Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that appears as red patches on your nose and cheeks that may also spread to your forehead or chin.
Although a newly-developed tendency to blush or flush more easily than before is often the first sign of rosacea, some people with the condition may also notice that it makes their ears, chest, or back red, too.
Symptoms can also include red, swollen bumps that contain pus and resemble acne.
Rosacea isn’t necessarily uncomfortable, but sometimes it can make skin feel sensitive, hot, raw, or tender.
Because the condition is noticeable, long-lasting, and sometimes painful, it can affect your overall quality of life. Frustration, embarrassment, and low self-esteem are a just few of the issues brought on by living with severe rosacea.
Its exact causes remain mysterious, but medical researchers believe that genetics and immune system function may both play a role, along with specific environmental factors which may trigger or worsen the condition, including:
- Intense exercise
- Emotional stress
- Sunlight, wind, and temperature extremes
- Hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol
- Certain cosmetics and medications
Although anyone can develop rosacea, it’s most common among fair-skinned women between the ages of 30 and 60.
Because rosacea is sometimes mistaken for eczema or allergies, proper treatment requires an accurate diagnosis.
There are three types of rosacea; it’s possible to have more than one type, and each type requires a different treatment plan:
This condition involves easy flushing of the skin, which is often brought on by hot foods or drinks, alcohol, caffeine, exercising in the heat, or sun exposure.
The best way to treat mild rosacea is by avoiding known triggers. If the redness becomes persistent, laser photorejuvenation treatments that target the blood vessels in your skin are often helpful. Using a green-tinted moisturizer may also help mask the redness.
Moderate rosacea, also known as papulopustular rosacea, is characterized by persistent redness. Small, red, pus-filled bumps may also appear.
Treatments for this type of rosacea include topical creams, lotions, gels, and washes, as well as oral antibiotics, which can reduce surface bacteria and decrease inflammation.
With the most advanced type of rosacea, your oil glands enlarge, causing a bulbous, red nose and puffy cheeks. Surgery is often the best treatment option for this type of rosacea.