Austin’s Facial Plastic Surgeon Specialists Treat Rhinophyma

Rhinophyma is a skin condition that affects the appearance of the nose, creating a bulbous nasal tip that is often dark red or purple in color. Nasal tip swelling is thought to be the result of enlarged oil glands, and experts have linked rhinophyma to the inflammatory skin issue of acne rosacea. In the past, rhinophyma was mistakenly attributed to excessive alcohol intake, branding the individual who suffered from this condition with an unnecessary social stigma.

What Is Rhinophyma Treatment?

The tissue overgrowth in rhinophyma patients can be dramatic and leave a patient severely disfigured with long-lasting nodules. In the past, treatment options were limited to dermabrasion or simple knife excision with skin grafting techniques. Cosmetic results have significantly improved with the advent of the CO2 laser, which is the acronym for Carbon Dioxide Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and requires about one hour to complete. The surgeons at Austin’s Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery employ combined resurfacing techniques to achieve optimal results for our patients.

Banner media
woman with short curly hair

Who Is Affected By Rhinophyma?

Rhinophyma is most commonly seen in men aged 50-70, though women too can experience the condition. As previously explained, those who are affected by rosacea may also experience rhinophyma. Rosacea is a chronic inflammation of the facial skin, with characteristic enlarged blood vessels that create a reddish discoloration. Rosacea can also produce pustules similar to those caused by acne.

What Areas Of The Face Does Rhinophyma Impact?

The skin issues that result in rhinophyma often affect the surrounding skin, primarily the cheeks. This can create a flushed appearance as well as an uneven skin tone and texture. Rhinophyma causes the nose to appear much larger than it actually is. The pores may become more visible, and underlying blood vessels may be apparent through the overlying skin. Many patients who experience rhinophyma explain that they feel as though a growth has taken over the external skin of their nose. In fact, rhinophyma can double or even triple the size of the nose in its advanced stages. This skin condition also distorts the shape of the nose, changing the overall look of an individual’s face.

Preventing Rhinophyma

Those affected by rosacea may not be familiar with its symptoms, especially in cases of new and unexpected onset. Rosacea is characterized by random facial flushing, red skin of the upper half of the face, and a sensitivity of the affected skin. Rosacea can be mistaken for adult acne, but a dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon can recognize the difference. A dermatologist can prescribe medications and skincare treatments that help control rosacea symptoms.

Once rhinophyma begins to impact the nose, those affected may notice a thickening of the skin, a ruddy coloring, and an increased production of oil. The nose’s sebaceous glands become enlarged, and superficial infections of the skin can form, which may produce a foul-smelling discharge. The lesions of the nose are benign but can negatively impact a person’s self-image.

Treating Existing Rhinophyma

Modern cosmetic medicine has hailed the CO2 laser as one of the best current treatments available for rhinophyma, which may be combined with fractional laser therapy depending on an individual’s needs. The laser produces invisible light to penetrate the skin and alter its structural base while vaporizing the accumulated excess skin. Prior to the resurfacing process, the skin may be prepped with a topical numbing agent for a more comfortable experience, and the nose injected with a local anesthetic.

The swollen skin of the nose might be marked to distinguish the treatment site from that of the normal nasal skin, which can be difficult when the area is discolored. The debulking resurfacing process is often begun by excising the larger components of the rhinophyma. One or more lasers may be utilized for the best contouring action.

Background media

Best Candidates For Rhinophyma Treatment

Candidates for this treatment are in good physical health and have realistic expectations for improving the appearance of a swollen, bulbous nose. A private consultation with one of our surgeons is the best way to determine if treatment is right for you. If you are a good candidate, our surgeon will recommend appropriate treatment options. Most forms of rhinophyma can be significantly improved with treatment.

painting of farmland

Recovering From Rhinophyma Correction

After a laser treatment, the nose may be covered with gauze. This is because the skin has essentially endured a controlled cosmetic burning and must be kept clean to avoid infection. The dressing should be changed after the first day and then up to three times a day afterward until the wound has begun healing. Patients can expect some drainage during this process. 

