What is rosacea? (roh-ZAY-sha)

Rosacea is a common acne-like disease that usually affects adults. It exists on a spectrum that can include any or all of the following: facial flushing and redness, acne-like pimples, small blood vessels visible under the skin, and eye (ocular) symptoms. Rosacea is not contagious, but there is some evidence of a genetic predisposition for rosacea, and it can run in families. Many people are able to identify obvious triggers of their disease, that is, exposures that clearly bring about facial flushing or pimples.

Triggers vary between people and can include any of the following:

  • Sun exposure
  • Emotional stress, heavy exercise
  • Hot or cold weather, wind
  • Alcohol, spicy foods, or hot foods

What are the treatments for rosacea?

Unfortunately, despite much research, rosacea remains a poorly understood condition, and there is no permanent cure. However, rosacea is a treatable condition. In addition to trigger avoidance, as able, all people with rosacea are encouraged to attempt strict sun protection. This includes use of daily facial sunscreen with at least SPF 30, ideally with zinc oxide as the active ingredient. Also, people with rosacea should be very gentle with their skin and avoid abrasive and harsh cleansers and other skin products. Treat your skin like baby skin!

Oral and topical antibiotics are the mainstay of prescription treatments for rosacea and work to clear pimples. Most patients remain in remission, or continued clearance of pimples, when a maintenance regimen is continued after clearance. Recently a prescription topical was approved that temporarily lessens the appearance of redness. Finally, vascular lasers or intense pulsed light can be used to more permanently reduce facial redness and visible blood vessels.

Individual results may vary.

Appointment

Contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss rosacea treatment options.

For more information about rosacea, visit the National Rosacea Society website at: http://rosacea.org/

Medical Dermatology

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