Rosacea (pronounced “roh-ZAY-sha”) is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. Rosacea affects mostly adults, usually people with fair skin, between the ages of 30 and 60. Many have observed that it typically begins any time after age 30 as a redness or acne on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. It typically first appears as a flushing or redness that comes and goes.
In some cases, rosacea may also occur on the neck, chest, scalp or ears. Sometimes referred to Acne Rosacea or misdiagnosed as adult acne, Rosacea has no specifically known cause.
Over time, the redness becomes ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels (telangiectasia) may appear. Bumps (papules) and pimples (pustules) often develop, and in some people the eyes feel irritated and appear bloodshot. In other cases, the nose may become swollen and enlarged from excess tissue. Without treatment, each of these potential signs and symptoms may progress from mild to moderate to severe. Our team at Cahaba Dermatology are highly experienced at treating rosacea and getting it under control.
Who gets Rosacea?
- 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
What are the signs of Rosacea?
- Flushing Many people with rosacea have a history of frequent blushing or flushing. This facial redness may come and go, and is often the earliest sign of the disorder.
- Persistent Redness Persistent facial redness is the most common individual sign of rosacea, and may resemble a blush or sunburn that does not go away.
- Bumps and Pimples Small red solid bumps or pus-filled pimples often develop. While these may resemble acne, blackheads are absent and burning or stinging may occur.
- Visible Blood Vessels In many people with rosacea, small blood vessels become visible on the skin.
What are Rosacea Treatments?
Many people with rosacea do not recognize it in its early stages. Identifying the disease is the first step to controlling it. Self diagnosis and treatment are not recommended since some over-the-counter skin products may make the problem worse.
Dermatologists often recommend a combination of treatments tailored to the individual patient. These treatments can stop the progress of rosacea and sometimes reverse it. Creams, lotions, foams, washes, gels, and pads that contain various topical antibiotics, metronidazole, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids may be prescribed. A slight improvement can be seen in the first three to four weeks of use. Greater improvement is usually noticed in two to three months.
The key to successful management of rosacea is early diagnosis and treatment. It is important to follow all of the dermatologist’s instructions. When left untreated, rosacea will get worse and may be more difficult to treat.
There is no cure for rosacea. People often have rosacea for years. Rosacea is a progressive disease that must be treated. Some people have rosacea flare-ups for life. Treatment can prevent the rosacea from getting worse. Treatment also can reduce the acne-like breakouts, redness, and the number of flare-ups. Make an appointment to help control your rosacea now.