Disease/Condition Specific

Rosacea

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin problem/condition that affects primarily the center of the face. It is characterized (common things that are seen) by a redness in the skin that is on the nose and cheeks.  It can look like someone is blushing, but it does not resolve as quickly as a blushing experience.

Over time, this condition does tend to become more frequent, more persistent and some may experience the appearance of blood vessels.  The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Even the ears, chest, and back can be red all the time.

If this condition is left untreated, bumps and pimples often develop and in severe cases the nose may grow and appear swollen and bumpy from excess tissue.

In many people the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot.

Rosacea can cause more than the appearance of redness. There are many signs and symptoms of rosacea.  Rosacea does have four more specific sub-types:  

Erythematotelangiectatic (redness in color & visible blood vessels)

Papulopustular (redness, swelling, and pimple type breakouts)

Phymatous (Skin becomes thickened and has a bumpy texture)

Ocular (The eyes appear red) Someone who experiences this, their eyelids can become swollen.  This person may look like they have a sty (a localized infection in the eyelid that causes a tender, red bump near the edge of the lid)

Some people have more than one rosacea sub-type at the same time. Each sub-type may require a different or different set of treatments.

Women are a bit more likely than men to get rosacea. Women, have shown are not as likely as men to get severe rosacea. Some people are more likely to get rosacea, but anyone can get this skin disease. People of all colors get rosacea. Children can get rosacea.                    

Studies have shown this condition does tend to run in families and is more common in fair skinned persons of Northern or Eastern European descent.

What causes rosacea?

The cause of rosacea is not known at this time.  

There is more than one theory regarding the cause of rosacea.  There is the thought/belief that rosacea may be a vascular (blood vessel) disorder because of the blushing with flushing (paleness) and the visibility of blood vessels. Some physicians have also speculated that flushing may involve the nervous system, since a trigger of rosacea is and or aggravated when patients are under emotional stress.

But, scientists have identified a few more similarities in studies of people with rosacea.  

These scientists suspicions are;   

  • The immune system may play a role.
  • The possibility that bug (germ/bacteria) that causes infections in the intestines may play a role.
  • A mite that lives on everyone’s skin, demodex, may play a role- it has been found, people with this mite in higher amounts.
  • A protein that normally protects the skin from infection, cathelicidin, may cause the redness and swelling.

 

Treatments for rosacea:

While the cause of rosacea is unknown and there is no cure at this time.   

Rosacea signs and symptoms sometimes can be controlled with medical therapy and lifestyle changes.

  • Finding or figuring out “your triggers” for flare ups. Many things you do or eat can cause rosacea to flare.  Some examples that have been reported things like overheating, eating spicy foods,
  • Skin protection from the sun 24/7. Some people with rosacea find that their skin is sensitive to the sun
  • Practice kind and gentle skin care. Some skin care habits, like scrubbing your skin clean, can cause the skin to flare. Using mild skin care products may help.
  • Ways to manage stress and or stressors

Because rosacea may vary from one patient to another, treatment for some may include; Various oral and topical (on the skin) medications may be used to treat the bumps, pimples and redness.  Sometimes a physician or practitioner may prescribe antibiotics and topical therapy to bring the condition under control.  Sometimes if this treatment is successful, a physician may recommend long-term use of topical therapy alone to help a patient remain in remission.

 

*******If your physician or practitioner believes you have this condition, it is recommended to see a dermatologist.  This is key before the condition possibly worsens/becomes more severe.*****

 

 

*************This information is to be used as educational and not to be interpreted as medical advice**************

 

 

 

 

 

Source: rosacea.org & American Academy of Dermatology

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