What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a non-contagious, inflammatory skin condition that happens mostly on the central face in flare-ups. It more commonly happens in those with fair skin or Celtic and Northern European descent, but it can affect all skin types. Because the symptoms are prominent on the face, it often causes emotional and social trauma. People with rosacea can feel embarrassed by the prominent symptoms, causing them to avoid people and going out. It can become a danger to one’s self-esteem, so it’s important to understand how to control it. There are 4 types of Rosacea:
Rosacea is commonly known as the inflammatory disease that causes facial skin redness and telangiectases in periodic flare-ups. Telangiectases, also nicknamed “spider veins”, is the widening of small blood vessels. This causes them to be red and visible through the skin. This causes the following common symptoms of patients with rosacea:
• Visible blood vessels
• Burning or Itching
• Sensitive Skin
Here are some unique characteristics each type has in addition to their general symptoms of rosacea:
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea – flushed face, central face erythema (reddening due to injury or widening blood vessels)
Papulopustular rosacea – Red pustules and papules which, unlike acne, is surrounded by facial redness. These do not include blackheads or white heads.
Phymatous rosacea – thickened and bumpy skin, enlarged pores, irregular surface nodules, rhinophyma (nose enlargement)
Ocular rosacea – red, burning, and itching eyes
Problems with blood vessels and inflammation in the face cause the telangiectases and redness. However, it isn’t well understood what those problems are. It is thought that a combination of genetic and environmental components to the causes. The causes for all types of rosacea have to do with limited knowledge, so it’s important to focus on the triggers. People with rosacea will have different triggers, but here are some common ones between them:
• Stress or Anxiety
• Heat or Cold
• Spicy Foods
• Some Makeup, Hair, or Skin Care Products
While all 4 types of rosacea may express facial redness and telangiectases, inflammation might cause additional symptoms of different subtypes.
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea – Excessive inflammation of sweat glands and hair follicles causing a flushed appearance.
Papulopustular rosacea – Inflammation causes flushing around pustules and papules.
Phymatous rosacea – Sebaceous gland inflammation and excess tissue growth and may cause nose enlargement.
Ocular rosacea – Inflammation causing itching and burning in the eyes.
For now, we know that rosacea is generally caused by inflammatory and blood vessel issues. The cause of rosacea is unknown, so there is currently no cure for rosacea. However, it is one of the most common diseases treated by dermatologists. Even with how persistent it can be, rosacea doesn’t have to be a big inconvenience in your life. The best rosacea treatments are those that dermatologists can provide to keep flare-ups and redness under control.
While home remedies have taken on popularity, there are little to no studies confirming the effectiveness of such treatments. In some cases, it might even do more harm than good considering their minimal effectiveness versus the unknown side effects they could have on your body. It’s best to follow the medical advice of a dermatologist because they know what will or will not treat the disease. Here are some popular home remedies that you should be careful with:
• Aloe Vera
• Green Tea
• Essential Oils
Over the Counter Medication
While some over the counter (OTC) medications are effective enough to be given as prescriptions, other OTC medications have limited effects on disease. They might help for mild to moderate cases, but they aren’t usually effective on severe ones. If used incorrectly and without guidance, they might even prove to be ineffective and produce unforeseen side effects. However, a dermatologist can tell you whether or not these can be effective for you. Here are some OTC medications that may or may not be included in a treatment plan given by one of our dermatologists:
Moisturizers – Lessens discomfort.
Sunscreen – To prevent trigger via sunlight.
Cleansers – To soothe sensitive skin from rosacea.
Prescriptions, alongside professional medical advice, are the most effective form of treatment. Home remedies and over the counter treatments take plenty of time, energy, and money, yet are uncertain to work. Our experienced dermatologists take your unique skin, set of symptoms, and medical history into account to take the guessing game out of your road to recovery. Here are some prescriptions your dermatologist might include in your personalized treatment plan:
Ivermectin - Reduces inflammation and kills demodex folliculorum which are mites that are suspected to play a role in rosacea.
Azelaic Acid - Reduces inflammation.
Metronidazole - Reduces inflammation.
Doxycycline - Reduces inflammation for severe rosacea.
Antibiotics – Reduces swelling and inflammation.
Post Treatment Prevention
After being seen by one of our SkyMD dermatologists, you’ve been equipped with the treatment plan and prescription(s) to treat your discomfort. However, disease can be persistent, so you have to be too. A skin care routine and a set of disease-preventing habits recommended by our dermatologists are essential for long term prevention. Here are some popular prevention strategies that could supplement your personalized treatment plan:
• Avoid Triggers
• Cleanse skin