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ALL ABOUT ROSACEA

What Is Rosacea? The providers at Signature Plastic Surgery and Dermatology can help! Rosacea is common, afflicting an estimated 14 million Americans. The skin condition is characterized by redness and visible blood vessels on the facial skin. It may include small, red, pus-filled bumps. Flare-ups can last for weeks, even months, and then the skin calms down for a period of time before flaring up again. People often mistake rosacea either for blushing, acne, or an allergic reaction.

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is common, afflicting an estimated 14 million Americans. The skin condition is characterized by redness and visible blood vessels on the facial skin. It may include small, red, pus-filled bumps. Flare-ups can last for weeks, even months, and then the skin calms down for a period of time before flaring up again. People often mistake rosacea either for blushing, acne, or an allergic reaction.

Who Gets Rosacea?

Anyone of any background or race can develop rosacea, but it is more likely in certain people:

Between the ages of 30 and 50

Fair-skinned, often with blonde hair and blue eyes

Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry

Family history of rosacea or severe acne

Likely to have had severe acne, usually the cystic form

Women are more likely, although men develop severe rosacea more often

Causes Of Rosacea

Rosacea isn’t fully understood, but it’s thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It also may have an immune function association. Contrary to what some believe, a lack of personal hygiene does not cause rosacea. Rosacea also is not contagious.

Symptoms Of Rosacea

These are common signs and symptoms of rosacea:

Facial redness — Persistent redness in the central area of the face. Small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks often swell and become visible.

Swollen red bumps — People with rosacea may develop red bumps that resemble acne. They may contain pus, and the skin may feel hot and sensitive.

Eye problems — About half of the people with rosacea have eye dryness, and irritated, swollen reddened eyelids.

Enlarged nose — In rare cases, rosacea can cause the skin on the nose to become thicker. This makes the nose appear bulbous. This occurs more in men.

What Are Triggers For A Rosacea Flare-Up?

A number of factors can trigger an outbreak or aggravate your symptoms because they increase blood flow to the surface of the skin. These factors include:

Alcohol

Spicy foods

Hot drinks

Temperature extremes

Sun exposure

Wind exposure

Emotions

Exercise

Cosmetics

Drugs that dilate the blood vessels

Types Of Rosacea

There are four subtypes of rosacea:

Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea — Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels

Papulopustular rosacea — Redness, swelling, acne-like breakouts

Phymatous rosacea — Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture

Ocular rosacea — Eyes become red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen, and the person appears to have a sty

How Is Rosacea Diagnosed?

To diagnose rosacea, we look at the patient’s medical history in combination with a physical examination of the skin. Other conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and lupus, can cause similar symptoms, so it’s important to rule those out. There is not a specific test for rosacea.

Rosacea Treatment

The key to treating rosacea is to provide both treatment of flare-ups and education as to potential triggers causing those flare-ups. There is no cure.

Treatment focuses on controlling flare-ups. For most patients, this is accomplished with a combination of skincare and medication. Even with successful treatment, recurrence is common with rosacea.

Medications

Three types of drugs for treating rosacea:

Medications to address the redness — The drug brimonidine is effective for reducing redness. When applied topically to the skin it works to constrict the blood vessels. Other topical products that reduce redness and the pimples with mild rosacea are azelaic acid and metronidazole. These drugs take from 3-6 weeks to improve rosacea.

Oral antibiotics — Oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline, may be used to fight the inflammation showing in pimples and bumps.

Isotretinoin — This powerful acne drug also helps to clear up acne-like lesions stemming from rosacea.

Treatments And Triggers

Light treatments, such as intense pulsed light, can be effective at shrinking the facial blood vessels, lessening the redness.

Your skincare regimen can also involve triggers. Actions such as scrubbing the skin can cause a flare-up. Many skincare products and cosmetics can irritate your skin.

Sun protection is very important for rosacea patients. Wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 is crucial. Hats and protective clothing are helpful, as well.

Dermatology providers at Signature Plastic Surgery and Dermatology can isolate the triggers that are leading to your flare-ups. Educating you about these can help you avoid or minimize these foods or behaviors that are aggravating your rosacea.