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Duration 30 min - 1 h.
Hospitalization Outpatient
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Rhinophyma: An In-Depth Look at This Skin Condition

The rhinophyma, also known as rhinophyma rosacea, is a skin condition that is often associated with rosacea. This condition is characterized by a progressive thickening of the skin on the nose, resulting in a bulbous and deformed appearance of this facial area. In this article, we will explain in detail the rhinophyma, including its definition, causes, clinical presentation, signs and symptoms, classification, treatment options and prognosis. Additionally, we will address the relationship between rhinophyma and rosacea.

Definition of Rhinophyma

Rhinophyma is an advanced variant of rosacea, a chronic skin disease that primarily affects the skin of the face. It is characterized by excessive thickening of the skin of the nose, causing a bulbous and disfiguring appearance. This condition usually develops gradually over time.

 Causes of Rhinophyma

The exact cause of rhinophyma is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects the blood vessels in the face, leading to redness, inflammation, and breakouts. Rhinophyma is a rare but serious complication of untreated or poorly controlled rosacea.

Why does rhinophyma occur?

Rhinophyma occurs due to the chronic accumulation of connective tissue and sebaceous glands in the nose. This results in an increase in the size and thickness of the skin in the nasal area.

Clinical Presentation of Rhinophyma:

  • Patients with rhinophyma usually present with the following symptoms and signs:
  • Progressive thickening of the nose.
  • Bulbous and disfiguring appearance of the nose.
  • Persistent redness.
  • Rough and rough skin.
  • Presence of nodules and bumps in the nose.

Stages or Classification of Rhinophyma

Rhinophyma is a progressive skin condition that primarily affects the nose and is associated with untreated or poorly controlled rosacea. Throughout its development, rhinophyma can go through various stages or degrees of severity, ranging from mild thickening of the skin to severe rhinophyma with significant nasal deformity. These stages or classifications are essential to guide treatment and understand the evolution of the disease.


  1. Early or Mild Rhinophyma: In this early stage, rhinophyma is characterized by a mild thickening of the skin of the nose. Symptoms may include occasional redness, dilation of superficial blood vessels, and the presence of papules or small bumps on the skin. Often in this phase, patients may not be aware of the problem, as the changes are subtle.
  2. Moderate rhinophyma: In this intermediate stage, rhinophyma becomes more evident. The skin on the nose thickens even more, and symptoms such as redness and the presence of bumps are more noticeable. There may be an increase in the vascularity of the skin, causing a congested appearance. Patients may begin to experience aesthetic and physical discomfort in this phase.
  3. Advanced or Severe Rhinophyma: At this advanced stage, rhinophyma shows significant nasal deformity. The skin becomes extremely thick, rough and nodular. The nose can enlarge considerably, giving rise to a bulbous and disfiguring appearance. Blood vessels become prominent and nasal function may be severely compromised, making breathing difficult. Psychological and emotional symptoms are usually more pronounced at this stage.


It is essential to understand that the progression of rhinophyma can vary from one individual to another. Not all patients experience all stages, and the speed of progression may be different in each case. Additionally, early detection and appropriate medical care are essential to prevent progression to more advanced stages.

Rhinophyma Treatment:

Treatment of rhinophyma is essential to improve the appearance and function of the nose. Treatment options may include:

  1. Drug therapy: Topical or oral medications, such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, may be used to control the symptoms of underlying rosacea.
  2. Surgical procedures: In advanced cases, surgery may be performed to remove excess tissue and reshape the nose. This may include laser surgery techniques or excision procedures.
  3. Laser therapies: The treatments with laser They can help improve the appearance of the skin in mild to moderate cases of rhinophyma, reducing redness and thickening.

It is essential to seek evaluation and treatment from a rhinophyma dermatologist or plastic surgeon to determine the best treatment option for each individual case.

Rhinophyma Prognosis

The prognosis for rhinophyma is generally good when addressed appropriately. With proper treatment, the appearance of the nose can be significantly improved, and the symptoms of the underlying rosacea can be controlled. However, early detection and treatment are essential to prevent disease progression. 

Relationship between Rinofima and Rosacea:

Rhinophyma is a complication of rosacea, and the two conditions are related. Rosacea is a chronic disease that affects the blood vessels in the skin, and when not properly controlled, can lead to the development of rhinophyma. Therefore, it is crucial to treat rosacea effectively to prevent the onset of rhinophyma.

The rhinophyma is a skin condition that mainly affects the nose and is related to rosacea. It is characterized by thickening of the nasal skin and can be treated with various options, including drug therapies and surgical procedures. Early detection and treatment are essential to improve the prognosis and quality of life of affected patients.



How is the rhinophyma operation performed?
The rhinophyma operation is performed with a combination of electrocautery and laser to smooth the texture and reshape rhinophyma to its normal state. Dr. Garcia Ceballos has performed this procedure with great success.

As long as you are in generally good health, the rhinophyma procedure will be performed under local anesthesia with or without sedation. On some occasions the Doctor may indicate the performance of the rhinophyma operation under general anesthesia.

After the intervention, apply abundant gauze soaked in an antibiotic cream for 10 days. You cannot be exposed to the public for at least 10 days and you must wash the skin of your nose with an antiseptic soap daily.

You will be advised to take pain medication for the first week.

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Frequently asked questions

The exact cause of rhinophyma It is not fully understood, but it is believed to be associated with an overgrowth of the sebaceous glands in the nose, which can cause the skin to become thick and patchy.

The most common symptom of rhinophyma it is a large, bulbous nose that is red and full of indentations. Other symptoms can include thickened skin, visible blood vessels, and sometimes small bumps or pustules in the nose.

A dermatologist can usually diagnosed rhinophyma examining the nose and asking about symptoms. Sometimes a skin biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Rhinophyma can be treated with a variety of methods, including surgical removal, laser therapy, and topical or oral medications. The best treatment option will depend on the severity of the condition and the specific needs of the person.

There is no known way to prevent rhinophyma, but avoiding triggers that make rosacea symptoms worse, such as alcohol, spicy foods, and hot drinks, can help reduce your risk of developing the condition. It’s also important to protect your skin from sun exposure and seek rosacea treatment as soon as symptoms appear.

The price of a rhinophyma operation can range between €2,000 and €8,000 depending on each case.

It is convenient to put yourself in the hands of a specialist in reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery to carry out this type of intervention.

Dr. García Ceballos is a specialist in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. You can check his credentials at SECPRE (Society of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery).