Rhinophyma

Alternative Names

Bulbous nose; Nose – bulbous; Phymatous rosacea

Definition of Rhinophyma

Rhinophyma is a large, bulb-shaped, red-colored (ruddy) nose.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Rhinophyma was once thought to be caused by heavy alcohol consumption, but this is not the case. Rhinophyma occurs equally in those who do not drink at all and those who drink large quantities of alcohol. The condition is much more common in men than in women.

Symptoms

Symptoms involve an abnormal appearance of the nose:

Signs and tests

Rhinophyma may usually be diagnosed without any testing. A skin biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis in unusual cases.

Treatment

Surgery to reshape the nose is the best known treatment for rhinophyma. Surgery may be done with a laser, scalpel, or a rotating brush (dermabrasion). There have been reports of good results from using certain acne medications.

Expectations (prognosis)

Rhinophyma can be corrected with surgery, but the condition may return.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 10/3/2010

Rosacea

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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