Doctors Dermatology


Are you bothered by constant facial flushing and blushing? You may have rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition with persistent redness on the central part of the face. Women are more likely to experience redness of the cheeks and chin, while men are more like to have redness of the nose. With time, flushing progresses to bumps, pimples and pustules. Eyes can also be affected with burning, irritation, and eye swelling. Rosacea can strongly affect quality of life if left untreated.

The peak age of rosacea development is between 30-50 years. Although women are 2-3 times more likely to have symptoms, men have more severe symptoms with swelling and thickening of the skin, especially the nose. This is called rhinophyma and it can lead to nose distortion.
There are 4 categories of rosacea:
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea–most common type. Associated with central facial redness. There can be telangiectasias (dilated blood vessels that appear like red spiders), stinging and burning of the skin.
Papulopustular rosacea– pimple like lesions predominate along with redness and swelling. Patients can have dramatic facial swelling.
Phymatous rosacea– chronic inflammation and swelling results in skin thickening. Patients have a very swollen red nose. Men are more often affected.
Ocular rosacea– dry, irritated, itchy eyes. These can cause serious vision complications if untreated, including vision loss.
Treatment: Patients should avoid their rosacea triggers including alcohol, chocolates, excess sun exposure, spicy foods and hot beverages. Daily sunscreen and protective clothing is very important. Depending on the severity of rosacea, oral and topical therapies may be necessary. Specific manifestations such as telangiectasias, flushing, rhinophyma and ocular rosacea warrant targeted treatments. You can use the Redness Register (RR), provided by the National Rosacea Society, to determine if you may have Rosacea. To use, hold the RR to an area of your skin that gets as much sun exposure as your face. Record the number of the shade of redness that appears to be the closest match for the redness in your skin. Then, hold the RR to your face where affected, determine the shade closely matching that redness and record the number. A difference of 2 or more shades may indicate rosacea.

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