What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness, small and superficial dilated blood vessels on facial skin, papules, pustules, and swelling. It affects all ages, but more common in the age group of 30 to 50 and more so in females. If left untreated, it worsens over time. It can also cause burning and soreness in your eyes.
Causes of Rosacea:
The exact cause of rosacea is unknown. It doesn’t seem to be an infection caused by bacteria. It tends to affect people who have fair skin or blush easily, and it seems to run in families.
- Exposure to temperature extremes-excessive sun exposure and cold dry winters,
- Strenuous exercise,
- Stress and anxiety.
- Certain foods and drinks can also trigger flushing such as alcohol, foods, and beverages containing caffeine (especially, hot tea and coffee), foods high in histamines, and spicy food.
- Habits like smoking can aggravate rosacea.
Steroid induced rosacea is the term given to rosacea caused by the use of topical or nasal steroids. Dosage should be slowly decreased and not immediately stopped to avoid a flare-up.
What are the symptoms?
The pattern of redness on a person’s face is diagnostic for a doctor to recognize it.
- A flushed, red face with sensitive, dry skin that may burn or sting.
- Small bumps and pimples or acne-like breakouts.
- Skin that gets coarser and thicker, with a bumpy texture.
- Dry, red, irritated eyes.
In rare cases, rosacea that is not treated may cause permanent effects, such as thickening of the skin on your face or loss of vision. It may cause knobby bumps on the nose, called rhinophyma. Over time, it can give the nose a swollen, waxy look. But most cases of rosacea don’t progress this far.
Treating rosacea varies depending on severity and subtypes. Therapy for the treatment of rosacea is not curative.
Reduction in the amount of facial redness and inflammatory lesions, decrease in the number, duration, and intensity of flares, and concomitant symptoms of itching, burning, and tenderness indicates the improvement here. Topical creams and oral antibiotic agents are the mainstays of treatment.
Long-term treatment, usually one to two years, may result in permanent control of the condition for some patients.
Light Therapy called as IPL(Intense Pulsed Light) is also given to treat rosacea. It decreases the redness of the skin as it targets the blood vessels in the skin and reduces the dilatation.