We all blush every once in a while when we’re embarrassed or we’ve just finished a workout, but for those with rosacea, facial redness is much more than a temporary problem. This common condition causes the facial blood vessels to dilate, leading to persistent, frequent, and sometimes severe facial redness. Depending on the specific type of rosacea a patient has, they may also experience facial spider veins, acne-like pimples, and thickening skin on their nose. At Dermatology Associates of Atlanta (DAA), our board-certified dermatologists are here to answer all your rosacea questions.
The direct cause of rosacea isn’t known, but there is a bit we do know. It is not contagious, and while a specific gene hasn’t been identified, the condition tends to run in families. It is also believed that the immune system, Demodex mites, a bug called H. pylori, and/or specific proteins may be involved.
Why do rosacea symptoms seem to come and go?
Rosacea symptoms are more severe at certain times than others because they are affected by certain “triggers.” Each patient has their own specific triggers, but some of the most common include: sun exposure, cold temperatures (especially cold winds), hot beverages, certain foods (particularly spicy), stress, and heavy exercise.
How can rosacea be treated?
Rosacea is a chronic condition, which means that unfortunately, there is no cure. However, there are a variety of ways to manage and minimize the symptoms. Topical and oral medications can reduce inflammation. For most patients, the most effective way to achieve long-term results is with laser treatments which target the dilated blood vessels and facial spider veins, causing the body to absorb and eliminate them so that symptoms are kept to a minimum.
Will my rosacea get worse as I age?
Each patient’s condition takes its own unique course, but many patients do find that their rosacea symptoms become more severe without treatment. Getting started with medications or laser procedures in rosacea’s early stages may be able to help patients keep their symptoms to a minimum for years to come.
Is there any relation between rosacea and redness in the eyes?
Yes, it is possible. Rosacea may affect the eyes—a condition known as ocular rosacea. This can make the eyes bloodshot, watery, and uncomfortable.
Are there any special skin care instructions rosacea patients should follow?
Proper skin care should be an important part of your rosacea management. Be sure to stick to mild and non-abrasive cleansers, and to use either their fingertips or a soft wash cloth (not a rough cloth, loofah, or brush). After washing your skin, be sure to pat it dry with a soft towel (do not wipe it dry) and let it finish air-drying before applying any topical medication. Because rosacea patients tend to have sensitive skin, look for non-irritating and fragrance-free products. Finally, remember to wear sunscreen every day and reapply as needed.
While it’s most common in people between the ages of 30 and 50, primarily women who are of Celtic or Scandinavian descent, rosacea can happen to anyone. Early diagnosis can allow you to get a jump on long-term management, so if you suspect that you may have rosacea, schedule an appointment at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta. Or, for more skincare tips and other dermatology news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.