Rosacea, (rose-AY-sha) is a common skin disease that causes redness and swelling on the face. Often referred to as “adult acne,” Rosacea may begin as a tendency to flush or blush easily, and then progress to persistent redness in the center of the face that may gradually involve the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. It also may involve the ears, chest and back. As the disease progresses, small blood vessels and tiny pimples begin to appear on and around the reddened area; however, unlike acne, there are no blackheads.
As it first develops, Rosacea may appear to come and go on its own. Pimples of Rosacea appear on the face as small, red bumps, some of which may contain pus. These may be accompanied by the development of many tiny blood vessels on the surface of the skin and persistent redness of the face. When the skin doesn’t return to its normal color and other symptoms, such as pimples and enlarged blood vessels become visible, it’s best to seek advice from a physician. The condition rarely reverses itself and may last for years. It can become worse without effective treatment.
In more advanced cases of Rosacea, a condition called rhinophyma (ryno-fi-ma) may develop. The oil glands enlarge causing a bulbous, enlarged red nose and puffy cheeks. Thick bumps can develop on the lower half of the nose and nearby cheeks. Rhinophyma occurs less commonly in women.
Those most likely to develop Rosacea are fair-skinned adults, especially women, between the ages of 30 and 50, although it may affect men or women of any age and even children. It is not known why women get Rosacea more often than men, though some cases of this disorder have been associated with menopause. Rosacea usually develops over a long period of time. It may first seem like a tendency to blush easily, a ruddy complexion, or an extreme sensitivity to cosmetics. An occasional embarrassment or a tense moment may also trigger flushing.
The exact cause of Rosacea is still unknown. The best prevention may be to avoid things that make the face red or flushed.
Rosacea can be treated very successfully, with Fotofacial IPL (Intense Pulse Light) and prescription topical treatments. Contact one of our medical aestheticians if you would like more information about this exciting treatment.