Rosacea, or acne rosacea, is a skin disorder leading to nose pimples and redness on the forehead, cheekbones, and chin. In some cases, rosacea may also occur on the neck, chest, scalp or ears.
The condition is often progressive, embarrassing and uncomfortable for the sufferer.
The inflamed pimples and redness of rosacea can look a great deal like acne but blackheads are almost never present. One of the first signs of rosacea is the tendency to flush or blush easily.
Who does it affect
Many have observed that the condition typically begins at any time between the ages of 30 and 50 and it's likely to affect people who have previously suffered from acne or severe acne.
Some people are more likely than others to get rosacea:
- Women (especially during menopause)
- People with fair skin
- Adults between the ages of 30 and 60.
but anyone can get this skin disease.
There are strong signs that ethnicity is a cause in the potential to develop rosacea. People from Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry who have lighter skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes are particularly susceptible. It's often been called the "Curse of the Celts."
There is evidence to suggest that rosacea could be inherited and sufferers are likely to have someone in their family tree with the condition. People of all colours can get rosacea.
It is said that women are three times more likely than men to get rosacea, particularly during the menopause. Hot flushes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause and some women find that this can also trigger rosacea for the first time. Unfortunately symptoms can persist after the menopause too.
Women, however, are not as likely as men to get severe rosacea.
We should not overlook the effect rosacea has on men, especially in matters of the nose. In men, the nose is primarily affected and the nose may become large and disfigured (this is known as Rhinophyma) Rosacea can mimic other skin conditions, including acne and sunburn, earning it the nickname the great pretender.
Primary Signs of Rosacea are:
- Flushing - Frequent redness of the face which looks like blushing. This facial redness may come and go, and is often the earliest sign of the disorder.
- Persistent Redness - Facial redness is one of the most common signs of rosacea, and may resemble a blush or sunburn that doesn't go away.
- Papulopustular rosacea - Bumps and pimples. Small red solid bumps or pus-filled pimples often develop. While these may resemble acne, blackheads are absent and burning or stinging may occur.
- Visible Blood Vessels - Many people with rosacea will have small blood vessels (spider veins) become visible on the skin.
- Inflamed eyes/eyelids - This can cause symptoms such as dryness, itching, gritty sore eyes or excess tears.
- A swollen nose - This occurs mainly to men, the nose becomes red, larger, and bumpy.
- Thicker skin - The skin on the forehead, chin, cheeks, or other areas can become thicker because of rosacea.
Ways to Treat Rosacea:
- Ointments, creams and oral medicines are most effective in people with papulopustular rosacea
- Oral antibiotics and cream antibiotics with anti-inflammatory properties work by constricting blood vessels so that the skin doesn't look as red, and can also be used to treat the inflammation.
- Laser technology can successfully treat Rosacea and can help remove visible blood vessels, but it is highly unlikely that these treatments are available on the NHS.
Laser treatment provides an effective therapy for treating this upsetting condition. Excellent results are possible with the proper use of laser energies, not only in the cosmetic appearance but also in a marked reduction in the upsetting flushing attacks of Rosacea.
The laser treatment usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour, with patients experiencing only minimal discomfort and maybe a slight stinging sensation when administering the laser pulses.
The recommendation is to have four to six treatments, spaced three to four weeks apart.
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