Rosacea is a skin disease characterized by redness in the face from dilation and enlargement of blood vessels below the skin surface. While rosacea appears more frequently in women, symptoms are more severe in men. Fair-skinned people who blush easily are especially prone to this condition.
How can I tell if I have rosacea?
The most common signs of rosacea are redness of the cheeks, forehead, and nose; small red pus-filled pimples; inflammation of the skin surface, and the appearance of dilated small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks. Sometimes sufferers will have only one or two symptoms. The disease usually starts with what appears to be a blush or sunburn, but the redness gradually increases, becoming more pronounced, and does not go away.
One complication of the disease is Rhinophyma, a redness and swelling of the nose brought on by enlarged oil glands. Another possible symptom is redness and irritation of the eyes, sometimes resulting in swollen and infected eyelids.
If you think you have rosacea, be sure to consult a doctor. He or she can rule out other possible conditions.
I have Rosacea. What now?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Rosacea, but the condition is treatable. The disorder is often mistaken for acne or sunburn, and goes undiagnosed and untreated until symptoms worsen. Early diagnosis is essential.
Doctors suggest patients avoid foods and activities that are known to trigger rosacea. These include eating certain foods, drinking hot beverages, alcohol consumption, strenuous exercise, overexposure to the sun, and emotional conditions such as stress, embarrassment, and anger. Basically, these conditions tend to increase blood flow, resulting in expansion of blood vessels in the facial area. In addition, irritating chemical-based cosmetics, facial scrubs, cortisone creams, and alphahydroxy lotions can irritate the skin and trigger rosacea.
Use sunscreen and green-tinted makeup to mask a ruddy complexion and alleviate skin irritation. Topical antibiotics can help; if these don’t work, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics. Improvement may take some time, usually one to two months.
In addition, there are several solutions on the market for the treatment of rosacea. Some of these contain natural ingredients and vitamins that moisturize and sooth the skin. In the most severe cases, laser surgery is used to shrink blood vessels and remove excess tissue from the nose.