Rosacea

Rosacea is a common skin condition characterized by redness of the face. It may begin as a tendency to flush or blush and progress to persistent redness of the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. If left untreated, persistent dilated blood vessels (broken veins), acne-like spots and pimples may develop. Some patients may also notice their skin become sensitive and irritable. In severe cases – particularly in men – the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. In some cases of rosacea, the eyes may also be affected, giving rise to symptoms like redness, dryness, itching, grittiness, burning and tearing.

Rosacea can be triggered by exposure to temperature extremes, sunlight, emotional stress, hot beverages, alcohol, spicy food and certain skin care products, the list may be endless. According to a survey of 1,066 rosacea patients by the American National Society of Rosacea, the following is a list of the common factors.

Percent Affected Potential Triggers
81% Sun Exposure
79% Emotional Stress
75% Hot Weather
57% Wind
56% Heavy Exercise
52% Alcohol Consumption
51% Hot Baths
46% Cold Weather
45% Spicy Foods
44% Humidity
41% Indoor Heat
41% Certain Skin-Care Products
36% Heated Beverages
27% Certain Cosmetics
15% Medications
15% Medical Conditions
13% Certain Fruits
10% Marinated Meats
9% Certain Vegetables
8% Dairy Products

 

However, the exact cause of rosacea is yet to be determined. Some researchers believe that rosacea is a disorder that causes blood vessels to dilate too easily, resulting in flushing and redness.

Central to the successful treatment of rosacea is the avoidance of triggering factors that make you flush. Oral antibiotics and topical medication may be used to control the inflammatory process in rosacea during periods of flare up, followed by topical therapy to maintain remission. In cases of persistent redness or visible blood vessels, vascular lasers are often effective in closing off the dilated blood vessels. A broad-spectrum sunscreen and gentle, non-irritating products should also be used regularly.

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