Rosacea is a very common skin condition that frequently affects people aged above 30 years. It produces redness on your cheeks, nose, and forehead. Although it commonly affects women, more severe symptoms occur in males. Approximately 16 million people are affected in the United States alone, and it is estimated that around 45 million people are affected worldwide.
In a few cases, Rosacea may cause small, red, pus-filled bumps on the skin. The symptoms for Rosacea often tend to be unpredictable, flaring up for a few weeks or months and then suddenly drastically reducing for a long period. The symptoms are usually seen on the central parts of your face, including your cheeks, forehead, nose, or around your mouth and chin. It is frequently mistaken for acne or an allergic reaction, so, in many cases, it is left untreated for a long period.
It is not contagious and cannot spread to the body from the face or from one person to another. Complications are rare and are not typical with this disease; however, it can be unsightly and distressing.
The cause and cure of Rosacea are still unknown, but there are several methods available to control the symptoms of Rosacea.
Outbreaks usually take place when something causes the blood vessels on the face to expand. Here are few triggers that have been identified as causing or worsening flareups:
- regularly eating spicy food
- extreme temperatures and even fluctuating temperature can have an adverse effect
- alcohol consumption
- drugs that dilate blood vessels, like blood pressure medicines
- strenuous exercise
- caffeine and dairy products
- sun and wind exposure
It is important to keep in mind that not all triggers react in the same way. It differs from person to person. However, being cautious helps mitigate the effects.
Rosacea is a chronic, generally lifelong, skin disease that can be quite a deterrent to clear skin. However, with treatment, one can control and manage the symptoms. Not everybody who has redness in the face is affected by Rosacea. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms typical of Rosacea so that one is able to ascertain the difference and seek treatment in a timely manner.
Rosacea has four subtypes, and each subtype has its own set of symptoms. However, it is possible for you to have more than one subtype at the same time. The four subtypes and their symptoms are described below. Read and learn what subtype of Rosacea you have.
1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR)
This is the first subtype and the mild form of Rosacea. It is characterized by flushed skin, persisting facial redness, and visible blood vessels on the face. In addition to these symptoms, other signs, such as swollen skin, burning sensation of the skin, and dry and rough skin, may also be present.
This is the most common subtype to show effects of Rosacea.
2. Papulopustular rosacea
The second type of Rosacea is known as papulopustular rosacea or acne rosacea. It is the moderate and more advanced form of Rosacea. This subtype of Rosacea is characterized by redness, swelling, and pimple-like bumps on the face. It is similar to and often mistaken as an acne breakout. In addition, oily, sensitive skin and burning sensations of the skin may also be present. Papulopustular or acne rosacea commonly affects women in their middle ages. Some patients may also experience raised red patches on the skin called plaques.
The symptoms of this form of Rosacea mimic an allergic reaction, as well, so it can be often mistaken and not diagnosed in time.
3. Phymatous rosacea
Phymatous rosacea, also known as rhinophyma, is the third subtype of Rosacea. It is a rare but very severe form of Rosacea. In this subtype, the skin over the nose becomes thickened, giving a bumpy appearance. The thickening of the skin makes the nose look enlarged. Other signs of rhinophyma are thick skin over the nose, forehead, cheeks, and ears with large pores.
Ocular rosacea, as the name suggests, affects the eyes. It causes red, dry, burning, and stinging eyes. You may also be sensitive to light and have a blurred vision. Watery and bloodshot eyes are another characteristic of ocular rosacea.
It tends to appear in adults between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Many have recurrent styes, and, in a few, there is a risk of potential vision loss. If your symptoms are worrying, it is advisable that an ophthalmologist is consulted immediately.
It is possible for you to develop signs and symptoms of one or more of the subtypes of Rosacea. Patients suffering from Rosacea often live a difficult life, as most people tend to think that these patients have a drinking problem due to the red-flushed skin.
The signs and symptoms of each and every individual will vary from one another and can progress from mild to moderate to severe forms of Rosacea. Therefore, if you have any of these symptoms, consult your physician as early as possible for early diagnosis and treatment.
There are no specific tests to diagnose Rosacea. A doctor usually arrives at the conclusion on the basis of the symptoms and by physical examination of the skin. In some cases, tests may be conducted to eliminate other conditions such as eczema or lupus.
First impressions are everything in today’s world, and, more often than not, it’s how you look that affects that impression. With a disease like Rosacea, where your face is the primary target, your chances of making that stellar impression does get slightly compromised. A flareup can cause a feeling of embarrassment and lack of confidence in the patient. Many tend to be withdrawn and self conscious. However, it is important to remember that the symptoms can be managed, and it should not affect how you live your life. It is just a temporary setback; it is not who you are.
It is not hard to manage Rosacea. A thorough understanding of the condition afflicting you and flareup triggers, as well as strictly following your treatment, can ensure it does not pose a hindrance in life.