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Rosacea: a Chronic Skin Condition

Written by Megan Kinder, with information gathered from PubMed Health and other current, credible sources online. N/A

Who is Affected by Rosacea?

  • Age 30-50
  • Fair-skinned
  • A woman (but men usually have more severe symptoms

Symptoms

  • Redness of the face

  • Blushing or flushing easily

  • A lot of spider-like blood vessels (telangiectasia) of the face

  • Red nose (called a bulbous nose)

  • Acne-like skin sores that may ooze or crust

  • Burning or stinging feeling in the face

Irritated, bloodshot, watery eyes

Treatment

There is no known cure for rosacea.

Your doctor will help you identify the things that make your symptoms worse. These are called triggers. Avoiding your triggers may help you prevent or reduce flare-ups.

Here are some steps that may help ease or prevent symptoms:

  • Avoid sun exposure. Use sunscreen every day.

  • Avoid a lot of activity in hot weather.

  • Try to reduce stress. Try deep breathing, yoga, or other relaxation techniques.

  • Limit spicy foods, alcohol, and hot beverages.

Triggers vary from person to person. Other triggers may include wind, hot baths, cold weather, specific skin products, exercise, or other factors.

  • Antibiotics taken by mouth (such as tetracycline, minocycline, or doxycycline) or applied to the skin (such as metronidazole) may control acne-like skin problems.

  • Other medications (isoretinol or Accutane), which are similar to vitamin A, are stronger alternatives that your doctor or dermatologist might consider.

  • Rosacea is not acne and will not improve with over-the-counter acne treatment.

In severe cases, laser surgery may help reduce the redness. Surgery to remove some swollen nose tissue may also improve your appearance.

Expectations (prognosis)

Rosacea is a harmless condition, but it may cause you to be self-conscious or embarrassed. It may be a long-term (chronic) problem. It cannot be cured, but may be controlled with treatment.

Complications

  • Permanent changes in appearance (for example, a red, swollen nose)

  • Loss of self-esteem

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