We’ve seen them in cartoons. Old or middle aged men in cartoons have bulbous and red noses that could match Rudolph’s. Even Snow White’s seven dwarfs all have noses like this. But did you know that these red noses can really happen?
Alcohol use has many undesired effects, including permanent damages to our bodies. Red big noses are believed to be one of the effects of alcohol use. This is why the condition is nicknamed as the “drinker’s nose”. But the proper term for this condition is rhinophyma.
Introduction to Rhinophyma
A large, red and bumpy nose is caused by a skin disorder called rhinophyma. Rhinophyma is categorized as a subtype 3 rosacea, otherwise known as phymatous rosacea. Phymatous rosacea causes inflammatory on the skin, resulting in irregular redness and flushing. It may also cause small, red bumps with pus to appear on the face.
Rhinophyma occurs gradually for years. This is more common in men between the ages of 50 to 70 years. The result of rhinophyma often causes the largeness of the lower half of the nose.
What causes Rhinophyma?
While it’s common belief that excessive alcohol consumption can cause rhinophyma, there is also the belief that it is the result of untreated rosacea. Rosacea is a common and chronic skin condition that causes redness of the skin with pustules on the face. Phymatous rosacea occurs when there is thickening of the affected skin, usually on the face.
Rhinophyma is known to happen more commonly to men than to women. Studies show that the following have a higher risk of rhinophyma and rosacea:
- People with fair skin
- People with a family history of rosacea
- People with Irish, English, Scottish, Scandinavian or Eastern European racial background
Symptoms of Rhinophyma
The first symptoms can happen between the ages of 25 to 50. Rhinophyma often starts during severe cases of rosacea. While it’s still In less severe stages, the symptoms may include:
- Random facial flushing
- Recurrent bumps and pimples similar to acne
- Sensitive skin
- Red, blotchy areas in the center of the face
- Swelling of tiny blood vessels on the nose and cheeks, known as telangiectasia
- Burning or gritty feeling in the eyes known as ocular rosacea. This may be accompanied by conjunctivitis and inflammation of the eyelid.
It’s best to seek the doctor’s advice when these symptoms appear. This can help treat the condition before it becomes severe.
Treatments for Rhinophyma
The good news is that rhinophyma can be treated. This can be done either with medicines or with surgery.
Medicines can be used when the condition is not yet severe. Severe rhinophyma may not respond to medicines. Medicinal treatments of rhinophyma include topical and oral medications and antibiotics. Surgery is advisable for severe cases of rhinophyma. It is also considered the most effective option for long-term effects.
Ask your doctor which option is best for your condition.
While there’s no definite proof that the drinker’s nose is caused by excess alcohol consumption, it’s still better to keep alcohol use in moderation. Alcohol abuse still has many negative effects on our bodies that are proven.
If symptoms of rosacea and rhinophyma occur, consult your doctor immediately.