Rhinophyma is a rare skin disorder characterized by a large, red, bumpy nose. It’s sometimes called “bulbous nose” or “phymatous rosacea.” The exact cause is unknown, but it typically occurs in very severe cases of rosacea.

Rhinophyma typically appears in the later stages of rosacea and forms gradually over several years. The outcome is usually a large mass on the lower half of your nose, which creates a very noticeable disfigurement in most cases.


Risk factors include gender and age. Rhinophyma occurs more often in men than in women. The condition gradually develops after the onset of the initial stage of rosacea, which typically happens between the ages of 25 and 50.

You’re at a higher risk for rosacea and rhinophyma if you have:

fair skin
lighter-colored hair
blue or green eyes
a family history of rosace


 There’s no known way to prevent rhinophyma. However, some factors can increase blood flow to the skin’s surface and aggravate rosacea, which is the underlying cause of rhinophyma. You may be able to slow the progression of symptoms by avoiding these triggers:

hot foods and beverages
spicy foods
alcohol
caffeine
very hot or very cold temperatures
exposure to sunlight
emotional stress
exercise
hot baths
corticosteroids
medications that dilate your blood vessels


Rhinophyma may respond to medication if it’s diagnosed in its early stages. Some medications are successful in treating a variety of symptoms related to rosacea, including:

oral antibiotics to reduce inflammation and redness, such as tetracycline, erythromycin, or minocycline
topical medications that help minimize swelling, such as metronidazole gel or cream, tretinoin, benzoyl peroxide, or azelaic acid
oral capsules that prevent skin glands from producing oil, such as oral isotretinoin

There’s no known way to prevent rhinophyma. However, some factors can increase blood flow to the skin’s surface and aggravate rosacea, which is the underlying cause of rhinophyma. You may be able to slow the progression of symptoms by avoiding these triggers:

hot foods and beverages
spicy foods
alcohol
caffeine
very hot or very cold temperatures
exposure to sunlight
emotional stress
exercise
hot baths
corticosteroids
medications that dilate your blood vessels


Surgery

Enlarged blood vessels and tissue overgrowth can cause disfigurement. This can be permanent if the affected area isn’t removed. Surgery is the preferred treatment for most cases. It’s considered the most effective option for long-term success.

The following surgical treatments and methods can restore the appearance of your nose:

the scalpel, which is a traditional surgical method
laser resurfacing with YAG or Argon laser
cryosurgery, which uses extremely cold temperatures to freeze and remove abnormal tissue
electrosurgery, which uses a high-frequency electrical current to heat and destroy unwanted tissue
dermabrasion, which uses a small, rotating tool to take off the top layers of skin

Surgical treatment can:

reshape a disfigured nose
remove overgrowth of tissue
minimize enlarged blood vessels
improve cosmetic appearance

Rhinophyma

8AM - 5PM M-F, 1.305.273.7998

Dr. Ana Carolina Victoria​

Board Certified oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery