Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that appears in the face area, especially on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. This skin disease is usually characterised by a reddish rash resembling acne, eczema, and skin allergies. If not treated promptly, this disease can worsen over time, eventually presenting visible blood vessels on your face.
Rosacea disease can happen to anyone, but it generally affects fair-skinned individuals between the ages of 30-50 years. Although the exact cause is still unknown, there are a number of ways to relieve the symptoms of rosacea. These symptoms may show for weeks to months. Then, they will disappear and may recur if there is a trigger.
There are 4 types of rosacea in general:
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (RTR), a condition characterised by a reddish rash and visible blood vessels on the surface of the skin. The symptoms include swollen skin, too-dry skin, as well as sores and burning pain.
- Papulopustular rosacea, a condition characterised by the appearance of acne-like bumps, sensitive skin, oily skin, and visible blood vessels.
- Rhinophyma, a condition where the skin of the forehead, cheeks, nose, or chin thickens. It usually appears with other types of rosacea.
- Ocular rosacea, a condition characterised by a burning sensation on the skin, sensitive and itchy eyes, and ruptured blood vessels in the eyelids
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Causes of Rosacea
Rosacea can be caused by numerous factors. Everyone may have different triggers. It could be due to a congenital factor or an unhealthy lifestyle. Here are some causes of rosacea to watch out for:
- Genetic factors: many patients with rosacea have family members with similar skin conditions.
- Light skin tone: rosacea affects light-skinned people more compared to other skin tones.
- H. pylori bacteria: an intestinal bacteria known to cause blood vessels to dilate.
- Abnormal facial blood vessels: abnormalities in the blood vessels in the facial area can cause a long-term red rash and visible blood vessels on the surface of inflamed skin.
- Demodex folliculorum: these microscopic mites can live on human skin and cause no problems. However, it is different for rosacea patients, as they have a higher number of mites compared to other people. It is still unknown though, if mites cause rosacea or rosacea causes an increased number of mites.
There are also lifestyle factors that cause rosacea:
- Physical training.
- Spicy food.
- Hot drinks.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Emotions and moods.
- Excess sunlight and windy weather.
- Cosmetic products that are not suitable for your skin type.
- Medications that trigger blood vessel enlargement. For example, blood pressure medicines.
When to See a Doctor for Rosacea?
Rosacea can be consulted with a dermatologist and if your doctor suspects you have rosacea, you are not required to do medical tests. To diagnose rosacea, a dermatologist will examine the condition of your skin and eyes and ask you some questions.
Before making a diagnosis, your dermatologist may want to make sure that you do not have another medical conditions. Medical issues such as lupus and allergies have similar symptoms to rosacea.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if your doctor has diagnosed you with rosacea, they may recommend several treatment options that can help reduce inflammation, such as:
- Treatments to prevent rosacea from worsening.
- Treatments to reduce or eliminate red rashes and bumps on the surface of your facial skin.
- Treatments to reduce discomfort on the surface of your facial skin, such as itching, burning, dryness, or oiliness.
Symptoms of Rosacea
The exact cause of rosacea is unknown. Therefore, it is important to know what symptoms you might experience if you have rosacea. The following are several symptoms of rosacea:
- Swelling and red bumps. These bumps resemble pimples that sometimes contain pus that give your skin a hot sensation.
- Red rashes. The most common symptom of rosacea is a persistent red rash on the surface of your face, such as your forehead, cheeks, nose, or chin.
- Swollen nose. Rosacea causes thickened skin, including the skin of the nose, making your nose look bigger. This condition tends to develop in men rather than women.
- Eye disorders. Usually, Rosacea’s symptoms also include dry eye symptoms, irritation, swelling, and visible blood vessels in the eyelids. In some cases, eye disorders emerge earlier than skin disorders.
- Face swelling. Excess fluid and protein cause leakage of blood vessels which eventually accumulate in the lymphatic system. Draining the leak cannot be done quickly, which ultimately results in fluid buildup on your face.
Treatments for Rosacea
Until now, there is still no cure for rosacea. However, there are a variety of treatment options that can reduce or even eliminate the signs and symptoms of rosacea. The combination of medication with healthy lifestyle changes will give the best results.
- Medications: involves combining pills, tablets, or capsules with an ointment.
- Plastic Surgery: this procedure is usually recommended for patients with thickened skin. Scalpel or laser surgery is performed by plastic surgeons to remove excess tissue that causes the thickened skin
- Laser Treatment: this type of treatment uses laser light to minimise the signs of rosacea. The laser procedure performed by a dermatologist may be painful, but most patients are able to undergo this procedure without anaesthesia.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, a recent study shows that caffeine can reduce the risk of rosacea. However, hot beverages are one of the triggers of rosacea you should avoid.
Consult your dermatologist about taking dietary supplements or other alternative therapies to treat rosacea, as each skin type requires different treatment.
Treatment Cost for Rosacea
Treatments using laser or plastic surgery are usually more expensive compared to treatment with medications only. For more information regarding the estimated costs of rosacea treatment, contact Smarter Health.
Prevention of Rosacea
Preventing rosacea should be done from an early age as this particular skin disorder has a significant impact on one’s self-confidence. Practise the following ways to prevent rosacea, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology:
- Consume less spicy food.
- Apply sunscreen regularly.
- Reduce stress that can trigger rosacea.
- Avoid spending a long amount of time under hot temperatures.
- Use cosmetic products that suit your skin type.
- Be careful when choosing beauty products, soaps and shampoos.
- Avoid consuming hot drinks and alcoholic beverages.
Home Remedies for Patients Diagnosed with Rosacea
The following are some self-care tips and practices that you can do at home to control rosacea symptoms and prevent flare-ups:
- Avoid the rosacea triggers that doctors have warned you about.
- Treat your skin gently. Do not rub or touch the surface of your facial skin too frequently.
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day to block the negative effects of UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear a hat and mask to avoid direct sun exposure, especially in cold and windy weather.
- Use a facial cleanser with skin-moisturiaing ingredients.
- Avoid skincare products that contain alcohol, as this can trigger skin irritation and rosacea.