Rhinophyma is a condition of very marked overgrowth (hyperplasia) of the sebaceous glands of the nose. If left uncontrolled, in its advanced stage it can become a conspicuous and sometimes embarrassing disorder. The condition is part of the common skin disease Rosacea. Rosacea is chronic inflammatory disorder, usually affecting the central portion of the face and occasionally the V-shaped area of the chest, the back and even the scalp. It is characterized by lasting facial redness, Telangiectasia (first dilated capillaries and later broken capillaries), and in later stages lesions that look like acne papules and pustules develop. Where women commonly suffer from the above forms of Rosacea, men more typically suffer the associated nasal overgrowth (Rhinophyma).
Those who suffer with Rosacea & Rhinophyma are sensitive to extremes of temperature, hot liquids, alcohol, spicy foods or sunlight. Although alcohol may be a precipitating factor or trigger for Rosacea, the stigma that all patients with the large overgrown nose seen in Rhinophyma are alcoholics is absolutely wrong. Avoiding these triggers can reduce symptoms but are not the cause of the disorder. After a consultation with the doctor a plan of action is determined for the short and medium time frame to improve both the condition and / or any disfigurement.
Rhinophyma treatment procedure when laser resurfacing of the nose is required, the area is firstly numbed for comfort, then using the CO2 and / or the Erbium laser the area is slowly and carefully reshaped to thin the bulbous areas. At the completion of the procedure the areas is covered with a protective and padded dressing as there is usually bleeding.
Rhinophyma laser treatment recovery takes approximately one to two weeks for the skin to heal. This usually depends of the depth and size of the area treated. Following the laser treatment patients are requested to sleep upright on a 45 degree angle to reduce swelling of the area. Ooze from the wound can be annoying however it is usually only for a short time. Patients are required to take antibiotics to prevent infection and can take oral analgesia eg Paracetamol for comfort.
Rhinophyma laser considerations are
- Discomfort to the area for a few days to a week as healing occurs.
- 7 – 14 day recovery period, this includes wearing a dressing to the area and redness to the area for some weeks.
- Time away from work or social activities
- Rarely, cold sores may develop, antiviral medication can be given to reduce the possibility for patients are prone.
- Scarring is rare, however it must be a consideration
Risks and Complications
Infection is rare however possible. Antibiotics are given to reduce this possibility. Rarely, cold sores may develop, antiviral medication can be given to reduce the possibility for patients who are prone. Scarring is rare, however it must be a consideration.
What causes Rhinophyma?
- Although the cause is unknown, many factors have been suggested including Rosacea. In some cases Rosacea will worsen to cause rhinophyma. The swelling that often follows a flushing reaction may, over time lead to the growth of excess tissue (fibroplasia) around the nose as blood proteins accumulate when the damaged lymphatic drainage system fails to clear them. Leakage of a substance called blood coagulation factor XIII is also believed to be a potential cause of excess tissue.
- Foods or beverages that cause facial flushing, such as alcohol, spicy foods, hot soups, coffee, and tea, may make rosacea temporarily more noticeable.
- Sunlight is a major trigger factor for rosacea and may be a cause of this condition.
If I have Rosacea will I get Rhinophyma?
No, most patients do reach the third level of Rosacea, however if left untreated the risk is increased.