Rosacea Home > Rhinophyma

Rhinophyma (an advanced type of rosacea) is characterized by an enlarged, bulbous, and red nose resulting from enlargement of the oil-producing glands beneath the surface of the skin on the nose. Depending on the severity of the condition, doctors may begin treatment with topical or oral rosacea treatment.

What Is Rhinophyma?

To understand what rhinophyma is, it's important to first have a basic understanding of rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic disease that affects the skin. The disease is characterized by redness, pimples, and, in advanced stages, thickened skin. When rosacea reaches this advanced stage, rhinophyma may develop. The most common characteristic or symptom of rhinophyma is an enlarged, bulbous, and red nose. Rhinophyma is associated with the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands beneath the surface of the skin on the nose. The condition is more common in men than women.

What Causes Rhinophyma?

Doctors do not know the exact cause of rhinophyma.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Dermatologists usually diagnose this condition by its appearance and associated symptoms because there are no tests that can diagnose it. However, on rare occasions, skin biopsies can pinpoint rhinophyma. Doctors will usually diagnose the condition if the person has likely symptoms and a family history of it.

Treating Rhinophyma

Depending on the severity of the rhinophyma, doctors may begin treatment with topical or oral rosacea medications. Cases that do not respond to medications may be treated with:
  • Electrosurgery
  • Laser treatment
  • Dermabrasion
  • Resculpturing.
Although the nose will look red for a year or so following tissue removal, it will assume a normal skin color after about a year.
(Click Rhinophyma Treatment for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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