What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin disorder that mostly affects adults. Rosacea is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. Many have observed that it typically begins any time after age 30 as a redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. In some cases, Rosacea may also occur on the neck, chest, scalp or ears. Over time, the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear. If left untreated, bumps and pimples will develop, and in severe cases, the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. This condition is known as rhinophyma.
In those with Rosacea, the tiny capillaries of the face are over-sensitive. Certain triggers cause the capillaries to dilate or swell, which makes the redness much worse. Common Rosacea triggers include sun exposure, eating spicy foods, drinking hot beverages or alcohol, and exposure to extremely hot or cold weather. Emotional stress is another major trigger. Also, long-term use of oral or topical steroids can also cause a flare-up of Rosacea when steroid treatment is stopped.
Although Rosacea can affect all segments of the population, individuals with fair skin who tend to flush or blush easily are usually at greater risk. The disease is more frequently diagnosed in women, but more severe symptoms tend to be seen in men; perhaps because they often delay seeking medical attention until the disorder reaches advanced stages.
Many people who have the beginning stages or mild Rosacea usually are not aware that they have this skin condition. Symptoms will start to be more apparent as people with this skin disease will begin to notice small bumps or acne-like breakouts. They will also have a flushed red face that is dry and feel a sting or a burning sensation on their skin. Their skin will become coarser and thicker. Their eyes will also feel dry and irritated. In rare cases, Rosacea that is not treated may cause permanent effects, such as thickening of the skin on your face or loss of vision. Over time, it can give the nose a swollen, waxy look. But in most cases, Rosacea doesn’t generally progress further than that.
Rosacea Treatments and Prevention
There is no absolute cure for Rosacea, and as of yet no proven cause. But today, Rosacea can be successfully controlled. Treatment for Rosacea can include oral or topical antibiotics, and some acne medications like azelaic acid. When looking to select over-the-counter acne products, one should be very careful in what acne treatment products he/she chooses as some of them may aggravate Rosacea and leave your skin feeling even worse.
There are several ways to prevent Rosacea and reduce the symptoms. A dermatologist can prescribe treatments and medication to reduce redness and any breakouts. Such treatments can keep the symptoms under control. One of the many ways to avoid future flare-ups is finding out what triggers them. It helps to keep a record of what you eat, drink, and do that may cause Rosacea to occur.
Sun rays can worsen Rosacea. You should avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm. When you are outdoors, you should protect your face by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or visor. Use a sunscreen that is rated SPF 15 or higher every day. If your skin is dry, find a moisturizer with sunscreen. Gently wash your eyelids with a product made for the eyes. Apply a warm, wet cloth several times a day. Use artificial tears if your eyes feel dry. Or talk to your doctor about medicine you can put into your eyes.