“Alcoholic Nose:” Is Alcohol Really the Cause?

Also, chronic infection often results because the fluid from the sebaceous glands thickens and can hold bacteria. In extreme cases, the nose can become quite disfigured and make breathing difficult. Rosacea can affect anybody but it most often affects middle-aged women with lighter skin tones. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

alcoholic nose

People can experience rhinophyma without drinking alcohol or very occasionally drinking it. As you can see from that list, alcohol is a factor that can trigger a rosacea flare-up. In this way, alcohol does have some connection to rhinophyma, although alcohol alone is not the root cause of rhinophyma. Instead, if an individual has rosacea and drinks often, they might trigger more rosacea flare-ups, which can lead to increased thickening of the skin on their nose. The Mayo Clinic reports that over a long period of time, rosacea can thicken the skin of the nose.

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Rhinophyma is characterized by redness on and around the nose as well as an enlarged or lumpy appearance of the nose. Although alcohol use does not cause rhinophyma or rosacea, it can aggravate the condition. As many as two out of three patients with rosacea experience flare-ups when they consume alcohol. alcoholic nose Alcohol aggravates symptoms of rosacea because drinking enlarges the body’s blood vessels. For those already suffering from redness due to rosacea, alcohol can worsen this symptom. “Rhinophyma” is the medical term for “drinker’s nose”, which is a side effect of the skin condition rosacea.

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At most, excessive drinking can increase someone’s risk of developing rosacea. However, it is not more or less impactful than any other risk factors, such as gender, age, skin tone, and family history. Likewise, not everyone with an alcohol addiction develops rosacea, either.

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The association between alcohol abuse and rosacea can be traumatizing for some people with rosacea. This typically results in the eyes becoming swollen and red in appearance. Widened blood vessels caused by heavy drinking allow more blood to travel to right beneath the skin’s surface, which gives the face a more flushed or red appearance. Just because they have swelling and discoloration around the nose does not mean they are an alcoholic. This stigma has caused many people to feel uncomfortable and ostracized from society.

alcoholic nose

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. We specialize in dual diagnosis treatment, meaning we are the best equipped to help individuals who have both substance use disorder and another mental illness. In many cases, “alcoholic nose” is used to describe the most severe, end-stage form of rosacea, known as rhinophyma. Rhinophyma causes the nose to become even more disfigured due to the progressive dilation of the nasal vessels as well as the involvement of cysts and pustules. Alcoholic nose, known by its clinical name, rhinophyma, is a condition that causes the nose to become bumpy, swollen, and red in appearance. Also referred to as “drinker’s nose,” this condition may be the result of rosacea as well as alcohol abuse.

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With centers all around Oregon, Serenity Lane makes your physical and mental health our No. 1 priority. While some people may experience flushing or redness when they consume alcohol, this doesn’t mean those people all suffer from rhinophyma. Wrong assumptions based on similar traits, such as flushed skin after drinking, have led to misinformation about the true causes of the condition.

  • Rhinophyma is the skin condition which causes a person’s nose to grow and become bulbous in appearance.
  • 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.
  • Seeking treatment for alcoholism and addressing the underlying causes of rhinophyma can help improve both physical and emotional well-being.
  • The symptoms will flare up for a few weeks or months and then slowly die down.

If you have rosacea and struggle with alcohol use, you might be putting yourself at risk of experiencing more severe side effects of rosacea. However, rhinophyma can make normal breathing through the nose a challenge. Obviously, this can decrease a person’s quality of life and be a hindrance to daily life and chores.

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