What is Rosacea?
In most cases, it affects the skin of the face, but sometimes it can affect the neck, scalp, ears and in some cases even eyes. Rosacea usually appears after the age of 30 and in most cases the patients are Caucasian. Women get Rosacea more often than men. This condition is often confused with acne, and some other similar skin conditions, so in many cases, Rosacea is not diagnosed in time, before the symptoms become severe.
Rosacea is a very common, chronic disease of the skin. Main characteristics of Rosacea are:
- Redness of the facial skin
- Dilated blood vessels
- Rosacea may also cause eye problems (swollen eyelids, conjunctivitis)
- Enlarged nose
- Pus-filled bumps
Subtypes of Rosacea
There are four known subtypes of Rosacea:
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, characteristics of this subtype are persistent redness of the skin, a person also blushes easily, blood vessels become visible and dilated.
- Papulopustular rosacea, this subtype is very often mistaken for acne. Characteristics are pus filled red bumps on the face. In most cases, these symptoms last for a couple of days.
- Phymatous rosacea, main characteristics of this subtype is an enlargement of the nose. Skin becomes thicker and irregular. It can also affect chin, forehead, cheeks and eyelids.
- Ocular rosacea, eyes become red and irritated. Very often a person which suffers of this subtype has a burning and itching sensation in the eyes.
What are Causes of Rosacea?
What exactly causes Rosacea is still not known, but there are some factors that may contribute to developing this disease and worsening the symptoms. Rosacea is considered a hereditary disease, so genetics plays a big role. People of Irish, English, Scandinavian and Eastern European descent are more likely to get Rosacea. There are some triggers that may cause the episodes of flushing, they are:
- Exposure to heat
- Some types of food
- Spicy food
Every person has different triggers, it is very important for every individual to find their own triggers, and then controlling the symptoms is very easy.
What are Rosacea Signs and Symptoms?
Rosacea has many signs and symptoms, they vary from person to person, but most of the people who have Rosacea will have at least one of these symptoms:
- Redness of the skin
- Burning sensation
- Irritated eyes
- Visible blood vessels
- Appearance of bumps that may be confused with acne
People who have Rosacea may confuse the symptoms of Rosacea with the symptoms of some other skin conditions, in this case they usually get the wrong treatment, and their symptoms worsen.
How is Rosacea Diagnosed?
Most people who have Rosacea are not even aware that they have this disease. Rosacea is one of the most often underdiagnosed diseases. There is not a special test that will help with diagnosing Rosacea, a dermatologist will diagnose this disease by simply looking at the person´s skin. In some cases a skin biopsy may be necessary to help in confirming Rosacea. In some cases there is a need to rule out other condition which may have similar symptoms, such as some types of acne and eczema so that various tests may be performed.
What is the Treatment for Rosacea?
There is no cure for Rosacea, but there are some available treatments. One of the most commonly used is antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics which are used for treating Rosacea usually have anti- inflammatory effect. In some cases, antibiotic treatment has no effect, then your doctor will suggest some other type of medicine, mostly medicine used for treating cystic acne. This type of medicine can also help with treating Rosacea. Treating Rosacea takes time, usually the results are visible after one month of treatment. If you stop your treatment, it is possible that the symptoms will come back, in most cases long-term treatment, which may last for years is necessary. In some cases when the symptoms are severe, and the skin becomes too irregular and bumpy, cosmetic surgery is necessary. The redness from the visible blood vessels can be treated with laser.
Does Diet Trigger Rosacea?
Rosacea flare-ups can be triggered by diet, it is individual, but there are some known foods which may trigger Rosacea flare-ups. These triggers are:
- Dairy products
- Spicy food
- Hot food
These are just some common and already known triggers, but every Rosacea patient reacts in their own way to different types of food, that is why they should keep a food diary, and keep track of the food they eat. Some of the triggers may also be found in cosmetics, so the person with Rosacea must pay attention when choosing the right facial cosmetics.
What Effect May Rosacea Have on Person Life?
Rosacea can affect a person’s life in many different ways, it all depends on the severity of the condition. Some people don´t even have symptoms of Rosacea, so they continue normally with their lives, and they usually don´t want any treatment. Other persons have severe symptoms on a daily basis, and this condition affects the quality of their lives. Some people even develop different types of social phobias; they become self-conscious so that they even cancel social events when their Rosacea is flaring. It is important that these persons seek professional help, and to talk to their doctor about their concerns, and the way Rosacea is affecting their life.
