Acne Rosacea, more commonly known as rosacea, is a chronic skin disease that causes redness of the face. It is one of the most common skin conditions treated at Dermatology Ireland. Without treatment, symptoms may disappear and reappear periodically, or they may persist uniformly. Acne Rosacea should not be confused with Acne Vulgaris.
Rosacea is sometimes mistaken for a prolonged and deepened “blush” that covers the forehead, cheeks, and lower half of the nose. Less often, the condition affects the scalp, neck, ears, and chest. While rosacea can resemble a natural blush, symptoms can also include swelling as well as bumps, pustules, scaliness, red, irritated eyes, burning or stinging of the skin, and unevenness of the skin that resemble acne.
Rosacea occurs most often in adults between the ages of 30 and 60, and occurs especially among those with fair skin. While women are more likely to show symptoms of rosacea than are men, often, men show more extreme symptoms of rosacea. In both sexes, the disease tends to worsen over time if left untreated.
Acne Rosacea Causes
Scientists have suggested that rosacea is caused by a genetic trait that inhibits the ability to reduce facial inflammation, evidenced by a pattern of rosacea among family members. However, the precise cause of rosacea is, as of yet, unknown.
It is known that those affected by acne rosacea should also avoid smoking; food and drink that may cause flushing of the skin, such as alcoholic drinks, spicy food, and warm beverages, especially those which contain caffeine; and extreme temperature changes to minimize inflammation of their symptoms. Prolonged exposure to the sun or to allergens may also cause rosacea symptoms to become aggravated. Emotional distress can also trigger symptoms.
When triggered, tiny blood vessels in areas affected by rosacea become enlarged, and thus more visible through the skin. These blood vessels can appear as tiny red lines, or as blotches of redness, as pictured above.
Predictors of rosacea include English, Irish, or Scottish heritage; pale skin; and a history of rosacea in one’s family.
Acne Rosacea Diagnosis
It is estimated that most cases of rosacea remain undiagnosed. The condition is often mild in its manifestation, and it’s diagnosis can be subjective. There is no positive test for the presence of rosacea. Dermatology specialists may diagnose rosacea through examination and consultation.
Acne Rosacea Treatment
Acne Rosacea can be treated effectively by medical professionals, but cannot be “cured” as such. Rosacea treatments include a regular skin regimen of cleaning, moisturizing, and SPF protection; avoiding symptom triggers and aggravators; topical antibiotics such as metronidazole; oral antibiotics such as tetracycline; anti-demodex therapies, photodynamic therapy; and laser treatment. Topical creams may also be applied for short-term relief of redness and inflammation.
With such a wide array of treatment options to choose from, it is important to discuss your symptoms and needs with your dermatologist to develop a treatment plan that works for you.
Before and after pictures of a man successfully treated for rosacea. Source: Rosacea.org
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