Does A Purple Nose Indicate Alcoholism?

If the purplish color in your nose just appeared after drinking alcohol, the best thing you can do is wait for the excess alcohol to flush from your system. If it seems that the coloration in your nose is more of a chronic problem that does not come and go with alcohol intake, then you should talk to a doctor as soon as you can. While the idea that alcohol causes rhinophyma has been popularized in movies and illustrations, studies do not support this stigma. However, alcohol may still play a very small role in increasing the risk of developing this condition. “Alcoholic nose” is a term given to the medical condition rhinophyma when it’s thought to be caused by alcohol use. If you or someone you know has a purple nose, it could be a sign of alcoholism.

why do alcoholics have a purple nose

This fluid, known as ascites, distends the stomach and often seeps down into the legs and feet as well. Note that, there are people who have black vomit after drinking alcohol. If you puking up black after drinking, this means that the blood has been oxidized by the acids that your stomach produces to aid in digestion.

The Cause Of Alcoholic Nose

In a recent study by The Recovery Village, 44% of respondents reported abusing alcohol in an attempt to ease uncomfortable feelings that stem from underlying anxiety. While these alternative therapies could provide some benefits, you should always speak with a doctor before attempting to use alternative therapies. We do not receive any compensation or commission for referrals to other treatment facilities. You nor your loved one are under any obligation to commit to an Ark Behavioral Health treatment program when calling our helpline. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact at

  • If you often throw up often when you drink or you have any other condition that makes you vomit,  including pregnancy in some women, having blood in your vomit is possible.
  • Alcohol use disorder can cause serious and lasting damage to your liver.
  • There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time.
  • While many factors play into how a person develops it, binge drinking is definitely a contributing factor due to the aggravating nature of alcohol to blood vessels.
  • Rhinophyma, often called an alcoholic nose, has a red, swollen, lumpy appearance.

In some cases, a procedure known as TIPS (for transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt) lets blood bypass the liver to decrease ascites fluid buildup. The procedure, however, can cause an increase in encephalopathy, confusion and mental changes related to toxin buildup in the brain. Afterwards, you are likely to take some blood and/or urine test and also get a sample of your vomit for analysis. Depending on the cause, you might have treatment and/or be advised to check your diet, staying well hydrated, adjust your drinking habits and a few other remedies. Veins are essential in moving blood to and from the heart and lower limbs. Inside our leg veins are tiny flaps, or valves, whose sole function is to push blood back to the heart.

What Causes Rhinophyma?

Men who drink long and hard enough also can experience erectile dysfunction while women who drink during pregnancy can cause birth defects. While some people may experience flushing or redness when they consume alcohol, this doesn’t mean those people all suffer from rhinophyma. Wrong assumptions based on similar traits, such as flushed skin after drinking, have led to misinformation about the true causes of the condition. When blood vessels burst, it makes the blood visible under the surface of the skin, leading to skin redness. In more severe cases, the nose and cheeks can take on a purple hue and start to become severely disfigured as they become more bulbous. Surgical treatment can remove tissue overgrowth, reshape disfigured noses, and minimize the appearance of enlarged blood vessels.

why do alcoholics have a purple nose

In less severe cases, medication may be effective in treating rhinophyma. Topical and oral antibiotics reduce inflammation and redness, and other topical medications minimize inflammation. Some people also take oral capsules that stop skin glands from producing oil.

Why do alcoholics have purple noses?

There may be very little you can do to help someone with AUD until they are ready to get help, but you can stop letting someone’s drinking problem dominate your thoughts and your life. It’s OK to make choices that are good for your own physical and mental health. If you’ve been covering up for your loved one and not talking about their addiction openly for a long time, it may seem daunting alcoholic nose to reach out for help. However, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the support you need as well. Lean on the people around you, and, if you need to, reach out to a mental health professional to speak about your stress and what you’re going through. It does not make sense to continue treating rhinophyma if the patient decides to continue consuming alcoholic drinks regularly.

  • This is not a normal happening since it indicates that something is totally wrong, probably with the upper gastrointestinal system.
  • Someone who has a bulbous, swollen red nose may suffer from incorrect judgments and assumptions about their character and substance use habits.
  • You may need to seek treatment at an inpatient facility if your addiction to alcohol is severe.
  • The shoulders and chest are also susceptible to looking more flushed or red after drinking alcohol.
  • It is only when they experience their own pain that they will feel a need to change.