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Mohs Fellowship Trained Surgeon

Rosacea

What Is It?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that mainly affects the skin on the face. It causes redness on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead. Over time, the redness can become more intense, taking on a rosy appearance. Key symptoms
are facial redness with swollen red bumps and small visible blood vessels.

Who Gets Rosacea?

Rosacea is common. The U.S. government reports more than 14 million people are living with rosacea. People of all races and ages get rosacea, too. But most people who get rosacea are:

• Between 30 and 50 years of age
• Fair-skinned, and often have blonde hair and blue eyes
• Of Northern European ancestry
• Likely to have someone in their family tree with rosacea or severe acne
• Women are a bit more likely than men to get rosacea. However, men tend to get more severe cases of rosacea.

Common Signs And Symptoms

  • Redness across the nose and cheeks, which can spread to the chin, forehead, or ears
  • Acne-like breakouts
  • Skin that feels sore and is easily irritated
  • Thin, reddish-purple veins
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dry, itchy, irritated eyes, or a gritty feeling in your eyes

For some people, rosacea becomes more noticeable with time. The redness can become permanent. The skin may feel hot and tender. Your skin can become so sensitive that getting water on your face causes burning and stinging. Some people see the affected skin grow thick – this is more common among men than women. It is caused by enlarging oil glands in the skin. When this happens to the nose, the medical term for this condition is “rhinophyma.” The nose enlarges, and thick bumps can form on it. Left untreated, it tends to worsen over time.

Rosacea
Symptoms Of Rosacea

Treatment

Although there is no cure for rosacea, early treatment is key to controlling the condition. The longer it is left untreated, the more difficult it is to manage rosacea. Many patients report their quality of life improves with treatment because they feel less self-conscious.

Research shows that the most effective results come from combining treatments and tailoring treatment to a patient’s signs and symptoms. Your dermatologist may create a treatment plan that includes more than one treatment.

  • Acne-like breakouts – If your rosacea includes acne-like breakouts, these can often be treated with medicine applied to the skin. It takes time to see improvement. You may see slight improvement in three to four weeks, but it usually takes about two months to see noticeable improvement. To keep your skin clear, you may need to continue to use this medicine. Sometimes you need an oral antibiotic to clear the acne-like breakouts. Your dermatologist may recommend a newer medication that treats the inflammation without the side effects of higher dose antibiotics. This medicine can clear the skin and avoids concerns about taking an antibiotic for too long.
  • Redness – Laser surgery can help reduce redness. Your dermatologist may recommend a medicine to apply to
    your skin that can help reduce redness.
  • Small veins – Laser surgery can help diminish the small veins.
  • Thickening skin – To treat thickening skin, a dermatologist may remove the excess skin with a scalpel, laser, or electrosurgery.
  • Ocular Rosacea – More than half of all people who have rosacea will develop symptoms in their eyes at some point. Treatment may include compresses, cleansers, eye drops, antibiotics, or a referral to an ophthalmologist.

Common Triggers

To get the best results from your treatment, dermatologists recommend that you learn what triggers your rosacea. At the end of each day, jot down your exposure to common rosacea triggers. If your rosacea flares, be sure to note that, too. Once you know your triggers, it is best to avoid them if you can. Common triggers include:

  • Sunlight
  • Stress
  • Getting overheated
  • Some makeup
  • Alcohol, especially red wine
  • Wind and cold
  • Some skin products
  • Some medicines
  • Hot temperature drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Hot baths or showers

Managing Your Rosacea Triggers

  • Protect your skin. Seek shade when possible, limit exposure to sunlight, and wear sun-protective clothing. Apply a broad-spectrum (offers protection from UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher to your face every day before you go outside. Look for a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as these ingredients are the least irritating to skin with rosacea. When outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours.
  • Avoid anything that causes your rosacea to flare.
  • Don’t overheat or expose your skin to very cold temperatures. Overheating may cause your rosacea to flare. Exercising in a cool environment can help. You can protect your face from cold and wind with a scarf or ski mask that does not irritate your skin.
  • Keep your skin care routine simple. Fewer products are better. Avoid cosmetics and skin care products that contain alcohol. Avoid rubbing, scrubbing, or massaging your face.
  • If you use hair spray, shield your face so that the spray does not get on your face.
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