The Nose Knows: 20 Revelations on the Discomforts of Rhinophyma


Facial flaws are enough to make anyone upset, and rhinophyma is no exception. Rhinophyma is a form of rosacea, which mostly affects men. This article will help you learn more about this condition, including what causes it, what its symptoms look like, and how you can prevent its symptoms and treat it fully.

So, let’s get started and find 20 revelations regarding the anxieties of rhinophyma:

1. Get the 411 on Rhinophyma

RhinophymaRhinophyma derives from the Greek terms “rhis,” meaning nose, and “phyma, “meaning growth. Often referred to as “bulbous nose” or “phymatous rosacea,” a large, red and bumpy nose characterize rhinophyma.

The most distinguishable characteristic of rhinophyma is the irregular shape and coloring of the nose. Rhinophyma causes the lower portion of the nose to appear larger. This puffiness gradually begins to redden in color, and eventually becomes quite noticeable.

Similarly to rosacea, rhinophyma is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. Rosacea and rhinophyma have many similarities, which leads people to consider a connection between the two. 

2. Rosacea and Rhinophyma: Reasons They Are Skin Condition Relatives

According to the NRS, National Rosacea Society, more than 16 million Americans have rosacea. Here is what you should know about rosacea:

rosacea– With rosacea, patients suffer from irregular flushing of the face. This flushing generally occurs around the cheeks and nasal areas.

– Those with rosacea experience small, red bumps called pustules around the face. Rosacea causes blood vessels to enlarge, which creates more blood flow to the surface. The additional blood near the skin’s surface causes the blushing appearance.

Rosacea can vary in levels of severity.

– Mild Rosacea: For those with mild rosacea, the face will stay red for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. This redness will appear similarly to a sunburn or windburn. Mild rosacea can cause slight tenderness or a sting when touched.

– Moderate Rosacea: In moderate cases of rosacea, the face will remain red for multiple days up to a few weeks. Unlike mild rosacea, those with moderate rosacea experience the pustules and bumps.

There can be damage to blood vessels in this stage of rosacea, which causes the redness to become semi-permanent. Unlike mild rosacea, moderate rosacea can create puffiness from the swelling of facial tissue.

– Severe Rosacea: The most severe stage of rosacea proves the most detrimental to both the mind and the body. During the severe stage of rosacea, the skin becomes so thick that pores become enlarged and clogged. Acne has a tendency to flare up uncontrollably during this stage, and the pustules formulate deep underneath the skin.

According to experts, rhinophyma is a type of severe rosacea.

– Rhinophyma is almost always located on the nose, and is characterized by lumps and pustules. Sometimes there are sores that fester, and facial blushing and redness occurs.

– Those who experience rhinophyma are typically in the later stages of rosacea. Rhinophyma hardly occurs overnight. Instead, the debilitating symptoms can take upwards of a few years to reach their peak.

It is vital to identify the early stages of rhinophyma in order to best prevent and treat the condition.

3. Learn to Recognize Rhinophyma

DoctorsDoctors are unsure of the exact cause of rhinophyma. However, in almost every case rhinophyma and a severe case of rosacea have a connection.

This condition has the potential to become painful for patients. The puffiness can cause physical and psychological issues, and in some severe cases it can even affect breathing and vision.

Even though this sounds like a horribly rare disorder, rhinophyma is actually common. Rhinophyma is due to a combination of genetic make-up and sun exposure. Those who are afflicted with rhinophyma often admit that they experienced nasal flares ups and sporadic facial redness.

The effects experienced from rhinophyma can prove detrimental, especially if they are not caught early in time for treatment. Let’s learn about your treatment options for rhinophyma.

4. Ways to Lower Your Chances of Developing Rhinophyma

Doctors might not know what causes rhinophyma, but they are aware of a few factors that increase your chances. Here are a few factors that will determine whether or not you are susceptible to rhinophyma:

– Reduce Your Rosacea: The sooner you control your rosacea’s effects is the sooner you can help prevent rhinophyma from occurring. Since rhinophyma occurs within the last stage of rosacea, keeping your rosacea under control can work wonders.

– Age Might Not Be More Than a Number: Skin naturally thickens with age. Therefore, those over the age of 40 are all prone to develop rhinophyma, but remember that it is more prevalent in men.

– Blame It on the Hypertrophy: If you are on steroids, then they can work the sebaceous glands into hypertrophy. In turn, hypertrophy causes the skin to swell and appear larger.

