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Medical Dermatology


What is rhinophyma?

Rhinophyma is a skin condition affecting the nose in which the skin is thickened and the oil glands are enlarged. The skin is typically skin-colored, but there may be prominent blood vessels. The affected skin is often bulbous, pitted and scarred. Rhinophyma can be cosmetically unsightly as skin thickening may result in irregular nodular growth and deformity of the nose. Additionally, it may impair breathing as the extra weight of the overgrown oil glands collapses the nasal valves. Rhinophyma is a type of rosacea.

What causes rhinophyma?

The cause is not fully understood, although it is thought that enlarged blood vessels lead to skin thickening and possibly inflammation and scarring.

Is just the nose affected by rhinophyma?

While rhinophyma refers specifically to the nose, similar changes can be seen on the chin, ears, eyelids and forehead.

Who gets rhinophyma?

Rhinophyma predominantly affects male patients, possibly due to male hormones.

What are the treatment options for rhinophyma?

Several medical treatment options have been shown to arrest that growth of rhinophyma. These include topical creams and oral medications. However, the most effective treatment for rhinophyma is surgery. This can be done in several ways, but includes debulking of the rhinophyma (shaving the thickened skin), dermabrasion, and electrosurgery. This is done in an outpatient setting in the hands of a board-certified dermatologist who is an expert in minimizing scarring and improving the cosmetic appearance of the nose. Sometimes, a few treatments are needed to get the desired end result.


If you are suffering from rhinophyma and would like to discuss your treatment options, contact Phoenix Surgical Dermatology Group today. You will only be seen by a board-certified dermatologist with advanced surgical and medical training. We are committed to providing world-class care in a caring, compassionate and friendly manner.

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