Rhinophyma Treatment

Classified as a severe form of Rosacea, Rhinophyma results in excess growth tissue on the nose. Rhinophyma treatments involves taking medications and/or undergoing surgery to correct the disfigurement.

When is Rhinophyma treatment used?

Rhinophyma treatment is usually offered to patients who have significant symptoms associated with the condition. Considered to be a subtype of Rosacea, Rhinophyma treatment may be appropriate for patients who have not responded to prior Rosacea treatments, particularly if their condition has worsened over time.

As a chronic condition, Rhinophyma does not usually resolve on its own and Rhinophyma treatment is, therefore, required by most patients who are diagnosed with the condition. Rhinophyma may be present in patients who have other forms of Rosacea, even if these symptoms are relatively minor.

In most cases, Rhinophyma develops over a significant period of time, usually a number of years. Initially, the condition may cause the patient’s nose to become bumpy or red but, over time, Rhinophyma may cause a large mass to form on the nose.

What symptoms require Rhinophyma treatment?

Prior to undergoing treatment, patients may exhibit the classic symptoms of Rosacea and Rhinophyma. These can include:

  • Flushing of the face
  • Redness over the nose and cheek area
  • Pus-filled pustules over the nose
  • Bumps on the nose
  • Swelling of blood vessels
  • Increased oil glands
  • Thickened skin
  • Enlarged pores
  • Excess tissue growth on the nose
  • Skin sensitivity

Patients with Rhinophyma typically have inflamed and red skin. In many cases, patients are misdiagnosed with acne, as the pustules associated with Rhinophyma can mimic the appearance of Acne Vulgaris. However, Rosacea and Rhinophyma typically affect the nose and cheeks, rather than the whole face and this can help to determine which condition the patient is suffering from.

When Rhinophyma is present, the nose takes on an unusual appearance. As the tiny blood vessels on the nose begin to swell and bumps form, the skin may appear to be very uneven. In addition to this, the skin may become very red and appear to be constantly inflamed. Over time, the excess tissue growth on the nose can lead to disfigurement and the patient may develop a large mass on the affected area.

Due to the inflammation caused by the condition, patients can experience a significant amount of pain and discomfort due to Rhinophyma. Their skin may be extremely sensitive and, in some cases, the skin may break, which can cause additional pain.

Whilst the symptoms of Rhinophyma are physical in nature, the condition can have a psychological impact on patients too. Many people feel embarrassed about the condition and try to hide their skin or prevent people from seeing it when they can. When effective Rhinophyma treatment is used, the improvements in the patient’s physical symptoms can help to ease their psychological suffering too.

Often, the key to successful Rhinophyma treatment is early intervention. Some patients may only develop Rhinophyma if their Rosacea is not treated effectively, so it may be possible to prevent the condition from occurring if Rosacea treatment is commenced quickly enough. If patients begin to develop bumps or lumps on their nose, however, Rhinophyma treatment should be considered and commenced as soon as is appropriate.

Why is Rhinophyma treatment needed?

The exact cause of Rhinophyma remains unknown but many patients develop the condition after experiencing Rosacea for some time. Studies have shown that patients are more likely to require Rhinophyma treatment if their Rosacea has been left untreated or previous treatments have been in effect. However, the condition may sometimes appear even when the patient has no history of Rosacea or other skin problems.

Typically, the condition affects men more often than women and people with fair skin may be more likely to require Rhinophyma treatment. Whilst these are not causative factors, it is hoped that these risk factors will enable physicians to determine the cause of Rhinophyma in the near future.

What is Rhinophyma Treatment?

Rhinophyma treatment can take various forms and may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Oil production inhibitors
  • Tissue removal
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Cryosurgery
  • Laser resurfacing

Depending on the patient’s symptoms, non-surgical Rhinophyma treatments may be tried first. These often involve the use of topical or oral antibiotics as they can help to reduce skin redness and inflammation. Similarly, topical anti-inflammatories may be applied to the skin in a bid to reduce the inflammation associated with Rhinophyma. Patients may also be prescribed oral medication to inhibit oil production. This form of Rhinophyma treatment can combat the excessive oil production associated with the condition and caused by an increase in the number of oil glands present on the nose.

Microdermabrasion can also be a particularly useful form of Rhinophyma treatment. Designed to remove the top layers of skin, it is minimally invasive and can help to minimize bumps and improve the skin’s appearance.

If the patient’s symptoms require it, surgical Rhinophyma treatment may be a viable option. Traditional surgery involves using a scalpel to remove excess tissue from the nose. Once this has been completed, physicians can reshape the nose if it is necessary to do so. Similarly, cryosurgery may be used to remove excess tissue by using cold temperatures, rather than a scalpel.

Patients with Rhinophyma may also find that laser therapy is an effective form of treatment. This allows physicians to target specific areas of the skin with a high rate of precision and can be used to destroy or shrink excess tissue.

Whilst non-invasive Rhinophyma treatments may be carried out by a physician or dermatologist, surgical Rhinophyma treatments will typically be referred to a consultant and plastic surgeon.

As well as undergoing surgical and non-surgical Rhinophyma treatments, patients may be advised to use specific self-care methods. For example, patients may be advised to apply sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection to the affected area. Even when it’s not particularly sunny outside, patients with Rhinophyma can benefit from using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. In addition to this, patients may be instructed to use specific moisturizers on the affected areas of skin. Moisturizers designed for sensitive skin or Rosacea sufferers can help to minimize the patient’s symptoms and avoid further discomfort.

Can Rhinophyma treatment be prevented?

If the patient has a risk of developing the condition because they have Rosacea, Rhinophyma treatment may be avoided with early intervention. If treatment for Rosacea is commenced quickly enough, the patient’s condition may be managed effectively and Rhinophyma may not develop, thus negating the need for further treatment.

Furthermore, if patients manage their Rosacea well, they can prevent the need for additional Rhinophyma treatment. There are certain factors which can trigger the symptoms of Rosacea and, if patients avoid these, their risk of developing Rhinophyma and requiring treatment may be diminished. These include:

  • Exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Consuming caffeine, alcohol and/or spicy foods
  • Intensive exercise

Although these are common Rosacea triggers, patients will need to modify their lifestyle in response to their own triggers. By avoiding common Rosacea triggers, patients may be able to avoid the need for Rhinophyma treatment in the future.

In addition to this, patients should seek medical help at the first signs of a skin condition developing. If patients begin treatment for Rosacea quickly enough, Rhinophyma may be avoided completely. Similarly, if patients obtain treatment for Rhinophyma at the first signs of the condition emerging, non-surgical treatment may be enough to resolve the condition.

Whilst these techniques can help to minimize the need for Rhinophyma treatment, it may not be able to prevent the condition from developing in every situation. Fortunately, Rhinophyma treatment is often extremely effective and many patients will find that Rhinophyma treatment is effective in reducing their symptoms and improving the skin’s appearance.

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Last Reviewed:
June 23, 2018
Last Updated:
June 25, 2018