Genetics– Check Your Family History: Genetics are a significant factor in rhinophyma diagnoses. If your family has a history of rhinophyma, then you are at a higher risk than most.

– The Favorite Features of Rhinophyma: Those with light skin, light eyes, and light colored hair tend to be at a higher risk for rhinophyma. This is most likely due to the sensitive skin that most fair-skinned, light hair or eyed people have.

– Blame it on the Glasses: Believe it or not, ill-fitting glasses can cause rhinophyma. Poor fitted glasses put pressure onto the cartilage of the nose, which in turn causes thickening of the skin. Also, poorly fitting glasses traps oil, dirt, and sebum that only worsens the nose’s condition.

– Poor Hygiene: Most men who exhibit poor hygiene practices end up diagnosed with rhinophyma. For example, homeless men of all races almost always have rhinophyma.

5. How to Determine Whether or Not You Have Rhinophyma

The symptoms of rhinophyma mirror those of advanced rosacea. Here are the symptoms to monitor if you think you have rhinophyma:

– Facial Flushing: Your face will appear more red or redder than usual.

– Blotching: Perhaps you experienced flushing before, but now the red spots will create blotches all over the center of your face.

– Telangiectasia: Defined as the swelling of tiny blood vessels, this symptom causes red dots, different from splotching, all over the face.

– Suddenly Sensitive: Your facial skin might suddenly become much more sensitive than it was before.

– Ocular Rosacea: Sometimes the burning or painful sensation felt around the nose can affect the eyes, as well. Many patients claim to experience ocular pain and sensitivity likened to the feeling of coarse sand in the eyes.

– Eye Infections: In addition to ocular pain, many with rhinophyma claim to have conjunctivitis of the eyes. Conjunctivitis is redness within the eyelids.

Blepharitis– Blepharitis: Defined as the inflammation, or infection, of hair follicles inside of the eyelids. Often times this symptom is associated with rosacea but worsens with the onset of rhinophyma.

– Changes in the Nose: Since the main area of the body affected by rhinophyma is the nose, be sure to watch for the following nasal symptoms:

Noticeable Oil Glands

Enlarged Sweat Pores

Reddened Skin Tone

Thickened Outer Layers of Skin

Yellowing of The Skin

6. So You Think You Have Rhinophyma… Now What?

You should contact your doctor as soon as you suspect rhinophyma. Often times, the early symptoms of rosacea are misidentified as acne or another skin condition. However, rhinophyma is hardly ever misdiagnosed.

consult your physicianDiagnose rhinophyma easily with these tests:

What’s Up, Doc: Always remember to consult your physician first and foremost. Only a professional performs the diagnostic testing necessary to prove rhinophyma. While professionals diagnose rhinophyma visually, most of the time, diagnostic testing can help solidify the diagnosis.

Family History: Usually a family history and visual exam is all a doctor requires in order to diagnose rhinophyma. If a family history is not possible, or if the affected area is not symptomatic of typical rhinophyma, then a doctor might request a skin biopsy.

Skin Biopsies: Your doctor might require a small skin biopsy. In this case, the doctor will cut a small sample of the skin off of the affected area to test. You should have your results within a few days or up to one week.

7. Psychological Effects: Learning to Live with Rhinophyma

In addition to the multiple physical effects of living with rhinophyma, there are countless psychological effects, including:

depressed– Many people diagnosed with rhinophyma find themselves feeling uncomfortable with their appearance. As a result, these people have a tendency to revert from social outings and interactions. It is imperative to understand the psychological effects, since mostly the physical are discussed.

– If you or someone you know becomes depressed or anxious over the appearance of rhinophyma, then speak with your doctor immediately. Understand that you are not alone, and always be sure to voice your concerns.

– Also, many people with severe rhinophyma find that they start to have difficulty breathing through their nose. This is due to the excessive swelling of the skin. Ultimately, the swelling blocks nasal passages, causing breath to become increasingly difficult.

If you or someone you love is suffering from difficulty breathing due to rhinophyma, then continue reading to learn about the treatment options.

8. Top Tips to Treat Your Difficult Breathing

Since people with rhinophyma experience difficulty breathing due to excessive skin tissue swelling, the most feasible treatment option is to remove any excess skin growth.

Minimal Rhinoplasty: Surgeons will work to remove any unnecessary skin and swelling in order to create a clear nasal passageway. This procedure sounds invasive, yet it is nothing more than minimal rhinoplasty. With the increasing popularity of nose jobs, this treatment option is basically a medically necessary nose job.

