How to Recognize and Treat Rosacea
Rosacea, sometimes referred to as “middle-age acne,” is very common causing redness and swelling on the face. Rosacea may begin as a tendency to blush easily and gradually progress to persistent redness and acne-like bumps on the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. In more severe cases, other symptoms include broken capillaries on the surface of the skin, enlarged red nose and puffy cheeks. Rosacea is a skin disease common in fair-skinned people. This progressive condition is characterized by redness of the face, flushing, or leaky blood vessels in the face.
What Causes It?
No one really knows what causes rosacea. There are aggravating circumstances that can worsen the condition, such as psychological stress, sunlight exposure and certain foods including spicy foods, alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Women tend to get rosacea more often than men, since rosacea has been associated with menopause as well.
There are four stages of rosacea, though not everyone experiences all four. Stage one consists of frequent flushing. Stage two occurs on the vascular level, and blood vessels swell and leak more easily (this are also known as spider veins); skin sensitivity may also increase in this stage. Stage three, the inflammatory phase, resembles acne in appearance, but requires different treatment. Stage four is severe, and includes all of the previous stages.
What Can Be Done?
Rosacea is treatable however, with prevention being the best option. Fair-skinned people or people who flush frequently should always use sunscreen, with a minimum SPF of 30. Topical creams may be used to reduce redness or swelling in the face, and gentle skin cleansers are best for this sensitive skin.
A combination of treatments may be recommended depending on the severity of the skin condition. Commonly, rosacea is treated with topical antibiotic creams such as metronidazole. Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed and usually work faster. Newer therapies include the use of lasers and intense pulse light sources to treat the blood vessels.
Since this is a progressive skin condition, it is import to contact a medical professional for evaluation. Call Dr. Amy Vaughan Dermatology, for appropriate diagnosis, prevention and treatment options.