Rosacea: Signs, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Rosacea refers to a chronic skin condition that affects facial skin. It’s characterized by small, red and sometimes pus-filled bumps. Rosacea is often mistaken for acne but is a different disorder entirely. This condition occurs in anyone but is common among middle-aged women. It’s also prevalent among those of Caucasian descent.

Like most skin disorders, rosacea will flare up and calm down for several weeks or months at a time. Unfortunately, if this condition is not treated right away, symptoms will get progressively worse over time. There is no cure for rosacea. Most treatments are geared towards controlling the breakouts and calming the inflammation.

Signs and Symptoms of Rosacea

The most common symptom of rosacea is facial redness. The redness will start from the central portion of the face. Eventually, redness will spread to other parts of the face. Red bumps will also pop up all over the affected area. The skin will become painful and inflamed. The nose will start swelling up as well. In most cases, individuals who suffer from this condition experience eye problems too.

Rosacea has no known cause. Experts agree that the condition is caused by skin irritation, but it’s not bacterial, fungal or viral. The facial skin becomes red because the blood vessels expand. Some experts believe rosacea runs in the family. Although infections or irritants do not cause this condition, it’s often triggered by wind exposure, stress, spicy foods and extreme weather. In some cases, hot baths or alcohol consumption triggers rosacea.

Treating Rosacea

There are many ways to treat rosacea. A dermatologist could recommend drugs that will bring down skin inflammation. These drugs include antibiotics or azelaic acid, brimonidine, or metronidazole skin ointments.

Laser therapy could be used to eliminate skin redness. You can also wear sunscreen and lotion to protect sensitive skin from direct sunlight.

Hydration is important during a flare-up. If the skin is painful, moisturize with a mild lotion. Drink a lot of water to hydrate the body and prevent dryness.

Preventing Rosacea

Identifying Your Triggers

The first thing you want to do to prevent a flare-up is to find out what triggers your condition. We recommend keeping a food diary to track your food, beverages and activities every day. Show the diary to your doctor to determine which of these items trigger rosacea.

Protecting Your Skin

Sun exposure is a known trigger of rosacea. Avoid heading out between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. During this period, the sun is at its harshest. If you must venture out, don’t forget to slather on sun block. Wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses too.

Using Mild Skin Products

Try not to use emollient moisturizers or skin creams. Certain ingredients in these products could trigger or aggravate your condition. We recommend mild skin care products. Also, avoid stressing your skin. Do not fuss, pinch or scratch your skin. This will lead to scarring or aggravated symptoms!

Talk To Your Dermatologist

Do not self-medicate. It’s important to visit your dermatologist regularly to track your progress. Your doctor will recommend safe and effective medications to address inflammation, breakout, and pain.