A quick blush of the cheek is considered attractive in most cultures today, in fact many women apply makeup on the cheeks to impart a certain redness, however there is another affliction where the redness is not applied, and persists long after any kind of embarrassment, called rosacea.
This fairly common skin problem can vary in severity from just a light pink blush to a nearly permanent dark red blush that includes small pimples depending on the individual, and whether or not they’re having an outbreak.
It is most commonly seen in those with fair skin from whatever part of the world, and many times is mistaken at first for sunburn because of the burning sensation on the skin. It’s also sometimes mistaken for acne because of the small red cysts in the center of the rosacea outbreak. There are other symptoms as well, let’s take a look at those now.
Although the cheeks are the most common, and most obvious location for this disease, the redness and small red bumps, or cysts that are associated, can show up on the four head, nose and chin plus other parts of the body like the chest or neck. The redness and small bumps are commonly associated with rosecea, but sometimes so are lesions and a thickening of the skin in the center of an outbreak area.
Most people don’t complain of a large amount of pain until either the bumps or the lesions appear in severe outbreaks.
If the disease moves into the eyes, called ocular rosacea, this can be quite detrimental to a patient’s eyesight and needs to be attended to by a physician. Let’s go over some of the suspected causes or triggers of rosacea next.
There are many theories as to the exact causes of this skin disease, doctors and scientists haven’t pinned it down to just one cause as of yet. There are, however, quite a few small individual triggers that seem to aggravate it.
It is theorized that the major cause is vascular dilation that is out of control, once the blood vessels dilate and allow excess blood to the service of the skin, then the vessels don’t return to normal as they should.
The theory goes that if one avoids all the different types of foods, light exposure, drinks, hormones, and anything else that contributes to the dilation of blood vessels, like blushing, then you will reduce the incidences of the disease. Next, let’s take a look at all the different individual causes that could initiate an episode.
Some of the things that have been shown to aggravate cases of rosecea in many different people are: exposure to sunlight, a drying wind, alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, excessive exercising, continual abrasion, smoking, exposure to extreme cold, and even high blood pressure medication that dilate blood vessels.
kind of facial creams that involve mint, alcohol, eucalyptus or menthol should also be avoided. As you can see there’s quite a list of things to avoid and others are being added daily.
There are some things you can do to lessen the outbreaks and reduce their frequency of re-occurrence we’ll take a look at a few of those methods in the next paragraph.
As far as the small red cysts that are sometimes involved with rosacea, many times these are caused by a secondary bacterial infection of the damaged skin, and in this case antibiotics could be taken orally or applied externally in order to kill the bacteria and return the skin to pre-cyst state.
After the skin has healed, there are several external, over the counter, lotions containing retinoid, metronidazole, or Azelaic Acid, that have been shown to help reduce the overall redness to a certain degree. These types of medications don’t show dramatic results and take from weeks to months for long-term improvement, however, the improvement is visible and seems to last for as long as the patient continues their usage.
The only treatment that seems to have a long-term effect is by using laser treatment to burn and cauterize the blood vessels that are near the surface of the skin. This treatment must be done over the span of several weeks because of the trauma to the skin.
It is not a final solution, and needs to be repeated as new blood vessels are replaced in the area by your body, but seems to be the best treatment available now.
As you can see, while there is no permanent cure for rosacea, there are quite a number of things a person can do to reduce their outbreaks, and treat the symptoms of the disease. There are quite a few scientific studies ongoing at universities to study the root causes and development treatments for the millions of patients that experience worldwide suffering from this disease.