What is Rosacea? Rosacea is a skin disorder affecting the face, specifically the chin, forehead, cheekbones, and the nose. It manifests as erythema, causing a reddening of the skin. Acne and pimples are also a common symptom of Rosacea.
One of out every five diagnosis made by dermatologists is for rosacea, making it a very common skin disorder. However, despite being a widespread problem, it is uncommon for people to be aware of this disease, or have knowledge of how to recognize its symptoms and how to properly treat it.
What are The Symptoms of Rosacea?
While Rosacea mostly is experienced by white women between the ages of 20 and 50, it can manifest in both men and women, as well as people of all races, not just causasions, and people of all ages, including teenagers, children, and even babies.
Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of Rosacea.
- individual has a red discoloration (“flushing”) of the skin on the cheeks, chin, forehead, nose, and around the mouth
- there are persistent bumps or pimples on the skin, often mistaken for simple acne
- patients eyes are often watery, irritated, bloodshot. there might be a negative reaction to sunlight
- the blood vessels have become swollen on the patients face and are now visible on the surface of the skin
- there is a burning and stinging sensations on the patients face (also simply called inflammation)
A reddening of the skin, is a medical condition known as erythema. It is said to be caused by capillary congestion, but in up to 50% of cases there is no known reason for the cause.
The persistent bumps or “pimples” are more properly known as papules and pastules, respectively. These are often mistaken for acne but papules and pastules are not simply pimples.
Please note that any one of these signs above, individually, could be a symptom that Rosacea is developing and should be treated as such by consulting with a doctor.
As time goes on, these symptons can create other symptoms, such as a convergence of bumps on the skin which will make it appear larger and swollen, and the same for the cheeks. (This primarily effects men and not women.) This can create that “bulb” nose look occasionally seen on elderly men.
What Causes Rosacea? Who is Mostly Effected by It?
Although it is believed that nearly 50 million people have rosacea, there is no single cause that researchers are aware of at this time that causes this skin disease.
Current medical theory states that, although not the only or main cause, many people are genetically predisposed to getting rosacea. This is noted by evidence that individuals suffering from rosacea tend to find it widespread in the family tree.
Other interesting data shows that it mainly effects white people (note though that all skin types are susceptible) who descended from the North and West of Europe. While it effects both men and women, it is nearly three times as common in women. Ironically, men tend to suffer more severe damage from rosacea, possibly simply (and only) due to a delay in seeking skin treatment, as compared to women.
People of all ages, including teenagers, can develop it but women ages 30-50 are mostly effected.
Other theories on the causes of rosacea state that it is a blood vessel disorder (causing the blood vessels to swell, which in turn causes a reddening of the skin) or a problem with the gland openings of the skin being clogged with skin mites called Demodex Folliculorum.
Contributing or related factors include digestive disorders, a deficient of Vitamin B, migraine headaches, other skin disorders, and even eye disorders.
Best Products for Rosacea
There is no straight cure for Rosacea; treatment is typically a lifelong affair, and it can take 1-2 years of treatment for the condition to come under control. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available.
Prescription Rosace aTreatments
There are a number of prescription and non-prescription drugs available to patients to treat Rosacea. Typically, after an initial consultation, the first “round” of drugs used as treatment include topical antiobiotics and oral tetracycline antiobitics. (Teteracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, and metronidazole, respectively.)
A “topical antibiotic” means an antibiotic that is applied directly to the skin via a cream, lotion, powder, or spray. An oral tetracycline antibiotic, on the other hand, is swallowed via a capsule.
These two medications are intended to treat a bit of the redness, but most inflammation, pustules, and papules on the skin.
Sometimes acne medicine is used as a cross treatment rosacea – for instance, isotretinoin, a strong acne medicine, can be prescribed (in low dosages) as an effective treatment, more specifically for phymatous and papulopustular rosacea.
Here is a list of some presription medications used to treat Rosacea:
- Oracea – an oral antibiotic (prescription only)
- Finacea – a topical treatment (prescription only)
Rosacea Treatment Antibiotics
Dealing with the skin condition known as rosacea is a part of the lives of many people all over the world. Often mistakenly thought of as bad or severe acne by outsiders, the skin condition – although similar to acne – effects a person quite differently, and one does not “grow out of it” with age, as is the case with acne and young adults. Rosacea actually becomes more common as a person moves from youth to adulthood, targeting by and large caucasion women in their 30’s to 50’s.
This is the age range in which symptoms begin to appear for most people. How the skin condition develops is not known, but it is not contagious or infectious. It’s speculated that its origins are genetically related but this has not been proven, and the official word is that rosacea has an unknown cause.
In any case, one symptoms begin to appear is when a proper diagnosis and treatment should begin. Symptoms typically come on as a redness of the face – known as erythema, along with red bumps known as papules and pastules (and thus the mistaken correlation to acne is made.)
It’s estimated that 1 of 5 diagnosis made by dermatalogists is a diagnosis for rosacea. It is because of these high numbers thats nearly any dermatologist you work with is going to be quite familiar with rosacea and the proper treatments for this skin problem.
The first rosacea treatments prescribed to a new patient are typically two-fold with antibiotics. This includes a topical antibiotic, such as a Metronidazole. The term “topical” means that the substance is applied to the surface of this skin. In this case, it means applying an OTC acne product or gel such as Metronidazole to the skin for relief. Secondly, oral tetracycline antibiotics are prescribed to the patient as well – interestingly, the same ones of which are also prescribed for acne treatment, too. These are swallowed in the form of a pill. Oral tetracycline antibiotics are actually used to target a variety of health conditions, and they are usually successful at reducing the severity of symptoms for rosacea as well. These symptoms include redness, irritation, inflammation, and the presence of papules and pastules, on and around the face and neck.
If the initial treatment in the form of antibiotics doesn’t meet the desired results i.e a reduction in symptoms and relief for the patient – doctors and dermatologists have a number of other medication that can be used. There is also the question of avoiding rosacea triggers so as to minimize outbreaks or the severity of outbreaks.
Treatment for rosacea is not an overnight event. It’s actually more a lifelong process between the doctor and the patient, along with the lifestyle of the patient and how this effects the rosacea condition. The good news is that the earlier treatment begins, the better off the patient is at getting rosacea treatment that meet their needs and keeps their conditions under minimized and under control.
What about laser treatments for Rosacea?
Laser treatment is now an option for reducing or eliminating the redness of the skin caused by Rosacea.
Click on the link below to learn more:
Rosacea Laser Treatment
What sort of natural treatments are there for Rosacea?
There are natural treatments for Rosacea, although they might not have the scientific evidence or testing available to back them up.