What exactly is a “alcohol nose”?


Alcohol intake is known to adversely damage health in multiple ways. But does it have any impact on how your nose looks? It turns out that it can! Alcoholic nose, also known as rhinophyma, is a skin condition that is most frequently associated with alcohol intake and is characterised by a swollen, red, and bumpy nose.

According to Dr. Abhinit Kumar, Senior Consultant and HOD, ENT, Aakash Healthcare, “it is a skin disorder that causes the nasal skin to grow, leading to distortion of the outward appearance of the nose.”

Dr. P. Narendra, Consultant Dermatologist, Sparsh Hospital, described it a consequence of a common skin illness called rosacea and noted that it is a very uncommon condition. “Roughly 1% of people with rosacea will experience this problem. There will be redness and enhanced vascularity in the early phases. It will eventually cause tissue perforation, which will expand the size of the nose.

According to Dr. Kumar, “it is mainly seen in elderly white men” and that “nasal obstruction, breathing problems, and occasionally poor vision” are possible symptoms of the disorder in its severe stages.

In white men over 50, the male-to-female ratio ranges from 5 to 1 to 30 to 1, according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine. It went on to say that while it has been mentioned in the literature, occurrence among Asian or African American men is rare.


According to research from 2021 that was also published in the National Library of Medicine, the precise reason behind “alcoholic nose” is still unknown, and a number of factors could be at play. However, scientists noted that there are some correlations between consuming alcohol, caffeine, and other hot or spicy liquids.

According to rosacea.org, an investigation conducted by scientists at the University of Strasbourg and the University Hospital in Strasbourg, France, discovered “a significant correlation between alcohol intake and severity of rhinophyma, with a heightened risk among moderate drinkers and the highest risk among excessive drinkers.”

They said that some vitamin deficits and sun exposure can both cause an alcoholic nose.


Among the typical signs of an alcoholic nose or rhinophyma are:

*Nasal obstruction

*Nasal malformation

*Tenderness of the skin around the nose

*Extension of the nose’s tip

* Skin tone of bullies

*In some circumstances, basal cell carcinoma, a distinct type of skin cancer, may develop.

“The patient is advised to seek quick assistance when they observe an abnormal redness or an increase in the size of their nose. Rashes, forehead pimples, and cheek redness are possible additional symptoms, according to Dr. Narendra.

Advice and care

If you have an alcoholic nose, Dr. Kumar advised avoiding strenuous exercise, hot or spicy drinks, including alcohol and caffeine, and exposure to UV radiation.

The two therapies used to treat the illness were emphasised by Dr. Narendra.

*Tropical remedies including topical anti-inflammatory gels and sunscreen.

*Systematic therapy when retinoids and oral antibiotics are prescribed.

The problem is supposed to become better in between three and six months, he said.