Rosacea: Prevention, Causes and Treatments
Rosacea is a skin condition that is commonly seen that causes redness of the face. Many times it is referred to as acne rosacea. It will often produce small bumps on the skin that can be filled with pus that are red. It can effect anyone, but if left untreated, it will get worse as time goes on. Rosacea commonly effects woman who are middle aged and have fair skin. Those who are of Irish, English, or Scottish descent are more likely to develop Rosacea. It is not considered to be contagious or infectious.
Approximately 3 million people alone in Australia, and 45 million worldwide have Rosacea. Generally it effects adults, ages 30-60. Generally speaking, individuals who suffer from Rosacea will not outgrow it.
What are the symptoms of Rosacea?
Rosacea has periods of flare ups. It may be mistaken for a sunburn, acne, and rosy cheeks. Symptoms of Rosacea include frequent flushing of the face. Most of the redness will be concentrated on the center of the face, such as the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. There is a possibility of a burning feeling, as well as some slight swelling. The eyes and eyelids could become inflamed, and the nose could be swollen. In males, the nose could become red, large, and bumpy. The skin is often thicker on individuals who suffer from this skin condition. There are constant bumps on the skin with the redness. The bumps may or may not have pus in them. Many times solid bumps on the skin will become painful to the individual. There could be small, red lines under the skin that are seen when the blood vessels under the skin become large. This area of the skin can feel warm and look swollen.
What causes Rosacea?
No one knows the exact cause of Rosacea. Blood vessels could possibly expand too easily, which will cause an individual to flush. Rosacea could possibly be inherited. Other factors that may possibly cause Rosacea include heat that is excessive, heavy exercise, hot baths, sunlight, drinking alcohol, menopause, winds, very cold temperatures, emotional stress, long term use of steroids on the face, and hot or spicy foods.
How is Rosacea diagnosed?
Rosacea can be diagnosed by the symptoms and the appearance of the skin. Many times it is under diagnosed. A skin specislist will be able to determine if an individual has Rosacea. In some cases, a skin biopsy can help determine if an individual has this skin condition. The skin biopsy will be done by scraping the skin, which can help to rule out other skin conditions, such as seasonal allergies, eczema, staph infections, a medication reaction, impetigo, and herpes simplex.
Are there any risks to living with Rosacea?
Rosacea can effect the eyes, although not everyone who has Rosacea will have the eyes effected. Half of individuals with Rosacea report dry eyes, burning, and irritation. Light sensitivity and redness of the eyelids may also be experienced. If eye problems with Rosacea is left untreated, it could cause complications that are serious, such as damaging the cornea. If Rosacea does effect the eyes, an ophthalmologist will need to be seen to treat the eyes.
Is there a cure for Rosacea?
While there is not a cure for Rosacea, there are many things that can be done to help treat it. It is easily controlled and managed. A skin specialist may prescribe antibiotics that come in either cream, gel or lotion forms, as well as pills. These antibiotics are effective for short term use, but could have side effects. These antibiotics for Rosacea will help inflammation.
Another treatment used is acne drugs. It can help to clear up acne that can be caused during Rosacea. Some of these drugs should not be used while pregnant, as they may cause birth defects.
A treatment our skin specialists can perform in the comfort of our clinic is photo-rejuvenation, also known as IPL photo-rejuvenation. This skin treatment utilises lasers, photo dynamic therapy, or intense pulsed light. Prior to the procedure, eye pads or glasses will be placed over the eyes to protect them. A cooling gel is placed on the skin. A hand held device is moved over the skin, which will emit the light. The light will break down superficial blood vessels. After the treatment, the cooling gel is wiped off the skin, and a moisturiser will be applied. There is very little pain felt, with many individuals reporting it feels like a rubber band is snapping the skin lightly. Within the first treatment, most individuals report feeling the most pain, and with each session the discomfort level will be improved. A series of 3 -5 treatments will be needed for optimal results, performed once every 3-6 weeks. A single treatment will take anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how large the treatment area is.
After the treatment, there may be some minor swelling. Ice packs can help to control the swelling.
What are the benefits of photo-rejuvenation for Rosacea?
There are many benefits of utilising the photo-rejuvenation treatment. The most significant one is no downtime is needed for the procedure. The treatments are 100% non-invasive with very low risks. Results seen from photo-rejuvenation are gradual, and the treatment is customised to fit specific skin concerns.
Are there any risks of photo-rejuvenation when treating Rosacea?
As with most procedures, there is always the risk of unwanted side effects. However, photo-rejuvenation has only mild risks. These include mild temporary swelling, small blistering, and an occasional bruise. Mild redness may also be a side effect. In order to protect yourself, always make sure that anyone performing the procedure has experience in laser treatments. At Advanced Dermatology in Sydney all our treatments are performed by experienced and extensively trained skin specialists.
What can an individual do if they have Rosacea?
Should an individual suffer from Rosacea, they should only wash the skin with a mild cleanser. The skin should be babied, without scrubbing or rubbing it too hard. Sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher should be worn at all times. Protect the face in cold weather with a scarf. Make sure any product used on the face does not contain any alcohol. Makeup can used to help with Rosacea. Look for green tinted foundations and powders to help counteract any redness.
Is there anything that should be avoided with Rosacea?
Flushing of the skin may be caused by spicy foods, cigarettes, alcohol and hot drinks. These should be avoided at all costs. Exposure to sunlight and extreme hot and cold temperatures should also be avoided. Foods may also be a trigger for Rosacea. These foods often include dairy products, some beans, such as Lima and navy beans, peas, soy sauce, chocolate, tomatoes, citrus fruits, spinach, avocado, yeast extract, and eggplants. It is best to keep a food diary to determine what foods can cause a flare up.
On the contrary, there are foods that help with Rosacea flare ups. These include non-dairy cheeses, thermally cooler meals, cold drinks, and drinks without alcohol.
Triggers found in skin care products include alcohol, clove oil, peppermint, witch hazel, menthol, salicylic acid, eucalyptus oil and fragrances.