Rhinophyma Surgery

Dr. Joseph K. Williams Performs this surgery at our Atlanta, GA location.

Rhinophyma is a relatively uncommon condition characterized by an enlarged, red, bulb-shaped nose. Although the exact cause of rhinophyma is unknown, it is considered to be a severe form of rosacea, a common, chronic inflammatory skin condition that results in irregular redness or flushing of the face, particularly in the cheeks or nasal areas.

As a patient’s rosacea progresses the symptoms of rhinophyma will usually get worse and may include the following changes in the appearance of the nose:

  • Gradual swelling and the development of a bulbous shape
  • Numerous oil glands
  • Enlarged skin pores
  • Reddish skin tone
  • Thickening of the outer layers of skin
  • Waxy, rough, yellowish appearance

The symptoms of rhinophyma may occur in cycles, but the condition will become worse if left untreated. Cosmetic plastic surgery, similar to a rhinoplasty procedure, is the best way to correct this disorder, and usually includes removal of the excess tissue to create a more proportional nasal structure.

Frequently Asked Questions about Rhinophyma Surgery

I have heard that rhinophyma is the result of chronic alcohol use. Is that correct?
In the past, the red, bulbous nose caused by rhinophyma was believed to be a common symptom of long term alcohol abuse, but recent research has since disproven that connection. Although the underlying cause of rhinophyma is still unknown, studies have found that patients are at a higher risk if they have fair skin, are of Irish, English, Scottish, Scandinavian or Eastern European descent, or have a family history of rosacea. Rhinophyma occurs more often in men than in women, and the condition gradually develops after the onset of the initial stages of rosacea, which typically occur between the ages of 25 and 50.

Are there any other non-surgical treatments for rhinophyma?
Although there are various medications and treatments that have been successful in addressing less severe cases of rosacea, once rhinophyma develops it usually does not respond well to these. Enlarged blood vessels and tissue overgrowth can cause disfigurement, and this can be permanent if the affected tissue is not removed. In most cases, cosmetic surgery is considered to be the most effective option for long-term success.

See Before and After Pictures of Rhinophyma Surgery Results