CO2 and Erbium laser treatment for Rhinophyma in Kent and Sussex

Laser resurfacing for Rhinophyma Rhinophyma, cosmetic nose deformity at rtwskin Tunbridge Wells

Before & After Photos


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Rhinophyma is a severe form of chronic Rosacea.

If left untreated, Rosacea can lead to changes of the nose, such as redness, swelling at the end, and changes in texture of the skin such as a bumpy surface, which can change the shape of the nose. This swelling occurs where there is a formation of scar-like tissue, and the sebaceous glands grow larger. The cause of Rhinophyma is not yet fully known.

Rhinophyma can progress gradually (starting at the tip of the nose), or more rapidly, depending on the patient. If left untreated, Rhinophyma tends to worsen over time. In most cases, the nose develops a bulbous and pitted appearance, which can result in significant cosmetic deformity of the nose and breathing difficulties in extreme cases.


rtwskin are now offering a laser resurfacing procedure to help clients suffering from Rhinophyma. The patient will typically be in clinic for no more than 1-2 hours.

The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic, with the nose completely numbed using an injection technique called nasal block. Dr Fatima also likes to prepare the nose with anaesthetic cream as well, making the procedure totally painless. Once the nose is completely numb, Dr Fatima will begin work with the DEKA SmartXide DOT® CO2 laser and Erbium laser. Initially the excessive skin tissue will be removed, using different methods depending on how much excess tissue there is. If there is a large lump or nodule, this can be fully removed with the laser. The rest of the nose will be resurfaced with the laser, with controlled full ablation to blend the skin evenly and avoid any obvious demarcations.

The full resurfacing of the nose takes up to an hour, even in the most extreme cases. Once the procedure is complete, we will apply an antiseptic ointment and dressings, which the patient can take off in 48 hours. The treated area then needs to be washed twice a day, followed by the re-application of the antiseptic ointment.

Immediately after laser treatment, the skin will have a burnt appearance, and a crust can form, which will wash away naturally. After 7-10 days, red skin will appear as the healing process continues, with completely new skin formation occurring within 3-4 weeks. Full recovery with reduction of redness can take up to 3 months.

Rhinophyma is usually treated in one session, however larger or more complex Rhinophyma sometimes require an additional session. .

Can Rhynophyma recur following treatment?

Rhinophyma generally does not tend to recur after Erbium laser  and CO2 Laser treatment, however all conditions carry the risk of recurrence.

Does the entire nose need to be treated or can I just have a small area of my nose treated? 

A small area or part of the nose can be treated, and our specialist will ensure a nice and smooth transition between treated and untreated areas, with no obvious areas of demarcation.

How many sessions are required?

Rhinophyma is usually treated in one session, however for larger or more complex cases, further treatment may be required. In some cases, we may opt to carry out the treatment in a few stages for a more accurate result and to help avoid or minimise the risk of scarring.

Rhinophyma does not usually improve by itself in the vast majority of cases, but the progression or worsening of the condition can vary from person to person.

Absolutely, however the underlying condition of Rosacea must be controlled first, most importantly. There are alternative surgical treatments available for Rhinophyma, however excellent results can be achieved with laser treatment in the majority of cases, without the need for surgery.

We use the Fotona Erbium laser and DEKA SmartXide DOT Carbon dioxide laser (also known as CO2) which has been used for many years to treat Rhinophyma, and in skilled hands it can give excellent results.

The treatment is performed under local anaesthesia, as well as with an anaesthetic cream, making it totally painless.

All procedures carry the risk of side effects. Whilst the procedure is extremely safe, side effects may be experienced, including scarring, pale skin, and redness that may last for up to 3 months.

The recovery following this treatment with the Erbium and CO2 laser requires good wound care and commitment to the healing process. Immediately following treatment, the nose will have a slightly burned appearance which may resemble an open wound, and you may experience some oozing. A special ointment will be applied and covered with a dressing. Specific aftercare advice will be given, and it may take 3-4 weeks for complete healing. Full recovery and reduction of redness can take up to 3 months.