Rosacea (Facial Redness)
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What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic disease which usually first appears as subtle reddening on the face. Rosacea is a common but often misunderstood condition that is estimated to affect over 45 million people worldwide. Over time this may develop into some inflammation and be accompanied by skin eruptions. Approximately half of Rosecea suffers also have symptoms with their eyes (Ocular Rosacea). Which if left unchecked, over time Rosecea can result in the appearance of red lines which result from swollen or damaged veins.
- While Rosacea primarily affects the face, it can also occur on the chest, neck, ears, back and scalp. There are different types of Rosacea, and each has its own symptoms and treatments.
- Rosacea usually varies in severity, and manifests in episodes of flushing and inflammation of the affected areas. The skin lesions, which can accompany rosacea (acne rosacea), differ from acne in that spots of inflammation do not swell with fluid and come to a "head" like acne vulgaris pustules do.
Rosacea is more common in women than men, but men usually have more severe symptoms. This might be because men often wait longer to seek treatment. Rhinophyma or an enlarged nose can develop in severe untreated cases.
Types of Rosecea skin disorder
Erythematotelangiectatic is the most common type of Rosacea. It is characterized by flushing and persistent redness, and may also include visible blood vessels (veins with Rosacea).
Ocular Rosacea affects the eyes. It causes irritated watery and bloodshot eyes. If left untreated, it can lead to vision loss.
Phymatous Rosacea causes skin thickening, often resulting in Rhinopyma (enlargement of the nose) from excess tissue.
Papulopustular Rosacea is often called Acne Rosacea. It is characterized by persistent redness with transient pimples and bumps.
There is no single test to determine whether someone has Rosacea. The diagnosis is usually made based on visual examination and identifying some of the symptoms.
- Flushing or blushing which can occur easily and often lasting longer than normal.
- Rashes/redness on part or all of the face. Often has the appearance of sunburn and may become worse over time.
- Burning or stinging sensations.
- Pimple-like eruptions which may be solid or pustules. It may resemble acne but whiteheads or blackheads are not normally present. This skin condition may result in dry skin.
- Visible red lines on the face called Telangiectasis. These lines are caused by enlarged or damaged blood vessels.
- Red, sore or gritty eyes or eyelids. Eye symptoms are known by the term Ocular Rosacea.
Who Gets Rosacea?
Most commonly prevalent in adults aged 30-60 though it has been diagnosed children. Symptoms commonly start to appear to people in their 30s or 40s. Men and women are equally likely to to be affected and can be hereditary. In one survey, forty percent of Rosacea sufferers surveyed could identify a relative with the symptoms of Rosacea. There is a reasonably common belief the people of Irish or Northern European descent are more likely to be affected though some studies have not necessarily supported this. There is no evidence that Rosacea can be passed from one person to another (i.e: it is not a contagious condition).
What Causes It?
Exact causes are still largely unknown, however the symptoms are reasonably well understood as are a variety of lifestyle factors (such as particular foods and activities) that are known to trigger outbreaks in people that have the disease.
It has long been known to have a variety of triggers that can cause a Rosacea sufferer to flush (become red). There are some very effective treatments and products available for the management/control of Rosacea, a combination of treatment of the symptoms and lifestyle changes to avoid these triggers can significantly reduce the negative impacts of Rosacea. Since Rosacea cannot be cured it will often be necessary to continue with topical treatment (and modification of lifestyle factors) even after symptoms have been reduced or have disappeared.
Treatments available at Caci to treat Rosacea
Below is a list of commonly recommended lifestyle changes. The most important thing is to recognise your individual triggers and adjust your lifestyle accordingly:
- Avoid exposure to the sun whenever possible and use a good, non-irritating sunscreen whenever exposure cannot be avoided. Extremes of heat or cold may be a trigger for many people. Even hot showers, baths and warm rooms may cause a problem for some people. Exposure to wind (particularly cold winds) has also been shown to be a trigger for many people.
- Avoid food and drinks which may induce Rosacea symptoms. Common problem foods and drinks include spicy foods and dairy products. It is often recommended that alcohol should be avoided. Some people will find that any sort of hot drink will trigger a Rosacea reaction. It is sometimes said that caffeinated products such tea & coffee will cause problems however a 1981 study found that the cause is more likely to be the temperature of the drink rather than the caffeine.
- Smoking also damages blood vessels which may worsen some symptoms.
- Take care of your skin. Choose skin products carefully. Avoid scrubbing and products which may irritate the skin including exfoliant and astringent products (which contain alcohol). Only very mild products should be used on the face.
- Use water-based make-up and sunscreen.
- Avoid stressful situations. Anger, embarrassment and fright may all result in flushing and trigger Rosacea symptoms.
- Moderate, rather than hard exercise may be preferable.
Need More Info or Help with Rosacea?
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