“I smile every day. When I wake up in the morning, I wake up happy. I have rejoined the human race.”

 

These emotional words give some illustration, but hardly touch the depths, of the gratitude that a big-hearted former Navy sailor feels for the transformational surgical operation carried out in a Scottish clinic that has literally changed his life.

 

Ian Arthur, 63, from Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, suffered from Rhinophyma, a disfiguring nasal deformity caused by the proliferation of sebaceous glands and underlying connective tissue, which had turned him into a recluse because he was too embarrassed to go out.

 

Now, after a hugely successful procedure carried out by aesthetic medicine specialist Dr Cormac Convery at Glasgow’s Ever Clinic, Ian “feels reborn” and is planning a series of adventurous global trips on his treasured motor cycle.

 

The operation, using the only surgical-grade lasers in Scotland such as the Lumenis Ultrapulse and the Sciton Joule X, reduced Ian’s nose from a bumpy, misshapen mass to normal proportions.

 

He said: “In my isolation, I called my nose John, after John Merrick in The Elephant Man. It was huge carbuncle, which people could not avoid looking at. Now it has gone, a huge weight has been lifted from me.”

 

Ian, originally from Manchester, was a boy sailor, joining the Navy at age 17. He served for 32 years, and came to Scotland to sail from the submarine base at Faslane. On discharge, the father-of-four stayed in Helensburgh and established a business as a commercial photographer, a skill he had learned while in service.

 

He said: “The Rhinophyma started to develop about 10 years ago, gradually at first, but then more aggressively. It became much worse and much more noticeable until, by two years ago, I started to feel like a freak.

 

“During Covid, I began to withdraw from society and, when it ended, I just couldn’t face meeting people. I wound down my business, because I felt clients were just staring at my nose. I even began shopping late in the evening, when there were fewer people about.

 

“The last time I was out in public was when I rode my motorcycle around Northern Europe, but that was only because I could wear a full-face helmet, and no one could see me. That was bliss.”

 

Eight years ago, Ian went to his GP, who diagnosed rosacea, a skin condition, and prescribed pills and liquids. But his nose kept growing. Before Covid, he sought treatment again, and this time was given ointments, a kind of chemical scrub, to no noticeable effect.

 

At his doctor again last year, he asked to see a specialist, and was referred in February 2022 to an NHS dermatology clinic. He is still waiting for an appointment letter.

 

“Eventually,” he said, “my daughter insisted that I had to do something about the condition and I began looking for solutions. I thought about going to Turkey, on cost grounds, but I thought that with my luck I would probably get a dodgy doctor and my nose would fall off on the way home.

 

“At last, I discovered the Ever Clinic, virtually on my doorstep. I saw pictures of what they had done with another poor soul who was, if anything, worse than me. And the cost was affordable. I was dealt with in a single treatment of two and a half hours and, yes, it has changed my life.

 

“You must understand, I am a basically a working class, Northern lad and I felt very nervous and out of place in a private clinic. But the staff were brilliant and Dr Convery was utterly superb. I am so thankful. I know I paid for the service – but what a service!”

 

Using a CO2 laser, Dr Convery was able to remove excess skin tissue from Ian’s nose – what Ian described as “like stripping layers of wallpaper” – cutting off large lumps or nodules and debulking with the laser in continuous wave mode with high power output.

 

In order to restore the original shape of the nose, Dr Convery then used a pulsed mode to sculpt and shape the remaining tissue. A controlled full ablation was then performed on the rest of the nose, blending the skin and avoiding obvious scarring.

 

With his new-found freedom, Ian now intends to embark – with his helmet visor up – on some remarkable and challenging motorcycle odysseys, the first in October to Morocco, Mauretania, Senegal and into war-torn Mali.

 

Then, in 2025/26, he plans to sell everything he owns in Scotland, ship his motorcycle to North America, and just keep riding through the continent to South America, then over to Australasia.

 

“Yes,” he said, “I’m just going to follow my nose.”

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See our treatment information here: https://everclinic.co.uk/skin-health-glasgow/rosacea/

 

A version of this story appeared here: