Rosacea skin condition affects millions

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Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder which primarily affects the central face. When you have a face-to-face encounter, first impressions are made within seconds. Rosacea patients often struggle with insecurities which affect their social and professional lives.

Rosacea (pronounced roh-ZAY-sha) is estimated to affect over 14 million Americans. This skin disorder is poorly understood. It is characterized by clinical signs of flushing, persistent redness, papules, pustules, and telangiectasia (small, visible blood vessels in the skin). Patients with rosacea may also experience burning or stinging, elevated red plaques, dry skin, edema, ocular manifestations, and peripheral location and phymatous changes, such as rhinophyma.

Rosacea most commonly strikes fair-skinned individuals in their thirties, but Asians and African American have also been known to develop rosacea. In addition, rosacea can strike at any age in both men and women.

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The cause of rosacea is still a mystery. The severity tends to wax and wane despite therapy. Here are some simply tips to help control rosacea.

  • Avoid triggers. This may mean eliminating spicy foods and caffeine from your diet.
  • Try to avoid extreme temperatures, both cold and hot, as this can cause flare-ups.
  • For some hot beverages and alcohol can exasperate the condition.
  • Find ways to decrease stress.

Patients should use non-irritating, hypoallergenic creams, lotions, soaps and cosmetics to decrease the risk of irritation. Avoid the sun. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreens with a physical blockers such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are usually well tolerated. A sunscreen with a green tint may help improve the appearance of erythema as well.

It is recommended that you see a dermatologist for further treatment of rosacea. He/she may add topical mild-to-moderate cases of rosacea. For more severe cases systemic medications or vascular laser therapy may be suggested.

Sources
National Rosacea Society

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