Rhinophyma (red swollen nose) Myths: Alcohol and Cancer

Written by on November 16, 2005 in Rhinophyma with 0 Comments

This study has a comforting conclusion, there is no proof that alcohol consumption leads to a rosacea nose (rhinophyma). This is a popular myth – that the famous red nose of WC Fields was due to drinking. It would be great to be able to dispell this myth once and for all. A secondary conclusion is also comforting, there is no proof of increased incidence of cancer found on patients affected by rhinophyma.

New: see also a recent article I wrote titled How to cure a red swollen nose

Rhinophyma: dispelling the myths, Plastic Reconstructive Surgery. 2004 Aug;114(2):351-4., Curnier A, Choudhary S., Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Rhinophyma is a relatively common condition in the west of Scotland. The Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit receives 12 to 13 new patients per year for surgical treatment. The reported incidence of simultaneous carcinoma in the setting of rhinophyma is on the order of 15 to 30 percent. There are conflicting reports about the association between alcohol and rhinophyma in the literature, and these are supported with little or no statistical evidence. Retrospective epidemiologic data on 45 cases of rhinophyma are presented. An audit of case notes was performed to examine histology and also alcohol consumption in these cases. The authors found no coincidental malignancies at the time of surgery, which is contrary to many previous publications. The alcohol consumption of the rhinophyma cases was compared with that of a control group that consisted of 48 men presenting for blepharoplasty. The series did not demonstrate a positive association between alcohol and rhinophyma when compared with a similar cohort of patients presenting for blepharoplasty surgery (p > 0.20) or with statistics available from the Scottish Health Survey.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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