Why is my nose red?

Causes of red noses

Without understanding a problem, it’s nearly impossible to solve it.  There can be many causes of a red nose, and sometimes it is just temporary, such as with a cold or flu. However, if your nose is persistently red, or redder than the rest of your face, then you could have rosacea.

Rosacea and red noses

an example of advanced rosacea

Signs that you may be suffering from a red nose caused by Rosacea

Rosacea is a recurring skin condition where sufferers tend to have frequent flare-ups. These flare-ups can vary in intensity and every condition is unique.

Rosacea is a tricky condition. Each requires a different treatment option and approach depending on your symptoms. The easiest way to narrow it down for yourself is by classifying your ‘subtype’. There are three main subtypes of rosacea which could lead to a red nose.

  • Subtype 1 – ETR Rosacea
  • Subtype 2 – Acne Rosacea    
  • Subtype 3 – Rhinophyma

Each subtype affects the skin differently.

For example, subtype 1 (ETR) rosacea is an underlying dry skin condition. This can show itself in the form of persistent redness and blushing, among other symptoms. The skin will often feel tight. The underlying cause of this tightness is a lack of, or disruption of sebum in the skin.. Sebum is composed of fats. It protects the skin from UV/ sunlight and traps water in the skin. When you have naturally low levels of sebum or if it is compromised because of harsh skincare then dryness, dehydration and facial redness with discomfort follow.

On the other hand, subtypes 2 and 3 (PPR papulopustular rosacea and rhinophyma) are the opposite of subtype 1. They are underlying oily skin conditions. ( even though you may see some flakiness ) There may also be some swelling of the nose, as well as a red nose. 

Some people can even be unfortunate enough to have more than one kind of rosacea, with perhaps subtype 1 generally with subtype 2 on the nose area - and possibly chin and tops of cheeks. ( read on for before and after photos of rosacea sub type 2 ).   Actually looking at the persons face in detail is now the recommended way, according to a recent rosacea expert panel, to diagnose and treat rosacea. This recognes that there may be symptoms of more than one subtype present..

Subtype 1, ETR rosacea is most common among women. Women generally have dryer thinner skin than men ( one of the reasons women can appear to age quicker than men) and subtype 3 among men. While subtype 2, acne rosacea affects both women and men equally.

How to get rid of your red nose 

Depending on the severity of your condition, there are different treatment options.

  • Antibiotics (topical and oral)
  • Appropriate Skincare products 
  • Surgical treatment
  • Lifestyle changes

We are going to focus on Skincare Products

Once you have identified your condition, the next step is to find a skincare routine that works for you. There are quite a lot of potions and lotions out there that promise miracles and don’t deliver. And rosacea is complex. So you need to be extra careful what you put on your skin. 

Finca Skin Organics offer a range of serums that are designed to calm and reduce redness of the nose and face. You can see the entire range of options here.

Calming Serum 2 from finca skin organics is effective at reducing facial redness and red noses, particularly for rosacea sub type 2

rosacea subtype 2 finca calming serum 2

Calming Serum 2 Redness Relief for Sensitive faces including Rosacea Sub type 2

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12 week before and after showing a distinct improvement 

After photo of an Irish customer taken 12 weeks after using Calming serum 2 daily...First results seen after approx 6 weeks. His wife says she has a new husband!  

 M's before and after images, showing a significant reduction in redness  

M above uses finca skin organics Calming Serum 2 as part of her skincare routine for acne rosacea subtype 2. She has the typical pustules associated with rosacea subtype 2 or acne rosacea as its commonly known ( and we thank her for allowing us to use her full image/photos )  

                  rosacea type 2 finca skin organics      rosacea sub type 2 finca skin organics

The before photo, of this finca skin organics calming serum 2 customer, shows the typical butterfly effect that rosacea can often exhibit on the face, resulting in the typical rosacea subtype 2 red nose and also chin and cheeks. She uses calming serum 2.  Her rosacea began after the birth of her second child. Before using the serum, she told us she ''hid behind makeup and felt uncomfortable'', not only with her looks but the ''feel'' of her skin. When she started using the serum, she tells us  ''the pimples go and the dry scaly skin goes''  Again thankyou to this customer for allowing use of her total image.  


ETR - subtype 1 rosacea

If you identify mostly with subtype 1, there should be two main focuses of your skincare routine.

  • Hydration: Subtype 1 sufferers tend to have skin that can feel tight and uncomfortable. It is an underlying dry skin condition which calls for extra attention when it comes to moisturising. The skin barrier is compromised and needs help to stop water loss across the skin.
  • Anti-redness: The red flushing on the face is probably the most noticeable symptom of subtype 1. The skin needs help in order to calm the inflammation and dilation of blood vessels on the nose and face.

My recommendation would be to use a good moisturiser and serum. It’s best to go for a chemical-free moisturizer to help with your dry skin. It’s important that you find a cream that locks in moisture without aggravating your skin.

Alongside this, an anti-inflammatory serum will help balance out the redness.

This is why I developed our Calming Serum 1. I wanted to make a natural product with minimal ingredients that wouldn’t further irritate my rosacea. I also developed a moisturising balm that soothes and protects the skin barrier. The balm contains liquorice root which has anti-inflammatory properties. It works great in combination with the serum to help lock in the moisture that the serum provides. 

