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About Rosacea

Updated on February 3, 2016
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Questions About Rosacea

Rosacea is a skin problem that can cause facial redness, small pus filled bumps, and thick skin. The areas of the face that can be affected are the cheeks, the nose, and the chin. Many people who have it don't know even know it. They think they just blush easily or attribute it to exposure to the sun. This condition can also affect your eyes causing symptoms that include redness, burning, itching, and dryness.


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Who Gets Rosacea?

There are over 16 million people in the United States, and over 45 million people in the world, with Rosacea. Most of these people are women, though men can get it too. If there is a family history of Rosacea, you could be at risk. You usually see signs of it between the ages of 30 and 60. Fair skinned people are the most common sufferers. This condition is sometimes referred to as "The Curse of The Celts".

What Are The Symptoms Of Rosacea?

The most common sign is redness on your face. You see the redness on the forehead, the nose, the cheeks, and the chin. Sometimes the blood vessels in your face will be enlarged and noticeable. Pustules and pimples might be seen as well.

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What Is The Cure For Rosacea?

There is no cure for Rosacea. No one is really sure about what causes it. It is, however, a chronic problem. It is a lifetime problem that comes and goes. There are triggers that can set it off. Some of the most common triggers fall into several different groups:

  • Hot Weather
  • Sun Exposure
  • Hot Baths
  • Drinking Hot Liquids
  • Spicy Foods
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Dancing
  • Skin Products
  • Menopause
  • Medications

All of these things can cause your Rosacea to flare up.

How Do You Manage Rosacea?

First, go to the doctor to make sure your problem is Rosacea. There are other skin conditions that may resemble Rosacea and you want to be sure what it is you are dealing with. Other skin conditions your redness could be include acne, seborrhea, eczema, psoriasis, or even lupus symptoms.

Once you have a diagnosis your doctor will talk to you about how to avoid flare ups and possibly give you some medication to help keep your Rosacea under control. You might have to take antibiotics or apply an antibiotic cream to your face. You may be able to use a topical skin lotion to your face. I use Metrogel. Yes, I have Rosacea but mine is in the earlier phases. I apply the Metrogel once a day and it helps to keep my Rosacea under control.

That's not to say I never have flare ups, but it works pretty well for me. I do have to stay away from spicy foods, which I love, from hot liquids like coffee, which I love, and from strenuous physical activity, which I don't love so much. Except for dancing, I do love dancing. Sometimes I just have to choose which is more important to me...eating and drinking the things I like and dancing when I want. It's a choice. The better choices for controlling my rosacea do not always win, but I am a fun person. So what if my face is flushed.

Other treatments can include sun lotion with an SPF factor of 15 or higher. SPF is sun protection factor and it tells you how long you will be protected by the sunscreen in the product you are using.

There are also treatments you can choose to have to correct damage caused by your Rosacea. These treatments include electrosurgery, laser surgery, and even having some skin removed from your nose if your Rosacea causes your nose to become enlarged and bumpy. If you remember ever seeing W.C. Fields you would understand what can happen to your nose if you develop Rhinophyma. This facet of Rosacea usually happens in the later stages of this skin condition. I have a little bit of that going on, but right now there is no need to have it treated or removed. Thank Goodness!

The Four Phases Of Rosacea

There are four rather distinct phases of Rosacea. Some people may never get past the first phase, but it's always good to know what you are dealing with. Each phase has additional symptoms you should know about.

The four phases of Rosacea are:

  • Pre-rosacea - the blushing stage
  • Vascular Rosacea - erythematotelangiectatic rosacea
  • Inflammatory Rosacea - papulopustular rosacea
  • Late Rosacea - phymatous rosacea

Pre-rosacea Symptoms

In the early stages of Rosacea you might notice you have the tendency to blush. This blushing is caused by the dilation of tiny blood vessels that are found under your skin. As time goes on you might find the slight or occasional blushing becomes more persistent. This first phase is called Pre-rosacea.

Inflammatory Rosacea

Inflammatory Rosacea is the stage when you will begin to see papules (those are small red bumps) and pustules (these look like a pus-filled pimple). These may look like acne, but they are not the same. They need a very different treatment, so don't start using acne medications if you progress into this stage.

Late Rosacea

Late Rosacea is the most advanced phase of this chronic skin condition. The condition still has the symptoms of the earlier stages, but they are more intense. The redness of your skin has deepened. The spider veins are more numerous. Your skin might appear thicker. This thickening can happen on your nose and if it does, the skin on the nose will become enlarged and possibly bulbous. This thickening is called rhinophyma.

April Is Rosacea Awareness Month

April Is Rosacea Awareness Month
April Is Rosacea Awareness Month

Effective Skin Care Strategies To Control Rosacea

There are thousands upon thousands of skin care products, and like I did, people with Rosacea will search the shelves of stores for one that will help to keep their skin condition under control. Most of these products contain ingredients that are too harsh to be used on the skin of anyone who does have Rosacea. I know I've done damage to my skin by trying them. I put a cream on and before I finish applying it to my entire face, I have to rinse it off. I have quite sensitive skin and cannot use many facial products sold over the counter. Don't go crazy looking for a cure on the shelves of your local beauty store, you won't find one. Consult a dermatologist to find the best skin care for you and the stage of Rosacea your skin is in.

