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Skin Care and Diseases

Rhinophyma

01/09/2006

Question:

I had CO2 Laser resurfacing on my nose for very mild lumpiness, or Rhinophyma. The benefits only lasted for about a year. I`ve read that this is the preferred method of treatment for this condition, but I`ve also seen that plastic surgery is mentioned as a treatment. Do you know if this method is used as much for this condition and if it could be any more effective than the laser? The idea of plastic surgery scares me, especially if it wouldn`t work any better. Thanks

Answer:

The mild resurfacing of the nose for rhinophyma is frequently temporary and mild resurfacing may be required since the basic disease process is not controlled by the surgery.  The surgery simply removes excess tissue.  Extensive removal of the tissue of the nose with grafting would probably result in control of the condition but, in my view, the cosmetic result would be undesirable.  I would urge you to talk to the physician who did the surgery and see what his/her expectations were.  From my point of view, periodic laser resurfacing has a lot going for a good cosmetic response.  If you have any questions, I would consult a board certified dermatologist and/or board certified plastic surgeon to give you more information.  You may also wish to review the issue with a qualified ear, nose and throat surgeon who does facial plastic procedures.

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati