What is Rhinophyma?

Rhinophyma is a dermatological condition characterized by a prominent, bulbous, and red nose. It is often associated with advanced rosacea and involves thickening of the skin on the nose and enlarged pores that may appear with oily or fibrous thickening. The condition is often mistakenly linked to alcohol use due to historical misconceptions but actually reflects a subtype of chronic rosacea. Rhinophyma can cause significant cosmetic concerns and, in severe cases, may interfere with breathing.

How Does TCM View Rhinophyma?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views rhinophyma not just as a skin condition but as an external manifestation of internal disharmony. According to TCM, such skin alterations are typically linked to imbalances in the body's vital energies and the accumulation of Heat or Dampness in specific meridians.

TCM emphasizes identifying the underlying pattern of disharmony affecting the flow of Qi and Blood, as addressing these core imbalances is essential for treating the symptoms effectively and preventing progression of the disease.

Root Causes of Rhinophyma in TCM

In the framework of TCM, rhinophyma is often associated with patterns such as Yin Deficiency and Damp-Heat. Yin Deficiency involves a fundamental lack of cooling and moistening forces in the body, leading to symptoms like a persistent warm feeling, dryness, and flushed facial features, particularly the nose.

Addressing this pattern involves nourishing Yin and clearing Heat to restore balance and reduce inflammation. Similarly, Damp-Heat can manifest in the skin as thickened, greasy, and inflamed tissue, a direct reflection of internal Heat and Damp accumulation. Treatment strategies typically include using formulas that expel Dampness and cool Heat to alleviate the physical symptoms.

Explore below more details about what might cause Rhinophyma according to TCM.

  • By Syndrome
  • Yin Deficiency
Detailed description of the cause

Yin Deficiency

Yin deficiency in TCM is a pattern of disharmony characterized by a depletion of the body's Yin energy, which represents the cooling, moistening, and nurturing aspects of our physiology. This condition often arises from factors like chronic stress, overwork, insufficient rest, or prolonged illness. Symptoms of Yin deficiency can include a sensation of heat, especially in the afternoon or evening, night sweats, insomnia, a dry mouth or throat, and a red tongue with little coating. There might also be a general feeling of restlessness or irritability. Since Yin is essential for balancing the body's active and warm Yang energy, its deficiency leads to a relative excess of Yang, manifesting as heat or dryness symptoms.... see more

Yin Deficiency Patterns That Can Lead to Rhinophyma

Pattern Name Relevant Symptoms Relevant Formulas
Yin Deficiency Flushed nose, Heat sensation in palms, Emaciation, Sore throat at night, Thirst, Anxiety, Jumpy, Scanty and dark urine, Dry stools, Dry mouth and throat at night, Nocturnal emission, Pain relieved by pressure and cold, Preference for sipping... see more Liu Wei Di Huang Wan | Zuo Gui Wan | Mu Li San | Zeng Ye Cheng Qi Tang

TCM Herbal Formulas for Rhinophyma

For treating rhinophyma characterized by Yin Deficiency, TCM recommends using nourishing formulas such as Liu Wei Di Huang Wan. This formula, with Prepared rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) as a key component, works to replenish the body’s Yin, cool internal Heat, and provide moisture to dry tissues. This approach not only targets the visible symptoms on the nose but also addresses the root cause associated with systemic deficiencies, promoting overall skin health and balance within the body’s internal systems.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address rhinophyma, organized by cause and by formula type.

  • By Cause
  • By Formula Type
  • Yin Deficiency
  • Formulas that nourish yin and tonify
  • Formulas that stabilize exterior and stop sweating
  • Formulas that simultaneously attack and tonify
  • Formulas that clear lung-Heat

All Formulas Recommended for Rhinophyma Caused by Yin Deficiency

Formula Patterns Suitable For
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Yin Deficiency
Zuo Gui Wan Yin Deficiency
Mu Li San Yin Deficiency
Zeng Ye Cheng Qi Tang Yin Deficiency

All "formulas that nourish yin and tonify" recommended for rhinophyma

Formula Patterns Suitable For (if applicable)
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan Yin Deficiency
Zuo Gui Wan Yin Deficiency

Acupoints for Rhinophyma

Acupuncture can be a supportive therapy for managing symptoms of rhinophyma, focusing on acupoints that enhance local circulation and reduce swelling. One key point is Suliao DU-25, located at the tip of the nose. This point is particularly effective in benefiting the nasal area by clearing Heat and resolving stagnation directly at the site of rhinophyma.

Stimulating this point can help diminish redness and swelling, providing relief from the discomfort associated with this condition. This treatment, combined with herbal medicine, offers a holistic approach to managing rhinophyma in TCM, targeting both the symptoms and the underlying imbalances.

See more details below about Suliao DU-25, an acupoint used to address rhinophyma.

  • By Meridian
  • Governing Vessel
Suliao DU-25

Suliao DU-25

In a depression on the tip of the nose.