Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels on your face. The redness typically involves the nose and cheeks but can also include the forehead and chin.
Rosacea Signs and Symptoms
Rosacea can cause more than just redness of the central face. There are four subtypes of rosacea:
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea – characterized by redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels
- Papulopustular rosacea (sometimes referred to as adult acne) – characterized by redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts
- Phymatous rosacea – characterized by skin thickening and bumpy texture of the nose and sometimes other facial areas, typically seen in men
- Ocular rosacea – characterized by red, irritated eyes and swollen eyelids
Causes of Rosacea
The cause of rosacea is unknown. It is likely a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Several factors can trigger or worsen rosacea by increasing blood flow to the skin. These include sunlight, hot drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, extremes in temperature, emotional stress, hot baths or saunas, exercise, prolonged use of cortisone creams, and certain drugs such as nasal steroids, amiodarone, tamoxifen, and rifampin.
Self-Care for Rosacea
These practices may help reduce signs and symptoms of rosacea:
- Identify and minimize exposure to possible triggers. Avoid drinking hot liquids and alcohol, eating spicy food, and excessive heat exposure.
- Protect your face. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. In warm weather, wear a broad-brimmed hat while outdoors. In cold windy weather, wear a scarf or ski mask.
- Treat your skin gentle. Avoid facial products with alcohol or other skin irritants. Use mild cleansers for your face.
- Apply makeup. In fair skinned individuals, a green tinted makeup can help reduce redness.
Prescription medications for rosacea include:
- Topical medications that reduce redness include brimonidine (Mirvaso), azelaic acid (Finacea, Azelex) and metronidazole (Metrogel),
- Oral antibiotics such as doxycycline that can help reduce inflammation associated with this skin condition,
- Isotretinoin for severe cases associated with acne-like lesions,
- Dermabrasion for cosmetic correction of extra nose tissue in individuals with rhinophyma,
- Electrocautery to eliminate small blood vessels using an electrical current, and/or
- Lasers such as a vascular laser (see VBeam Perfecta® laser) to reduce visibility of blood vessels on the face.
If you are interested in learning more about treatment options for your rosacea, please call Heller Dermatology & Aesthetic Surgery to schedule your appointment!