Rosacea is a common but often misunderstood condition that is estimated to affect over 45 million people worldwide. Rosacea is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. Rosacea is often passed on in families, with women being afflicted more often than their male counterparts. Men, however, often get more severe forms of rosacea. For women with rosacea, increased flushing and blushing may occur around and during menopause. Rosacea affects an estimated 14 million Americans. Adults, especially those between 30 and 50 years of age who have lighter skin, blonde hair and blue eyes, are most likely to suffer from rosacea. People with rosacea often find that certain lifestyle and environmental factors trigger a flare-up or aggravate their individual conditions. Certain medications and topical irritants can quickly progress rosacea.
Rosacea is basically different than acne. Rosacea strikes both sexes. The immune system also has been implicated as playing a role in rosacea’s development. Some people with rosacea have increased numbers of the mite, especially those with steroid induced rosacea. Steroid induced rosacea is the term given to rosacea caused by the use of topical or nasal steroids. These steroids are often prescribed for seborrheic dermatitis. Some acne and wrinkle treatments cause rosacea include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, high dosages of isotretinoin, benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin. Exposure to temperature extremes can cause the face to become flushed as well as strenuous exercise, heat from sunlight, severe sunburn, stress, anxiety, cold wind, moving to a warm or hot environment from a cold one such as heated shops and offices during the winter. Rosacea may also result in reddened skin, scaling and swelling of affected areas.
Rosacea sufferers often report periods of depression stemming from cosmetic disfigurement, painful burning sensations, and decreases in quality of life. Tetracycline antibiotics including doxycycline and minocycline reduce inflammation. Sometimes other oral antibiotics such as cotrimoxasole or metronidazole are prescribed for resistant cases. Metronidazole cream or gel can be used intermittently or long term on its own for mild cases and in combination with oral antibiotics for more severe cases. Dermatological vascular laser (single wavelength) or Intense Pulsed Light (broad spectrum) machines offer one of the best treatments for rosacea. Azelaic acid cream or lotion is also effective, applied twice daily to affected areas. CO2 lasers can be used to remove excess tissue caused by phymatous rosacea. Cosmetics may be used to conceal the effects of rosacea.
Rosacea Treatment and Prevention Tips
1. Avoid oil-based facial creams. Use water-based make-up.
2. Never apply a topical steroid to the rosacea.
3. Protect yourself from the sun. Use light oil-free facial sunscreens.
4. Keep your face cool: minimize your exposure to hot or spicy foods, alcohol, hot showers and baths and warm rooms.
5. CO2 lasers can be used to remove excess tissue caused by phymatous rosacea.
6. Vascular laser (single wavelength) or Intense Pulsed Light (broad spectrum) machines offer one of the best treatments for rosacea
7. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is a powerful medication sometimes used for more severe cases of inflammatory rosacea.
8. Oral antibiotics may also help to relieve symptoms of ocular rosacea.