Relation Between Bulbous Nose, Alcohol and Rosacea


As a child, you probably remember watching cartoon characters and actors with a bulbous nose. Some directors deliberately gave their actors red skin and a bulbous nose to make them appear intoxicated. Part of this is because of the comedian, WC Fields. In the early days of movies, he was a famous actor who also had a famous drinking problem. Since he happened to have a bulbous nose, a myth developed that people with ball-like, red noses were alcoholics.

While there is nothing to stop someone with a bulbous nose from being an alcoholic, anyone can develop alcoholism. There is absolutely no reason why someone with a large nose has a larger or smaller risk of becoming an alcoholic. Drinking alcohol will certainly not make your nose become large and bulbous. You can be a complete teetotaler and have a bulbous nose. As for red, inflamed skin, there is a strong correlation between heavy drinking and developing red skin.

The Relation Between Bulbous Nose, Alcohol and Rosacea

An estimated 14 million people in the United States suffer from a skin condition known as rosacea. This condition is chronic, so it does not just go away forever. Instead, it tends to flare up from time to time. After a flare up, it can go into remission for an extended period of time before it suddenly flares up again without warning.

This skin condition typically affects the face, but it can affect other areas as well. Normally, you will see it on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. It can also be seen on the chest, scalp, ears and neck occasionally as well.

In general, this skin condition is most common among people who are 30 or older. It is more common among women than it is among men. In addition, researchers believe that this condition is more likely for people from certain family backgrounds. Rosacea seems to be more common among people who have Scandinavian, Scottish, Irish or English ancestry. Basically, it is more likely to happen among people with fair skin. If you have family members who have this condition, you are also more likely to develop it.

If you have rosacea, you may first notice that red areas develop on your skin, especially on your face. As the condition becomes worse, the redness may turn to a ruddy, dark color. You may even be able to see blood vessels in the affected areas.

You may also notice pimples and bumps in the affected area. Excess tissue may even make your nose appear misshapen and swollen, which can make it seem like you have a bulbous nose. In addition, the skin may form uneven lumps on the surface and it can start to thicken. If your eyes are affected by the condition, it is known as ocular rosacea. When this happens, your eyes may sting and seem blood shot. You eyelids may swell and become watery. They may also start to burn.

The Cause of a Bulbous Nose and Rosacea

While the original cause of rosacea may be genetic, there are also other factors that can trigger it to happen. Many rosacea sufferers have reported that certain drinks, foods and environmental factors may worsen their condition. These triggers can vary from person to person, so the irritations may vary from one person to another. Some of the triggers of rosacea may include:

Spicy food
Sun exposure
Drinking alcoholic beverages
Certain fruits
Physical exertion
Certain skin care products
Dairy products
Certain cosmetic products
Marinated meats
Medical conditions
Hot beverages
Certain vegetables

Out of all the different types of alcohol, it seems like wine, and especially red wine, trigger rosacea. This may be because alcohol causes the blood vessels to become dilated. If you already have a red face, it will make your face seem even redder. Red wine also contains tyramines. This chemical works like histamines to cause your blood vessels to become dilated and can make rosacea even worse. With this in mind, rosacea sufferers should limit how much they drink or avoid drinking altogether.

Since each rosacea suffer may have different triggers, it is important to start tracking what you eat and drink. Pay attention to the weather and the skin products you use. If you carefully track the different variables in your life, you can start to figure out which factors trigger a flare up.

Managing Your Rosacea and Bulbous Nose

If you have rosacea, you should be careful about which skin care products you use. Certain ingredients like eucalyptus oil, certain fragrances, peppermint oil and menthol can cause a flare up. In addition, any skin care product that contains alcohol can cause a flare up.

Your bulbous nose is genetic, so you cannot just make it go away. You can make it less obvious by taming your rosacea. Do this by limiting the ingredients you use on your skin and figuring out which environmental triggers cause your rosacea to flare up.

You can also talk to your dermatologist about other options for managing your skin condition. Using sunscreen may be able to help since sun exposure is a common trigger. Avoid hot or cold water when you rinse your face since extreme temperatures can cause a flare up. Stick to a non-oily moisturizer and use lukewarm water to rinse your ace.

A bulbous nose and rosacea are not a sign of alcoholism. While alcoholism can cause frequent rosacea flare ups, you would still have the condition with or without alcohol. Alcohol may worsen the condition, but it is only a myth that it could cause it.


  1. Thanks for sharing these informative thoughts. This may answer all the question in mind of the people who have this kind of skin condition.

    • We appreciate your supportive comments. It is certain that other members of our community will find benefit by reading your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Sarah!

  2. This is a very unpleasant problem. People often do not know about this disease and believe that the red nose is a sign of alcoholism.

    • Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. Please feel free to share more of your thoughts and feelings in the future. Have a great day, Mark!


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