Rhinophyma is a condition that causes the nose to appear red, puffy, “bulbous,” and “overgrown.” Most apparent on the nasal tip and nostrils, this condition dramatically affects both the form and function of the nose, ultimately leading to very noticeable changes in one’s facial appearance. Here at Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center, board-certified dermatologist Paul M. Friedman, MD offers advanced Fraxel re:pair® laser resurfacing to treat rhinophyma. This state-of-the-art laser technique is less invasive than surgical procedures. For many patients, Fraxel re:pair® may effectively remove the excess layers of skin, reducing the cosmetic and functional symptoms caused by rhinophyma.
What causes rhinophyma?
Rhinophyma is not a very common disorder; however, for those that suffer from it, it has a major impact on their lives. Sometimes referred to as “bulbous nose,” the cause of rhinophyma is unknown. It typically occurs in people who have severe and long-standing cases of rosacea, which is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people. Early stages of rosacea usually cause redness and flushing on the face. In some individuals, the condition progresses to rhinophyma. The skin thickening in rhinophyma may manifest as a large mass on the nose that can impair nasal breathing and even lead to a disfigured appearance.
What are the risk factors for rhinophyma and rosacea?
There are a few factors that may put individuals at a higher risk for developing rhinophyma and rosacea. These include:
- Gender – rhinophyma typically occurs in men more often than women
- Age – rosacea usually develops in the 25 to 50 age range; rhinophyma is more common in elderly adults
- A family history of rosacea
- Fair skin
- Light-colored hair
- Green or blue eyes
Can rhinophyma be prevented?
While rhinophyma cannot technically be prevented, there are treatment options that may slow the progression of rosacea, which often precedes rhinophyma. Some triggers to avoid are spicy foods, coffee and alcoholic beverages. Avoiding sun is also essential to minimize rosacea symptoms such as redness and flushing. Stress, hot baths, and certain medications are also reported to worsen rosacea. A member of our team will be happy to talk with you about things you can do to keep the symptoms of rosacea and rhinophyma at bay for as long as possible.
How can rhinophyma be treated?
Our dermatologists often utilize Fraxel re:pair® laser techniques to treat rhinophyma. Fraxel re:pair® involves the use of a CO2 laser to precisely reduce the excess nasal tissue. The goal is to remove the layers of thickened skin and restore the nose back to its original shape and size. A series of treatments with the Fraxel re:pair® laser will likely be necessary to achieve the optimal cosmetic and functional outcome; however, this particular laser is known for its minimized recovery time when compared to lasers used in the past.
The Fraxel re:pair® laser treatment allows our dermatologists to directly address the functional and aesthetic concerns caused by rhinophyma without the need for invasive surgery. During your initial consultation, our doctor will perform a comprehensive examination and determine whether Fraxel re:pair® laser treatment is the best option for your needs.
Contact Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center
If you have questions about rhinophyma, or if you would like to schedule a consultation here at Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center, please contact us today.
*Individual Results May Vary