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A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): A.D.A.M.; 2013.

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.

Rhinophyma

Bulbous nose; Nose - bulbous; Phymatous rosacea

Last reviewed: November 20, 2012.

Rhinophyma is a large, red-colored (ruddy) nose. The nose has a bulb shape.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Rhinophyma was once thought to be caused by heavy drinking of alcohol. This is not the case. Rhinophyma occurs at the same rate in people who do not use alcohol as in those who drink heavily. The problem is much more common in men than in women.

The cause of rhinophyma is unknown. It may me a severe form of a skin disease called rosacea. It is an uncommon disorder.

Symptoms

Symptoms include changes in the nose such as:

  • Bulb-like (bulbous) shape
  • Reddish color (possible)
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Waxy, yellow surface

Signs and tests

Most of the time, the health care provider can diagnose rhinophyma without any testing.  Sometimes, a a skin biopsy may need to be done.

Treatment

The most common treatment is surgery to reshape the nose. Surgery may be done with a laser, scalpel, or a rotating brush (dermabrasion). Certain acne medications may also be helpful in treating the condition.

Expectations (prognosis)

Rhinophyma can be corrected with surgery. The condition may return.

Complications

The change in appearance can cause emotional distress.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of rhinophyma and would like to talk about treatment.

References

  1. Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, et al, eds.Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 37.
  2. Lucas JL, Tomecki KJ. Acne and rosacea. In: Carey WD, ed. Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine 2010. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010.
  3. Habif TP. Acne, rosacea, and related disorders. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 7.
  4.  

Review Date: 11/20/2012.

Reviewed by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsementscof those other sites. © 1997–2011 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Copyright © 2013, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsementscof those other sites. © 1997–2011 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Copyright © 2013, A.D.A.M., Inc.

What works?

  • Interventions for RosaceaInterventions for Rosacea
    Rosacea is a common skin condition causing flushing, redness, red pimples, and pustules on the face, which should not be confused with acne. It can also cause inflammation of the eyes or eyelids, or both. Some people can develop a thickening of the skin, especially of the nose, which is called rhinophyma. Because rosacea is a chronic disease the effect of treatment on quality of life is very important to the individual. A range of treatment options are available which include several topical and oral antibiotics, azelaic cream, topical and systemic retinoids, and light‐based therapies, e.g. laser therapy.
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  • Rosacea.

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