Rhinophyma is a fairly uncommon disorder that can have dramatic effects on the shape and function of the nose. this visually where you can see how the skin of the nose almost appears ‘overgrown’ in a sense and slightly red. Many patients describe their nose as being bulbous or even ruddy (reddish).
Rhinophyma is a condition that makes the nasal skin much thicker than usual – especially in the region of the nasal tip and nostril base. This is because the nasal tip and nostril skin are much more densely populated with glands when compared with the skin overlying the upper bridge. When these glands become overactive, as in rhinophyma, the skin becomes much thicker and more nodular in appearance. Contrary to what many believe, rhinophyma is not a neoplasm or tumor. Although the exact cause of rhinophyma is still unknown, it is closely correlated with acne rosacea – where many patients with long-standing rosacea ultimately develop some degree of rhinophyma.
The end result is a nose that can look quite unusual – almost embarrassingly so. In many cases, rhinophyma patients seek out surgical treatment because of the cosmetic deformity that draws unwanted attention to their face. Just like any other cosmetic issue involving the nose (a large bump or droopy tip), it is just not feasible to hide or conceal the deformity on a day-to-day basis. The only way to really deal with the problem is to have cosmetic surgery to make a permanent change.
However, there is a good percentage of rhinophyma patients who have actual trouble breathing through the nose. This is because the much thicker nasal skin from rhinophyma creates undue heaviness that overwhelms the underlying cartilage framework of the nose. In a sense, the nose skin simply becomes too heavy to support. This can then lead to collapse of the nostril opening and trouble breathing through the nose.
In other more severe cases of rhinophyma, the nose skin becomes so overgrown it begins to block the line of vision in some patients.
Dermabrasion can also be used for rhinophyma where a scalpel or dermabrader device is employed to gradually ‘sand down’ the diseased rhinophymatous skin