There’s a common misconception out there that people with facial redness or a bulbous, red nose are alcoholics. In fact, the culprit is usually a case of rosacea or rhinophyma, conditions which are not known to be linked to alcoholism. The side effects are often difficult to hide with clothing or makeup. Combine that fact with the alcoholism association and it’s no wonder that people suffering from this rare skin disorder often feel ashamed or embarrassed by their appearance. While rhinophyma isn’t common, it’s still a good idea to know what the signs and causes of the problem are so you can seek treatment if needed.
What is Rhinophyma?
Rhinophyma is a skin condition that causes the nose and nasal tip to become permanently bulbous, swollen, red, and bumpy. This is partially due to abundant oil glands. Rhinophyma often occurs in the late stages of rosacea development, another skin disorder that causes skin redness. While the condition is not physically dangerous, it can have a cosmetic and psychological impact on those who suffer from it. Rhinophyma can enlarge, distort, and discolor the nose, making most sufferers feel embarrassed and insecure about their appearance. It also often triggers social stigma subconsciously, since many people still associate the condition with excessive alcohol intake.
Signs of Rhinophyma
The signs of rhinophyma are easy to spot. If you notice that the tip of your nose has taken on a constant reddish color or you’re noticing a thickening of the skin in this area, these can be early signs of rhinophyma. As time goes on, other symptoms will become apparent. The skin may take on a waxy, yellowish appearance as the skin thickens. The tissue will slowly grow and become bulbous, irregular, and enlarged. The pores will also typically become enlarged during this process. As the condition progresses, it will become very obvious that the problem is rhinophyma.
Causes of Rhinophyma
Most experts believe that rhinophyma is related to rosacea, a skin condition affecting millions of people. However, not everyone who suffers from rosacea will develop rhinophyma, and the exact cause of rhinophyma is unknown. Besides rosacea, there are several other risk factors for rhinophyma. Men are more likely to develop the condition than women, and rhinophyma is more likely to affect people with fair skin and light eyes (blue or green) and light hair. Most people begin to develop rhinophyma between the ages of 25 and 50. Both people who drink alcohol and those who don’t can develop the condition.
Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent rhinophyma. However, it is important to treat rosacea early on and keep an eye out for early signs of rhinophyma so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.
How Rhinophyma is Treated
The good news is that rhinophyma is highly treatable, thanks to modern cosmetic surgery options. Today, there are more advanced treatments available, making rhinophyma relief more accessible than ever. Carbon dioxide lasers, combined with surgical intervention, can often produce excellent results and help patients restore their confidence and self esteem with minimal discomfort and downtime. Though the procedure can’t produce perfect results, most patients are very happy with the improvement they enjoy after the treatment.
Find an Experienced Plastic Surgeon
Very few surgeons have the experience and skill to successfully treat rhinophyma. It is important to choose a provider who has helped many other patients recover from the effects of the condition. A board certified facial plastic surgeon will be able to walk you through the procedure and customize your treatment to suit your needs so you can get the best outcome possible.
Looking for assistance with rhinophyma in the Austin area? Come to Buckingham Center and meet with Dr. Edward Buckingham to learn more about rhinophyma treatment. Dr. Buckingham will make sure you are a candidate for the procedure and provide you with expert advice on how you should proceed. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Buckingham, call 512.401.2500 today!