What is the medical condition causing: The Drunkards Red Nose?

Just wondering, over time I have heard and seen men and some women with a very vascular looking decidedly red nose. I’ve heard the slang, “thats a drunkards red nose”. Does anyone know what the condition is, and what exactly causes it?


Most of the sites I’ve found seem to say that it is nothing to do with alcoholism. It’s a severe form of rosacea.

Heavy drinking can cause facial blood vessels to rupture though, so I would dispute that the conditions are entirely unrelated. It is probably fairer to say that excessive drinking can cause rosacea, but rosacea is not necessarily caused by alcohol.

Here is a slightly more “scientific” site.

Perhaps the ruptured facial vessels are helped along by falling and/or punches.

Also known as “gin blossoms,” as mentioned here:

“Rosacea has been indelibly linked with the bulbous nose and “gin blossoms” of comedian and alcohol aficionado W. C. Fields, but the condition actually results from a disparate assortment of stimuli acting in concert on a genetically susceptible host.”

From http://www.postgradmed.com/issues/2002/12_02/landow.htm , which probably has a lot more info than you want to know about the condition.

Did Bill Clinton have this too?

Ooh! That would make a great name for a rock band!


Never mind.

No, you’re thinking of Ted Kennedy.

One needn’t be a “drunkard.” One beer every few days is sufficient to keep some of my fairer-complected friends’ noses a consistent bright pink.