Rosacea Information Treatment Symptoms Facial Redness

Rosacea Information Treatment Symptoms Facial Redness

Rosacea Comprehensive overview covers causes, symptoms, treatment of this chronic skin disease.

Rosacea is a common but often misunderstood condition that is estimated to affect over 45 million people worldwide. It affects white-skinned people of mostly north-western European descent, and has been nicknamed the ‘curse of the Celts’ by some in Ireland. It begins as erythema (flushing and redness) on the central face and across the cheeks, nose, or forehead but can also less commonly affect the neck and chest.

Rosacea affects both the males and the females and usually begins after the age 30. The condition is aggravated by several lifestyle and environmental factors such as eating hot, spicy foods, drinking alcohol and/or caffeine, exposure to the sun, rain, or wind, temperature changes and stress. Some medications such as ACE inhibitors are also linked with the development of the disease.

What is the cause of rosacea?

The cause of rosacea is unknown. There are several theories regarding the origin of overactive facial blood vessels and inflammation, including genetic, environmental, vascular, inflammatory factors.

Hair follicle mites (Demodex folliculorum) may be involved in at least some cases, as these are found in greater numbers within rosacea papules.

An increased incidence of rosacea has been reported in those who carry the stomach bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, but most dermatologists do not believe it to be the cause of rosacea.

What Are the Symptoms of Rosacea?

Erythema, or flushing of the face or neck – This happens when the blood vessels on the face and the neck expand to accommodate the increased volume of blood flow. The redness will disappear during the initial stages but will eventually become permanent as the disease progresses.

Telangiectasia, or the formations of red lines on the face – The red lines you see on your face are actually the enlarged blood vessels underneath the skin. Unfortunately, they become more prominent as the redness fades.

Formation of papules or the pimples – The pimples of rosacea are commonly characterized as small lumpy red pimples. Some of these pimples may contain pus and may appear as small white bumps. In rosacea, no whiteheads or blackheads are present.

Burning or itching of the skin

Edema or swelling of the face

Rhinophyma or the enlargement of the nose – This condition usually accompanies rosacea and is most common among older men.

Ocular rosacea – Most people afflicted with rosacea also develop mild to severe eye-related problems. Inflamed, dry and crusty eyelids and conjunctivitis characterize ocular rosacea. If left untreated, ocular rosacea can give rise to more serious problems, which includes irisitis or the painful inflammation of the iris and keratitis or the ulceration of the cornea.

What Causes Rosacea? Nobody knows for sure. For all we know, there may be a number of factors that lead to this condition. However, it was observed that some people are more prone to developing the disease and that it seems to run in the family.

Is rosacea like acne?

Rosacea is basically different than acne. Unlike common acne, rosacea is not primarily a plague of teenagers, but occurs most often in adults (ages 30 to 50), especially those with fair skin. Different than acne, there are no blackheads or whiteheads in rosacea.

Rosacea strikes both sexes. It tends to be more frequent in women but more severe in men.

How is it treated?

Every patient must be treated differently, because the disease affects each person in a different way.

Mild cases may be treated with topical creams or antibiotics. Doctors can prescribe medicines and other treatments for rosacea. There is no cure, but with treatment, most people can control their symptoms and keep the disease from getting worse.

* Antibiotic creams or pills may be used to treat redness and pimples. Antibiotic pills may also help treat eye problems. Women who are pregnant should not use some antibiotic creams or pills. If you use antibiotics, be patient-it can take a month or two before you start to see improvement.

Surgical

Enlarged blood vessels, some redness and changes due to rhinophyma often become permanent. In these cases, surgical methods, such as laser surgery and electrosurgery, may reduce the visibility of blood vessels, remove tissue buildup around your nose and generally improve your appearance.


By Mike Hussey
Published: 10/29/2007

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