What is Rosacea?
Symptoms and Treatment Options
Rosacea gives dilated blood vessels and inflammation in the skin. The skin is often also infected by bacteria. Most often the face is attacked and especially the convex surfaces of the face. Sometimes also the eyes or other body parts are affected. Rosacea may begin early, but distinct and serious symptoms usually develop as an individual gets older.
WHAT SYMPTOMS ARE SEEN BY ROSACEA
The primary symptoms of rosacea are the following. All the symptoms may not be present always.
- Permanent redness in the skin. This redness can get better or worse periodically.
- Flushing or redness that comes and disappears periodically
- Telangiectasia – This is a distinct widening of small blood vessels in an area.
- Papules – Small dome-shape spots filled with fluid, often group wise.
- Skin areas with rosasea symptoms often get infected, and the infection worsens the symptoms.
- Pustules or pimples Sometimes infection makes the papules develop into real pimples. However, if the pimples appear in a hair follicle stuffed with sebum (comedones), they are a symptom of acne, and not rosacea. Pimples from acne and rosacea may exist together.
Rosacea also implies secondary symptoms that are caused by the primary symptoms, or appear later than the primary ones.
- Burning or stinging
- Placks – elevated red areas
- Scaling, often associated with burning or stinging
- Dry skin, often occurring before scaling
- Edema coming in areas that already has been red for some time
- Symptoms from the eyes like: Redness, itching, burning, corneal damage
- Thickening of the skin, or lumps in the skin
- Distended hair follicles
- Rosacea in other places than the face
WHAT CAUSES ROSACEA
The exact causes are not known, but some people seem to inherit the tendency of developing rosacea.
People that blush very often seem to develop rosacea more easily. Therefore rosacea may be caused by blood vessels that dilate too easily upon stimulation, and eventually become permanently dilated.
The following types of stimulation may cause worsening of the rosacea symptoms: heat, hot baths, strenuous exercise, sunlight, wind, very cold temperatures, hot or spicy foods and drinks, alcohol consumption, menopause, emotional stress, prolonged use of topical steroids on the skin.
HOW IS ROSACEA TREATED
Traditional medicine does not have any treatment for the basic processes of rosacea, such as redness and the blood vessel extention.
Laser treatment may be used to take away dilated blood vessels or skin irregularities by rosacea. The laser light heats and destroys the dilated blood vessels.
When infection is a part of the disease, and papules or pustules occur, rosacea is treated with antibiotics, usually applied directly on the skin, for example metronidazole.
Oral treatment may also be used by severe rosacea, for example with: Tetracycline, minocycline, erythromycin, and doxycycline.
By pimple formation, you can also use rinsing skin cleansers in the same way as by acne. On the market you can find several alternative medicines, mostly topical creams, to treat rosacea.
These often contain natural oils, herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that alleviate inflammation and stimulate skin healing. They may also contain mild antiseptic agents to treat bacterial infection.