Rosacea is a skin condition characterized mostly by a redness in areas of the face. It can also appear as small bumps or pimples similar to acne which are called pustules and papules. If left untreated the condition will worsen and in some advanced cases the nose will become bulbous and red in color with prominent pores. This is known as rhinophyma. Sometimes these symptoms of the nose are attributed to alcoholism, but that is not the case, although the condition can advance with heavy alcohol use. Here are the facts on Rosacea……
- Rosacea can affect both sexes with women being 3 times more likely to suffer from it.
- It usually begins with redness on the cheeks, nose and forehead. Less frequently it will appear on the chest, ears, neck and scalp.
- Rosacea is very common and the estimates of sufferers are about 16 million in the U.S.A and approximately 45 million worldwide.
- It is not considered contagious or infectious. It does not spread by contact.
- Most cases of Rosacea can be easily controlled by medication.
The condition usually shows up in people between the ages of thirty and fifty and is sometimes referred to as adult acne, although the treatments are not the same. Rosacea should be treated as soon as possible or the condition will worsen. It is considered to be an incurable skin disease which comes and goes throughout an adult sufferers life. Those most likely to suffer from Rosacea are those with sun sensitive or light skin. Those with English, Irish or Scottish backgrounds are prone to the disease because of their lighter complexion.
About 50% of Rosacea sufferers will have feelings of dryness, burning and irritation of the eyes. The eyelids will become light sensitive and may develop redness. This complication in advanced cases is known as ocular rosacea and can be treated medically with oral antibiotics.
Because the skin is so sensitive you should avoid the use of harsh soaps and lotions. Use products for sensitive skin and avoid excessive friction from rubbing and scrubbing.
Things You Can Do To Avoid Or Lessen Outbreaks
- Avoid the sun as much as possible. Wear a wide brimmed hat in the sun and make sure you use a high SPF(50) sunscreen on a daily basis.
- Red wine and chocolate, unfortunately, should be avoided.
- Alcohol is a trigger for outbreaks and so is smoking.
- Certain foods are known to trigger outbreaks as well. It has been suggested that dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and sour cream should be avoided as well as spicey foods. Also on the list are bananas, raisins, eggplant, some beans, citrus fruits and tomatoes.
- Finding the foods that trigger your outbreaks will have to be discovered by trial and error because it is different for everybody. If you suspect a certain food may be a trigger, go without it for a few months and see if that helps.
- Use skin products and cleansers that do not contain alcohol. Gently wash your face no more than twice a day to avoid irritation of the skin.
- Avoid saunas and tanning beds.
- An exercise program should be developed with care. Work out in the early morning or in the evening when the temperature is cooler. Any intense exercise that causes flushing of the face may trigger flare-ups. Work out with less intensity more often in order to achieve a good level of fitness without raising the bodies temperature too much at any one time.
- Extreme temperatures both hot and cold contribute to outbreaks. Cover your face with a scarf in cold and windy conditions.
- Rosacea can also be triggered by stress and fatigue. Eat a healthy balanced diet and get plenty of sleep as your skin rejuvenates while you are sleeping.
Rosacea seems to be genetically inherited and over 30% of sufferers have a close relative with the same condition. In addition to topical and oral treatments some have found success with laser treatment which is used to shrink the visible blood vessels. Chemical peels have also been used. Consult a doctor or medical professional before you decide on the best treatment for you. In some cases the wrong treatment will make the condition worse and cause increased irritation of your skin.