Rhinophyma – useful information

  • Rhinophyma is a swelling of the nose. As it progresses, the nose becomes red, swollen at the tip and develops a ‘bumpy’ appearance that changes its shape.  The swelling develops because scar tissue is formed and sebaceous glands (sweat glands) become enlarged.
  • Rhinophyma is mostly seen in association with Rosacea-a red rash that affects the skin of the cheeks and front of face. Rhinophyma typically develops in people who have had rosacea for many years but although Rosacea affects more women than men, Rhinophyma affects more men than women.
  • There is no clear link between Rhinophyma and excessive alcohol consumption, although alcohol can be a trigger for Rosacea.

There is no cure for Rhinophyma but there are treatments for it that can offer effective control.

  1. Topical treatments: Rosacea associated with Rhinophyma can be helped with topical treatments such as creams or gels, as well as courses of antibiotics lasting several months.
  2. Oral treatments: Sometimes oral isotretinoin may be used. This can only be prescribed by a Consultant Dermatologist.
  3. Surgery: Sometimes surgical treatments are necessary.  These aim to remove excess tissue and restore the normal shape of the nose.  Dermabrasion removes the upper layers of the skin .  Scalpel or razor blade excision of skin aims to achieve the same effect by removing excess tissue.

What can you do to help your skin?

  • Protect your skin using a sun block SPF 30 every day.
  • Wash your skin with a soap substitute and moisturise daily.
  • Avoid sunbeds.
  • Remember that Winter sun (such as on a skiing holiday) can still contain UV rays and sunblock is needed on these days too.
  • If you are really careful about avoiding sun, you may need to think about having your Vitamin D levels check and if they are low, you may need Vitamin D supplementation.

Remember always ask your doctor if you have any concerns about your skin or general health.