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Rhinophyma is a relatively uncommon condition. It affects the skin and oil glands of the nose. This can cause disfigurement and even have an impact on how well the nose functions. Is Rhinoplasty an option?

 
The condition creates nasal skin which is much thicker than usual, especially on the tip and at the base of the nostrils. This areas typically contain many more glands than the rest of the nose.

It is cause for distress for many suffering from it: it not only creates an unusual looking nose, but it can have a very real impact on one’s ability to breathe.

The consensus among most plastic surgeons is that rhinoplasty is not an effective treatment for rhinophyma. Rhinophyma is a disease of the oil glands and of the nasal skin. Rhinoplasty treatment reshapes and moulds the position of the nose beneath the skin; therefore, it is a much more structural procedure than it is superficial.

For this condition, treatment typically involves surgically shaving away the abnormally thick sebaceous skin back into a more normal contour and shape. Surgeons will most often use either a knife, laser or dermabrasion to achieve this result.

For that reason, some surgeons will suggest performing a kind of “superficial rhinoplasty”. This is for extremely severe cases: the surgeon removes tissue and does reshape the nose to a degree. This do not alter the underlying structure of the nose, as it would be with a traditional rhinoplasty procedure. Instead, the surgeon would target the soft tissue in order to improve the appearance.

Surgery for severe cases of rhinophyma can be a good solution that helps achieve some long-term results, but because the condition is fundamentally a skin issue. Preventative measures and some lifestyle recommendations include eliminating any aggravating food or drink. Patients should also avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, excessive exposure to UVA and UVB rays. Reducing stress and elevated blood pressure is a must. Even certain medications which may be exacerbating the condition. These suggestions are key to keeping rhinophyma under control.

Therefore, the definitive answer to the question:”Can rhinoplasty be used as an effective rhinophyma treatment?” is no.

Rhinoplasty is not for treating subcutaneous conditions like rhinophyma, its purpose is to radically alter and contour the underlying structure of the nose itself, not just the upper layers of skin. There are many effective treatments for this condition, like dermabrasion and other laser treatments. This treatments can be undertaken in conjunction with more minor surgery to achieve a more normal nose shape and improve a patient’s ability to breathe.

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