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General Dermatology


Rosacea

A chronic, inflammatory skin condition, rosacea affects more than 16 million Americans. Rosacea manifests itself as redness on the face that produces small, pus-filled bumps or pustules. Although rosacea is not contagious, some evidence suggests a genetic link to the condition.

Mst people first develop rosacea in their 30's and then live with continuous cycles of flare-ups and dormancy. Without treatment, rosacea can have a negative impact on a person's emotional, psychological and physical health.

Rosacea occurs most often among people with fair skin who tend to blush or flush easily. It occurs more often among women than men, but men tend to suffer from more severe symptoms. Most patients experience multiple symptoms at varying levels of severity. Common symptoms include:
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Symptoms

Common signs of rosacea are:
  • Blushing or flushing easily
  • Red areas on the face
  • Small, red bumps on the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin
  • Swollen, red nose
  • Tiny blood vessels visible on the nose and cheeks
  • Phases of Rosacea

Usually, rosacea appears in three phases:
  • Pre-rosacea Often, pre-rosacea begins as a tendency to flush or blush easily.
  • Vascular rosacea As symptoms worsen, small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks enlarge and become more apparent.
  • Inflammatory rosacea With inflammatory rosacea the red bumps or pustules develop and persist, spreading across the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. These symptoms may also appear on the neck, chest, scalp and ears.

While there is no cure for rosacea and each case is unique, your doctor will probably prescribe oral antibiotics and topical medications to reduce the severity of the symptoms. When the condition goes into remission, only topical treatments may be needed. In more severe cases, a vascular laser, intense pulsed light source or other medical device may be used to remove any visible blood vessels and reduce excess redness and bumpiness on the nose.

To help reduce the incidence of flare-ups, a gentle daily skin care routine is recommended that includes the use of mild, non-abrasive cleansers, soft cloths, rinsing in lukewarm water (not hot or cold), and blotting the face dry (not rubbing). Additionally, individuals with rosacea need to protect themselves from sun exposure by using sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher and sunblocks that eliminate UVA and UVB rays. Patients are also encouraged to keep a record of flare-ups to try and determine the lifestyle and environmental triggers that aggravate the condition.




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