 Jane here has used type 1 consistently, as well as our balm and sunscreen and just look at the amazing difference in her before and after!

PPR - subtype 2 acne rosacea

Although it mightn’t feel like it, if you have subtype 2, you’re actually in luck as it is the easiest of the rosacea subtypes to treat. With the right routine, you can keep the lumps, bumps, and persistent redness at bay. Like subtype 1, there are two main areas to focus your skincare routine on. 

  • Cleansing: Due to higher levels of sebum (oil) production and an over-abundance of Demodex mites, cleansing your face is key to giving your skin a chance to recover. Try a cleanser made for sensitive, oily skin. Ask for samples if at all possible before buying.
  • Anti-inflammation: The lumps and bumps that you can feel on your nose and across your face are due to swelling. Counteracting inflammation will allow the swelling and redness to calm down.  

I’d recommend using skincare which has been made especially for sensitive skin including subtype 2 papulopustular rosacea. A lot of rosacea treatments contain chemicals that can cause unwanted side effects. They have their place of course, but many people don’t like chemicals on their skin every day. For subtype 2 skin, I developed our best-selling product, the Calming Serum 2. It has both cleansing and anti-inflammatory ingredients which can be applied directly to the face. And you've seen the results of our customers above, who use it to regain confidence in their everyday life..

Rhinophyma - subtype 3 rosacea aka whiskey nose

Subtype 3 is a common skin condition that usually affects men in their forties and up. It can be uncomfortable and can damage confidence. 

The term whiskey nose is just one of many names this condition goes by. It is also unkindly known as “clown nose” and “rum nose”, while its medical name is Rhinophyma. 

The names stem from the outdated idea that whiskey nose was linked to drinking alcohol, which is absolutely not the case. Whiskey nose is actually a subtype of rosacea. The word rhinophyma is made up of two parts: “rhino”, meaning nose and “phyma”, which means swelling.

It’s no surprise that the most obvious feature of whiskey nose is the swelling of the nose. 

Some of the most common symptoms of whiskey nose include:

  • A swollen nose
  • Extremely oily skin
  • Thick, bumpy skin
  • Visible red or purplish blood vessels
  • Large, seemingly open skin pores
  • Difficulty with nasal breathing

Rhinophyma is thought to be made worse due to an overproduction of sebum. Sebum is an oil produced by the sebaceous glands to moisturize and protect your skin. However, when there is too much, this can cause issues such as swelling of the nose. (It has been shown that male, subtype 3 rosacea sufferers, often suffered previously from teenage acne).

Therefore, as suggested by the British Association of Dermatologists, we recommend using an un-perfumed moisturiser (with active ingredients) regularly on your nose.

Our Calming Serum 2 contains tea tree oil and oil of oregano as active ingredients to combat the symptoms of rhinophyma. It won’t irritate your nose and will greatly reduce redness. 


2. Prescribed oral and topical medicine for red noses

Isotretinoin is used for extreme cases of acne but it can also be effective in treating subtype 3 rosacea. 

Tretinoin is similar, both are derived from Vitamin A, but Tretinoin is applied topically while Isotretinoin is taken orally. These medicines can be used at every stage of rhinophyma, however, unfortunately, if you have a more advanced stage, they will not do much to change the appearance of your nose.

Despite their ability to help rosacea, Isotretinoin and Tretinoin are only available on prescription due to strong potential side effects.  


3. Surgical treatments for a red nose

Although surgery should always be the last option, if your rhinophyma has progressed enough, surgery may well be the most effective way to treat your whiskey nose. The British Association of Dermatologists gives four potential options:

  • CO2 Laser treatment
  • Scalpel or razor blade excision
  • Dermabrasion
  • Electrosurgery and Electrocautery


4. Daily changes to help your red nose

On a daily basis, there are several things you can do to help your red nose. While these methods won’t miraculously heal your condition, they will at least help stop it from getting worse. They can also help reduce the redness of your nose and help stop your skin from getting as dry:

  • Apply a high SPF daily
  • Moisturise regularly
  • Camouflage redness with gentle cosmetics

 The true cause of rosacea is still a mystery but there is plenty of evidence that certain things can trigger flare-ups of rosacea.

Avoiding these things might not always be easy, and sometimes can even be impossible. But being aware of them can help you prevent your rosacea from flaring up.

Following the steps of awareness, treatment and prevention we believe everyone can take control of their condition. 

Here at Finca Skin Organics, I have created a range of clinically proven, all-natural, skincare products that contain minimal, plant-based ingredients. Formulated by myself, a rosacea sufferer for those with very sensitive skin.

By avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and additives, the Finca products are designed to cleanse, protect and soothe while reducing the appearance of redness without creating further irritation. After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin improved significantly*.

View the range of Finca products here or find out what subtype your skin is.

When in doubt, always refer to your doctor or dermatologist as the condition differs for everyone. 

 With love from Ireland,


*Clinical evaluation by Harley St. dermatologists on 23 subjects after 8 weeks of use of calming serum 2

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