Rosacea is a common inflammatory disease of the skin that affects the central face. It presents with flushing, blushing, pimples, and generalized redness.
It tends to come and go with flare-ups and remissions for years. Although it is often seen in patients with fair skin, rosacea can occur in all skin types. The onset is usually between age 40-60. Women are more commonly affected than men.
Rosacea is not a dangerous condition but can have a significant impact on one’s self-esteem. People are often mistaken for alcoholics due to the redness and enlargement of the nose that rosacea can cause.
The cause is not entirely known but involves blood vessel reactivity and inflammation. There is likely a genetic component to rosacea.
There are many well-known triggers for rosacea. These include:
- Red wine & alcohol
- Hot liquids
- Spicy foods
- Steroid use (topical or oral)
There are different types of rosacea, but the most common type by far is called Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea. Patients with this form of present with pimples that come and go with associated underlying redness and broken blood vessels.
The diagnosis of rosacea does not require any blood or skin testing. Your dermatologist has the expertise necessary to diagnose and treat rosacea based on your history and physical examination during the office visit.
The treatment of rosacea involves educating patients about the disease. Patients should be advised to avoid aggravating factors including spicy food, alcohol, and hot liquids Patients should also be encouraged to avoid applying topical steroids (hydrocortisone) to their face. All rosacea patients should be encouraged to wear sunscreen each morning to protect from UV exposure.
Most rosacea treatments are aimed at improving the inflammation and reducing the papules and pustules. Prescription cream treatments are the first-line treatments for rosacea. Conventional prescription creams, including Rosiver, Metrogel, Noritate, and Finacea. Pills are the second-line treatment for rosacea and are often combined with creams.
Common prescription pills include Doxycycline, Tetracycline, Minocycline and in severe cases Accutane.
The background redness and telangiectasia (broken blood vessels) of rosacea can be treated with electrical hyfrecators, vascular lasers, and intense pulsed light therapies.
Only trust a board-certified dermatologist to manage your rosacea.