One day after the procedure, patients can take a shower or bath but should not submerge their nose. The nose can be cleaned with gentle soap and water, which will help to remove crusted skin and blot it dry with a clean cotton towel. The patient’s surgeon may prescribe or provide a special balm for the patient to apply to the wound. There should be no scarring as a result of this treatment, though it is possible.

While it can take up to 14 days for the skin to fully heal at the treatment site, pain and discomfort are minimal and short-lived. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are typically sufficient for this purpose. The newly formed skin will be pink and sun-sensitive for up to six months following the procedure, so sun protection is a necessity. Patients can return to their regular schedules in the next day or two if their activities do not impact the treatment site and they feel comfortable with their appearance.

Schedule A Consultation Book Your Opportunity to Learn More

Contact Us
Contact us media
Doctor media

Why Choose The Buckingham Center?

Experience unparalleled excellence in rhinophyma treatment at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery. With an around-the-clock facial plastic surgeon, over two decades of Austin expertise, and a dedicated medical team operating in our accredited surgical facility with a science-based approach, we promise proven results tailored to your aesthetic goals. Our commitment extends beyond surgery; we aim to forge lasting connections. From your initial consultation to achieving your rhinophyma treatment goals, immerse yourself in a supportive, friendly environment. Elevate your confidence and appearance with precision, safety, and compassionate care.

Rhinophyma FAQ

Will Rhinophyma Recur Once Treated?

What Can Prospective Patients Expect During a Consultation for Rhinophyma Treatment?

When Is Rhinophyma Treatment Necessary?

Is Anesthesia Used for Rhinophyma Treatment?

What Is the Recovery Like After Rhinophyma Treatment?

Where Is the Rhinophyma Treatment Performed?

How Long Does the Actual Rhinophyma Treatment Procedure Take to Perform?

Will Rhinophyma Recur Once Treated?

It is rare that patients experience a second flare-up of rhinophyma once it has been cosmetically addressed. Some patients require more than one procedure for the maximum benefit. In some cases, rhinophyma may be treated by a combination of the CO2 laser and additional lasers or therapies.

What Can Prospective Patients Expect During a Consultation for Rhinophyma Treatment?

During the initial consultation, the Buckingham Center’s surgeon will perform a complete facial analysis. This analysis allows the surgeon to develop the best treatment approach to meet the patient’s particular needs. The surgeon also answers any questions about rhinophyma and associated treatments or about cosmetic surgery in general.

When Is Rhinophyma Treatment Necessary?

While acne rosacea can be controlled by a dermatologist, advanced stages of the skin condition can create inflamed, thickened skin. At this point, a cosmetic procedure may be the best, long-lasting solution. Patients can discuss their concerns with their dermatologist and schedule an appointment to see one of the surgeons at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery.

Is Anesthesia Used for Rhinophyma Treatment?

Rhinophyma treatments may be performed with a local anesthetic, which may be combined with sedation.

What Is the Recovery Like After Rhinophyma Treatment?

Combined resurfacing techniques for the treatment of rhinophyma typically have a 10- to 14-day recovery period. During this time, patients may experience some swelling or redness of the skin. An ointment is worn continuously during this time.

Where Is the Rhinophyma Treatment Performed?

Depending on the procedures performed, the rhinophyma treatment may occur in an outpatient facility or office setting.

How Long Does the Actual Rhinophyma Treatment Procedure Take to Perform?

Rhinophyma treatments typically take about an hour.

Schedule A Consultation In Austin Today

The surgeons at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery practice aesthetic medicine in Austin, Texas. The first step towards receiving treatment is scheduling a consultation with one of the surgeons at the Buckingham Center. It is during this appointment that prospective patients can explain their physical concerns to the surgeon and then learn about various methods of correction. You can contact the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery by email using our Patient Contact Form or by phone at 512-401-2500.

Banner media

Schedule A Consultation Book Your Opportunity to Learn More

Contact Us
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 512-222-5635.
Contact Us