Friday, April 19, 2013

What is Rosacea?

woman with rosacea
img source: flickr

In this post we are going to talk about rosacea- What is it? What causes it? What are it's symptoms? And how is it treated?

What Is Rosacea

It is a common chronic skin disease that affects over 17 million American adults! Normally it starts after the age of 30 and is known for causing facial redness, visible blood vessels and small puss filled bumps. These occur mostly on the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin, but sometimes also on the neck, ears, scalp and chest.

This chronic condition tends to come an go in cycles, however, the longer it's left untreated the worse your cycles will be. That's why you should see your doctor and start treating it as soon as you suspect you have it.

What Causes Rosacea

The causes for this disease are not fully understood, but there seem to be 3 main reasons:
  • Light color of the skin
  • Northern European genes
  • Medications that cause blood vessels to widen
There is a bit more clarity on what triggers flare-ups:
  • Exposure to too much sun
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Hot baths and saunas
  • Intense exercising
  • Stress
  • Hot drinks and food
  • Extreme climate conditions like heat, cold, strong wind and high humidity

img source: flickr

What Are The Symptoms of Rosacea?

Rosacea is sometimes hard to diagnose mostly because it's symptoms are oftenly mistaken for skin allergies, acne, herpes, eczema and others.

The symptoms that you need to be on the lookout for are:
  • Bumps and pimples
  • Excess facial redness
  • Dry, red eyes
  • Puffy skin
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Facial swelling
before and after
img source: flickr

How is Rosacea Treated?

As you have probably noticed I used the word treated instead of the word cured. Unfortunately, this is caused by the fact that there is no cure for this skin condition, instead there are only treatments that relieve the symptoms. These treatments include:

  • Oral antibiotics- These include tetracycline, minocycline and erythromycin. They are oftenly prescribed for their anti-inflammatory properties. This treatment has a few side effects including nausea, diarrhea, stomach discomfort and others.
  • Lifestyle changes- avoiding the triggers already mentioned- Alcohol, spicy food, stress, extreme climates and others
  • Topical medications- These medications are applied to your skin. Again here you can see antibiotic medications, however, you can also find natural creams containing  herbal extracts and peptides. These creams work in a number of ways- they act as a protection to environmental triggers, reduce skin sensitivity and combat inflammation. There are many creams out there- some are combination solutions that are supposed to fight a few different skin conditions and some are specifically used to treat rosacea. I recommend you stick to them if you really want results. Out of all the topical medications out there I would recommend Skinception Rosacea Relief Serum, which contains natural ingredients like ginkgo biloba, green tea extract and peptides and very importantly- no antibiotics. But enough on this, if you would like to see more details, I invite you to click here.
  • Surgery-This method is mostly used in severe cases. It often reduces the visibility of blood vessels and removes the tissue build-up around your nose. While it is a good way to treat the symptoms and improve your appearance, surgery will not help you prevent further flare-ups.
  • Laser and intense pulsed light- This rather new treatment is used in order to shrink the visible blood vessels. This procedure might cause mild pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, it has a few side effects like swelling, crusting and in some cases infection of the skin- these side effects can persist for up to a few weeks. The treatment is done in multiple sessions with at least 3 weeks in between.

Those are the 5 primary ways to treat rosacea, you might want to consider consulting your personal physician before you decide to choose any of them.

I hope you enjoyed this post and you really take this condition serious, because as I stated above, when left untreated it will get much worse that you expect!

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