Prevention Tips For Rosacea
It is possible to prevent the Rosacea flare-ups, and to keep symptoms under control. The most important thing is to discover your own triggers. Try to eat healthy food, the one that doesn´t cause you a flare up, avoid long exposure to the sun, spicy food, alcohol and all of the things that you notice cause you a flare up. Be careful when you choose cosmetic products, use mild cosmetics for sensitive skin. Take care of your eyes, if they feel dry your doctor can prescribe you eye drops or you can use artificial tears. By introducing small changes in your lifestyle you can control the symptoms of Rosacea, and they won´t affect the quality of your life.
Do´s and Don´ts For Rosacea
- DON´T drink alcohol.
- DON´T eat spicy food.
- DON´T smoke, smoking will not only affect your Rosacea symptoms, but it will have an impact on your overall health.
- DO stay out of the sun, being in the heat may cause a flare up, that is why you should avoid not only the sun but also warm rooms, saunas and long hot baths.
- DO find out what your triggers are and avoid them. Avoid any foods or drinks that may cause a flare up. This may take some time, but once you find your own triggers, you will be able to control your symptoms.
- DO select appropriate cosmetics, use cosmetics for sensitive skin, or try some natural, homemade cosmetics.
- DON´T use strong cosmetic products that contain alcohol.
- DON´T exercise too much.
- DO try to eat a healthy and balanced diet which doesn´t contain foods that may trigger a flare up.
Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s)
Is Rosacea Contagious?
Rosacea is not a contagious disease; it cannot be transferred from one person to another. This is one of the most frequently asked questions, mainly because antibiotics are used in treating Rosacea, but they are used because of their anti-inflammatory effect.
Is Rosacea Hereditary?
Medical research on this topic has never been performed, but there is evidence that Rosacea is indeed hereditary. Most of the people with Rosacea say that they have someone in their family with this disease. When it comes to Rosacea ethnicity plays a big role, Rosacea most frequently occur in people of Irish, English, Scandinavian or Eastern European decent.
Is Rosacea Mimic Acne?
Rosacea is often confused with acne, some of the symptoms are very similar. This the main reason why many people treat Rosacea the wrong way for many years. Dermatologists can diagnose the right disease very fast, so you should contact a professional, and get a right diagnosis.
Is There a Cure for Rosacea?
There is still no cure for Rosacea, but there are treatments that have a good effect in controlling and minimizing the symptoms of Rosacea. Antibiotic therapy is most commonly used, and it has shown good results in treating Rosacea, mainly because of the anti-inflammatory effect of antibiotics. The other option is to use some other medication, mostly the medication used for treating cystic acne; it is used if the antibiotic therapy has shown no effect.
How Long Does Rosacea Last?
Rosacea is a chronicle and incurable disease, so it lasts for a very long time. Patients have relapses and remissions throughout the years. Rosacea can last up to 13 years. By introducing some simple changes in your lifestyle and diet, it is possible to live with Rosacea, and have a good quality of life.
How does the Rosacea affect the nose?
Rosacea can affect the nose, in this case the nose becomes enlarged and red, usually some bumps appear and blood vessels become visible. This mainly happens in man, and it has a great effect on a person´s appearance. This kind of appearance, with enlarged and red nose is usually connected to alcohol abuse, so the person with this type of symptoms of Rosacea suffers a certain social stigma which may cause embarrassment for the person with Rosacea. In some severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Does Rosacea Get Worse With the Age?
The progress of Rosacea is impossible to predict. Rosacea is very hard to diagnose, often the person who suffers from this disease is not aware of it, and seeks professional help too late. If Rosacea is not treated the symptoms tend to get worse over time, and this has no connection with age. By introducing some lifestyle changes, and with the help of medication, it is possible to control the symptoms of rosacea.
Can Rosacea Affect The Eyes?
Rosacea can affect the eyes, this is a subtype of Rosacea, known as ocular rosacea. In this case eyes become bloodshot and very sensitive, person may experience itching and burning feeling in the eyes. Eyes become very sensitive to light, and in some cases, if this condition is not treated, visual loss may occur. In many cases of Rosacea eyes are affected before the skin.
Can Rosacea Occur In Children?
In some cases, Rosacea may occur in children, but this is very rare. Rosacea is a hereditary disease, so the parents of the children who are at the risk of getting Rosacea should be on the lookout for the early signs of Rosacea. If any of the signs is noticed, they should see a dermatologist as soon as possible, and get treatment at an early stage of the disease.
Living with Rosacea is not easy, especially for those people who have severe symptoms. They become self-conscious, they can also develop different psychological disorders. It is important for them to seek professional help as soon as they notice that this disorder is affecting their lives. There are a great number of support groups for people with Rosacea, that is a good way to learn that you are not alone and how to cope with this disease.
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