unnamed[1]unnamed[1]The term rhinophyma is derived from the Greek rhis (‘nose’) and phyma (‘growth’). Rhinophyma is a large, bulbous, ruddy nose caused by granulomatous infiltration, commonly due to untreated rosacea.  It has often been referred to as “potatoe nose”.  It is most common in white men with a mean age of 50.

Signs and symptoms
rhinophyma_beforeafter_small (1)rhinophyma_beforeafter_smallRhinophyma is characterized by prominent pores and a fibrous thickening of the nose, sometimes with papules.  It is caused by chronic overgrowth of the sebaceous glands and overgrowth of the colonizing bacteria Dermodex Folliculorum. It is associated with the common skin condition rosacea and can be thought of as the end stage of acne rosecea. It can carry a strong psychological impact due to its effect on one’s personal appearance.

rhinophyma_beforeafter_small (5)rhinophyma_beforeafter_small (4)Alcoholism is mistakenly attributed as a cause of this disease, but heavy alcohol consumption does aggravate the condition due its to chronic vasodilation effects. Rhinophyma may be diagnosed without testing, but a skin biopsy can confirm the diagnosis. Surgical treatment may be beneficial.

Rhinophyma is a slowly progressive condition due to hypertrophy of the sebaceous glands of the tip of the nose often seen in cases of long-standing acne rosacea; it is not a neoplasm. It presents as a pink, lobulated mass over the nose with superficial vascular dilation; it mostly affects men past middle age. Patients seek advice because of the perceived unsightly appearance of the enlargement, or obstruction in breathing and vision.

640px-Domenico_ghirlandaio,_ritratto_di_nonno_con_nipote[1]Treating with topical Metrogel seems like a good idea in theory with its activity against Dermodex folliculorum, however, it really does very little in reality. Treatment consists of paring down the bulk of the tissue with a sharp instrument or carbon dioxide laser and allowing the area to re-epithelialise. Sometimes, the tissue is completely excised and the raw area skin-grafted.  I personally have never tried putting a skin graft on this and many of my colleagues think this would be a bad idea.  With the deep and ever present epithelial elements I would expect it to re epithelialize completely in less than a month with just conservative cares (H2O2 and bactroban applied TID).  The painting on the right is from Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449 – 11 January 1494), he was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence.

Inverted “V” Deformity

images-5Among the more common complications that occur from a rhinoplasty are asymmetry, difficulty breathing, incompetent internal nasal valves (inverted V deformity) and a pinched tip. Modern rhinoplasty techniques involve far more subtle maneuvers than old-fashioned cutting out cartilage and breaking bones. Since the shape of the nasal tip is determined both by skin thickness and the underlying shape of the nasal cartilages, it used to be taught that to avoid a pinched nasal tip, all the surgeon has to do is avoid cutting out too much cartilage. Otherwise, the nostrils will loose the supportive function of the cartridges and collapse upon themselves thus leading to a “pinch tip” appearance. In actuality, the situation is more complicated than that.

images-6While it is indeed important to leave enough catilage as support, modern techniques of rhinoplasty involve delicately placing precise sutures in order to control the tip and projection of the nasal tip. If the knots are tied ever so slightly tighter than normal, the supportive nature of the cartilage may be overcome by the scar tissue that will develop in the postoperative period. The cartilages will then become concave in appearance thus leading to a pinched tip as seen in the accompanying photo.

Moisturizing Nasal Treatments

Our nose makes over a liter of secretions per day.   To warm, filter and humidify the incoming air in preparation for the lungs is one of the major functions the nose is responsible for.

shoppingBactroban (Mupirocin) ointment is a water miscible ointment that out performs all others in the anterior nose.

shopping-1Pretz Spray Web smallPonaris Nasal Emmolient is also a staple of our practice.  Pretz, Blairex, Nose Better, Nasal Moist, and Rhinaris are all moisturizing sprays.  Entertainer’s Secret is a special formulation used as a throat spray that some have used as a nasal moisturizer. Mayo clinic has compounded rose geranium in sesame oil they say works well.