What You Need to Know About This Common Skin Condition and the Rosacea Treatment Options Available
If you’re struggling with red, bumpy skin, you might have rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that most commonly occurs on the face—including the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. It also sometimes appears on or around the eyes—known as ocular rosacea—causing burning, stinging, dryness, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and watery, bloodshot eyes. For many, rosacea is a source of embarrassment and low self-esteem, but it doesn’t have to be. Many adults have rosacea, and there are several rosacea treatment options available to reduce the symptoms. Speak with Dr. Caroline Tosoni to see which treatment is best for you.
The initial signs of rosacea include occasional redness or blushing. But as time passes, the redness can become more persistent and visible.
Other symptoms include:
- Tiny pimples;
- Enlarged blood vessels;
- Burning, stinging, flushing or itching; and,
- Rhinophyma—the skin tissue of the nose becomes bumpy, thick, and swollen.
These symptoms and the severity vary for each person. Rhinophyma is a rare symptom that only occurs if the rosacea is left untreated. It is also more common in men than women.
Although a specific cause for rosacea has yet to be found, both genetic and environmental factors are at play in cases of rosacea, including:
- A weakened immune system;
- A family history;
- Fair skin;
- Chronic sun exposure; or,
- A skin mite (also called derma mites) that blocks oil glands and causes inflammation.
There are common lifestyle factors that can trigger rosacea flare-ups. Since everyone’s condition is different, it’s important to keep track of these factors to determine which ones affect you most prominently.
Products such as abrasives, alcohols, fragrances, and other irritants that will aggravate sensitive and dry skin of those who suffer from rosacea.
Vigorous, high-intensity exercise can cause the body to overheat and trigger symptoms. Try to keep cool or avoid high-intensity workouts by spreading them out over a longer time.
Whether it’s extremely hot, cold, humid, dry, or windy, any extreme temperatures can trigger rosacea flare-ups. Always keep your skin moisturized and avoid prolonged exposure to the elements.
Food and Drinks:
- Thermally hot soups and drinks;
- Caffeinated beverages;
- Spicy seasonings; and,
- Alcohol—most notably, red wine.
Some drugs cause vasodilation—enlarge blood vessels—such as ACE-inhibitors and cholesterol-lowering medications (i.e. niacin). Prescription cortisone creams can also worsen symptoms if used for a prolonged amount of time.
High-stress levels are associated with rosacea flare-ups; try to reduce the feelings of stress to keep these flare-ups to a minimum. Simple breathing exercises, getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising can all help to reduce symptoms of stress.
Although there is no permanent cure for rosacea, there are skin treatments and lifestyle changes that can reduce the symptoms. Visit DR. Caroline Tosoni to determine which course of treatment is best for you. The following are some of the most frequent treatments used:
- Oral Prescription medication such as Apprilon;
- Topical creams (Rosiver, Onreltea or Finacea);
- Light therapy—using an intense pulse light (IPL) to reduce the size of blood vessels;
- Laser therapy – with various vascular lasers such as Laser Genesis or Excel-V to minimize the redness and eliminate broken facial veins;
- Cosmetic surgery for rhinophyma to reduce tissue overgrowth; and,
- Camouflage makeup—for those who wish to cover up the redness. There are green-tinted makeup products that contribute to reducing the appearance of rosacea.
While these treatments are not a cure for rosacea, you can certainly reduce the symptoms and appearance of the condition. Consult with Dr. Tosoni about a rosacea treatment plan so you can reduce the redness and other uncomfortable symptoms, and start feeling better about your skin.