Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that is estimated to affect over 16 million Americans. Rosacea can present in various ways but is most commonly associated with flushing and redness of the central face, typically beginning around age 30 years old. Other symptoms vary from visible facial blood vessels, acne-like bumps, enlargement of oil glands, thickening of the skin around the nose, and eye irritation (burning sensation or redness of the eyes and eyelids).
Although the underlying cause of Rosacea is unknown, we know of many common triggers. Things that increase blood flow to the face, such as sun or wind exposure, hot drinks, spicy foods, hot or cold weather, saunas, hot showers, exercise, alcohol, and stress, can trigger flares of Rosacea. There is no cure for Rosacea, so treatment involves managing the symptoms and avoiding triggers. Studies show that over time the symptoms of rosacea can progress and become more persistent, making early detection and treatment vital.
Surveys conducted by the National Rosacea Society (NRS) found that “nearly 90 percent of rosacea patients said this condition had lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41 percent reported it had caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements.” However, the NRS also found that “over 70 percent reported medical treatment had improved their emotional and social well-being.” These findings highlight one of the many reasons why managing symptoms of rosacea is so important for the well-being of our patients!
Gentle skin products without irritants and a daily SPF are beneficial for controlling symptoms. Topical or oral Niacinamide (a vitamin B3 derivative) can aid in reducing skin inflammation. If symptoms of Rosacea are worsening despite these efforts, seek care from a medical provider in Dermatology. Prescription strength topical or oral antibiotics can be given if symptoms are uncontrollable or severe.
For more information regarding Rosacea, check out the National Rosacea Society at https://www.rosacea.org/ to learn more!
Chelsea Beer, PA-C