What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin disorder that causes redness on the face, usually the cheeks. It is a chronic condition that may affect the forehead, nose, and chin. The precise cause of rosacea is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by inflammation and genetics. Men tend to experience redness centralized around the nose, while women tend to develop redness on the cheeks and chin.
There are four types of rosacea, though many people experience characteristics of more than one subtype at the same time.
- Redness, flushing, more prominent blood vessels
- Pimples and bumps
- Thickened skin, especially around the nose
- Eye involvement
Who gets rosacea?
People with fair skin who flush or blush easily are more prone to developing rosacea, especially people of Northern and Eastern European descent. However, all segments of the population can be affected.
Most people with rosacea are between 30 and 60 years old. Women are more likely to develop rosacea, but men tend to have more severe rosacea.
How is rosacea treated?
Though rosacea can be managed with medications, it is not curable. People who have rosacea may be able to identify what causes their rosacea to flare. Common triggers are alcohol, spicy foods, heat, exercise, sun exposure, and wind chap. Many people with rosacea find that avoiding their trigger(s) is sufficient for managing their rosacea.
Treatment depends on the type and severity of your rosacea. Patients may be prescribed Metrogel (metronidazole), a type of antibiotic medication in either a cream or pill form. Finacea (azelaic acid) is another commonly prescribed foam that is applied to the face. Sometimes using a sulfur wash may be helpful as well.
Antibiotics in the tetracycline family, such as minocycline or doxycycline, have been found to be effective in managing rosacea symptoms.
Topical treatments to temporarily constrict blood vessels include Rhofade and Mirvaso. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser treatment is a more long-lasting approach to reducing redness, though it generally requires a few sessions to achieve the desired effect.