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Ablative Laser on Black Skin?

Over the yrs, my nose has become disfigured d/t rhinophyma. I'm 35 y/o African am male. Tried accutane for several months to no effect. Also used saw pawmetto and beta sitasterol which did stop it either. I understand there are risks of hypo/hyperpigmentation. I think that might be preferable to a hugely enlarged & disfigured nose. I do have hx keloids chest area from c. Pox. Is there a physician w/ advice or willing to help?

Doctor Answers 3

Ablative Laser for Ethnic Skin

Thank you for your question. Rhinophyma is a difficult condition to treat in ethnic skin. You may want to consult a board certified plastic surgeon to see if there could be surgical options to smoothen out the cosmetic disfigurement. Lasers may cause adverse events such as further scarring.  I hope this helps.

Laser for Rhinophyma

I am sorry you have this problem. My thoughts -

  • I would consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and have a detailed discussion  and examination because - 
  • Chest "Keloids" are often not real keloids and if so, you may heal fine,
  • Pre-treatment with hydroquinone reduces the risk of color changes,
  • Reducing the rhinophyma with a blade, not a laser, may cause less injury,
  • Color changes may be preferable to rhinophyma.

Best wishes!

Laser Contraindicated

 I do not have good news. Laser ablation of Rhinophyma in an Afro-American patient with a history of keloids is likely to be a disaster. There is a very high risk of unfavorable outcomes of permanent hypopigmentation and possible keloid formation. Best,


Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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