Problematic Skin In-Depth: Rosacea

lady with nice skinHave you ever noticed that the skin on your face always looks slightly flushed, or even red? Maybe spots on your skin are even inflamed or marked by broken blood vessels. If you continually experience any of these symptoms, you may have rosacea.

One of the most frustrating things about rosacea is that no matter how many creams, makeups or cleansers you use, getting rid of the constant redness seems impossible. Many people that suffer from this condition don’t understand what causes it, or what they can do to alleviate its symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about rosacea and how its symptoms can be treated.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a very common skin condition that causes facial redness and inflammation. In more severe cases, rosacea can also cause small blood vessels to become visible, as well as the development of small bumps or pustules to develop on the face. The areas of the face most commonly affected are the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin.

Rosacea typically begins to affect adults between ages 30 and 50. Symptoms start slowly and may be mistaken for sunburn, blushing or even acne. Despite mild symptoms at its start, if it is left untreated rosacea often worsens with time. Redness will become more apparent and will begin to affect larger areas of the face. Skin can also begin to swell and potentially even lead to rhinophyma – a rare condition that can enlarge the skin of the nose.

The cause of rosacea is unknown. Anyone can suffer from the condition, but the people most commonly affected are fair-skinned. Women are also more likely to suffer from the condition than men. Unfortunately there is no cure for rosacea, but people that are affected by the condition can take a number of measures to keep symptoms at bay. There are also many treatments that can help reduce redness and suppress symptoms.

Avoiding Rosacea Triggers

It is widely believed in the medical community that a number of things can cause rosacea flare-ups. Some of these triggers include:

  • Eating certain foods, such as spicy food or citrus fruits
  • Drinking alcoholic, or extremely hot beverages
  • High levels of stress or anxiety
  • Certain skin care products or cosmetics
  • Taking hot baths and showers
  • Hot and humid weather
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Exercise or other physical exertion

Even if you are not undergoing any medical treatments for your rosacea, by avoiding triggers as much as possible, you can help reduce your symptoms. However, triggers differ from person to person. The best thing you can do to learn your specific triggers is to keep track of the times your symptoms are the worst and the factors that may be in effect at the time.

Rosacea Medical Treatments

Although rosacea very rarely becomes more than a purely cosmetic condition, it can lead to feelings of annoyance and self-consciousness. If your rosacea symptoms are constant or becoming worse over time, you may want to consult with your dermatologist about other ways the condition can be treated. Some treatment options your doctor may suggest include:

 

  • Topical Creams and Gels – There are many types of prescription strength creams and gels that can help reduce the symptoms of rosacea. These are typically prescribed in more mild cases and are applied to the face once or twice a day. Common treatments include topical metronidazole, clindamycin and erythromycin.
  • Oral Medication – Your doctor may recommend antibiotic pills or other oral medication in addition to, or in place of topical medication if your symptoms are not responding or your symptoms are more severe. Common antibiotics include metronidazole and doxycycline. Another medicine that may be prescribed is isotretinoin.
  • Laser Treatments – Medical laser treatments are also an option if you suffer from rosacea. Responses to laser treatments, just like any other medical treatment, will vary from person to person, but many people see improvement in their symptoms with just one laser treatment. Topical creams and other medicines have to be used daily, but laser treatments for rosacea offer long-lasting skin rejuvenation and symptom relief.

Not matter how severe your rosacea is or what treatment method you choose to use, rosacea can be an extremely difficult condition to deal with. Constantly covering up the redness can be quite a chore. But even though rosacea doesn’t have a cure, it’s comforting to know that there are so many different treatment options for reducing and controlling symptoms.

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