Does Alarplasty Leave Scars for Life?

I am considering an alarplasty but I'm scared about the scars. How big are the scars? Will they be red, and do they stay forever? Is it possible to view a picture somewhere? I have searched everywhere. Thanks a lot!

Doctor Answers 15

Alarplasty Scars Photos

Yes, the scars are permanent but if done properly very well hidden. I am giving you link to the photos of one of my patients, Its the woman on the bottom, she had alarplasty as part of the rhinoplasty and you cannot see the scars. I can even send you close up photos of the alar area if you wish.


Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Does alarplasty leave scars for life?

Yes, the scars will always be there. The best place to "see" what they look like is to go to the surgeon near you and see his results. If I show you great results - that's nice but not an indication of how your doctor would handle such a procedure. Also, skin type is important. Make sure you feel comfortable with the decision.

Michael Kulick, MD, DDS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Alarplasty scars

Alarplasty scars are "fitted" into the groove beneath the alae and there fore are usually very inconspicuous. Scars are scars and last a lifetime, but plastic surgeons take advantage of location of the scars to hide them and in most patients they are undetectable. Caucasians tend to have reddened scars for up to about 6 months but these are easy to cover with makeup until they lighten. Ethnic skin may actually be a little bit darker, but again hidden beneath the alae. Some patients tend to develop hypertrophic or thickened scars, or worse, keloid scars and this may be a contraindication. You would need to have your physician evaluate your skin and any scars yo may have from the past and to take a thorough history. I will review my files to see if I have permission from any patients to view their photos and will post them at a later date if so. Besides the scarring you want to emphasize symmetry as well as correct positioning of the alae so they look natural in their contour. Question your physician about your expectations and goals and whether he/she can meet them and what are the risks. Also do not be afraid to ask their experience with this procedure.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Scarring will appear

As a trusted plastic surgeon, I know that one of the most important aspects of my job is to make the patient’s new, improved appearance look as natural as possible. Scarring can greatly distract from the overall appeal of a nose job, and can make a patient feel self-conscious when they should be feeling confident and excited to show off their new look. Scarring does technically “last forever.” Still, a good surgeon knows exactly where to make the incisions of an alarplasty procedure, hiding the openings in the creases of skin and at distinct angles. In this way, any markings will be well hidden and not really visible to the naked, untrained eye. For a more accurate assessment of how your new nose and any residual scarring will likely heal, ask your surgeon to see before-and-after photos of his or her past patients. 

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Scars from alarplasty are nearly imperceptible

The incisions for an alarplasty are usually well hidden right on the alar/nasal/facial junction. They do tend to stay slightly pink for the first month or two depending upon skin type and coloration. With time these will fade and heal in the natural crease making them nearly imperceptible.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Understanding Alarplasty: What you need to know...

Nostril reduction surgery (called Alarplasty / Alar Base Reduction) is a procedure that can narrow the width of the nostril base, decrease the amount of nostril flaring, or decrease the size of the nostrils.

It is possible to perform this procedure alone or as part of a rhinoplasty. To accomplish narrowing of the nostril base and nostril flaring, an alar base resection is performed by removing a crescent shape wedge of tissue from the nostril wall.

The incisions are placed in the crease where the nostril wall meets the cheek. When performed correctly, the scar is hidden in the "new" crease where the nostril meets the cheek. The incisions can remain red for several weeks, but generally heal very well and are not noticable after that time.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

This scar should be so well hidden as to be imperceptible

An alar base reduction is an effective procedure to narrow the base of the nose.  It also leaves a nearly imperceptible scar if the incision is placed in the appropriate location.

W. Tracy Hankins, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 292 reviews

Cuts leave scars.

As humans, we heal with scars, as apposed to say salamanders which form by regeneration. In the latter for example, the regenerated part eventualy heals without any hint of a scar, even under the microscope!

Anyway, back to your nose. A well execuited incision that heals uneventfully is carefully hidden in natural creases, and eventually, fades and is barely noticeable, even up close. It will take some time for the redness to fade, but is usually fine.

Remember however, sometimes healing doesn't go as expected, and an occasional scar revision may be required- this is minor however.


Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Alar base scars

A properly performed alarplasty or nasal base reduction will usually leave a minimal scar. However all patients heal differently. With any surgery you must weigh the advantages against the disadvantages in order to dermine if the procedure will be beneficial to you. The possibility of a poor scar is always there and any scar is permanent.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


 Alarplasty is a general term for treatment of the nasal alar rims.  It can mean treating the flare or the width or both. Even when the incision goes along the lateral border of the alar rim, they usually heal exceedingly well. Yes, scars are permanent

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 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.