This page covers how to determine if you have rosacea, what triggers rosacea, and some frequently asked questions about the condition.
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Do you have Rosacea?

Persistent facial redness can zap your confidence in work and social situations. Often rosacea is so red and so inflamed that makeup can’t really camouflage it very well. Most patients who suffer from rosacea say it dramatically affects their lives. New technologies have given us the ability to reduce and in some cases completely eliminate the signs and symptoms of rosacea.

“To say that your laser treatments were successful would fail to recognize the dramatic result that has occurred. The painless procedure removed redness and blotching that had overtaken my face.”
— Marion

What is Rosacea?

Most often Rosacea causes persistent redness, spider veins (telangiectasia), and bumps on the face.

Rosacea is a chronic (or long-term) skin disease that affects the skin and sometimes the eyes. Symptoms often flare up for a period of weeks or months, and then reduce or fade away altogether for a while. Rosacea is often mistaken for acne or allergic reaction, especially when it causes small pus-filled bumps. Rosacea usually affects the face; other parts of the upper body are only rarely involved.
Each new flare, when left untreated, tends to be worst than before, making this a progressive skin condition. Left untreated, it can cause thickening of the skin and knobby bumps on the nose. Treatments have traditionally focused on reducing the symptoms of rosacea, and keeping the condition from worsening over time. However, new research and treatments are helping us to become better at preventing new flares.

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What Causes Rosacea?

We don’t know what causes rosacea, but it usually strikes people in their thirties and forties. It can also irritate the eyes and other parts of the body and tends to run in families. Middle-aged women with fair skin are the most commonly affected group.

Early intervention is key when dealing with rosacea — it’s important to diagnose and treat it as early as possible to stop the condition from worsening.

Before & After Photos

Do I Have Rosacea?

Not all that is red is rosacea — other skin conditions like sebaceous hyperplasia, broken capillaries and spider veins, lupus, eczema, psoriasis, and allergic reactions (dermatitis) can sometimes be mistaken for rosacea, so it’s important for your physician to consider other causes of redness when before a diagnosis is made.
Below, you will find a list and pictures of rosacea symptoms, which may help you to determine whether rosacea is a possible diagnosis for your symptoms.

Symptoms of Rosacea

There are several symptoms and conditions associated with rosacea. These include frequent flushing, vascular rosacea, and inflammatory rosacea.

Frequent flushing of the center of the face — which may include the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin — occurs in the earliest stage of rosacea. The flushing often is accompanied by a burning sensation, particularly when creams or cosmetics are applied to the face. Sometimes the face is swollen slightly.

A condition called vascular rosacea causes persistent flushing and redness. Blood vessels under the skin of the face may dilate (enlarge), showing through the skin as small red lines. This is called telangiectasia and is often confused with broken capillaries and spider veins. The affected skin may be swollen slightly and feel warm.

A condition called inflammatory rosacea causes persistent redness and papules (pink bumps) and pustules (bumps containing pus) on the skin. Eye inflammation and sensitivity, as well as telangiectasia, also may occur.

In the most advanced stage of rosacea, the skin becomes a deep shade of red and inflammation of the eye is more apparent. Numerous telangiectasia are often present, and nodules in the skin may become painful. A condition called rhinophyma, characterized by an enlarged, bulbous and red nose also may develop in some men.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rosacea

Who gets rosacea?

Approximately 16 million people in the United States have rosacea. It most often affects adults between the ages of 30 and 60. Rosacea is more common in women (particularly during menopause) than men. Although rosacea can develop in people of any skin color, it tends to occur most frequently and is most apparent in people with fair skin5.

What Are the Causes of 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. The National Rosacea Society notes that scientific research points towards an overabundance of a certain type of mite, demodex, triggering an immune response that sets off rosacea. Demodex mites occur naturally on the skin of all humans, but seem to grow in much larger numbers on the skin of those affected by rosacea.

What Triggers Rosacea?

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 exposure, very cold temperatures, hot or spicy foods and drinks, alcohol consumption, menopause, emotional stress, and long-term use of topical steroids on the face.

Patients affected by pustules may assume they are caused by bacteria, but researchers have not established a link between rosacea and bacteria or other organisms on the skin, in the hair follicles, or elsewhere in the body.

Is Rosacea Acne?

Rosacea is not acne, although many times it is mistaken for acne. Like acne, rosacea causes red, pus-filled bumps. However, acne does not tend to cause the widespread redness that rosacea does.

How is the Eye Affected in Ocular Rosacea?

In addition to skin problems, up to 50 percent of people who have rosacea have eye problems caused by the condition. Typical symptoms include redness, dryness, itching, burning, tearing, and the sensation of having sand in the eye. The eyelids may become inflamed and swollen. Some people say their eyes are sensitive to light and their vision is blurred or otherwise impaired.

Doctors usually treat the eye problems of rosacea with oral antibiotics, particularly tetracycline, doxycycline or topical medicines. People who develop infections of the eyelids must practice frequent eyelid hygiene. The doctor may recommend scrubbing the eyelids gently with diluted baby shampoo or an over-the-counter eyelid cleaner and applying warm (but not hot) compresses several times a day. When eyes are severely affected, doctors may prescribe steroid eye drops.

Other Conditions That Cause Redness in the Face

Rosacea is not the only condition that causes redness in the face. Lupus can cause a rash-like red “butterfly” shape across the cheeks and nose. Allergic reactions and other types of dermatitis can also cause redness, as well as eczema and psoriasis. Because there are so many different causes of facial redness, it’s best to seek out diagnosis by a rosacea and skin conditions specialist.

Discover Fast and Effective Treatment for Rosacea and Facial Redness

At Reflections, our cosmetic physicians are dedicated to discovering the root cause of your skin symptoms, so that we can effectively and efficiently treat these conditions at the source. Your complimentary skin consultation will start with an examination and medical history, which will allow us to properly diagnose you. From there, we’ll create a treatment plan that suits your budget, skin type, and lifestyle, so that you can enjoy clear skin, fast.

Call our offices at 732-356-1666 to schedule your complimentary skin consultation today!

Sources:

  1. Adam M. Rotunda, Anand R. Bhupathy, Thomas E. Rohrer;  The new age of acne therapy: Light, lasers, and radiofrequency; Published online: 12 Jul 2009; pages 191-200
  2. Stephen R. Tan, MD, FRCPCa, Whitney D. Tope, MPhil, MDPulsed dye laser treatment of rosacea improves erythema, symptomatology, and quality of life; Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology; Volume 51, Issue 4, October 2004, Pages 592–599
  3. NEUHAUS, I. M., ZANE, L. T. and TOPE, W. D. (2009), Comparative Efficacy of Nonpurpuragenic Pulsed Dye Laser and Intense Pulsed Light for Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea. Dermatologic Surgery, 35: 920–928. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2009.01156.
  4. Chia-Lun Chou & Ying-Yi ChiangModerate rhinophyma successfully treated with a Smoothbeam laser; Journal of Dermatological Treatment; Volume 23, Issue 2, 2012
  5. Lynn Drake, MD; Rosacea Now Estimated to Affect at Least 16 Million Americans; Rosacea Review, Winter 2010 Issue