What is Rosacea?
Life is full of embarrassing moments for everyone. That means that most of us at some point have experienced that classic sign of embarrassment: turning a little red in the face. But once that moment passes, your cheeks will return to their normal color no worse for the wear. Unfortunately, for the 14 million Americans who suffer from rosacea, facial redness is a cause of embarrassment, not a symptom. This chronic condition is also uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and a regular and recurring annoyance.
A chronic, inflammatory skin disease that primarily appears on the face, rosacea manifests itself as areas redness and irritation but are clusters of pustules or bumps. The redness which most often develops on the nose and cheeks can also appear on the forehead, chin, ears, chest, and back.
While fair-skinned individuals are historically associated with and more prone to rosacea, the condition affects people of all skin tones.
Researchers are still trying to determine the causes of rosacea, but there is little doubt that genetic predisposition plays a role, as it does for many other chronic skin conditions. Additional reasons can include:
- Abnormalities in blood vessels
- Demodex folliculorum, a usually harmless microscopic mite
- H. pylori bacteria, a bacteria found in the gut, produce proteins that cause blood vessels to dilate.
- Cathelicidin, a protein that usually protects the skin from infection, may cause and contribute to the redness and swelling.
Rosacea often appears first as a tendency to blush or flush more easily than others. That redness may ultimately become permanent. While redness and irritation are the most prominent and common symptoms of rosacea, other more serious problems can develop with certain types of the condition. There are four primary subtypes of the disease, each of which causes problems:
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels.
- Papulopustular rosacea: Redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts.
- Phymatous rosacea: Thicker skin and a bumpy texture.
- Ocular rosacea: Red and irritated eyes, swollen eyelids, and the appearance of a sty.
Rosacea Management and Treatment
Miami dermatologist Dr. Mariano Busso recommends the following for those trying to reduce and minimize the appearance and discomfort of rosacea:
- For many people, caffeine, red wine, spicy foods, and hot beverages can cause rosacea flare-ups. Avoid those foods and drinks which flare your rosacea.
- Extreme hot or cold temperatures or wind often aggravate rosacea. Avoid overheating and make sure to protect your skin from the wind.
- Avoid wool scarfs or those made of rough fabrics that tend to irritate the neck and face.
- Since sun exposure can flare rosacea, use broad-spectrum sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and which contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as these ingredients are the least irritating.
- Avoid rubbing, scrubbing, or massaging your face too often or too vigorously.
- Keep your skin care routine simple. The fewer products you use, the better. When using hairspray, cover your skin so the spray doesn’t get on your face.
Rosacea Help and Treatment in Miami/Coconut Grove
If you’re suffering from chronic red facial skin, contact dermatologist Dr. Mariano Busso at 305-857-0144 to discuss prevention, treatment, and living with rosacea. You may also schedule an appointment with Dr. Busso online.