How to Tell When Redness Becomes Rosacea

 How to Tell When Redness Becomes Rosacea

If your skin flushes easily and you’re noticing redness on your face, you may be developing rosacea. Rosacea is a very common skin condition that usually lasts a lifetime. Understanding the condition and how to treat it will give you great peace of mind.

Defining Rosacea

There are four different types of Rosacea, and they all look and behave differently:

  1. Facial redness, visible blood vessels, and flushing are all symptoms of the first rosacea subtype. When someone pictures rosacea, most will conjure images of this subtype. This subtype is often characterized by redness radiating from the center of the face (nose and surrounding skin), looks a lot like spider veins and is caused by broken blood vessels and swollen skin. Skin might be dry, flaky, and scaly. Sensitivity, including burning and stinging skin, might result from the condition as well.
  2. The second subtype of rosacea also causes redness in the skin in the form of broken blood vessels. Where the redness appears, skin can become oily and may experience outbreaks of painful acne. The breakouts are not constant, but usually crop up and leave with no real pattern.
  3. Generally, the third subtype of rosacea occurs after another subtype has already appeared. Once skin has experienced rosacea, the skin may start to thicken and take on a bumpy quality, with the nose being the most affected. When skin thickens on the nose, it's referred to as “rhinophyma.” Skin may also thicken and become oily in other areas impacted by rosacea. Your pores might appear larger as well.
  4. The final subtype of rosacea is rare, but can be destructive to more than just your skin. Called ocular rosacea, this form of the disease affects the eyes and the surrounding skin. With ocular rosacea, people experience dry, gritty eyes that are itchy or otherwise irritated. Eyelids can develop cysts and broken blood vessels, and eyesight can be impaired both temporarily and permanently. The irritation caused by ocular rosacea can deteriorate corneas and impact vision.

Who Gets Rosacea?

Rosacea can affect anyone, but some people seem to be more susceptible to the disease than others. As with other skin conditions, people with fair skin are more likely to develop rosacea. Rosacea typically begins when a person is between 30 and 50 years old, but it can appear at almost any time. Women are a bit more likely to develop rosacea, with menopause often being a trigger. The silver lining for women is that, while they are more likely to develop rosacea, generally men seem to experience the more severe cases. People with Northern European descent are more likely to develop rosacea, and if the condition runs in your family, you are more likely to get it than someone with no family history. Also, if you’ve suffered from moderate to severe acne or have always been one to flush or blush easily, you’re more likely to develop rosacea.

Ultimately, any person of any age or race can get rosacea, but there are some traits that increase your predisposition. If you have any of these traits, and you think you might be experiencing rosacea, speak with a Northeast Dermatology Associates provider today. Treating rosacea early and effectively will go a long way to lessen your symptoms.

Effective Treatments for Rosacea

Unfortunately, there is no cure for rosacea. It’s not something that typically clears up on its own, and you may go through outbreaks where the symptoms are more intense. A few small lifestyle changes can go a long way in preventing future rosacea outbreaks. Practice good sun protection practices by using SPF 30 sunscreen or higher, and avoid the midday sun. Wearing hats, sunglasses, and other clothes that protect your skin from the sun can also help to prevent rosacea.

Some cases of rosacea can have triggers, including becoming overheated, exposing the face to low temperatures, or even eating spicy foods. Alcohol, most commonly red wine, can also lead to flare ups. It can be very helpful to keep a diary of your rosacea flare ups and take note of events or factors that may have led to it. Rosacea is a mysterious condition and some people may not ever determine a trigger, and for others, the trigger may always cause the flareup.

Finally, as with acne and other facial skin conditions, practicing good skin hygiene with mild skincare products and a gentle touch will help ease rosacea. Harsh chemicals and excessive scrubbing can both contribute to rosacea outbreaks.

If these changes don’t keep rosacea under control, there are medical treatments that your dermatologist can recommend. The simplest treatment option for rosacea is an oral antibiotic. These medications work by targeting and reducing bacteria in the face that could be responsible for your rosacea.

When rosacea causes causes acne or acne like pustules to form on your skin, drugs prescribed to treat acne can help with your symptoms. One such drug called Isotretinoin, is most commonly prescribed in the event of acne-like rosacea, or in the event of other extreme cases of the disease. This drug works by reducing the production of sebum, or oil, in the skin. With less oil, pores are less likely to be clogged and form pimples.

If your symptoms are cosmetic and your rosacea doesn’t cause you discomfort, there are options for reducing redness. Laser therapy targets and helps heal broken blood vessels that cause skin to become red. Certain anti-inflammatory drugs can also help reduce redness and any possible skin swelling caused by the condition. Some options including brimonidine or oxymetazoline/Rhofade and is applied to the affected area, and works by reducing the appearance of rosacea by constricting blood vessels.

Rosacea can be hard on your skin and your confidence. Reach out to your dermatologist if you suspect you may have rosacea, or if you are hoping to explore your treatment options.

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