What Is Alcoholic Nose Rhinophyma?

As a person in recovery from disordered eating, she is passionate about seeing people heal and transform. In her spare time she loves learning about health, nutrition, meditation, spiritual practices, and enjoys being a mother to two beautiful children. While there are no severe side effects of alcoholic nose, the main side effect is their physical appearance.

There is a misconception that being an alcoholic will cause you to form a bulbous and red nose. That nose, sometimes called “drinker’s nose” or “alcohol nose” is actually known as rhinophyma, a side effect of rosacea. The condition known colloquially as “alcoholic nose” or “drinker’s nose” is also known as rhinophyma. Rhinophyma is characterized by redness on and around the nose as well as an enlarged or lumpy appearance of the nose. Nevertheless, the idea of red-faced characters that you might expect to find in a Disney® movie’s tavern have also crossed over in a way to the real world. Rhinophyma, a condition sometimes referred1 to as alcoholic nose, is a skin disorder that causes the nose to become red, bumpy and enlarged.


When blood vessels burst, it makes the blood visible under the surface of the skin, leading to skin redness. In more severe cases, the nose and cheeks can take on a purple hue and start to become severely disfigured as they become more bulbous. There are many different surgical options that use plastic surgery techniques. Rhinophyma, the condition often referred to as alcoholic nose, has a red, swollen, lumpy appearance. The nose may also have a purple-colored appearance and could be mistaken for having warts or other skin blemishes that look like protruding lumps. Rosacea features an irregular coloration of the skin, namely blotches of red inflamed skin.

It is an extreme side effect only experienced by a small percentage of people who suffer from rosacea. That being said, someone who already has rhinophyma may find their condition is worsened by drinking alcohol. Alcoholic nose, or rhinophyma, is a type of skin condition that changes the size and shape of the nose. Alcoholic nose, or drinker’s nose, is a subtype of rosacea that may occur among older Caucasian men who have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Is your child, friend, coworker, parent, or spouse struggling with their alcohol addiction? Are you looking for treatment options that target each patient’s specific needs?

Changes in lifestyle

However, only a small percentage of people with rosacea will develop the condition. One study found that out of 108 patients with rosacea, only 15 were noted to also have rhinophyma, almost all of whom were men. Because alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous – and even kill you – make sure you have medical advice from your doctor or a rehab facility when you decide to stop drinking. While the idea that alcohol causes rhinophyma has been popularized in movies and illustrations, studies do not support this stigma.

alcoholic nose

For this reason, early stage Rhinophyma can be hard to detect and diagnose. Naturally, you may notice if the skin on your face and nose appears red or blotchy, but this symptom could be attributed to a wide variety of causes, from dietary changes to stress. Consequently, most people alcoholic nose do not even know that they have the condition until it has become moderately severe. Alcohol affects your face and skin in general by enlarging both pores and blood vessels. Blood vessels expand and sometimes break, making some heavy drinkers look red and flushed even when sober.

Purple Nose Alcohol Nose Condition

An alcoholic nose, often called a whiskey nose, drinker’s nose, gin nose, or gin blossom nose, is a common way to refer to a large purple-tinted nose. However, there is a lot of urban legend surrounding alcoholics’ noses. The term “alcoholic nose” has an interesting history and an even more interesting scientific explanation. It was formerly believed that outsized alcohol use was the reason for Rhinophyma.

  • It is vital to speak with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan if you suffer from an alcoholism nose disorder.
  • Alcoholic nose is a skin problem that causes the nose to take on a red, bumpy, swollen appearance.
  • Entrust your addiction with people who love and care about you and want to see you happy.

In advanced cases, it can lead to difficulties in respiration and diminution of the visual field. The condition is most common in men between the ages of 50 and 70. Because alcohol dilates blood vessels and damages the vascular system, it can aggravate rhinophyma and other types of rosacea. Treatment for alcoholic nose typically starts with a trip to the doctor.

Why Do Alcoholics Have Red Noses?

Finally, are you in need of a comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment center that provides a wide range of effective treatment options? If so, feel free to contact the experts at Prosperity Haven to learn more. If you or a loved one are seeking alcohol rehab at an addiction treatment center, it’s important https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/13-common-myths-about-addiction-and-recovery/ to know the treatment options to consider. Although there is no such thing as a drinker’s nose, drinking alcohol, particularly red wine, can lead to flushing of the face. Therefore, those with rosacea should avoid alcohol since this particular side effect may be exacerbated by alcohol abuse.

  • Most of these symptoms affect the skin and can lead to further swelling and inflammation if not treated.
  • Some people will experience a flushed or red face when they drink alcohol.
  • He referred to his large, bulbous nose as a “gin blossom,” which gained traction as part of the public image of what an alcoholic looks like.
  • While stopping alcohol may help improve symptoms of rosacea, it can be very difficult to stop using alcohol if addiction has developed.
  • Here are the possible treatments that you could pursue the elimination of rhinophyma and rosacea.
  • Several surgical techniques have been described in the management of rhinophyma.

In extreme cases, the nose can become quite disfigured and make breathing difficult. Ocean Recovery has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for our references. You can learn more about how we source our references by reading our editorial policy. Create a support group of your friends and family so that they can help you through this challenge.

Rhinophyma: when Red Nose Day is no laughing matter

Some races, such as Asians, lack certain enzymes to process alcohol, leading them to have a flushed face upon consuming alcohol. The eyes can also be affected by a specific type of rosacea known as ocular rosacea. Ocular rosacea can make the eyelids dry, swollen, red, and irritated. In some cases, people may experience ocular rosacea before symptoms on the skin begin. Now, more studies have shown that alcoholism is not necessarily the cause of rhinophyma. People can experience rhinophyma without being alcoholics or even drinking much alcohol.

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