Is it possible to increase nasal flare permanently? (Photo)

I have a ill-defined rounded nasal tip. I prefer the look of my nose when I flare my nostrils as it seems to create a more defined tip. Is it possible to permanently increase nasal flare? Or, is there an alternative to create definition to the nasal tip?

Doctor Answers 6

Nasal flaring

It is difficult to assess your nose adequately from the photo, but it does appear that you could benefit from some tip definition.  Usually we do this with cartilage shaping and contouring to create a more defined tip.  That way you wouldn't have to walk around flaring your nostrils.

Just as an aside, even though you like how the nostril flaring defines your tip, surgically manipulating your nostrils is NOT a good way to create the result you are looking for.  You would not accomplish your goals with widened, stretched out, scarred nostrils.  It must be done with internal cartilage shaping.

Hope that helps,

Christopher C. Chang, MD

Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia

Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

I would not recommend it

Altering the nostrils is tricky business in regards to rhinoplasty.  The nostril skin and cartilage is very particular and difficult to reproduce in a natural looking manner.  Most people desire less alar flar in fact.  I would recommend a traditional rhinoplasty with narrowing of the cephalic cartilages, this would reduce the boxy appearance of your tip and lead to a more proportional looking nose.  I think you would be very happy with the results.   We offer free consults at a our Richmond and Tysons Corner offices.

Reps B. Sundin, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


 Dear Larajanie,

    Full face , front and side view pictures would have been very helpful. Communication with your surgeon is critical for happy outcome. You and your surgeon have to be on the same page . You have to understand what is feasible and your surgeon have to be able to deliver. It is not clear to me what do you mean with the term "flare". This word can be used for different parts of the nose. Meeting in person with the surgeon will help to clarify your goal.

   Not all results are the same, because experience, skills and aesthetic eye are critical for good result. So, do your due diligence carefully and choose your surgeon wisely, in order to avoid bad result and need for corrective surgery.

    Always, consult with experience board certified plastic surgeons who perform their surgeries in accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check their before and after pictures , to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive with natural look .

                   Best of luck,

                                      Dr Widder

Shlomo Widder, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Rhinoplasty, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.

The harmony between facial parts makes us instinctively recognize the beauty... without knowing it, without defining it, just a perception that surprises and captivates us.

In this regard, I suggest perform a Closed Rhinoplasty (without visible scars) to treat the tip, base and nasal bridge.
With this procedure you get a delicate nose, better harmonize with your other facial features.

Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 271 reviews

Nasal tip issue

You would have to be seen in person to determine what your goals are. It is very difficult to say from one photo view.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you may benefit from a tip refining rhinoplasty. Your surgeon can accomplish this by trimming, suturing, and reshaping the cartilage in your lower nose. Cartilage grafts may also be used to help improve tip refinement and create more alar flare.   Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and not just a computer animation system. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 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.