One of the most embarrassing health maladies is the skin rash that appears on your face and is known as Rosacea. Many people suffer from redness and the bumps that accompany it. This dermatologic condition is uncomfortable and irritating to deal with if you’ve ever had it or know someone who does. Because of its red-faced, acne-like effects on personal appearance, however, it can cause significant psychological, social and occupational problems if left untreated.
According to the National Rosacea Society (NRS), this common but poorly understood disorder of the facial skin that is estimated to affect well over 16 million Americans -- and most of them don't know it. In fact, while rosacea is becoming increasingly widespread as the populous baby boom generation enters the most susceptible ages, a NRS survey found that 95 percent of rosacea patients had known little or nothing about its signs and symptoms prior to their diagnosis. Much more information is located at this website: http://www.rosacea.org/ .
Rosacea often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Even the ears, chest, and back can be red all the time. With time, people who have rosacea often see permanent redness in the center of their face.
Rosacea can cause more than redness. There are so many signs and symptoms that rosacea has four subtypes:
· Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels.
· Papulopustular rosacea: Redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts.
· Phymatous rosacea: Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture.
· Ocular rosacea: Eyes red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen, and person may have what looks like a sty.
Most people, according to the AAD, who get rosacea are:
· Between 30 and 50 years of age.
· Fair-skinned, and often have blonde hair and blue eyes.
· From Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry.
· Likely to have someone in their family tree with rosacea or severe acne.
· Likely to have had lots of acne — or acne cysts and/or nodules.
Women are a bit more likely than men to get rosacea, according to the AAD. Women, however, are not as likely as men to get severe rosacea. Some people are more likely to get rosacea, but anyone can get this skin disease. People of all colors get rosacea. Children get rosacea. Much more detailed material is located at this site: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/rosacea.
Doctors do not know the exact cause of rosacea but believe that some people may inherit a tendency to develop the disorder. People who blush frequently may be more likely to develop rosacea. Some researchers believe that rosacea is a disorder where blood vessels dilate too easily, resulting in flushing and redness, according to the National Institutes for Health (NIH).
Factors that cause rosacea to flare up in one person may have no effect on another person. Although the following factors have not been well-researched, some people claim that one or more of them have aggravated their rosacea: heat (including hot baths), strenuous exercise, sunlight, wind, very cold temperatures, hot or spicy foods and drinks, alcohol consumption, menopause, emotional stress, long-term use of topical steroids on the face, and bacteria.
The NIH reports that although there is no cure for rosacea, it can be treated and controlled. A dermatologist (a medical doctor who specializes in diseases of the skin) usually treats rosacea. The goals of treatment are to control the condition and improve the appearance of the patient’s skin. It may take several weeks or months of treatment before a person notices an improvement of the skin.
Some doctors will prescribe a topical antibiotic, which is applied directly to the affected skin. For people with more severe cases, doctors often prescribe an oral (taken by mouth) antibiotic. The papules and pustules symptomatic of rosacea may respond quickly to treatment, but the redness and flushing are less likely to improve. Recently, a topical gel was approved that can ease the redness associated with rosacea. A significant amount of info on this malady is found at this website: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rosacea/.
What causes one person’s rosacea to flare may not trigger a flare-up for another person. This is why dermatologists recommend that patients with rosacea learn what triggers their flare-ups. Avoiding these triggers can reduce flare-ups. Follow a rosacea skin-care plan. Skin care plays an important role in keeping rosacea under control. Many skin care products are too harsh. This can make rosacea worse. More information about treatment is found at this site: http://rosacea-treatment.org/what-is-rosacea/.
According to the Mayo Clinic, although there's no cure for rosacea, treatments can control and reduce the signs and symptoms. Most often this requires a combination of prescription treatments and certain lifestyle changes on your part. Prescription drugs used for rosacea may include:
· Antibiotics. The antibiotics used for rosacea also have anti-inflammation effects. They may come in the form of creams, gels or lotions to spread on the affected skin or in pills that you swallow. Antibiotic pills are generally more effective in the short term, but they can also cause more side effects.
· Acne drugs. If antibiotics don't work, your doctor might suggest trying isotretinoin (Amnesteem, Claravis, others). This powerful drug is most commonly used for severe cystic acne, but it also often helps clear up acne-like lesions of rosacea. Don't use this drug during pregnancy as it can cause serious birth defects.
The duration of your treatment depends on the type and severity of your symptoms, but typically you'll notice an improvement within one to two months. Because symptoms may recur if you stop taking medications, long-term regular treatment is often necessary. Enlarged blood vessels, some redness and changes due to rhinophyma often become permanent. In these cases, surgical methods, such as laser surgery and electrosurgery, may reduce the visibility of blood vessels, remove tissue buildup around your nose and generally improve your appearance. Much more information can be found at this site: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rosacea/basics/definition/con-20014478.
Rosacea can affect the eyes, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD). How severely rosacea affects the eye is not related to how severe the facial rosacea is. Symptoms that suggest ocular (eye) rosacea include a feeling of dryness and grittiness in the eyes and inflamed bumps (chalazions) on the lids. The eyelashes may develop scales and crusts, often misdiagnosed as seborrheic dermatitis.
A persistent burning feeling, red eyes and light sensitivity suggest the more severe problem of rosacea keratitis. This rare complication can lead to with blindness without treatment. All patients with significant symptoms of ocular rosacea should be seen by an ophthalmologist for a thorough examination.
The most effective treatments are oral tetracycline and similar antibiotics and low-dose oral Accutane. Mild cases can be controlled by gels or creams such a Metrogel, Cleocin-T, Azelex, or sulfa. Often, full doses of pills are needed only for a short while. Maintenance treatment can be intermittent doses or just topical creams. For rosacea of the eyes warm compresses to lids (hot towel) for 5 minutes twice a day, liquefies the oil in the gland ducts-can be very helpful.
Makeup can be an effective aid in rosacea, will not make it worse, and even some male rosacea sufferers use a bit. A slightly more olive color than usual helps to hide the redness. For some women, hormone replacement pills may be given to reduce menopausal hot flashes. Many advances have been made in recent years. Regular visits are advised for most rosacea patients. More details on rosacea are located here: http://www.aocd.org/?page=Rosacea.
Rosacea is treatable. If you are symptomatic, see your doctor or a health care professional. Your care as well as your wellbeing are at stake. More severe cases can be dangerous to your overall health if left untreated. Although rosacea is embarrassing to most people, it can be managed.
Until next time.