What is Rosacea?
Rosacea, also known as adult acne, is a common skin disease that affects more than 14 million people in the U.S. People with lighter skin in their 30‘s to 50‘s are most likely to first see signs of rosacea. Women are more likely to get rosacea, but it effects men more severely.
The disorder often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The redness slowly spreads beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Even the ears, chest, and back can be red all the time. It is not contagious.
Since rosacea appears on a person’s face, it is readily noticed and can sometimes be mistaken for a sign of a drinking problem. Sufferers have expressed having difficulty at work, in their marriage, or an unwillingness to date or meet new people. These experiences may lead to embarrassment and worry, a low self-image, anxiety or depression.
Rosacea is a disease that can get worse over time. With early diagnosis and effective treatment, you can control symptoms and stop the progression of the disease. The compassionate, expert care at My Dermatologist can help you find relief from the discomfort of rosacea.
Types of Rosacea
Scientists have identified four major subtypes from among the many different signs and symptoms of rosacea. Each subtype requires different treatment, and you may have more than one of these subtypes of rosacea at one time.
Erythematotelangiectatic (ETR) Rosacea
Characteristics: facial redness, flushing, visible blood vessels. People with the ETR often have exceptionally sensitive skin and suffer from redness, flushing or blushing, swelling and visible blood vessels. The skin may sting or burn and you may experience dry skin or scaling.
Characteristics: Redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts. Papulopustular rosacea is the most common subtype among middled-aged women. The acne-like flare-ups come and go, and usually breaks out where the skin is very red. Skin can burn and sting, and typically is very sensitive. The skin is oily and signs sometimes include visible broken blood vessels (spider angioma, or spider veins) or raised patches of skin.
Characteristics: Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture. Phymatous rosacea is a rare type of the condition that may cause skin to thicken and develop a bumpy texture, especially on the nose (rhinophyma). Skin is oily and pores look large. Spider veins may appear, and the skin on the cheeks, forehead, chin and ears may thicken.
Characteristics: Eyes red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen, and person may have what looks like a sty. Ocular rosacea affects the eye and you also may need to see an ophthalmologist (eye doctor), depending on the severity and symptoms experienced. My Dermatologist can help you determine if that’s the case.
Perioral dermatitis is a variant of rosacea that causes a rash of red bumps to develop around the mouth and is most often seen in young women. Unlike rosacea, however, perioral dermatitis can be cured.
Treatments for Rosacea
Studies show that effective treatment for rosacea not only reduces the physical signs and symptoms of the disease, but improves your overall quality of life. If allowed to worsen over a long period, the symptoms of rosacea become more difficult to treat.
My Dermatologist providers are trained in proven, cutting-edge procedures to help you feel and look your best. For a rosacea diagnosis, My Dermatologist examines the skin and eyes, and asks questions about your signs and symptoms. Your treatment plan is based upon the rosacea subtype, severity, skin type, past treatment success and your preferences.
Often, a combination of treatments may produce optimal results. Common treatments for the skin include:
- Topical creams or lotions, including azelaic acid (Finacea®) or metronidazole (Metrogel®)
- Sunscreen (to prevent breakouts)
- Skin-repairing emollients
- Antibiotics, such as doxycycline (Oracea®)
How Do I Care for My Rosacea?
Many everyday things (triggers) can cause rosacea to flare, including sunlight, stress, spicy foods, hot-water bathing or showering. What causes rosacea to flare for you may not trigger a flare-up for another person.
My Dermatologist recommends a skincare plan that is customized to help you achieve the best results, but you must follow the plan in order for it to be effective. Skin care plays an important role in keeping rosacea under control, so avoid harsh skincare regimes that can make rosacea worse. Wearing sunscreen every day can help protect against new breakouts.
Learning to control rosacea and getting support helps many people live more comfortably. You may benefit from a rosacea support group. The National Rosacea Society provides helpful information through its weblog to help people manage rosacea.
The first step toward optimal care for your rosacea is to set up an appointment at My Dermatologist.