Why do alcoholics have big red noses?

Answer

The symptom of a large, bulb-shaped ruddy nose may be rhinophyma, once thought to be caused by alcoholism, according to Rosacea Support Group. Rhinophyma is a severe form of rosacea, a condition characterized by blood vessels swelling under the skin, the cause of which is unknown.

Rhinophyma occurs in both people who use and do not use alcohol, although the condition is more prevalent in women than men, according to Medline Plus. Symptoms include a red, bulbous nose, sometimes with a waxy, yellow surface, according to Healthline. Surgery can rectify rhinophyma but the condition can return. Rosacea is a chronic red skin condition with spider-like blood vessels and skin eruptions resembling acne. The National Institutes of Health suggests the following actions to help relieve rosacea symptoms: Avoid alcohol, spicy foods and hot beverages; stay out of the sun; limit activity in hot weather; and reduce stress.

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