Many people assume that their face is naturally more red than others, when in fact, it could be due to rosacea. This skin condition affects over 16 million Americans and is becoming even more widespread with approximately three million new cases being diagnosed each year.
Symptoms & Causes of Rosacea
While rosacea can occur in anyone, it is most commonly seen in middle-aged women. Most people who suffer from this condition have one, or a combination of the following symptoms:
This is by far the most common symptom. The blood vessels in the middle of the nose and face become swollen and visible, causing redness.
Pimples that resemble acne can develop around the areas of redness. Just like acne, the pimples can feel hot and tender.
Many people don’t know that rosacea can affect the eyes. People who suffers from rosecea often experience eye dryness, irritation, redness, and swelling of the eyelids.
Occurring more in men than in women, the bridge of the nose can appear bulbous because of the thickening of the skin.
While no one knows exactly what causes rosacea, evidence suggests that it is hereditary. The condition tends to affect people between the ages of 30 and 50 and is more common among people with fair skin. Environmental factors also appear to have an effect on the severity of symptoms. The following things may make exacerbate the symptoms:
- Alcohol consumption
- Hot or spicy food
- Large amounts of caffeine
- Direct sunlight, humidity, or extreme temperatures
- Stress and anxiety
Types of Rosacea
Rosacea is most commonly seen around the nose and cheeks, but symptoms can spread to other areas of the face, and even reach as far as the chest and back. Since cases of Rosacea can vary in terms of symptoms, the condition is categorized into four subtypes:
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea – Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels.
- Papulopustular rosacea – Redness, facial swelling, acne-like breakouts.
- Phymatous rosacea – The skin thickens and develops a bumpy texture.
- Ocular rosacea – Eyes become affected. Eyes can appear red and eyelids become swollen.
Rosacea Treatment Options
A dermatologist will be able to determine if a patient has rosacea with a simple skin exam. Once diagnosed, rosacea is most often controlled with medications, cosmetic procedures, or a combination of the two.
In many cases, an oral or topical drug will be prescribed to bring the condition under control. If these options are effective most of them will safe to use long-term in order to keep symptoms from returning. The most common types of medication include:
- Topical drugs – Topical creams are applied daily to reduce inflammation and control redness.
- Antibiotics – Oftentimes, oral antibiotics are prescribed over topical treatments because they yield quicker results.
- Accutane – Reserved for severe cases that don’t respond to other treatments, this drug reduces the production of oil by the sevacious glands.
- Tetracycline – For patients who are having symptoms that affect their eyes, tetracyclines can help reduce symptoms.
Cosmetic procedures are recommended when the disease is not responding to the previous types of treatments, or for patients with severe cases. The most common cosmetic procedures include:
- Laser treatment – When patients have visible blood vessels, a dermatologist may use laser treatment to shrink them, thus reducing their appearance.
- Plastic surgery – When skin becomes thickened and creates an unnaturally round appearance, a patient may be referred to a plastic surgeon to have the excess tissue surgically removed.
Contact a Dermatologist
If you’re suffering from the signs and symptoms of rosacea, and you would like to discuss your options, give us a call! We’ll be more than happy to develop a treatment plan specifically catered to your needs. Call Mystic Valley Dermatologist Associates or schedule your appointment online today!