Rhinophyma Treatment

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Originally, rhinophyma was considered to be a condition caused by the overconsumption of alcohol, in which the nose became thick, oily and bulbous (bulblike). However, this rare disorder is now thought to be caused by a severe form of rosacea, and appears to occur equally in those who do not drink and heavy drinkers.


Before rhinophyma can be treated, it must be identified and diagnosed. Rhinophyma is almost always diagnosed by the appearance of the nose and the symptoms associated with the condition. These symptoms include a thickening of the skin of the nose, a reddish appearance or a waxy, yellow appearance, and the changing of the shape so the nose resembles a bulb.


Several treatment options are available for rhinophyma. Generally, surgery to reshape the nose is recommended. Some doctors recommend the use of acne medicines, or the reduction of factors that cause the redness. Certain activities to be avoided include the use of facial creams, topical steroid creams, exposure to sunshine and the consumption of spicy foods and alcohol.


Surgery may be standard, with the use of a microdebrider e instrument to shave a portion of the nose and reshape it, or performed by a laser. A study published by The Journal of Laryngology & Otology experimented with the use of a FloSeal, a haemostatic agent designed to combat bleeding during the surgery, and achieved positive results.

Other Options

A study published in the Australasian Journal of Medicine reported that doctors successfully treated rhinophyma with the use of radiotherapy on a patient who had experienced the condition for 10 years.

Certain antibiotics may also be used in the treatment of rhinophyma. Tetacycle antibiotics (doxycycline and minocycline) have been successful at reducing inflammation, redness, pustules, and eye symptoms associated with rhinophyma. Oral antibiotics include cotrimoxasole and metronidazole have also been prescribed.


The prognosis for rhinophyma is mixed. While surgery can correct the condition and return the nose to a normal shape, the correction may not be permanent. In this case, additional treatment may be required if the bulbous nose returns.

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