Rosacea is a fairly common dermatological condition that can affect anyone of any age. It is a chronic condition with no known cure, but advances in medical technology have made it possible to treat and control the symptoms. You can recognize rosacea primarily by the presence of a facial redness that resembles a sunburn or blushing but does not go away, or by a characteristic skin thickening, especially on the nose. Rosacea may also cause small, solid, red bumps or pimples that may burn or sting, facial swelling (edema), prominently visible blood vessels on the face, eye irritation, dry facial skin, or a burning or stinging sensation on the face. Sometimes, in rare cases, symptoms of rosacea can appear on other body parts, such as the scalp, ears, neck or chest.
It is not known what causes rosacea, though there may be a genetic component, as it tends to run in families. People with fair skin seem to be at a higher risk, as are those of northern or eastern European descent. The condition is more commonly diagnosed in women, but tends to affect men more severely. Men are often affected by the skin-thickening aspect of the disease, which can cause the nose to become swollen and bumpy. Many people who suffer from rosacea experience decreased self-confidence and self-esteem because of it.
There are a variety of oral and topical medications available to treat symptoms. Once the symptoms have been brought under control, anti-inflammatory therapy can be used to maintain remission. In some cases, a laser or other medical device may be utilized to remove visible blood vessels or excess skin tissue. A physician can best advise the patient what type of lifestyle changes and skincare routines may help prevent future flare-ups.
A gentle daily skincare routine is recommended to help reduce the incidence of flare-ups. We suggest using a mild, non-abrasive cleanser and soft cloths followed by rinsing with lukewarm water and blotting the face dry.
Rosacea is just one of many skin conditions we treat at Lakeside Dermatology. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you.
This column is sponsored by Lakeside Dermatology, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFHN or its advertisers.
Bio: Dr. Alex W. Kennon, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist who is also fellowship-trained in Mohs micrographic surgery. He received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from Florida State University. His residency was completed at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.