Over 14 million Americans are suffering with this skin disorder and most of them are not aware of it. What is it? Rosacea, a little known facial skin disorder that can cause psychological, social and occupational problems if left untreated. It is a skin disease that causes redness in the face and pimples that appear on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead. If left untreated, it can get worse.
What Causes Rosacea?
The exact cause of this disorder isn’t really known, but it is believed that rosacea may be a blood disorder where the blood vessels become damaged repeatedly due to a dilation caused by a stimuli.
Rosacea appears to have a hereditary component and individuals who happen to be fair-skinned and of Celtic or European ancestry have a higher genetic disposition in developing it. Although rosacea is more common in women it is more severe in men when they develop it. Rosacea can develop at any age and time; however, people appear to develop it between the ages of 30 to 50. It is said that the first signs of rosacea happen to be a persistent redness due to exercise, changes in the temperature, and facial cleansing. Triggers that cause an episode include strenuous exercise, episodes of flushing and blushing, exposure to extreme temperatures, heat from sunlight, sunburns, stress, some medications and topical irritants, anxiety, cold wind, moving from one temperature to another, some foods and beverages containing caffeine, foods high in histamines and spicy foods.
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is associated with permanent redness and the tendency to blush easily. Having blood vessels near the surface of the skin is also common with burning and itching sensations.
Papulopustular rosacea is easily confused with acne because of the small bumps on the skin that has permanent redness and pus.
Phymatous rosacea is associated with rhinophyma, an enlarged nose. Some of the symptoms present include a thickening skin, nodules that are irregular. The chin, forehead, cheeks, eyelids, and ears are also affected. There may also be a presence of small blood vessels visible near the surface of the skin.
Ocular rosacea is when the eyes and eye lids are red, dry and irritated. A foreign sensation of the body and a presence of itching and burning may also exist.
There have been complaints from sufferers of rosacea of a decrease in the quality of life because of the cosmetic disfigurement and painful burning sensations associated with this skin disorder.
Treatment varies from patient to patient depending on the subtype, quality of life, and severity. It is highly important to have a gentle skin cleansing regimen that includes non-irritant cleansers. Ensuring that our skin is protected from the sun is crucial, so the daily use of a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 with a physical blocker of such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is advised.