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CO2 Laser for Sebaceous Nose?

Thank you for your reply about my sebaceous bulbous nose. Possibly Rhinophyma?

However, my nose is not distorted (yet); it only seems to have a growing bulb, which is extremely oily (within minutes of washing). Can this still be considered Rhinophyma? Could it be sebaceous hyperplasia or something else? Incidently, last year a plastic surgeon took approximately 2 minutes touching my nose and said the problem was not in my cartilage, but in the flesh. So, in lieu of the fact that the oil bothers be more than the size, is there anything that can solve both? Still wire loop cautery and CO2 laser?

Doctor Answers (2)

Successful treatment for Rhinophyma

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To better understand rhinophyma, it is important to first become familiar with rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic disease that affects the skin. Rosacea is characterized by redness, pimples, and, in advanced stages, thickened skin. When rosacea reaches this advanced stage, rhinophyma may develop. Rhinophyma is characterized by an enlarged, bulbous, and red nose resulting from the enlargement of the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands beneath the surface of the skin on the nose. Rhinophyma occurs more often in men than women. Treatment options for this advanced stage of rosacea include medications and surgery.

Rhinophyma that does not respond to medications may be treated with:

  • Electrosurgery
  • Laser treatment
  • Dermabrasion
  • Resculpturing

Lasers are used to remove the excess tissue that accumulates on the nose in patients with rhinophyma. The tissue can also be removed with a scalpel or a rapidly rotating wire brush known as dermabrasion. Although the nose will look red for a year or so following tissue removal, the nose will assume a normal skin color after about a year.  In my practice I often combine dermabrasion, excision AND Co2 Laser for the effective treatment of rhinophyma.


Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

If not Rhinophyma, several options including Accutane

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Sebaceoius hyperplasia can be treated with the medication Accutane which inhibits the production of oil and the growth of sebaceous glands. If the problem is far advanced CO2 laser alone might also help.

Loop cautery is only required for Rhinophyma.

I recommend that you consult a board certified dermatologist who is very experienced treating acne, as he/she will be familiar with Accutane use.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.