A skin disease of unknown causes that causes an array of symptoms, including redness and puffiness on several areas of the face, including cheeks and nose. Rosacea cannot be cured, but treatment should be sought since the condition can worsen over time if not treated correctly or promptly. Rosacea is similar to mild forms of acne but more severe. Confined to the face, typically exhibiting more redness or blemish areas. Rosacea is more common in women than men. Rosacea is an “adult form” of acne which is characterized by a chronic inflammation of the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. Pimples and pustules may also occur, and in some patients enlargement of the oil glands of the nose results in enlargement of the nose, or rhinophyma.
Rosacea is a long-term disease that affects your skin and sometimes your eyes. It causes redness and pimples. Rosacea is most common in women and people with fair skin. It usually starts between age 30 and 60. Signs and symptoms vary from person to person and are often intermittent. If you or someone you know exhibits any of the following, it is best to consult a dermatologist. Rosacea can be treated and controlled if medical advice is sought in the early stages. When left untreated, rosacea often gets worse and then becomes more difficult to treat.
Rosacea affects mostly adults, usually people with fair skin, between the ages of 30 and 60. About 14 million Americans have this chronic skin condition. Although it’s more common in women, men may develop more apparent signs of the disorder. It’s not life-threatening, but it can affect your appearance and lower your self-esteem. Because of its red-faced, acne-like effects on personal appearance, however, it can cause significant psychological, social and occupational problems if left untreated.
The cause of rosacea is unknown. There are several theories regarding the origin of overactive facial blood vessels and inflammation, including genetic, environmental, vascular, inflammatory factors. An increased incidence of rosacea has been reported in those who carry the stomach bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, but most dermatologists do not believe it to be the cause of rosacea.
Tips for Rosacea Patients
Avoid triggers, including hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine and alcoholic beverages that make the face red or flushed. It’s important to note that although alcohol may worsen rosacea, the condition may be just as severe in someone who doesn’t drink at all; thus rosacea has been unfairly linked to alcoholism.
Antibiotic creams or pills may be used to treat redness and pimples. Antibiotic pills may also help treat eye problems. Women who are pregnant should not use some antibiotic creams or pills. If you use antibiotics, be patient-it can take a month or two before you start to see improvement.
Practice good sun protection. Seek shade when possible and limit exposure to sunlight, wear hats and use broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF of 15 or higher; reapply every 2 hours.
Rosacea responds to treatment but cannot be cured. Left untreated, the redness becomes more permanent and the tiny blood vessels may become more visible. Pimples often develop and in a few people, especially older men, the nose may become bumpy, red and swollen (Rhinophyma). You may be more likely to have it if you blush a lot or if rosacea runs in your family. Rosacea is not dangerous. It can be treated with medications and sometimes surgery.