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Rosacea: Common Causes and Treatments

Rosacea is a fairly common skin condition that often affects middle-aged women with light complexions. Whether you’re experiencing rosacea symptoms for the first or the tenth time, learning about its common causes and your treatment options can really help.

What Causes Rosacea?

Rosacea affects skin on the face, with its most notable symptom being redness. Skin affected by rosacea is red in part because of swollen blood vessels. When the blood vessels within the skin enlarge, they become visible.

Rosacea comes and goes, with flare-ups lasting for weeks and even months. If you’ve had a single flare up, you will most likely have more. While it more often affects caucasian women over 30, it can affect people of all ages and skin tones.

There is no known, scientific cause or cure for rosacea, but rosacea flare-ups can have a number of common triggers. Sometimes, rosacea is triggered by the things you eat or drink. Alcohol consumption or hot and spicy food and drinks can trigger rosacea. Extreme temperatures, sunlight, and wind can all cause rosacea as well. Reactions with cosmetics or drugs that dilate blood vessels can also cause rosacea to flare up.

One common misconception about rosacea is that it’s caused by a lack of facial cleanliness. This is not true. A person’s attention to skincare does not keep rosacea at bay, though not using products that have caused rosacea for you in the past does help.

The Effects of Rosacea

While rosacea doesn’t have many health implications, many people find it unsightly. As a result, rosacea can affect your feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. But rosacea can cause problems beyond red skin. Oftentimes rosacea flare ups can be accompanied by or develop red, swollen bumps that resemble acne. Sometimes these bumps can become filled with pus.

Discomfort is not uncommon with rosacea. Many people with the condition describe their face as feeling tender. Pus filled rosacea bumps can be punctured and open the skin up to infection. People with rosacea often experience dry eyes, or irritation and swelling of the eyelids. When rosacea affects the eyes it is called ocular rosacea.

Left untreated over time, rosacea can lead to rhinophyma, or enlarging of the nose. Men more commonly get this condition, and it is the direct result of rosacea thickening the skin.


Treating Rosacea

While there isn’t a cure for rosacea, there are a variety of ways you can treat its symptoms. If you don’t suffer from severe rosacea, topical medications like Mirvaso or Rhofade can constrict the blood vessels and reduce facial redness. If your rosacea forms pimple-like bumps, there are specific drugs available for treating those symptoms as well. For more severe cases, oral antibiotics and acne drugs that contain isotretinoin are used to reduce the symptoms of rosacea.

A newer form of rosacea treatment has been very successful in reducing the redness caused by enlarged blood vessels. Laser therapy and IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy are two promising non-invasive ways to treat rosacea. If your rosacea doesn’t respond to medication, laser and IPL therapies might be the solution for you. While you need repeat visits to maintain the effects of laser therapy, the treatments are short and don’t have any long-term side effects.

Whether you’re new to rosacea or have dealt with it in the past, you should see a doctor for treatment. If you want to alleviate your symptoms and protect your skin to the fullest, call the experts at Southeast Dermatology Specialists today.

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