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A Closer Look at the Medical Condition Called “Alcoholic Nose”


Whenever you watch an animated film from the 40s, 50s, or 60s, you might notice a few characters have bright red noses as a result of drinking alcohol. (Mr. Smee from Disney’s Peter Pan certainly comes to mind.) Even cartoonist stars like W.C. Fields and Jimmy Durante were drawn as red-nosed, flamboyant characters who had a penchant for talking the talk and walking the walk. However, while a flash, oversize red nose certainly looks good on a clown, the fact of the matter is that a swollen snout is a serious medical condition. So, the next time you see a person with a glowing red nose while walking down the street, you might want to rethink those old cartoons. Let’s take a closer look at the medical condition called “alcoholic nose.”

What is an Alcoholic Nose?

Stemming from the Greek words rīnós (nose) and phyma (growth), rhinophyma is an uncomfortable and unattractive condition that causes deformities in the nasal region. Particularly among male Caucasians. (However, scientists have recorded cases of this disorder among others as well.) Often taking years to develop, rhinophyma is characterized by severe changes of the nose. Usually the changes are in the size and shape of the nasal region. This is caused by massive bulb-like growths. Furthermore, the skin around the nose will redden. It will also continue to deteriorate in quality over time.

Can Alcohol Cause Rhinophyma?

Ironically, although rhinophyma is called “alcoholic nose,” scientists have confirmed that booze is not the only cause for this problem but liquor is still a major culprit. After people consume alcohol, the substance induces a failure of vascular function. This causes vessels in the face and nose to enlarge. As a result, the face and nose will noticeably redden as long as the user continues the practice. However, many patients who are alcohol abusers or alcoholics do not always develop rhinophyma. Overall, this disorder is a bit of a mixed bag. Nevertheless, it should still serve as a warning for people who are concerned about relapse or are thinking about experimenting with booze.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Always remember that alcohol does not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process. Our rehabilitation will help guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.

The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse or addiction troubles today.