Red nose - causes and treatment

Red nose - causes and treatment

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A red nose: what are the causes and therapies?

A red nose not only looks a little strange, it can also result from an illness. Most people think of excessive alcohol consumption when they see a red nose, which may also be a bit bulbous and large-pored. However, the cause is often a skin condition called rosacea. A massive cold, sunburn and cold can of course also cause an acute red nose.

Rosacea - what is it?

Rosacea, also called "copper rose", appears on the face, initially through reddening of the skin, which mainly affects the middle third of the face. That is cheeks and nose. This redness suddenly appears and stays there only for hours - or even for days. The blood vessels are dilated. Rosacea is an inflammatory disease that progresses in batches. The redness of the skin itches or burns and develops over time into papules and pustules.


The causes are still not fully understood. The disease often occurs in families, which means that it is inherited. Communication between nerves and blood vessels is disturbed. For example, these vessels widen as a result of weak stimuli and then no longer contract. This can be seen under the skin surface in the form of so-called telangiectasias (superficial, visibly enlarged small blood vessels).


The following triggers can lead to rosacea, which is usually the first to be recognized by a red nose. In the first place there is too much sun. Light-skinned people in particular are more likely to get this skin condition. Other triggers are cold, hot drinks, alcohol, nicotine, cosmetics, stress or hormonal changes (e.g. pregnancy, menopause). Furthermore, certain medications, such as medicines for cardiac arrhythmias (ingredient amiodarone) and medications with a vasodilative (vasodilating) effect, can trigger this skin disease. A connection between the involvement of the gastric mucosa with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and the development of rosacea is also discussed. Digestive disorders such as diarrhea, constipation or acidification of the stomach are also possible.

Everyone affected experiences rosacea differently. The forms are different. Affected people have to determine for themselves what is not good for them and may lead to a red nose.


Symptoms of rosacea include a sudden flush, which means blushing on the skin of the face. Other complaints include red spots that no longer disappear, visible small blood vessels, papules, pustules and lymphedema (accumulation of lymph fluid). The skin disease is divided into three degrees of severity:

  • In grade I, the redness persists and the skin scales easily.
  • With grade II there are pustules and papules, possibly also lymphedema.
  • Grade III is characterized by the fact that the skin becomes thicker and also coarser. This is shown, for example, by the bulbous change in the nose, in the technical language called rhinophyma.

The rhinophyma with the bulbous, large-pored red nose makes you think of too much alcohol, which of course is not necessarily the case. This rhinophyma primarily affects older men. In severe cases, the disease spreads to the ears, neck and chest area. The eyes may also be involved, which can show up in dryness, burning eyes, foreign body sensation, inflammation of the conjunctiva, upper eyelid and enlarged blood vessels in the eye.

Stress, signs on the nose

Stress has already been mentioned as a trigger. The skin is the mirror of the soul and so inner tensions, injuries, mental problems, exhaustion and much more can show up on the skin. Reddening in particular is common here, as is a red nose.

According to the teachings of pathophysiognomy, signs of diseases of the stomach and bronchial tract can be seen on the nose, which stands for will and self-actualization. Redness often means inflammation and / or hyperfunction. (Tip of the nose = stomach, side of the nose = lungs, bronchi).

And then there is the fact that rosacea itself causes stress. Who likes to go public with a red nose or a red face? This is a burden and many of those affected suffer from the situation. A vicious cycle begins. Good and, above all, timely treatment is therefore very important.


Rosacea is not curable, but if it is recognized in time, it can be treated well. If there is primarily a red nose and / or redness on the face, this is treated with ointments, gel or a suitable lotion using conventional medicine. Certain care products are also used for inflammatory changes such as pustules and papules. In more severe cases, external and internal therapy is often used. This means that patients receive one skin care product and another one for internal use (usually an antibiotic).

If the red nose is bulky, laser treatment can also be considered. If there are underlying diseases, such as indigestion, as triggers, these are of course to be treated.

Facial care

Caution is advised when taking care of the face. Preparations that contain preservatives, alcohol or essential oils should be avoided. The prescribed medical cream comes first on the skin after cleaning. If this is properly absorbed, daily facial care can be used. Anything that promotes blood circulation, such as cold and too hot water, is best avoided and only lukewarm water is used.


Caution is advised in the cold and in the sun. In winter, the skin must be protected with a suitable cream and possibly with a cloth or a scarf that covers the face. The sun is best avoided in summer and if this is not possible, a suitable sunscreen is used. Again, please make sure that there are no additives. Saunas should be avoided if possible.


If you have rosacea and occasionally get a red nose, you should keep a diary: What have I eaten, which skin care products have I used, am I currently under stress? This is very important in order to be able to judge exactly which triggers can be left out in daily life, to alleviate the symptoms or to prevent redness in the first place.


Naturopathy also has its place in the treatment of a red nose in connection with rosacea. First, an extensive medical history is used to determine where the causes could be. It is important to ask when the skin "blossoms", when it started, whether there are any known triggers for the social environment in which the affected people live, what profession they practice, how they eat, whether they are exhausted, under Suffer from stress or have mental health problems. All of this is also important for the right therapy.

As a rule, the psyche is treated. For example, with a lavender tincture that calms the body, centers thinking and also has a positive effect on the stomach. Or the rose root, which is a good help especially in stressful times. To protect yourself somewhat from stress, the No. 5 potassium phosphoricum from the Schüßler salts helps.

Remedies such as Abrotanum, Tormentilla, Apis and Belladonna have proven their worth in homeopathy. Furthermore, liver medication is always indicated for the treatment of skin diseases. These include milk thistle, dandelion and celandine. Combination preparations are available in the form of tablets. Schüßler salts can also be used for skin complaints. Here, the No. 3 Ferrum phosphoricum, No. 4 Potassium chloratum, No. 1 Calcium fluoratum, No. 9 sodium phosphoricum and No. 10 sodium sulfuricum are the agents of choice in this case.

In naturopathy, forms of therapy such as acupuncture, foot reflexology and anthroposophic medicine are also used.

Home remedies

A good home remedy for red noses is pansy tea. A teaspoon of the dried herb is brewed with a quarter liter of boiling water and strained after about five to six minutes. Two of them are drunk a day over a period of six weeks or as required. Externally, this tea also helps as a compress or to dab the red or inflamed areas. Chamomile tea or black tea is also suitable for this.

It is also recommended to take evening primrose oil. This contains a high proportion of essential, polyunsaturated fatty acids. Especially gamma-linolenic acid. This is not only mood-enhancing, but also has an extremely positive effect on the skin's metabolism. The easiest way is to take evening primrose oil capsule. In addition, these can be opened very easily and then applied externally to the affected areas.


The diet should be high in fiber. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are part of the daily menu, but not raw in the evening, but in blanched, grilled or briefly steamed form. The intestine cannot process raw food that is eaten in the evening overnight. The whole thing starts to ferment. This creates fusel alcohols and this must then detoxify the liver again. Since the skin is also a detoxification organ, this can certainly show up in a red nose or other reddening of the skin. (sw)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Markus Reinholz et al .: Rosacea, Guideline of the German Dermatological Society, (accessed August 22, 2019), AWMF
  • Jonette E. Keri: Rosacea (Acne rosacea), MSD Manual, (accessed August 22, 2019), MSD
  • Dorothea Terhorst-Molawi: Dermatologie Basics, Elsevier / Urban Fischer Verlag, 4th edition, 2015

ICD codes for this disease: L71ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find yourself e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.



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