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Rhinophyma: Causes and Treatment

rhinophyma alcoholic nose

However, these treatment methods have not been effective for reducing swelling or the appearance of bumps on the nose from rhinophyma. Widened blood vessels caused by heavy drinking allow more blood to travel to right beneath the skin’s surface, which gives the face a more flushed or red appearance. However, a scientific study that came out in 2015 at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine dismantled the theory that alcohol abuse and alcoholic nose are connected. One option is topical metronidazole (Metrocream), a dug that reduces skin inflammation by inhibiting the generation of reactive oxygen species. Even a single alcoholic drink can cause flare-ups for many people with this condition.

Signs of Alcoholic Addiction and Misuse

Avoiding these triggers may help keep the scarring caused by rhinophyma at bay, and doctors may choose to treat rosacea and rhinophyma with anti-inflammatories and topical antibiotics. If you’re considering rhinophyma surgery, start by talking to your healthcare provider. They can talk to you about the procedure and you can share the results you would like to achieve. This can help your provider understand the shape and aesthetic that you’re looking for. In most cases, rhinophyma surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes between half an hour and two hours. However, these lifestyle changes are ineffective in reducing swelling or the appearance of red bumps on a person’s nose due to rhinophyma.

Does Excessive Alcohol Use Cause Rhinophyma?

rhinophyma alcoholic nose

By impacting a person’s blood vessels and skin texture, rhinophyma results in a nose that appears swollen, red, enlarged, and bulbous in appearance – a condition that will only worsen if left untreated. Therefore, a common cause of rhinophyma is having long-term rosacea. For people who develop rhinophyma, their face skin thickens, especially around the nose. Rhinophyma — also sometimes referred to as “alcoholic nose” — is a physical condition that many people assume is caused by alcohol use disorder (alcoholism). While relatively rare, this condition can lead to facial disfigurement and inadequate nasal airflow if severe.

Surgical treatment

  • Topical and oral antibiotics reduce inflammation and redness, and other topical medications minimize inflammation.
  • However, these lifestyle changes are ineffective in reducing swelling or the appearance of red bumps on a person’s nose due to rhinophyma.
  • Contact today on our free and confidential helpline to find out more about how you can get started in addiction recovery right away.
  • Small, red bumps filled with pus, called pustules, may appear on your face as part of this condition.
  • Once acne rosacea progresses to rhinophyma, the skin covering the nose increases in size and the tip of the nose expands.

Someone who has a bulbous, swollen red nose may suffer from incorrect judgments and assumptions about their character and substance use habits. There are four stages of rosacea, and rhinophyma occurs in the last, or late, stage. Because rhinophyma often develops following a severe case of rosacea, it’s important to watch out for symptoms of this unique skin condition. Rhinophyma is the skin condition which causes a person’s nose to grow and become bulbous in appearance.

Causes of rhinophyma or “alcoholic nose”

The creators, editors, and contributors of this website are not liable for any purported damage or adverse effect, directly or indirectly, resulting from the information presented on this site. In the event of a suspected medical emergency, dial 911 immediately. An alcoholic nose, or rhinophyma, is a type of rosacea that can be worsened by alcohol use but can often be successfully treated through a combination of surgeries, medications, and lifestyle changes.

rhinophyma alcoholic nose

What Does Alcoholism Do To Your Appearance?

A survey by the National Rosacea Society found that red wine was the most common culprit, followed by white wine and beer. Afterward, you may participate in inpatient why do alcoholics have weird noses programs, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other resources. You can find these alcohol use disorder treatment programs and more at Ohio Recovery Center.

Symptoms of Rhinophyma

Rhinophyma, the condition often referred to as alcoholic nose, has a red, swollen, lumpy appearance. The nose may also have a purple-colored appearance and could be mistaken for having warts or other skin blemishes that look like protruding lumps. While there are no treatments that can completely reverse rhinophyma, medications and surgery can lessen the condition if caught in time. The longer rhinophyma goes without treatment, the more likely the condition will become permanent. Alcohol use can worsen a red nose, also known as rhinophyma, but doesn’t cause it to occur.

rhinophyma alcoholic nose

  • These include a combination of conditions that affect the immune system, nerves, and blood vessels.
  • In less severe cases, medication may be effective in treating rhinophyma.
  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact at
  • What is commonly called “alcoholic nose” is actually a skin condition called rhinophyma (Greek for “nose growth”).
  • Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site.

Few long-term studies have explored how often rhinophyma recurs after surgery, though limited research suggests that this is possible. There is no cure for rhinophyma, and it typically does not go away without surgery. Check out our blog posts and resource links for the latest information on substance abuse. Another successful story of a rhinophyma patient is that of Pamela, whose rhinophyma seemed to be triggered by severe acne along with multiple pregnancies and emotional distress. There are numerous cases of individuals who have treated and continued to manage their rhinophyma successfully.

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rhinophyma alcoholic nose

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