A nose job can help treat your difficulty breathing, and most of your other side effects have treatment options, as well. There are many other treatment options for the effects of rhinophyma.

9. Reasons Medication is Always an Option for You

It should come as no surprise that there are medications available to help treat the symptoms of rhinophyma. However, you should note that medications to treat rhinophyma are most effective when you implement them early on. It can be difficult to introduce medication during the later stages of rhinophyma, because it typically doesn’t prove effective.

Here are some of the medications available for anyone suffering from rhinophyma:

– Rosacea-LTD: Pre-dating back to 1998, Rosacea LTD is popular as one of the earliest treatment options thanks to the Internet. This treatment method involves compression disks filled with zinc oxide, salt and sulfur. Patients would wet their faces and then glide these disks over the skin’s surface. The ingredients within the disks reduce any papules and pustules on the nose and face.

Since 1998, concerned people have renamed the company to Rosacea-LTD IV, and they have revamped their ingredients. Patients claim these disks do help remove the acne and bumps associated with rhinophyma, so this treatment option proves decently effective.

– Anti-Inflammatories: Since much of the side effects of rhinophyma involve swelling, an anti-inflammatory can help reduce inflammation and redness. The options for anti-inflammatories that a doctor might prescribe include tetracycline, erythromycin or minocycline.

– Antibiotics: Antibiotics can be helpful if papules or pustules cause swelling. Antibiotics keep the swelling controlled so that other medications, such as the disks mentioned or topical treatments, can work more effectively.

– Topical Medications: Common topical medication treatments for rhinophyma symptoms include metronidazole gels and creams, benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin and azelaic acid.

– Accutane: Doctors often prescribe accutane or roaccutane to many people who suffer from chronic acne. Research has backed the idea of this medication for rosacea, so now scientists are developing papers to prove that accutane can help treat rhinophyma, as well.

– Isoretinoin: More significantly in younger patients, isoretinoin has shown to help alleviate nasal volume caused by rhinophyma. Biopsy results of skin collected before isoretinoin use shows incredibly large sebaceous glands. During isoretinoin therapy, these glands were shown to lessen in both quantity and size.

10. The Nose Knows: Try Treatment Options for the Aesthetics

DermabrasionUnderstandably so, some of the most detrimental side effects of rhinophyma are the aesthetically unappealing ones. No one wakes up desiring a swollen, red nose, so it is entirely understandable that those with rhinophyma are interested in minimizing the aesthetics of the condition. Dermabrasion can help. Here’s how:

– Dermabrasion: Works well to reduce and sometimes recover unwanted scars and blemishes left from rhinophyma. 

Recovery time can vary from the severity of the treatment, but most patients can return to regular activities within a few days. Residual redness left from the treatment can take up to one year to subside.

11. Yes You Can: Fight Rhinophyma with Lasers

Laser treatment therapy is another option for anyone afflicted with rhinophyma. Professionals first put patients under a mild sedative, as the procedure can be relatively invasive. They apply numbing anesthetic to the area, and medical professionals work to minimize swelling of the glands and tissues.

Laser treatment therapyThe procedure takes anywhere from half an hour to an hour, and it is painless due to the anesthesia. Once the procedure is complete, they apply an antibiotic ointment with a covering dressing. It will take one to two weeks to recover.

Laser treatment is highly effective in almost all cases with underlying deformity. Most cases require only one treatment; however, doctors usually perform touch-up treatments for the best results.

12. Will Rhinophyma Come Back After Laser Treatment?

Laser therapy treatment is one of the most effective treatment options for rhinophyma. Laser surgery works to rid of excess tissue and enlarged pores, which help the nose to return back to its natural shape. After this procedure, it is seldom that the symptoms return.

13. Key Laser Treatment Facts You Need to Consider

Here are the facts you need to consider before laser treatments:

– Laser treatment therapy for treating rhinophyma is a day procedure.

recovery period– The recovery period required from this procedure, however, is extensive. The recovery period is vital because the nose is essentially being reshaped. Typically, two weeks are required for laser therapy recovery.

– This recovery period means no exercise and more than likely some time away from work, as well.

– You will also need to have a post-operative appointment the day after surgery and a follow-up after the recovery period. Be sure to consider these requirements before booking your surgery, as they can affect your daily routine and schedule.

– Also consider the effects of laser treatment therapy. As with any surgery, there are risks related to the treatment. While infection is rare, it is a possibility.

– Scarring is also a possibility, but do note that it is incredibly rare. In fact, specialists claim scarring occurs in less than one percent of all cases.

