In some incidences, rosacea can be a serious medical condition. However, for most individuals, rosacea is a mild skin condition affecting specific parts of the face.
Typically, rosacea affects approximately 10 percent of the population, of men and women at middle-age.
The majority of these cases tend to be mild, where spots can be effectively treated using antibiotics. Sometimes, rosacea affects the eye (specifically the front of the eye, at the cornea) that could cause visual problems and eye pain.
The most common symptoms of rosacea, or acne rosacea, includes at least one of the following, such as:
- Erythema (redness) on the face, often thought to be a severe sunburn
- Frequent facial flushing quite similar to facial blushing often the only symptom present before the condition worsens
- Papules and pustules or lumpy red spots and small cysts appearing on the face
- Telaniectasia, or tiny blood vessels, that appear just under the skin which overtime can become quite prominent
- Ocular rosacea is a mild to severe eye symptom that can produce itching, stinging, burning, dryness, and other issues including sensitivity to light, sties, cysts, and blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)
Infection and inflammation of the cornea is often a side effect caused by rosacea, which can develop into a serious complication affecting vision. Any type of visual problem or eye pain developing as a result of rosacea should usually be followed up by a visit with the doctor.
In some incidences, thickening of the skin occurs. The most common type of skin thickening involves rhinophyma, where the nose takes on a bumpy and bulbous appearance.
However, in most cases, rosacea appears on the chin, forehead, cheeks and around the mouth. Rarely the skin of the back her arms is affected by the condition.
Usually, rosacea is not either itchy or painful. However, there are specific cases where individuals have felt a burning sensation over the affected area.
Individuals usually do not become ill from rosacea, other than dealing with the distress involved in unsightly skin. Often times, individuals with rosacea must defend the accusation that their red face is a result of a drinking problem.
In most incidences, rosacea is diagnosed through observance of specific symptoms and skin appearing on the face. There is no specific investigation designed to provide an optimal diagnosis of the condition.
In many incidences, Doctor will perform a variety of tests including drawing blood as a way to exclude other medical issues that could be causing the redness on the skin. These could include systemic lupus erythematosus.
To date, rosacea has no permanent cure. There is nothing specific that can be done to avoid the beginning stages and development of rosacea. However, specific treatments are proven effective at easing many of the symptoms. These include:
- Avoiding direct sunlight to the skin of the face
- Minimize facial flushing by avoiding extreme temperatures, stressful situations, strenuous exercise, alcoholic beverages, direct sunlight, hot drinks and spicy food
- Specific camouflage creams are available to conceal rosacea
- Laser therapies and IPL treatments have been proven highly effective at destroying tiny blood vessels residing just under the skin
- Antibiotics tend to be a common treatment for managing pustules and papules to reduce inflammation of rosacea on the skin
To date, the cause of mild to severe rosacea is still not known. However, various theories on the condition exist. This includes a theory that the condition is nothing more than a generalized disorder affecting blood vessels.
Other theories describe the condition as an medical problem caused by fungus, microscopic, psychological factors, and connective tissue malfunctioning just underneath the skin.
Even though there are no known reasons for the cause of developing rosacea, many conditions and circumstances are known to trigger it, including dietary habits, lifestyle choices, stress, anxiety, and changes in hormones.
In most incidences, rosacea is not a serious medical condition, but one that can be effectively treated using a variety of methods and procedures. As a medical condition, it is more common than many people expect, especially in individuals at middle age.