Rhinophyma is a severe form of rosacea whereby the nose becomes bulbous, red, and bumpy. This condition is common in men between 50 and 70 years of age. Since it is a type of rosacea, it is classified as subtype 3 of this condition. It occurs gradually over time and on the lower half of the nose. Previously rhinophyma was thought to be associated with alcoholism and drinking, but studies now show that there is no association. Nonetheless, the perception remains for many making this condition even more uncomfortable and embarrassing for patients. Fortunately, there are procedures to help improve the appearance of the nose and smooth out the texture.
At our clinic, we offer solutions that combine several procedures for improving the overall look of this condition. We can alter size and shape by surgically removing any redundant skin, smoothing down bumps with electrocautery. In the final step, dermabrasion is used (a sanding procedure) to improve the overall texture of the nose.
Why Do I Have Rhinophyma?
There are several factors that lead to this condition. It is generally more common in men. It begins as rosacea around age 25 or 30 and gradually progresses. Men more likely to develop this condition have:
- Fair skin
- A Scottish, English, Irish, Scandinavian, or Eastern European background
- A family history of rosacea
Rhinophyma occurs in people with very severe rosacea. Symptoms include:
- Flushing in the face at random times
- Blotches on the face
- Recurring bumpiness (often mistaken as acne)
- Noticeable swelling of small blood vessels in the cheeks and nose
- Sensitive skin
These symptoms get progressively worse. It is important to pay attention if the shape of your nose changes and the pores look larger. The skin tone becomes very red and oil production increases. Eye problems like dry eyes can occur in extreme cases.
Diagnosing the Condition
This condition is often mistaken for rosacea, but consulting an experienced dermatologist can help in getting the right diagnosis.
During the consultation, you will have to provide details on your complete medical history. You will undergo a physical exam, and a biopsy will most likely be performed. The biopsy is required if your condition doesn’t respond to rosacea medications.
This condition can be treated with medications and/or surgery. Most often than not, surgery is recommended, since this condition doesn’t always respond to medication. Enlarged vessels cause disfigurement, making surgical removal even more necessary. Early diagnosis can reduce symptom severity and prevent the need for surgery.
Ways to Prevent Flare-Ups
There is no way to prevent rhynophyma from occurring, especially with a family history. However, flare-ups can be prevented.
Experts recommend doing the following to prevent flare-ups:
- Cut down on hot food and drinks.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- Limit intake of caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
- Avoid extremes in temperature whenever possible.
- Reduce stress.
- Avoid too much sun exposure.
Once you have been diagnosed, follow your doctor’s advice, and use sunscreen to protect your face. Use moisturizers for sensitive skin. Take care of your eyes if you experience eye problems.
If you are concerned you have rhinophyma, Drs. Baucom and Mina would be happy to discuss with you during a consultation ways to improve the appearance.