Rhinophyma, in which the enlargement of tissue results in a bulbous and bumpy appearance of the nose in some rosacea sufferers, may usually be effectively addressed with laser surgery, according to Dr. Jeffrey Dover, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University.
"Although rhinophyma may be generally unresponsive to oral or topical therapy, it is usually very amenable to surgical approaches," he said. "Besides manual surgery, electrosurgery and lasers are often very effective in reducing the excess tissue and returning the nose to a more normal appearance."
Rhinophyma is the most common form of subtype 3 (phymatous) rosacea, and may be characterized by skin thickening, irregular nodularities and large pores. Treatment options may include cryosurgery, electrocautery, skin grafting and surgical lasers. A CO2 or erbium-yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser may be used as an almost "bloodless scalpel" to remove excess tissue, Dr. Dover explained, noting that this may be followed by dermabrasion.
"Fortunately today, advanced techniques are available that may restore the effects of rhinophyma to a more normal appearance," he said. "Using the appropriate treatment options, this can usually be done with minimal discomfort."