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Rosacea is a common inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by acne-like pimples or pustules with a background of facial redness. Some patients may also experience dryness and irritation of the eyes. Approximately 14 million Americans are affected by some form of Rosacea. While this is not a dangerous or life-threatening condition, rosacea can cause irritation of the skin, physical disfigurement, and emotional distress.

Rosacea can affect anyone but is more common after the age of 30. It has a gradual onset with a chronic course which can wax and wane over time. Women are more likely to be affected, but men tend to have more severe symptoms. Symptoms include flushing of the face, red skin with small visible blood vessels, acne-like pimples or pustules, raised red patches, swelling, burning or stinging of the face, dry & irritated eyes, and enlargement of the nose (usually seen in men). Symptoms may vary and can also spread to the head, neck, and chest. While the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, it’s thought to be due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Known triggers or aggravating factors for rosacea include:

  • Hot or spicy foods

  • Hot beverages

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Extreme temperatures

  • Sunlight

  • Stress

  • Strenuous exercise

  • Certain medications

While there is no permanent cure for rosacea, there are several effective treatment options that help control the symptoms and progression of the disease. Treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation and can vary depending on your symptoms. Topical medications such as clindamycin, metronidazole, sulfacetamide sulfur, or Azelaic acid may be used to help reduce local inflammation. Oral antibiotics may be used for patients with multiple red bumps, pimples, or pustules. Systemic isotretinoin (Accutane) is reserved for severe rosacea that does not respond to other medications. Persistent redness and dilated vessels often do not respond to systemic or topical therapy and may require laser/light therapy for improvement.

In order to help prevent flare-ups, we recommend a gentle skin-care routine using mild cleansers without benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, rinsing with warm water (not hot or cold), and gently dabbing the face dry (instead of rubbing). In addition, patients are encouraged to protect their skin from the sun which can exacerbate rosacea. Using a gentle moisturizer with sunscreen SPF 15+ as part of your daily routine is a simple and effective way to protect your skin and prevent the progression of rosacea. Green tinted products tend to help cover the redness, you may look for Eucerin redness relief products over the counter to use as a concealer.

Depending on your skin type and symptoms, our dermatologist can help determine what treatment options are right for you.

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