Drinker’s Nose All About Rhinophyma, AKA Alcoholic Nose

If you develop rhinophyma, your nose may appear red, large, and even bumpy or bulbous. The visual side effects are most obvious on the tip and lower part of the nose, since the actual bone structure is not affected by the condition. Even a single alcoholic drink can cause flare-ups for many people with this condition.

In addition, we offer detox services as part of our addiction recovery program. This is a great tool for those looking to stop drinking because of alcoholic nose. A medically supervised detox allows them to fully quit drinking in a safe, encouraging environment. Alternatively, someone who suffers from alcohol addiction may feel like their rosacea is a constant, visible reminder of their struggles. Fortunately, it is possible to manage symptoms of rhinophyma to lessen their impact on daily life.

Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood?

Rhinophyma is a type of rosacea, a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation of the face. While the two terms are not synonymous, what people call an alcoholic nose is often actually rhinophyma. Alcoholic nose, or drinkers nose, is a skin condition commonly characterized by a bumpy, red, or swollen appearance of the nose and cheeks.

“Alcoholic nose” is a slang term that is used to describe a red, bumpy, and swollen nose that is thought to be caused by a large amount of drinking. It is believed that this skin condition is alcoholic nose only affected by those who have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition that is defined by the unmanageable use of alcohol despite negative circumstances.

What Causes Alcoholic Nose?

If you currently have varicose veins, that’s why you may notice an increase in discomfort when you have more than one alcoholic beverage. If you’ve been covering up for your loved one and not talking about their addiction openly for a long time, it may seem daunting to reach out for help. However, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the support you need as well. Lean on the people around you, and, if you need to, reach out to a mental health professional to speak about your stress and what you’re going through. If the purplish color in your nose just appeared after drinking alcohol, the best thing you can do is wait for the excess alcohol to flush from your system. If it seems that the coloration in your nose is more of a chronic problem that does not come and go with alcohol intake, then you should talk to a doctor as soon as you can.

why do alcoholics have a purple nose

Some doctors may opt for dermabrasion and cryosurgery along with lasers and electrical currents. If inflammation is present because of a bacterial infection, then oral antibiotics such as tetracycline may be prescribed to manage the infection. However, multiple methods might be recommended to manage the thickened skin. Keep reading to learn the real causes behind rhinophyma and how to put an end to the damage. If caught in the early stages, however, symptoms can often be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.


“Alcoholic nose” is a term given to the medical condition rhinophyma when it’s thought to be caused by alcohol use. Alcoholic nose is a slang term used to describe the red, swollen nose that is thought by some to accompany chronic alcohol use. While this stereotype has some element of truth to it, there is some debate on how much alcohol actually affects the appearance of your nose. Is your child, friend, coworker, parent, or spouse struggling with their alcohol addiction?

Rhinophyma (nose): Causes, pictures, and treatment – Medical News Today

Rhinophyma (nose): Causes, pictures, and treatment.

Posted: Thu, 16 Dec 2021 08:00:00 GMT [source]

It is important to emphasize that at the end of the day, alcoholic nose doesn’t really have much to do with alcohol at all. Surgical treatment can remove tissue overgrowth, reshape disfigured noses, and minimize the appearance of enlarged blood vessels. It may be completed with a scalpel, laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, or via cryosurgery. 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. Excessive consumption of alcohol may also lead to the development of spider veins on the face.

Rhinophyma Treatment

That said, early-stage mild Rhinophyma is characterized by broken capillaries on the face, particularly on the nose. After early Rhinophyma passes, the skin of the nose will often harden, becoming larger and more bulbous in the process. When the shape of the nose starts to change, this is when most people realize that they have more than just mild rosacea or skin discoloration. Alcoholism is a chronic and relapsing condition, but it responds positively to evidence-based treatment.

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