Rosacea is a common, chronic condition mostly affecting the facial skin. It typically presents as chronic intermittent redness of the skin, giving the cheeks and nose a ruddy, red complexion.
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a common, chronic condition mostly affecting the facial skin. It typically presents as chronic intermittent redness of the skin, giving the cheeks and nose a ruddy, red complexion. Rosacea is quite similar in appearance to acne and mostly affects fair skinned people of Northern European origin. Rosacea is not contagious.
Rosacea is often misdiagnosed as acne and treated as such. The most common area affected is the face, nose, cheeks, chin and forehead, but it can also affect the neck, back and chest.
Symptoms of Rosacea
- Face redness may be persistent and unrelenting with progressive worsening or intermittent
- Blushing and flushing
- Pimples, red pustules, hard painful bumps and swellings
- Similar in appearance to acne
- Dilated extensive spider veins of the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead, which tend to proliferate aggressively when provoked by irritants as sun exposure, hot and cold baths, red wine, spicy foods and many more
What causes rosacea?
The exact cause of rosacea is not known, but genetics, immune system factors and environmental factors are all considered to be contributing factors.
There are a variety of triggers that may make rosacea worse. These include;
- exposure to sunlight
- strenuous exercise
- hot or cold weather
- hot drinks
- alcohol and caffeine
- certain foods, such as spicy foods, tomatoes and citrus fruits
What are the treatments for rosacea?
Rosacea tends to have a cyclical nature, with flare-ups and short periods of remission.
However, if left untreated, the rosacea can progress and make the tip of the nose large with lumps and pustules, a condition known as rhinophyma.
Treatment for rosacea includes;
Avoidance of irritants
Intense pulse light (IPL) treatments or vascular lasers to stop the aggressive proliferation of facial spider veins (multiple sessions are often needed, sometimes lifelong in extreme cases)
Antioxidants(prevent cell damage, and decrease redness. Used daily, they will help improve some of the redness due to rosacea)
Sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
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