Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by the appearance of redness or inflammation, broken blood vessels, and acne-like pimples on the central face including the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. In rare cases, the symptoms of rosacea are visible on the neck, ears, chest, and scalp. Rosacea typically manifests itself in Caucasian adults over 30 years of age. It is most common in women, but it can be present in people of any race or ethnicity, sex, and age.
Certain triggers, which vary by individual, are known to aggravate the symptoms of rosacea. These triggers can include sun exposure, specific foods, stress, heavy exercise, and extreme temperatures.
Those who suffer from rosacea may feel embarrassed or self-conscious about their appearances due to the irregularities that it causes in their skin. While the condition is not curable, rosacea can be regulated various treatments like Foto Facial and laser technologies as well as prescription medicines prescribed by your Dermatologist.
Symptoms of rosacea include the following:
Frequent blushing or flushing
Persistent appearance of inflammation or redness
Visible spider web-like blood vessels
Burning or stinging sensation across affected areas
Bloodshot, watery, and irritated eyes
Type I Vascular (Erythematotelangiectatic) rosacea is characterized by persistent inflammation and redness of the central facial area (cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead). Typical features of type I rosacea can also include swelling and broken blood vessels near the surface of the skin. Stinging and burning sensations may also be a sign of this type of rosacea, as well as rough or scaly skin.
Type II Inflammatory (Papulopustular) rosacea can be identified by continual inflammation of the skin as well as intermittent acne-like pimples that could produce discharge or crust over. Type II rosacea can also be accompanied by burning and stinging sensations and can be seen in combination with type I.
Type III Late (Phymatous) rosacea is distinguished by a bulb-like, ruddy enlargement of the nose, thickening of the skin, and irregular skin-surface nodules. These symptoms can also be seen in the chin, forehead, cheeks, ears, and eyelids. Small, visible spider veins near the surface of the skin may also be present.
Type IV Ocular (Ocular) rosacea suffers may have watery, bloodshot eyes with symptoms that include burning, itchy, or stinging eyes. Dryness, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision are also characterizations of type IV rosacea. Type IV rosacea sufferers may feel as if there is always something in their eyes.
While there is no known cure for rosacea, the condition can be controlled with treatment.
Nonmedical treatments can often be used in mild cases of rosacea and include regular use of broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, careful tracking and avoidance of triggers, and stress-reducing practices like deep breathing or other relaxation techniques. Because sun exposure is the most common trigger, those who suffer from rosacea benefit from using sunscreen, wearing longer clothing and wide-brimmed hats, and limiting time outdoors. Keeping a trigger journal to record the conditions surrounding a flare-up often helps sufferers to pinpoint specific triggers and avoid them in the future.
Oral and topical antibiotics have proven to be effective treatments of the symptoms of rosacea. While short-term use of antibiotics treats the symptoms of rosacea, antibiotics often cause side effects and become less effective as the bacteria in the skin becomes immune to the drug. However, antibiotics are believed to be effective in treating rosacea due to their anti-inflammatory effect.
Oral antibiotics like tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline are often used to reduce the appearance of redness and inflammation as well as to reduce the amount of pimples or pimple-like nodules on the face. Oral antibiotics kill the bacteria within the pores of the skin.
Topical antibiotics kill the bacteria on the surface of the skin and diminish the physical appearance of rosacea. Erythromycin, metronidazole, and clindamysin are topical antibiotics that are applied directly to the affected skin to ease symptoms such as pimple-like nodules and inflammation.
Rosacea and acne can be coexisting conditions, but over-the-counter acne medications do not treat the symptoms of rosacea.
V-beam Perfecta™ laser and Foto Facial® IPL Treatment available at the Laser Institute of Georgia are two of the most effective treatments in reducing the inflammation and other symptoms associated with rosacea. The lasers penetrate the skin’s outer surface and impair the blood vessels within the skin allowing the body to absorb them, therefore reducing the appearance of redness and inflammation, as well as the many other symptoms associated with rosacea. Laser treatments are the most effective long-term treatment available, though periodic follow-up treatments will be necessary to eliminate newly-formed blood vessels.
CO2 lasers can be used to remove excess tissue from the nose as a result of type III rosacea.
For those who suffer from extreme cases of type III rosacea, elective surgery may be an option to decrease enlarged nose tissue.
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition in which the blood vessels in the face enlarge giving the skin a ruddy, inflamed appearance. It most often affects the skin on the face including the cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead, although rarer forms can appear on the chest, ears, neck, and scalp. Other symptoms of rosacea include bumps and pimples, dry or scaly-looking skin, visible blood vessels, burning or stinging sensations in the affected areas, and swelling or thickening of the skin.
What causes rosacea?
While the direct cause of rosacea is unknown, the symptoms are caused by dilation of the small blood vessels in the face that cause the skin to look red and inflamed. Trigger factors such as sun exposure, certain foods, and heavy exercise can exacerbate the condition.
Who gets rosacea?
Anyone can get rosacea. About 14 million Americans suffer from rosacea, though it is most commonly found in adult women aged 30 to 50 with fair skin. However, it can occur in men, young children and people of all races and ethnicities. It is more common for women to see symptoms on the cheeks and chin, while men are more likely to have more severe cases of type III rosacea.
Is rosacea contagious?
No. Rosacea cannot be contracted through physical contact or by inhaling airborne bacteria because it is a condition that affects the blood vessels within the skin.
Can you inherit rosacea?
While no reports have studied the direct connection between rosacea and heredity, surveys by the National Rosacea Society indicate that over to 50% of 6000 rosacea patients said they were related to someone who has or had rosacea.
Can children have rosacea?
While it’s very rare for children to have rosacea, cases have been documented. Children’s cases most often manifest in the form of ocular rosacea.
How do I tell if I have rosacea?
Rosacea is often characterized by persistent red or inflamed skin on the cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead. Other symptoms include visible blood vessels, bumps and pimples, and frequent intermittent blushing or flushing. Less common symptoms like eye irritation, a burning or stinging sensation, a dry appearance to the skin, and skin thickening or swelling could be indications of rosacea as well. The best way to determine if your skin condition is rosacea is to have it checked by a board-certified dermatologist.
What are the most common triggers of rosacea flare-ups?
Potential rosacea flare-up triggers include sun exposure, emotional stress, extreme temperatures (hot or cold), wind, heavy exercise, certain prescription and non-prescription topical treatments, and alcohol consumption. The trigger conditions vary from person to person. By keeping a journal of weather and stress conditions as well as food consumption, a patient can attempt to track, target, and reduce triggers in his or her daily routine.
Can rosacea be cured?
Because the origins of rosacea are unknown, there is no current cure for the skin condition. However, the symptoms of rosacea can be treated through the use of oral and topical antibiotics, laser treatment, and, in extreme cases, surgery.
Can I be tested for rosacea?
There is no single, scientific test for rosacea. However, a board-certified dermatologist like those at Dermatology Associate of Atlanta can easily detect signs of rosacea with a quick visual inspection of the affected area. After a diagnosis has been made, a physician can give the sufferer treatment recommendations in order to reduce the appearance of their rosacea symptoms.
The content on Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s website is intended to educate patients about skin conditions and treatments, but is not to be taken as medical advice. Dermatology Associates of Atlanta is not responsible for any omissions of information or any damages arising from the display of said content. Dermatologic treatment must be determined on a per patient basis by a board certified physician. It is recommended that you obtain assistance from a licensed professional for any treatment questions.