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Rosacea - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Rosacea is a skin condition that produces red oily skin and acne. The tiny blood vessels in these areas gets dilate and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines called telangiectasias. Pimples can occur in rosacea that resemble teenage acne

Rosacea usually occurs in the central part of the face and involves the nose, cheeks, chin and/or forehead. Long term Rosacea may produce Rhinophyma, an enlarged nose.It tends to occur mostly on the face, and sometimes on the neck and upper chest. About 50 percent of the time it involves the eye area as well. It tends to occur more frequently in people with fair skin, and may be an inherited trait.

Rosacea is not primarily a plague of teenagers. It occurs most often in adults (ages 30 to 50) and affects both sexes but tends to be more common in women but worse in men. Unlike acne, there are no blackheads or whiteheads in rosacea.

Rosacea has three stages:

  1. First stage, the face gets red. The redness often occur after cold exposure or after exposure to irritants like soap.
  2. Second stage:the redness covers a larger area of the face. Slight swelling, pimples, and pustules develop.
  3. Third stage: It is characterized by swelling and growth of the nose and central facial areas

Causes of rosacea:

The general causes of rosacea are:-

  • Foods or beverages that cause facial flushing, such as alcohol, spicy foods, hot soups, coffee, and tea, may form rosacea.
  • Medications: The drugs such as amiodarone or nitroglycerine-like drugs may cause roscea.
  • Immunological factors: The immune abnormalities like different types of antinuclear antibodies in the blood may help in the formation of roscea.
  • A germ called demodex follicularum found on the skin may be involved in the formayion of rosacea.
  • Light: Ultraviolet light plays a major role in rosacea development. It affects the dermal connective tissue as well as lymphatic and blood vessels and could contribute to passive vasodilation.
  • Abnormalities in blood vessels, under the affected skin may cause rosacea.
  • Lymphatic system: Lymphedema is suspected to play a major role especially in the severe form of rhinophyma.
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances: An association of gastrointestinal symptoms like gastric hyperchlorhydria, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, constipation or alimentary symptoms and rosacea has been suspected, but there is no strong evidence for any relation.
  • Genetic: In 30-40% of patients have a family history of roscea.
  • Hot baths may also induce roscea.

Symptoms for rosacea:

The possible symptoms of rosacea includes:-

  • Facial swelling:- The affected area of the skin will get swell due to the presence of infection in the skin.
  • Flushing:The frequent flushing of face and neck, are among the main symptoms of roscea.
  • Thickening of the skin occurs in some cases.
  • Dry Facial Skin :Roscea increases the dryness of the skin. It may lead to itchy or swelling property.
  • Pimples : The pimples of rosacea are different from those of acne because blackheads and whiteheads
    rarely appear.
  • Facial burning sensations: The peoples with roscea, may have the burning sensation on the skin.
  • Red Lines In some peoples, there are red lines on the skin, called telangiectasia, which appear when they flush.
  • Facial skin hyper-reactivity: The skin may become hyper-reactive to cosmetics like- perfumes, deodrant, creams etc.
  • The bumps on the nose, may also occur in chronic condition of roscea.
  • Eye symptoms occur in more than half of the cases.

Treatment for rosacea:

  • Vitamin A derivatives such as isotretinoin are useful in the treatment of rosacea.
  • Two drugs - Monoxidine and Clonodine are anti-hypertensives and very beneficial for roscea treatment.
  • Retin-A is an effective treatment for Rosacea and can decrease the number of small blood vessels.
  • Use of sunscreen and avoidance of sunlight will help to prevent flares.
  • Exercise in a cool environment. Don't overheat.
  • Avoid irritating cosmetics and facial products.
  • Accutane is a drug taken by mouth which is reserved for severe rosacea.
  • Avoid hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages.
  • CO 2 laser:It can also be treated with this technique. This is often covered by insurance because it is so disfiguring.
  • LTD III: It is the third generation of topical mineral salt based treatment. The minerals shrink facial vessels as well as reduce papules and pustules.
  • Typical treatment for rosacea is to take 500 mg of tetracycline in the morning,
  • Dye laser treatments:The red face of rosacea can often be improved with this method. This type of treatment is time consuming and expensive. It is not covered by insurance.
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