Am I a Good Candidate for Alar Base Reduction?

I have been contouring my tip with makeup so there is more definition and I feel like it makes my nostrils look a little wide.

Doctor Answers 20

Alar Base Reduction in Rhinoplasty

Alar base reduction, if performed properly and for the right indications, can enhance the aesthetics of the nose and the relationship of the nose to the face. However, based on the close up image provided, alar base reduction would not be in my list of recommendations.  I would recommend that you see an experienced Rhinoplasty in Manhattan and ask for his/her opinion, because a complete opinion cannot be given without a physical examination. 

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

When is alar base reduction beneficial?

The most I can recommend, given just this photo, is to note that If the facial proportions of this person's face are average, then an alar base reduction would not benefit this person's appearance.Since proportions and balance are so important in the aesthetics of the nose, a full face photo is always required when making judgments about it's ideal shape. However, there are some general rules and guidelines that apply to most faces.  In general, while looking at the triangular base of the nose (from under the nose), all three sides should be about the same length (should form an equilateral triangle).  In general, the width of the base of the nose should about equal the distance between the inner corners of both eyes (which, by the way, should ideally equal the width of each eye).  Also, in general, the more the base is narrowed the longer the nose looks and the narrower the face looks, and these trade-offs may not be aesthetically beneficial. 

Richard Parfitt, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

No alar reduction for you

Alar base reduction is for flared alae and you don't have these.  Alar reduction would pinch your nose and look very poor.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Relationship of Ala and Tip

You should not, based upon this photo, seek to have an alar base reduction.

Alar base reduction is a narrowing of the nostrils. While patients with widely set nostrils or very arched nostrils (flaring nostrils) are candidates for alar base reduction, the issue you describe seems to relate more to the tip.

Tip plasty can narrow your tip and create the shadows that you are creating with cosmetics. Realize that when you narrow the nostrils, it typically makes the tip subunit look wider. Remember that everything is relative in the nose and face. So, perception can change when another area is worked on. Alar base reduction would, in all likelihood, make your tip concern worse and I would avoid it based upon this picture.

You would do better to have your concerns addressed at a consultation. That way you could potentially have an imaging session to show you the change that suits your nose.

Best of luck

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Alar Base Reduction

Alar base reduction refers to techniques used to narrow the nostrils in patients with excessively wide or flared nostrils. These techniques include Weir excisions and Sill excisions. These techniques can be performed during rhinoplasty or as stand-alone procedures. The decision of which approach to utilize is based on the anatomy and aesthetic desires of the patient and should be considered very carefully, as the procedures are challenging to reverse. The nostrils should not be overly narrowed as this can impact your ability to breathe. Often, increasing the projection of your nose (the distance the nose "sticks out" from the face), can obviate the need for alar base reduction. 

Looking at the photo you have submitted, it does not appear that your nostrils are wide or flared. A decent rule of thumb is to use a vertical line dropped from the inside corners of the eye. If the outer edge of your nostril is at or inside this line, an alar base excision is usually not indicated. 


Dr, Mehta

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Alar base reduction.

No, your nostrils are already narrow enough and you should not have them reduced more. Not only for cosmetic, but also breathing effects will result which you won't like.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Hard to tell

From the photo, it does not look like you are a candidate, but you would need to have a better photo to be sure.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Alar Base Reduction in Rhinoplasty

From the picture you provided it does not seem that you are a candidate for alar base reduction. A full examination may show otherwise, but typically the alar base should be close to the distance between the inner corners of your eyes. From El Paso.

Frank Agullo, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Not a good candidate for alar base reduction

From your photo, it does not appear that you are a good candidate for alar base reduction. Certainly, there is no substitute for a formal consultation and examination, but your base does not appear wide. Other views of your nose (such as a base view) would be very helpful as well.

Ryan Greene, MD, PhD
Fort Lauderdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Alar base resection for alar flaring

The photo of your nose that you submitted is too close-up to answer your question with 100% assurance.  To determine whether the base of the  nose at the nostrils is to wide, it is important to see the width in relationship to the inner corners of the eyes.  Based on the photo you have shown, however, I think the tip looks good, and it appears that  an alar base resection would make the tip of the nose too narrow. 

Roger J. Oldham, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.