Rosacea is a non-contagious skin condition that affects many people. It is characterized by reddened areas of the skin across the cheeks and bridge of the nose and sometimes the forehead, chin and other areas of the upper body. Dilated blood vessels cause this redness and small, pimple-like bumps are often present. These bumps sometimes lead rosacea sufferers to dismiss the condition, initially, as adult acne. Other symptoms of rosacea include gradual thickening of the skin, eye irritation and tingling or burning sensations on the skin.
Causes of Rosacea
The root cause of this condition is still unknown. However, several things have been implicated in increased flare-ups. These include alcohol consumption, lengthy exposure to sunlight, extreme heat or cold, spicy foods and some medications. A type of skin mite may also be responsible in some cases.
Although there is currently no cure for rosacea, there are treatments to reduce the symptoms. The type of treatment used depends on the severity, and often patients receive a combination of treatments.
- Oral antibiotics as well as antibacterial topicals are frequently used with success in moderate cases.
- Topical, medicated washes and creams can help many mild to moderate cases of rosacea.
- Light therapy, laser surgery or electro surgery are sometimes used for severe rosacea, especially if blood vessels are very visible and skin has thickened.
In addition to using prescribed medicines and topical treatments, changing some lifestyle habits may help prevent flare-ups. Limit alcohol consumption, spicy foods and any other foods you have discovered trigger your skin. Take warm instead of hot showers, use non-abrasive, fragrant and dye-free cleansers and pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it. Avoid saunas and long periods in the sunlight. When you are outside, wear a large-brimmed hat or wear sunscreen. Cold, and not just heat, can also trigger rosacea. In winter, cover affected areas to keep skin warm and limit your time outdoors in frigid temperatures.
Rosacea can get worse if it is left untreated. However, through daily treatments and preventive care, you should experience improvement to your comfort and the skin’s appearance. The more you learn about your skin and proper care of this condition, the easier it will become to manage.