A new observational study published in the British Journal of Medicine explains why the most famous reindeer of all has a glowing red nose.
According to researchers in Norway and the Netherlands, reindeer have many tiny blood vessels in their noses. The abundant circulation helps protect the nose from freezing temperatures. It also help regulate brain temperature, important in keeping the reindeer sharp and mentally alert while pulling Santa's sleigh.
It's good to know there is a scientific reason for Rudolph's red nose.
Humans, on the other hand, may get red noses for an entirely different reason -- acne rosacea. Rosacea can cause red noses and cheeks, along with pimple-like bumps. In fact, it's sometimes hard to determine if you have run-of-the-mill adult acne or rosacea.
If you're wondering if you have rosacea, here are a few pieces that may help you out:
A shiny red nose is super cute on a reindeer, but most people aren't happy if their own nose follows suit.
Source: "Why Rudolph's nose is red: observational study." BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8311 (Published 17 December 2012)