Introduction: what is rosacea disease?
Rosacea is a skin disorder in which the skin of a person’s faces flares-up and becomes very red in color. People above 30 years old have the highest chances of getting this disease. The blood vessels under the skin can be distinctively seen on the face. Sometimes, the rosacea condition can also appear on the neck, chest, and scalp of the head or even on the ears. In some worse cases, a person’s skin might get oily pimples and bumps making the skin rough. Rosacea does not have any severe implications, but it may lead to irritation and intense burning, and can cause severe self-consciousness. Due to rosacea, a patient's face does not look healthy. The nose too becomes abnormally swollen. Mostly this disease is found in women, but in some rare cases the men too can suffer from this disease. There are no specific causes for this condition. Research is still being done to find out the causes behind this disease. But as soon as anyone starts noticing the beginning symptoms of this condition, they must immediately visit a dermatologist. If this condition is diagnosed as soon as possible, it can be maintained in a manageable state, an impact a patient's life as little as possible.
Symptoms of rosacea
- Eye irritation: Rosacea can also lead to irritation of eyes and the area around it.
- Burning or stinging effect: the person will feel an irritation on the face.
- Thick skin: the skin of the patient will feel heavy and thick.
- Dry or oily: in rosacea, the skin will either become too much oily or too much dry.
Is Rosacea Curable?
Rosacea is a very common, yet poorly understood chronic skin condition. Its cause still remains unknown to the medical community. Rosacea is most common in people above 30 years of age. Patients who have this condition develop tiny, red, pus-filled bumps over the cheeks, nose, and forehead. Rosacea is characterized by periods of remission and flare-ups. This means that there are days that symptoms may appear or worsen severely, and some days without any symptoms at all. It can be quite a devastating and upsetting condition to those diagnosed, and can result in low self-esteem and confidence issues.
Unfortunately, rosacea has no cure. Though this is the case, symptoms can likely be controlled to give patients the best quality of life possible. Today, various treatment plans are available for rosacea. If you have been diagnosed with this skin condition, do not lose hope. Speak with your physician about your symptoms and they can come up with a treatment plan that is both suitable and effective for your specific symptoms. Symptoms of Rosacea can be controlled with both medical therapy and self-care.
Medical Therapy for Rosacea
The presentation of rosacea varies from person to person, and therefore the treatment does as well. Rosacea patients should always consult a dermatologist or physician to make an individual treatment plan that works for them.
Medical therapy is often useful if the patient experiences tiny, red, pus filled spots on his/her face. Medical therapy can be categorized into both topical and oral treatments. Topical treatments are those that are applied on to the skin, whereas oral treatments are ones taken by mouth.
Topical Treatment Methods
Topical treatments include creams or gels, such as metronidazole cream or gel and azelaic acid cream or gel. These topical medications should be applied on the areas affected by the rash, around once or twice per day. With topical treatments, it is important to handle them with care and avoid getting them on or in the eyes or mouth. Topical treatments typically produce positive results in just a few weeks’ time. Possible side effects of topical medications are irritation of the skin or burning sensations. It is recommended to speak with your physician if these side effects are bothering you.
If you have severe rosacea, oral antibiotics may be taken to reduce inflammation. The most commonly used antibiotics for rosacea patients are Tetracycline, Doxycycline and Erythromycin. Normally these medications are taken for to 4 to 6 weeks, but they may be taken for longer periods of time if the inflamed spots continue. Isotretinoin is another oral drug that is normally used in the treatment of severe acne, but can also be used for rosacea in small doses. However, it should be avoided in pregnant women as it has been linked to causing birth defects.
Treating Facial Redness
- Brimonidine tartrate is a fairly new topical medication that is used to reduce the facial redness that often results from rosacea. It is a gel that should be applied on the face one time per day. Brimonidine tartrate prevents the dilation of the blood vessels on your face, thereby reducing redness. It typically produces positive results in as quickly as in 30 minutes and lasts for about 12 hours.
- Clonidine (a drug that relaxes blood vessels)
- Beta Blockers (reduces heart activity)
- Some anti-anxiety drugs
- Laser Treatment- Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments are effective in reducing your facial redness while minimizing side effects, scarring, and damage to the surrounding skin. This type of treatment uses machines that release narrow beams of laser light, producing heat on the visibly dilated blood vessels. The heat causes the vessels to collapse so they are no longer visible.
Tips for Self-Care
Here are a few tips that you can do on your own to control rosacea symptoms:
- Keep your skin clean.
Use cleansers and oil-free products that are appropriate for sensitive skin. Avoid products that contain alcohol, menthol, or any exfoliating agents that may irritate your skin.
- Maintain a rosacea diary.
Write down everything that you eat and apply on your skin. This will make it easier for you to spot what improves or worsens your symptoms.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight.
If you must go out in the sun, wear a protective sun cream to protect your skin.
- Wear makeup designed for sensitive skin to hide your red spots.
Be sure that this makeup does not irritate your skin further.
And, most importantly, always consult your dermatologist about your options for self care. To avoid adverse reactions with your topical or oral medication, your doctor will recommend the best self care treatments for you.