Rosacea

(Actual Rosacea patient – courtesy of Luminis)

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.

How to Recognize Rosacea

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.

Who Is At Risk for Rosacea?

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.

Dos and Don’ts for Rosacea Patients

The exact cause of Rosacea is still unknown. The best prevention may be to avoid things that make the face red or flushed.

  • Avoid hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages. It’s important to note that although alcohol may worsen a case of Rosacea, symptoms may be just as severe in someone who doesn’t drink at all. This condition has been incorrectly linked to alcoholism.
  • Practice good sun protection. This includes limiting exposure to sunlight, wearing hats and using broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF of 15 or higher daily, and avoiding extreme hot and cold temperatures, which may exacerbate the symptoms of Rosacea.
  • Avoid rubbing, scrubbing or massaging the face. Rubbing will tend to irritate the reddened skin.
  • Exercise in a cool environment. Don’t overheat.
  • Avoid irritating cosmetics and facial products. Use hair sprays properly.
  • Keep a diary of flushing episodes and note associated foods, products, activities, medications or other triggering factors.

 

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.