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NY Man Treated For Rhinophyma Or Bulbous Nose: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of The Condition

As per recent news, a New York man named Conrado Estrada has been treated for rhinophyma or bulbous nose, a skin condition characterised by a large, red and bumpy nose. The report says that Estrada, who is a painter by profession, has been employed to work at the property of Dr Thomas Romo, who is the director of facial plastic reconstructive surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York.

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The painter was unable to eat and breathe properly due to his bulbous nose, along with facing social embarrassment. Dr Romo has noticed his medical condition and offered treatment to reconstruct his nose without any cost.

So, what is rhinophyma and what are its causes, symptoms and treatments. In this article, we will discuss this skin disorder in detail. Take a look.

What Is Rhinophyma?

Rhinophyma is a cosmetic-related skin disorder recognised by disfiguring and deformity of the nose due to the sudden growth of sebaceous glands and connective tissues. Rhinophyma nose appears to be big, large, thick, red and distorted in the lower portion.

Studies say that rhinophyma is a benign or non-tumorous skin deformity and is often considered a type of advanced stage 4 rosacea, another skin condition characterised by visible blood vessels on the face, that appear to be like your-re blushing. However, only a small number of patients with rosacea develop rhinophyma. [1]

Rosacea is commonly found in females, however, rhinophyma prevalence in males and females is 30:1, especially in people between the age groups 50-70 years.

Also, other sites for rhinophyma may include the chin, forehead, eyelids and ears.

Causes Of Rhinophyma

The exact cause of rhinophyma is unknown, however, many studies do say that some of the factors that could be responsible for the condition are:

  • Unregulated superficial vasodilation or expansion of the blood vessels of the nose due to factors like allergies or infection, leading to internal swelling and fibrosis of the sebaceous gland, which expands with time and causes red to purplish irregular thickening of the skin of the nose. [2]
  • Some earlier studies link rhinophyma with alcohol or caffeine consumption. [3]
  • Progression of acne rosacea to rhinophyma.
  • Chronic infection in the sebaceous gland of the nose.
  • Demodex folliculorum, a type of mite that lives on human skin or hair follicles. [4]
  • Combination of vascular and immune system dysfunction.

Symptoms Of Rhinophyma

Some of the symptoms of rhinophyma may include:

  • Disfiguring of the tip of the nose.
  • Thickening of the skin of the nose.
  • The appearance of bumpy texture on the nose.
  • Oily skin
  • Red or purple coloured nose skin.
  • Scally or scarred skin on the nose.
  • Facial hypersensitivity or burning or stinging sensation on the face.
  • Recurrent bumps on the skin.
  • Eye manifestations like inflammation in the eyes or itchiness.
  • Waxy or yellowish surface on the skin of the nose.

Risk Factors Of Rhinophyma

Some of the risk factors for rhinophyma may include:

  • Being male
  • Having age between 50-70 years.
  • Belonging to Asian or African American.
  • Having fair skin complexion.
  • Having vascular or immune-related preexisting conditions.
  • Deficiency of B-vitamins. [5]
  • Having a family history of rosacea.

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Complications Of Rhinophyma

Rhinophyma does not cause many complications; the main complication which is associated with a bulbous nose is social embarrassment and loss of self-esteem as in earlier days, people with rhinophyma are often teased with nicknames such as "whiskey nose" and "rum nose."

Another complication is the progression of benign rhinophyma to its carcinoma form. Around 3-10 per cent of rhinophyma cases may proceed to basal cell carcinoma or other skin cancer types. [6]

Diagnosis Of Rhinophyma

Some of the methods to diagnose rhinophyma may include:

  • Physical features: A medical expert may look for physical features such as the shape of the nose, inflammation or bumps to confirm the condition.
  • Medical history: A medical expert may ask for a medical history of the patients that may include the patient's pre-existing condition, history of alcoholism or history of any skin disorder.

Studies say that rhinophyma usually does not require laboratory or radiographic tests and can easily be determined by physical features. In some cases, a biopsy is preferred depending on the severity of the condition. [7]

Treatments Of Rhinophyma

Some of the treatment methods for rhinophyma may include:

  • Medications: It includes medications like antibiotics and oral isotretinoin to reduce symptoms such as irritation or sensitivity of the condition.
  • Topical creams: It includes creams like topical metronidazole to lower skin inflammation and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Surgery: It includes some simple and inexpensive surgical methods like dermabrasion, pulsed dye laser therapy and cryosurgery to remove a growth of tissues from the nose. [8]

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To Conclude

Rhinophyma is usually a non-life-threatening skin disorder with very few complications. Also, every nose that is irregular in shape cannot be a sign of rhinophyma. However, it is good to consult a medical expert for early diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

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