What is Alar Flaring?

Doctor Answers 3

Alar flaring

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The ala is the fleshy, curved  part of the lower nose which joins the cheek. Alar flaring is describing an ala that has an excess amount of curvature and bows out significantly before it joins the cheek. This has the effect of making the bottom part of the nose look wider. Alar flaring is often seen in rhinoplasty cases where the tip of nose that sticks out from the face too much (overprojected) is brought closer to the face. Try pushing the tip of your nose into your face and you'll notice the ala bow out. If there is excessive alar flaring, the ala can be treated leading to a narrower base of the nose.

Hope this answers your question.

Dr. Y

Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

What is "Alar Flaring"?

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The Alae are the outer walls of the nostrils. The origin is Greek for Wings.

In Western noses, the alae slope to the sides.  In a position of anger, outside muscles pull up on the alae creating this curved FLARED appearance (similar to a bird either landing or taking off).

However, this position is found at rest in African or South American noses where the alae run a short parallel course to the floor of the nostril before turning down to join the floor of the nostril.  This alar flaring can be corrected surgically.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Alar flaring described

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Alar flaring can be passive or active. Active flaring is the commonly reproduced by simulating widening of the nostrils as if encountering a noxious smell. Passive flaring is the same appearance at rest. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

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