr. Neinstein describes how the multiplication of our cells drives the growth of our bodies. “Most cells in our body stopped multiplying at puberty,” Dr. Neinstein told Reader’s Digest. When the cells throughout our bodies, such as bone, muscle, and fat cells, stop duplicating, we stop growing. This doesn’t mean that cells themselves can’t get larger (they can; it’s how we build muscle) or shrink (they can; it’s how we burn fat). But most of them stop dividing, and in most parts of our body, “the number of cells is ‘locked in’” after puberty, says Dr. Neinstein.