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Everything on Alcoholic Nose

Alcoholic nose, otherwise known by the medical term Rhinophyma, is a skin condition thought to be caused by alcoholism. Although the exact cause of this condition is not entirely known, treatment for both the skin condition and possible alcohol use disorder is highly advised when symptoms of alcoholic nose appear.

Here is everything to know on alcoholic nose, symptoms of this condition, the connection between Rhinophyma and another skin condition known as Rosacea, and available treatment options for alcoholism and alcoholic nose.

What is Alcoholic Nose/ Rhinophyma?

Alcoholic nose or Rhinophyma is a skin disorder that causes the nose and face to appear red, enlarged, and bumpy. This condition might occur when someone suffers from untreated alcohol use disorder and alcoholism. Although this condition is rare, it is still possible to develop when alcohol addiction is left unmanaged. Alcoholic nose is most commonly found in men between the age of 50 and 70 which may be why the assumption that it is linked to alcohol addiction exists.

Understanding Alcoholic Nose

There are several less informal terms that have been used to describe alcoholic nose that may be more commonly used. These include drinkers’ nose, whiskey nose, gin nose, or old man nose. Risk factors for developing this condition include a family history of Rhinophyma, fair complexion, and European heritage. Alcoholic nose rarely occurs in women, and older caucasian men are most prone to having this condition.

Treatment options for alcoholic nose include medication such as anti-inflammatory prescriptions and antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may be required. If left untreated, alcoholic nose can cause damage to the nostrils, causing difficulty breathing, therefore if symptoms worsen, medical help is advised.

Symptoms of Alcoholic Nose/Rhinophyma

Alcoholic nose causes the skin on the face to become red and flushed. It can be characterized by having broken blood vessels, thickened skin, and a bulbous nose. Oftentimes, this condition causes pus-filled pimples on the face, as well as persistent redness specifically on the nose. In some cases, it may cause a burning or stinging sensation on the skin. When this condition is associated with an alcohol use disorder, addiction treatment is needed to help the individual safely recover.

Connection Between Rosacea and Rhinophyma (Alcoholic Nose)

Rhinophyma is a more severe case of another skin condition called Rosacea. Rosacea is a far more common skin disease that causes the skin on the nose, cheeks, and forehead to become inflamed and red. Rosacea has also been known to affect the neck, chin, and back as well. Symptoms of Rosacea include:

  • Blushing easily and constant flushed skin on the face
  • Lesions
  • Bumps and pimples
  • Visible broken blood vessels
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Oily skin
  • Thickened skin

While Rosacea is more common than Rhinophyma, symptoms are similar and will worsen when the condition has developed into later stages of Rhinophyma. There are no certain causes of either skin disorder, however, there is a strong assumed connection between Rhinophyma and heavy alcohol use.

Available Treatment Options for Rhinophyma/Alcoholic Nose

Alcohol use disorder is a mental health disorder that can lead a person to feel isolated and alone. If you or someone you know are struggling with alcohol use disorder or with alcoholic nose, there are several treatment resources available. Contact Forward Recovery (844-387-6889) today to learn more about treatment options for this disorder and to ensure full support throughout the entire recovery process.

Citations HealthLine. “Rhinophyma.” https://www.healthline.com/health/rhinophyma#risk-factors Reviewed 28, August 2018 American Addiction Center. “Alcoholic Nose: Why is My Nose Red?” https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/alcoholic-nose Reviewed 7, January 2022
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