Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes prominent blushing or flushing and visible blood vessels in the face. It may also cause the formation of small, pus-filled bumps. These signs and symptoms may flare up for weeks to months and then go away for a while. Rosacea can often be mistaken for acne, other skin problems or natural ruddiness. Rosacea could affect literally anyone. But it's most common in middle-aged white women. Unfortunately, there's no cure for rosacea, but treatment can control and reduce the signs and symptoms.
Causes of Rosacea
The cause of rosacea is however not known; but, different theories exist regarding the cause. One theory is that rosacea might be a component of a more generalized disorder of the blood vessels. Other theories suggest that the condition is triggered by microscopic skin mites, fungus, psychological factors or a malfunction of the connective tissue under the skin. Although no one knows for sure what causes rosacea, some circumstances and conditions can trigger it.
Symptoms of Rosacea
Rosacea's appearance could vary greatly from one individual to another. However, most of the time, not all of the potential signs and symptoms appear. Rosacea always includes at least one of the primary signs listed below. Various secondary signs and symptoms might also develop.
Some of the primary symptoms are:
Flushing: A lot of people, who are affected with rosacea have a history of frequent blushing or flushing. The facial redness, which might come and go, often is the earliest sign of the disorder.
Persistent redness: Persistent facial redness which often resembles a blush or sunburn that does not fade away easily.
Bumps and pimples: Small red solid bumps or pus-filled pimples are another common sign of rosacea. However, sometimes the bumps might resemble acne, but blackheads are absent. Apart from that, burning or stinging might be present.
Visible blood vessels: Small blood vessels become visible on the skin of many people who have rosacea.
Some of the rare and not often seen signs of rosacea are:
Eye irritation: The eyes might tend to constantly be irritated, and appear watery or bloodshot in some people with rosacea. This condition, called ocular rosacea, can also involve styes as well as redness and swelling of the eyelids. Severe cases, if left untreated, can result in corneal damage and vision loss.
Burning or stinging: Burning or stinging sensations might occur on the face, and itchiness or a feeling of tightness might also develop.
Dry skin: The central facial skin might be rough, and thus appear to be very dry.
- Skin thickening: In some cases of rosacea, the skin might thicken and enlarge from excess tissue, resulting in a condition called rhinophyma. This condition often occurs on the nose, causing it to have a bulbous appearance.
Types of Rosacea
There are four types of rosacea, they are:
Subtype one which is also known as erythematotelangiectatic rosacea or ETR for short is associated with facial redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels.
Subtype two is papulopustular or acne rosacea and is commonly associated with acne-like breakouts, and often affects middle-aged women.
Subtype three known as rhinophyma, is a rare form associated with the thickening of the skin on the nose. It usually affects men and is often accompanied by another subtype of rosacea.
- Subtype four is known as ocular rosacea, and its symptoms are centred on the eye area.
Treatment for Rosacea
Unfortunately, there is no known treatment for rosacea. However, certain treatments could help in managing the bumps, pimples or other side effects associated with rosacea.
Some of the common treatments suggested by doctors are:
Brimonidine or Mirvaso is a gel that tightens blood vessels in the skin to get rid of some of the redness caused due to rosacea.
Azelaic acid is a gel and foam that assists in clearing up bumps, swelling, and redness.
Metronidazole or Flagyl and doxycycline, are antibiotics that kill the bacteria on the skin and hence minimize the redness and swelling.
Isotretinoin or Amnesteem or Claravis are acne drug that clears up skin bumps. It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy since it could lead to serious birth defects.
- Ivermectin or soolantra and oxymetazoline are basically topicals or over the counter creams that are used to treat rosacea.
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that a person will require to learn to manage. It can be difficult to cope with a chronic condition. Unfortunately, there is no cure for rosacea, but it can be controlled with treatment. Rosacea affects everyone differently and it can take time to figure out how to manage the condition. The best way to prevent an outbreak is to work with a doctor to develop a treatment plan and avoid the triggers themselves.