Rosacea is a common skin disease that frequently begins as a tendency to flush or blush easily. As rosacea progresses, people often develop persistent redness of the central face. It most often affects those aged 30 to 60. Although most commonly located on the face, the redness may gradually spread and affect the scalp, neck, ears, chest, and eyes. It is common in those with fair skin, blue eyes and of Celtic origin. Although rosacea’s cause remains unknown, it appears to involve a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Rosacea can be disfiguring if left untreated and a source of emotional distress.
Characteristics of rosacea include frequent blushing or flushing, persistent redness, prominent blood vessels, red bumps that look like acne, and dry flaky skin. Most patients will say their skin is aggravated by sun exposure, emotional stress, alcohol consumption and hot and spicy foods. Patients with rosacea will say their skin is sensitive, and may have red or sore eyes. If left untreated, patients can develop enlarged unshapely noses with prominent pores, firm swellings of the eyelids, and persistent redness. Treatment is important as is may slow down or halt progression of rosacea. Your dermatologist may encourage avoiding certain triggers and protecting your skin from the sun. To effectively manage rosacea, your dermatologist usually recommends a combination of treatments tailored to your skin. Treatment options include topical creams, lotions, gels, foams, or washes that contain antibiotic, azelaic acid, metronidazole, or sulfacetamide. Faster results may be seen with oral antibiotics and laser therapy to reduce the background skin redness.