People that suffer with skin redness and visible blood vessels located primarily on the face more than likely have a very common medical skin condition called Rosacea (roe-ZAY-she-uh). On occasion, Rosacea can give rise to small, red acne like pimples especially during an acute flair up. These acute flairs are known to come and go. When present, Rosacea can persist for weeks to months, often being mistaken for an acute acne flair.
Rosacea is most commonly a condition affecting middle aged women with light skin, but it can ultimately affect almost anyone. There is no known cure for Rosacea at this time. Hence, the goal in treatment is to ultimately control any symptoms or outbreaks that may occur.
Rosacea can present itself in many ways. The most often seen are the following:
- Ocular Rosacea: This is a dry irritation to the eyes which can result in a mild swelling of the eyelids. This eye irritation most often presents itself prior to the initial onset of skin symptoms.
- Nasal enlargement: With the progression of Rosacea over time, it is not uncommon to see a gradual thickening of the skin on the nose, a condition call Rhinophyma. This condition can ultimately result in the development of a bulb-like nose.
- Facial redness: The most commonly recognized symptom of Rosacea, this is the development of small blood vessels in the central regions of the face and nose. The result is a reddish complexion to the face and nose.
- Red, swollen bumps: The acne-like pimples that can be seen with acute Rosacea flair ups. As in the case of acne pimples, Rosacea pimples can also develop pus on occasion. This is one of the reasons that Rosacea is commonly mistaken for an acne flair up.
Despite these symptoms, Rosacea is considered by physicians to be a benign skin condition. The primary issue with Rosacea is the aesthetic component as many sufferers dislike the effect Rosacea can have on their overall appearance.
What Causes Rosacea?
- Forehead (the horizontal worry lines)
- Crow’s Feet (around the outside of our eyes)
- The 11’s (frown lines between the eyes)
- Bunny Lines (on the side of the nose)
- Eyebrows (slightly raises the outer corners)
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Truth be told, no one really knows. Rosacea is believed to be caused by multiple factors ranging from heredity to various environmental factors. The following factors are some of the most common underlying factors that are believed to promote Rosacea flairs:
- Using cosmetic products
- Extremes in temperature exposure
- Sun and wind exposure
- Emotional issues
- Alcohol intake
- Various foods and drinks
Aside from the above contributing factors, Rosacea is known to be more prevalent in females over 30 years of age with fair complexions. There is usually a family history of Rosacea and many of the sufferers also have a smoking history.
Many people are ultimately diagnosed with rosacea based on their medical history and a physical exam. On rare occasions, since Rosacea can also resemble early forms of psoriasis, eczema and lupus, physician may elect to pursue additional tests to rule out these other disorders since treatment of these other medical conditions is quite different.
Given that there is no real cure for Rosacea, the goal in any treatment is to minimize the symptoms and manifestations associated with the person’s flair. In many cases, physicians will treat the rosacea with a combination of skin care and medications. Since every person’s rosacea is unique to them, there is not a uniformly accepted treatment protocol that works for everyone. Even treatment durations vary from person to person since everyone is different. This is why, at the end of the day, the treatment success is highly variable.
As is the case with all of medicine, every day brings a new advancement in care. One such treatment option that is quickly gaining traction in treating Rosacea is in the use of phototherapy. Most people know this as Laser and/or Intense pulse light (IPL) therapy. Many physicians are beginning to notice that light-based therapies are proving to be quite effective in treating the small, red blood vessels (telangiectasias) that typically cause the facial redness seen in Rosacea. Multiple treatments are normally required to decrease the overall facial redness and to ultimately improve the overall appearance of the skin. Although additional studies are needed, early results on the treatment of Rosacea with light-based treatments are quite promising and shown to be effective and safe when used to treat Rosacea. If you suffer with rosacea and would like to learn more, please call The Sheen Vein Institute to set up your free consultation. Let our staff of experts help guide you down the road to the complexion that you have always wanted.