Background: Rhinophyma is a cosmetically deforming disease characterized by nodular overgrowth of the lower 2/3 of the nose and is considered the end stage of acne rosacea. Aims: Review the spectrum of procedural techniques for treatment of rhinophyma with a focus on the advantages and disadvantages of each modality. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted using the search terms “rhinophyma,” “treatment,” and “surgery” in PubMed. Case reports, case series, and small retrospective trials using procedural techniques for management of rhinophyma were included for review. Animal studies, non-English articles, and reports of medical treatment of rhinophyma were excluded. Results: There are currently no prospective, randomized controlled studies evaluating procedural management of rhinophyma. The most commonly employed treatments include scalpel excision, resection with heated knives, dermabrasion, electrosurgery and lasers, specifically carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Er:YAG). The main complication associated with complete excision of rhinophymatous tissue is excessive scarring. To correct for this adverse effect, partial or tangential excision with preservation of underlying adnexal structures is now the accepted technique, irrespective of the chosen modality. Conclusion: There is no accepted gold standard for management of rhinophyma, and each modality succeeds in maintaining hemostasis, reducing scarring and achieving satisfactory cosmesis to different degrees. There is a conflicting data on the theoretical risk of recurrence with partial excision due to incomplete removal of tissue. Further studies evaluating this risk and alternate methods of prevention are required.
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