Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by redness on the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead, pimples and pustules. This condition affects adults, but there were also cases of teenagers who developed it. The onset of rosacea can occur anywhere between 30 and 50 years of age. It affects mainly women, but men tend to develop more severe forms of rosacea than women. Persons with fair skin are more prone to develop the condition.
Cases of rosacea mistaken for acne are quite common, because the symptoms of the two conditions are similar at first sight. Being an adulthood disease, many sufferers tend to use over the counter medication and not go to a doctor at all, because they are sure it’s only acne, so it should go away with proper acne topical medication. This is wrong, because anti-acne drugs tend to accelerate the progression of rosacea.
The causes of rosacea are not known yet and there is no cure for it. The ailment tends to evolve in bursts and flares, followed by periods of remission, so the patient may enjoy weeks, months or even years when symptoms are absent of very much diminished.
As a main point of difference between rosacea and acne we can mention the absence of whiteheads and blackheads which are typical for acne. Another observation is that teenagers usually outgrow acne, while adults developing rosacea won’t usually outgrow it. The small, red bumps that may appear in rosacea aren’t squeezable. If a sufferer attempts to squeeze such a bump, he or she will only get a very small amount of clear liquid expelled from the pimple-like bump. It is not advisable to do so, because squeezing doesn’t help improving the condition. Moreover, if your fingers are dirty, the bumps might get infected, thus developing into a very bad situation that will make you look even worse then before.
If you suffer from a case of rosacea mistaken for acne, the first thing to do is stop any medication and go see your doctor or a dermatologist. Don’t forget to make a note of all the drugs and ointments you used to auto-treat your so-called acne, because this information will help the doctor better assess the damage that has been done to your complexion.
Emotive persons tend to blush a lot when emotions strike. While this is normal, one can easily make the difference between a blushing that goes away when the causing factor disappears and a redness that is there to stay for the whole day and maybe even longer.
If you notice such redness on your face, you’d better see a doctor as soon as you can, in order to rule out rosacea. This is important because if you detect it in its early stage, rosacea can be easily kept under control with medication, a proper diet and a balanced and relaxed lifestyle.
If you live for many years with undiagnosed rosacea or with rosacea mistaken for acne, your condition may become so severe that you’ll need surgery to bring your face to a status close to normal.
There aren’t any particular tests for diagnosing rosacea, except for a skin scraping test which has the purpose of differentiating between rosacea and Demodex, which has symptoms extremely similar to rosacea.
Demodex is caused by a mite and it is not a chronic condition, so it can be treated and your skin will return to normal once the infestation is gone. A skin culture could also be useful to exclude any staph or herpes infections.
Blushing and flushing are common to many autoimmune conditions such as systemic lupus, therefore the patient may be required to do some blood tests in order to rule out such affections.
More severe cases of rosacea may lead to a disfiguring condition called rhinophyma, which is characterized by an enlargement of the nose and by the orange peel look of the facial skin. Sometimes this condition requires corrective surgery to allow the patient to lead a relatively normal life, without everybody staring at him wherever he may go.
If you suspect you have been misdiagnosed with acne, or if you have been treating yourself with over the counter medication for acne and results don’t show, it’s time to tell your doctor and let medicine work before it is too late.
Your doctor will probably instruct you on the rules for a flare-free life, the type of diet you should switch to, the most dangerous triggers that will worsen your condition and a lot more information about the disease in itself.
Like acne, rosacea is a condition that may cause the individuals lose their self-esteem and self-confidence, thus leading to an almost anti-social life, far away from other people. This is not good, because it may lead to dramatic changes of the personality or even to psychotic behaviors.
Moreover, it is quite common for people to associate red nose and cheeks with frequent alcohol abuse, therefore categorizing sufferers as chronic drinkers, when in face they might not even touch alcohol at all. It is hard to bear an undeserved stigma like that, so there’s no wonder those people will tend to isolate themselves from the society more and more.
Although it is not a life-threatening condition, rosacea should be diagnosed and treated, in order to reduce the number of flares and to allow the patients maintain a relatively normal look for as long as possible.