Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes the face to appear reddish – especially around the nose and cheeks. The signature flushed look of this condition is caused by dilation of the blood vessels just under the skin. These lesions (vascular abnormalities) can eventually cause changes in skin texture leading to the development of bumps on the affected skin. Acne is also a common problem for people who have rosacea.
This skin condition is not curable, but there are a number of therapies that can reduce rosacea symptoms and improve your appearance. Speak with your dermatologist about what might be the right combination of treatments for your condition. These might include:
- Oral anti-biotics such as doxycycline or tetracycline in low doses
- Topical skin creams containing sulfur compounds
- Topical azelaic acid gels or creams such as Finacea or Azelex
- Antibacterial creams such as Metrogel or Noritate
- Cosmetics with a greenish tint that mask the redness in the skin
- Laser therapy that targets and reduces the appearance of dilated blood vessels
The underlying conditions that cause rosacea to occur in the first place are poorly understood. However, there are a number of well known triggers that make it flare up. You may be able to reduce flare-ups by minimizing your exposure to the following:
- UVA and UVB radiation (sunlight and tanning beds)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spicy foods such as hot peppers
- Hot beverages
- Stress and anxiety
- Extreme hot and cold temperatures
- Windy weather
- Strenuous, prolonged exercise (moderate exercise is fine)
You may find that certain skin products will irritate your skin as well. Ask your dermatologist to recommend a pH neutral facial wash that is gentle enough for rosacea patients.
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