How To Keep Your Rosacea Under Control

Here are some simple skin care tips that might help you to keep your Rosacea from ever reaching the last phases of this chronic skin condition.

  1. Watch what you eat. Stay away from hot or spicy foods. Keep your body at a healthy weight. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Work out regularly.
  2. Take a multivitamin daily and you can also take antioxidants.
  3. Don't smoke. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking damages everything in your body. If your body is under stress your rosacea is going to react to those higher stress levels.
  4. Protect yourself from the damaging rays of the sun. This is a smart move for everyone, whether you have Rosacea or not. Use a sun block with an SPF of 15 or more when you go outside. The exposure to the sun has a direct effect on your Rosacea. If you must go outdoors in the sun, do so before 10 a.m or after 2 p.m. It is during that time of day when the sun's rays are strongest.
  5. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water. By drinking a lot of water you will keep your skin hydrated. This is one of the best ways to take care of your skin. Make sure you get enough water to flush and strengthen your entire system.
  6. Keep your skin clean. Rosacea is a skin condition that affects your face. Who knows if it can be preventable by keeping the external pollutants away from your skin. And if it doesn't prevent it completely, it just might keep it in the early phases of the condition. It will prevent any dirt or residue from aggravating the condition. Get into a skin cleansing routine and apply any medication from your dermatologist after you wash your face.
  7. Try to keep your emotions in check. Getting angry, stressing, or getting embarrassed can all trigger flare ups.

Red wine and other alcoholic drinks can trigger a Rosacea flare up
Red wine and other alcoholic drinks can trigger a Rosacea flare up

Rosacea Triggers

Everyone is different and some rosacea sufferers may be able to tolerate some of these foods without being bothered by them. For most people these foods do flare up their skin problems.

Food Related Triggers:

  • Avocados
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Eggplant
  • Soy Sauce
  • Vanilla
  • Vinegar
  • Avocados
  • Spicy and Thermally Hot Foods
  • Tomatoes

Temperature Related Triggers:

  • High Temperatures
  • Hot Baths
  • Overheating
  • Saunas
  • Simple Overheating

Weather Related Triggers:

  • Cold
  • Heat
  • Humidity
  • Sun
  • Wind

Drugs And Medication Related Triggers:

  • Vasodilators
  • Topical Steroids

Beverages Related Triggers:

  • Alcohol, especially red wine,
    beer, bourbon, gin, vodka or champagne - red wine gets me every time.
  • Hot Drinks, such as hot cider,
    hot chocolate, coffee or tea

Emotional Influence & Physical Exertion Triggers:

  • Anxiety
  • Dancing
  • Exercise
  • Heavy Lifting
  • Stress

Skin Care Product Triggers:

  • Some cosmetics that contain alcohol, witch hazel, fragrances, and other harsh ingredients
  • Anything that contains Hydro-alcoholic or acetone
  • Creams that cause redness or stinging - I can usually feel the burn as soon as I put a trigger lotion on my face. I usually start taking it off before I have it completely on. My skin is very sensitive to moisturizing and anti-aging or anti-wrinkle products.

Spicy foods can trigger a Rosacea flare up
Spicy foods can trigger a Rosacea flare up

Do You Have Any Rosacea Symptoms?

Do You Have Any Of These Rosacea Symptoms?

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Treatments For Rosacea

Rosacea treatments depend on what stage you are in and what treatment works for you.

Some of the medications prescribed by doctors include:

  • Antibiotics - these could be oral or topical
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Metrogel

There are also surgical measures that your doctor might want to discuss with you.

Telangiectasia is an electrosurgery done with a pulsed laser.

Rhinophyma can include dermabrasion, surgical shaving, or laser peel treatments.

Rosacea Facts

Over 16 million people in the United States suffer from rosacea.

You pronounce it "Roh-Zay-Sha.

If the skin around your nose thickens it is called Rhinophyma. Rino-Fi-Ma.

More women get Rosacea, but men can get it too.

There is no cure but it can be treated and controlled.

Prince Harry of Wales, Princess Diana of Wales, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge all have the chronic skin condition, Rosacea.
Prince Harry of Wales, Princess Diana of Wales, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge all have the chronic skin condition, Rosacea. | Source

Famous People With Rosacea

Here is a list of famous people who have or do suffer with Rosacea:

  • Princess Diana of Wales
  • W.C. Fields
  • Bill Clinton - Former President of the United States
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Mariah Carey
  • Rosie O'Donnell
  • Cynthia Nixon
  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
  • Prince Harry of Wales
  • Renee Zellweger
  • William Shatner
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar

The List Of Essential Oils

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