Bel Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery
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Bellevue, Seattle Rhinophyma Treatment Options

Rhinophyma Domenico Ghirladaio 1490

Domenico Ghirlandaio – Circa 1490

Rhinophyma is not a new condition, afflicting persons living in the Middle Ages.  Its cause is not entirely known but it occurs in the later stages of acne rosacea.  In the early stages of rosacea the skin becomes flushed as blood vessels expand.  As rosacea progresses, the skin becomes more sensitive with small bumps forming on the nose, cheeks, eyelids and chin. As damage to the skin’s blood vessels progresses, the skin thickens, pore size increases and the sebaceous glands (oil glands) become more prominent.  While rhinophyma can affect men or women, it is much more common in men-generally occurring in Caucasian men in their 40’s to 60’s.

Even though the enlarging nasal growths are benign, rhinophyma can have a severe impact on quality of life-on physical and emotional well-being.  Some people with rhinophyma can have difficulty breathing when abnormal tissue growth blocks breathing passages or occurs at the bottom of the nose.  The psychological and social consequences of rhinophyma can also be debilitating. Those with the condition can become very self-conscious about their disfigured appearance, avoiding social contact to shield them from notice and stares of those around them.

  • Before/After

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Treatment of Rhinophyma

Rhinophyma will not resolve on its own.  Depending on the severity of the condition, there are many treatment options to improve the condition.  The extra skin growth associated with the disease does not respond to oral and topical treatment as do the early stages of rosacea.  Surgical methods involving laser surgery, electrocautery, dermabrasion, are useful for sculpting the shape of the nose.  Dr. Zemplenyi frequently uses a combination of these methods to remove the excess tissue, recontour the nose and smooth the resulting surface.  Redness can be addressed with IPL (intense pulse light) technology.  These procedures can be performed under local or sedation anesthesia which are available at Bel-Red Ambulatory Surgical Facility in Bellevue.  Recovery can take several weeks as new skin grows over the healing tissue but cover-up make-up allows the patient to resume outdoor activities earlier.