Rhinophyma is a progressive, disfiguring disorder of the nose in which the sebaceous glands enlarge and the skin thickens producing a bulbous appearance and usually a red nose. It is a complication of chronic rosacea, but has occurred in individuals who do not have rosacea. Besides being unsightly, rhinophyma can progress to the point that it affects the nasal passages and can lead to difficulty breathing.
Rhinophyma is what the condition is called when it affects the nose. The overall subtype of rosacea is phymatous rosacea and this thickening of the skin and enlargement of glands may occur on other areas as well, but most frequently it affects the nose. While about 14 million people in America have rosacea, rhinophyma is the least common form of rosacea. Rhinophyma can develop in untreated rosacea, so it is important to have facial redness, pustules and rashes evaluated and begin treatment early.