Rosacea is a genetically determined, long-lasting skin condition that causes inflammation and redness of the face. Rosacea usually progresses through four stages.
1. Erythema and flushing
2. Persistent redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead marked by telangiectasia
3. Papular and pustular acne form eruption with increase telangiectasia
4. Rhinophyma – Knobby bumps on nose with thickening of the skin of nose and redness and grittiness in eyes.
These skin symptoms causes much distress and social withdrawal for the people who suffer from it. According to surveys around 60% of individuals with stage 1 and 85% of those with stage 3 report an influence in social functioning – refusal of food and drinks is quite common (as these are triggers of flares).
Common triggers include hot drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, stress, sunlight and extreme heat or cold. These triggers increase blood flow and cause the small blood vessels in the face to dilate.
Also, being careful while selecting your daily skincare can help keep skin calm and clear.
· Select facial cleansers and moisturizers that do not burn, sting, irritate or cause redness when you apply them.
· Wash your face with lukewarm water and a mild soap. Don’t use too hot or cold water.
· Avoid toners, astringents, scrubs, exfoliating agents and products that contain alcohol or acetone.
· Hydroxy acids and tretinoin (for example, Retin-A) are very helpful for other skin conditions, but can worsen rosacea.
· Finally, use sunscreens and sun blockers regularly and liberally to protect your face.
Treatment Options: The good news is that treatments can improve the appearance of rosacea. They may even stop, or reverse, its progress. Depending on your specific symptoms, your doctor may prescribe:
Conventional treatments include topical antibiotics (metronidazole), topical azelaic acid (Finacea), oral antibiotics (cyclines) and Beta-Blockers / Alpha Antagonists to reduce flushing through their effect on blood vessels.
Laser treatments with pulse-dye and Nd-Yag lasers to reduce blood vessels on the affected skin also have proven to be useful in controlling and keeping the symptoms at bay.
Estrogen the female hormone is used when rosacea is aggravated by the hot flashes of menopause, since estrogen treatment reduces the number and severity of hot flashes.