14. Other Treatment Options You Can Consider for Rhinophyma

Here are other treatment options for rhinophyma:

– Traditional Rhinoplasty: For anyone who wants the physical shape of their nose to change, traditional rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is always an option. This will more than likely only affect the aesthetic effects, though.

– Argon Lasers: Other laser therapies, such as Argon or YAG lasers, can resurface the skin. This in turn reduces redness and restores natural, smooth skin.

– Cryosurgery: Working with incredibly low temperatures, cryosurgery freezes tissue cells, causing them to die and wear away. In turn, it helps to restore and rejuvenate the skin.

– Electrosurgery: As opposed to cryosurgery, electrosurgery kills the skin cells using a high-frequency electrical current. However, the same result is noted.

A plastic surgeon, ear or throat surgeon, or a dermatologist can perform all of these treatment options. The professional performing the treatment will depend on the treatment itself.

While these treatments don’t cure rhinophyma, they can certainly lessen the effects from the condition. If consulting a surgeon or dermatologist is not an option for you, then there are still some at-home measures that you can take to reduce your rhinophyma.

15. Rub Your Rhinophyma Away With a DIY Massage

massageTreatment options that you can perform at home in less than 15 minutes are ideal for anyone. This do-it-yourself massage fits all idealistic criterion:

– Simply massage the nose for 10 minutes a day in order to help prevent rhinophyma from worsening.

– Massage works to stimulate blood vessels and work them away from the surface of the skin. If you are already applying topical creams or gels, then work a massage in as you apply them.

16. The Best Ways for You to Cover Up Your Rhinophyma

Make up is ideal for anyone wanting to cover up blemishes, but not just any make-up will work effectively to mask rhinophyma. Instead, purchase products aimed at reducing the redness and swelling. Oftentimes, manufacturers offer such creams and gels as tinted products, which means they will work to mask any redness while they work.

Tinted moisturizers and liquid foundations are an option, even for gentleman; however, it is essential to never leave foundation on the skin for too long. Always make sure to cleanse your skin at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Leaving oily substances on the skin will only worsen skin conditions.

17. How You Can Prevent Rhinophyma

sunscreenIdeally, instead of treating rhinophyma, you want to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Here are a few ways to prevent rhinophyma:

Always Use Sun Protection: Whenever you are in the sun, wear at least SPF-30. Lather sunscreen on your face and any exposed skin. The process might feel tedious, but remember the debilitating side effects in the long run if you don’t wear sunscreen. Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours or right after swimming.

Cleanse Your Skin: Cleanliness can help prevent skin conditions. Cleanse your face using a gentle cleanser every morning and evening. Then, apply a gentle moisturizer to prevent dryness and sensitivity.

Avoid SunCover Up: Wearing wide-brimmed hats can protect your face, neck, and ears. Simply find a hat that fits your fashion.

Avoid Sun During Peak Hours: The sun is at its strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. When you lounge in the sun during these hours, it increases your skin’s susceptibility to conditions, such as rosacea and eventually rhinophyma.

Remember that Sun Exposure Occurs All Year: Over exposure is not just a summertime thing. You should always wear sunscreen when outside, even during a skiing holiday.

Avoid Sun Lamps: Fake tanning wreaks havoc on your skin. The best way to avoid skin conditions, whether skin cancer or rhinophyma, is to avoid any additional ultraviolet rays found in tanning beds and booths.

18. How to Avoid the Common Rhinophyma Triggers

If you know that you are prone to rhinophyma from heredity or rosacea, then there are some triggers you can still avoid to prevent rhinophyma from occurring.

Triggers to avoid include:

Hot BeveragesSpicy Foods
Hot Beverages
Severe Heat or Cold
Exposure to Sunlight
Medications That Dilate Blood Vessels

19. An Evolving Condition: Reasons to Continue Your Rhinophyma Education

Roscaea and rhinophyma information improves daily. One of the best ways to prevent or treat these conditions is to remain on top of the educational curve. Immerse yourself into support groups and networks for support. These groups can offer information, as far as the physical and emotional effects.

20. Be Proactive by Enlisting the Help of a Professional

If you notice the onset of rhinophyma, or you are simply curious about prevention, then the best option is to speak with your medical professional. Never feel embarrassed. Use your doctor as a resource and for proper guidance.

No one should feel as a prisoner in his or her own skin. Learn to love your skin again by collecting true and complete information of your condition. Never let rhinophyma, or any other condition, make you feel inferior. Rise up against rhinophyma and weigh your treatment options today.


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