Rosacea

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in your face. It may also produce small, red, pus-filled bumps. These signs and symptoms may flare up for a period of weeks to months and then diminish for a while. Rosacea can be mistaken for acne, an allergic reaction, or other skin problems. While there is no cure for rosacea, treatments can control and reduce the signs and symptoms.

How to treat rosacea

Medicinal/topical

Topical medicinal creams, gels or lotions may be prescribed. These are typically anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial in nature. These may include Metronidazole, Azelaic Acid, Ivermectin, or Trentoin Cream. 

Non-medicinal/topical

Broad spectrum sunscreen is especially important for rosacea patients, whose facial skin may be particularly susceptible to sun damage and consequent rosacea flare-ups. 

Therapeutic rosacea treatments:

Surgical

In severe circumstances cosmetic surgery may be performed to remove thickened skin. 

Preventive

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid spicy foods
  • Wear a high SPF

What causes rosacea?

Although the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, it could be due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Blood vessels may dilate too easily, and the increased blood may cause skin to appear red and flushed. Various lifestyle and environmental factors may trigger and increase this redness response. Raised bumps may appear, often in the redder area of the central face. This may be due to factors related to blood flow, microscopic bacteria, irritation of follicles, sun damaged connective tissue under the skin, or an abnormal immune or inflammatory response. Rosacea is not caused by poor hygiene.

A number of factors may trigger or aggravate rosacea by increasing blood flow to the surface of your skin. Some of these factors include:

  • Hot drinks and spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Temperature extremes
  • Sunlight or wind
  • Emotions
  • Exercise
  • Cosmetics
  • Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications

Rosacea symptoms

Signs and symptoms of rosacea may include:

  • Facial redness –  Rosacea usually causes a persistent redness in the central part of your face. Small blood vessels on your nose and cheeks often swell and become visible.
  • Swollen red bumps – Many people who have rosacea develop bumps on their face that resemble acne. These bumps sometimes contain pus. Your skin may appear sensitive and feel hot and tender.
  • Enlarged nose –  In severe cases of rosacea, the skin on the nose may thicken and cause the nose to appear bulbous (a condition known as rhinophyma). This occurs more often in men than in women.

Rosacea FAQs

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