WHAT IS ROSACEA
Rosacea is a disease of the facial skin that is focused on the center
of the face. This relatively unknown disease affects thirteen million
Americans. Rosacea's redness and/or bumps commonly start on the nose
and spread outward to the cheeks, chin, and forehead. The redness that
occurs is caused by expanded blood vessels below the skin's surface.
The symptoms of Rosacea are often mistaken for that of adult acne,
flushing and even sunburn. Therefore that is how it is treated, but it
never seems to improve or go away. Diagnosing and treating Rosacea
early can have dramatic results. Only a health care professional can
diagnose Rosacea. It is a chronic illness, which means you never really
get rid of it, but you can control its spread and limit the long-term
effect it has on your skin and on your appearance.
Redness that looks like a blush
- Pimples without
- Pustules or pimples solidly filled
- Unlike acne Rosacea can be present only
on the face
- Thin red lines just beneath the
skin's surface called telangiectasia, only visible when the redness
- Bumps on the nose that make the
already red nose appear swollen and bumpy
Living with Rosacea
Rosacea is usually found in adults above the age of 30 and up to 70.
The fair-skinned, northern European type complexion is susceptible, as
are people who blush more easily. Women are more likely than men to get
Rosacea, but men with Rosacea get more severe symptoms. At the very
beginning of the disease, patches of redness appear usually in the
center of the face or on the cheek, followed by pimples and visible
blood vessel and then the bumps on the nose appear. If severe enough
Rosacea can affect eyes, mucous membranes and connective tissue beneath
the skin. The progress of the disease can be interrupted by periods of
remission. During this remission the symptoms calm down and seem to go
away. Cycles of flare-ups and remissions are common in Rosacea, they
are often followed by periods that are worse in activity. You will
notice even more redness, perhaps more pimples, and more red bumps on
the nose, if the disease is left untreated.
Triggers to Avoid
Avoid exposure to the sun and winds
- Avoid spicy
foods, dairy products, and alcohol
- Avoid tobacco
products as smoke damages blood vessels which makes symptoms worse
Avoid scrubbing which may irritate. Don't use exfoliates, or
- Use only water-based make-ups and
- Avoid stressful situations: anger,
embarrassment, and fright may all result in flushing and trigger
- Moderate rather than hard
exercise may be preferable
Rosacea responds well to early treatment. Pimples can be controlled
with medications. Some of the redness may also go away when the number
of pimples is reduced. Medications won't improve the tiny, broken blood
vessels, or knobby nose bumps. Treatments can be topical or oral.
Topical therapies may be prescribed. A topical medicine commonly
prescribed is metronidazole cream. Topical steroids are sometimes used
on a short term basis to help control the redness associated with
steroids. Long term use of steroids may actually worsen the problem.
Oral therapies, such as tetracycline, may be prescribed.
Over-the-counter medications are not effective and can irritate your
skin or worsen the Rosacea. The symptoms of Rosacea often mimic acne
and sunburn. For that reason Rosacea is often left untreated in the
early stages. One of the keys to treating Rosacea is early detection
and early treatment. Early and effective treatment can stop the
progress of the disease.