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Sniffing Out the Specifics on Bulbous Noses

Sniffing Out the Specifics on Bulbous Noses

The red, bumpy and bulbous nose you may have noticed especially on older men in your life is a skin disorder called rhinophyma, and while it used to be connected to heavy alcohol usage, experts now know that the root cause is severe rosacea.

Rosacea is another very common skin condition that causes flushing and redness on the nose and cheeks. It is easily treatable with prescription creams and gels, and oral antibiotics and acne medication in more severe cases. Rosacea symptoms can also be triggered by stress and sun exposure.

If left untreated, severe rosacea can transition to rhinophyma, leaving you with more swelling in the nose, lots of visible oil glands, enlarged pores, and thickened skin. Rhinophyma most commonly affects men aged 50-70 with fair skin and those with a family history of the skin disorder.

Not only can rhinophyma be a cosmetic issue, but in severe cases it can affect nasal function. While the goal is to properly treat rosacea and avoid a red, bulbous nose, some people may require surgery to remove extra skin and bumps, shrink large blood vessels, and improve overall appearance and breathing. Common methods include laser resurfacing, dermabrasion or surgical shaving.

Both rosacea and rhinophyma are easily diagnosed, so check with your dermatologist if you think you may have either skin condition.