Sunday, 5 October 2014

What is Rosacea? and ... Is it affecting you?
Most people don't know what Rosacea is. Many people even have it without knowing. So what is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects mainly people of north-western European descent, however it is found on all segments of the population. It usually starts with sporadic blushing or flushing of the face. Overtime the redness becomes more persistent and intensifies. Red bumps like pimples and broken capillaries may develop. In severe cases the eyes can get irritated and bloodshot and the nose may grow swollen and bulbous from excess tissue.

Regrettably there is no cure for Rosacea and its causes are unknown. There are, however a number of treatments to reduce the symptoms and keep the condition in check. Early diagnosis is recommended because if left untreated it worsens over time.

Rosacea develops primarily on people between the ages of 30 and 60 and affects more women than men.

There are 4 subtypes and most people develops symptoms of more than one subtype:

Rosacea Subtype 1 - Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea

This subtype is characterised by permanent redness, the skin can become dry and flaky, there is frequent blushing and there can be a burning sensation. Often capillaries close to the surface of the skin dilate and become visible.

Rosacea Subtype 2 - Papulopustular rosacea

Characterised by permanent redness and transient red bumps, sometimes with pus. It is often confused with acne.

Rosacea Subtype 3 - Phymatous rosacea

In this subtype the skin thickens, specially in the area of the nose, although it also appear in the forehead, chin, cheeks, ears and eyelids. There can be some nodularities and enlargement due to excess skin, small broken capillaries can also be visible.

Rosacea Subtype 4 – Ocular Rosacea

The eyes are often dry, itchy, red and watery. The eyelids are also irritated and swollen, and often develop cysts. This condition can cause vision loss due to corneal damage.

What causes Rosacea?

Although the exact cause of Rosacea is unknown there are many trigger factors that increase blushing and may play a part in the development of Rosacea:

- exposure to extreme temperatures or quick changes in temperature
- wind
- strenuous exercise
- sun exposure
- caffeine
- drinking alcohol
- spicy foods
- some vegetables and fruits
- dairy products
- hot baths
- some cosmetics and harsh skin care products
- humidity
- medical conditions and some medications
- stress and anxiety
- Demodex mite

How to manage Rosacea

While there is no cure for the condition a number of treatments can control or reverse some of the symptoms. It is also important to avoid trigger factors and use gentle skin care products.

Rosacea is very individual dependant, so treatments and products have to be tailor to the individual patient. A treatment that may work very well for one person may not work for another.

Antibiotics as well as number of drugs are available to treat the condition. It is important to consult your doctor or dermatologist to get a diagnosis and any prescription medicines you may require.

For mild eye irritation or dryness artificial tears, and the daily cleansing of the eyelashes with a mild shampoo may be recommended.

In the case of Rosacea Subtype 3, surgery may be required to remove excess skin.

No comments:

Post a Comment