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What is Rosacea? 
Rosacea is a chronic, red acne-like benign skin condition affecting mostly fair skin people between the ages of 30 and 60. It is characterized by flare-ups and remissions. The main symptoms of rosacea include: red or pink patches; visible tiny broken blood vessels; small red bumps that sometimes contain pus; red cysts and pink or irritated eyes.  In other cases, the nose may become red and swollen from excess tissue. It is often misdiagnosed as adult acne hence the term Acne Rosacea. The exact cause is unknown Most people with the disease may not even know they have rosacea or that it is a diagnosable and treatable condition. Many people who have rosacea may just assume they blush or flush easily or are just very sun sensitive.

What are the signs of Rosacea?

Frequent blushing or flushing: Facial redness that comes and goes is often the earliest sign of the disorder.
Persistent Redness: A sunburn or redness that does not go away is the most common individual sign.
Bumps and Pimples: What appears to be acne, however, blackheads (the hallmark of acne) are absent.
Visible Blood Vessels: Small blood vessels become visible on the skin.
Eye Irritation: Eyelids may be swollen and eyes may appear watery or bloodshot. Persistent redness and stinging in the eyes is known as ocular rosacea. Severe cases can result in corneal damage and vision loss without medical intervention.
Burning or stinging: Burning, stinging itchiness and/or tightness may develop on the face
Dry appearance: This is especially noticeable in the central facial area.
Plaques: Raised red patches may develop without changes in the surrounding skin.
Skin thickening: This most commonly occurs on the nose and is known as rhinophyma and is more common in men.
Swelling: Edema, or swelling, on the face may occur independently or accompany other signs.

What are common triggers for Rosacea?

Temperature extremes: Saunas, hot baths, simple overheating & excessively warm environments.
Weather: Extreme temperatures, strong winds, humidity and direct sunlight.
Emotional: Stress and anxiety.
Food: Spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and foods served hot.
Beverages: Alcohol (especially red wine, beer, bourbon, gin vodka, champagne) and hot drinks (hot cider, hot chocolate, coffee, tea).
Physical Exertion: Overheating during exercise.
Drugs: Vasodilators and long term use of topical steroids.
Cosmetic Products: Cosmetics and hair sprays that have irritating ingredients, especially those containing alcohol, witch hazel or fragrances.

How is Rosacea treated? 
Treatment depends on the physician’s diagnosis, staging and type of Rosacea and may include one or more of the following: 

  • General Measures: Life style changes to avoid or minimize triggers.

  • Photofacial or Intense Pulsed Light Treatment: Small facial veins (telangietasia), redness and flushing can be successfully treated with Intense Pulsed Light. This is a gentle and highly effective solution with minimal discomfort and downtime.

  • Topical Treatment: Metronidazole cream or gel can be used when symptoms are mild. For more severe cases it is combined with oral antibiotics. Azelaic acid cream or lotion is another topical treatment option.

  • Oral Antibiotics: Tetracycline antibiotics including doxycycline and minocycline reduce inflammation, redness, papules, pustules and eye symptoms of rosacea. Duration and dose depends on severity. Additional courses may be necessary (on an as needed basis) since antibiotics won’t cure rosacea.

  • Isotretinoin: When antibiotics are ineffective or poorly tolerated, oral Isotretinoin may be very effective when used long term and in low doses. This option is unsuitable for some people who experience certain side effects.

If you think you suffer from Rosacea and would like to discuss treatment options, please call MD Aesthetics for a FREE consultation.

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