Rhinophyma: Signs, Causes, & Treatment

April is Rosacea Awareness Month, and we want to shed light on one of its more severe forms, rhinophyma. This skin condition can be incredibly distressing for those who experience it, but if you’re living with rhinophyma, you’re not alone.

Rhinophyma is a skin condition that affects the nose, causing it to become thick, bumpy, and enlarged. It is a misunderstood condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s self-esteem and quality of life.

The physical changes that come with this condition can be tough to deal with, but there are treatment options available, such as CO2 laser treatment.

What Is Rhinophyma?

Rhinophyma is a skin condition that’s also a type of rosacea, which is a skin disease that commonly affects the face and causes redness and acne. Unlike rosacea, rhinophyma is a more severe form of the condition that affects only the nose.

Rhinophyma causes the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands to become overactive, as a result, the nose grows in size and thickness, giving it a bumpy, red, and enlarged appearance. Other things that may be visible on the skin include:

  • Visible blood vessels
  • Pits
  • Scars
  • Large pores that can secrete whiteheads and blackheads

Signs of Rhinophyma

The main sign of rhinophyma is the development of a red, bumpy nose. The nose may become bulbous, with bumps and pimples appearing on its surface.

The condition may also cause the nose to be tender and sensitive to the touch. In some cases, the nose may also get misshapen.

Causes of Rhinophyma

The exact cause of rhinophyma is not known, but it’s associated with rosacea. Rosacea is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Some common triggers of rosacea include:

  • Wind or sun exposure
  • Stress
  • Hot or spicy foods 
  • Exercise

Rhinophyma Treatment

Rhinophyma is typically treated by reducing the oil glands in the nose. 

It was previously treated using traditional surgical methods such as plastic surgery with a scalpel technique or electrocautery. These methods, however, often resulted in scarring and insufficient improvement.

An aesthetician performing Co2 laser treatment to treat a woman for rhinophyma at our dermatology in calgary.

CO2 Laser

Fortunately, technological advancements have resulted in a more effective and minimally invasive treatment option, the UltraPulse CO2 laser.

The UltraPulse CO2 laser works by bloodlessly vaporizing the skin, shrinking excess oil glands, and allowing the doctor to systematically reshape the nose.

CO2 laser treatment is widely regarded as excellent for treating rhinophyma and has transformed the way the condition is managed.

In addition to the CO2 laser, vascular laser treatments to collapse prominent blood vessels may be recommended before or in conjunction with the laser treatment.

The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia in a single session at Remington Laser’s non-hospital surgical site. The recovery time is about 2 weeks, and patients can expect to see a significant improvement in the appearance of their nose after treatment.

If you have decided to have CO2 laser treatment for your rhinophyma, you must properly prepare to achieve the best possible results. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Take your regular medications.
  • Eat a light breakfast/lunch.
  • Wear comfortable clothing with short sleeves that don’t need to be removed over your head.
  • Arrange for a driver to drop you off and pick you up. 
  • The doctor will go over all of the post-care instructions with you and your caregiver to ensure that you understand them. Emergency contact information will also be provided, as well as follow-up appointments.

To determine the best course of action for your specific needs, always consult with your dermatologist.

Ready for Rhinophyma?

If you’re experiencing rhinophyma symptoms, it’s important that you consult a specialist. Seeing a professional, such as those at Remington Laser Dermatology Clinic, will help you gain an accurate diagnosis and have access to the best treatment options for you.

Our team can advise you on the best course of action to achieve clear, smooth skin on your nose. Whether you choose CO2 laser treatment or another option, you can be confident that you’re in good hands with the Remington Laser team.

Dr. Kent Remington
( Mon – Wed )

Dr. Todd Remington
( Mon – Fri )