Rosacea is a common chronic skin condition that affects over 14 million Americans, many of whom are unaware that they have it. Rosacea appears on the skin of the face as areas of redness and sometimes small, pus-filled bumps similar to acne. It is most generally seen in middle-aged to elderly women with light complexions; however, anyone can develop the condition. Though there is rarely any physical discomfort associated with rosacea, it can affect a patient's confidence and self-esteem. There is no cure for rosacea, but there are several treatments available to help control symptoms and allow patients to enjoy their lives. If you would like to discuss your options for managing your rosacea, schedule a consultation at Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco & Marin. You can receive a diagnosis and treatment recommendations from our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Tracy Evans, or one of our experienced physician's assistants.
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The exact cause of rosacea has not been determined; however, specialists think it could be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People of Northern European descent seem to have a higher incidence of rosacea, as well as those with family members who suffer from rosacea or aggressive acne. Scientists believe that immune system overreactions can cause rosacea, especially when triggered by certain bacteria or mites. Some dermatologists also think the redness and flushing associated with rosacea is the result of abnormal facial blood vessels.
There are a large number of factors that can trigger rosacea or cause it to worsen. These can include dairy, spicy foods, hot beverages, and alcohol, especially red wine; sunlight and extreme hot or cold temperatures, including baths or showers; stress and strenuous exercise; certain medications; and cosmetics.
The symptoms of rosacea can vary from mild to severe, but the telltale sign of rosacea is noticeable redness in the central portion of the face. The small blood vessels of the nose and cheeks can swell and become visible. Other symptoms include red and swollen bumps on the face that looks similar to acne. The skin can also feel hot and tender, similar to a sunburn. Eye problems, such as irritation, dryness, and swollen eyelids, are often also present in patients with rosacea. Less often, the tip of the nose can appear enlarged due to thickening of the nose skin.
If you are diagnosed with rosacea, there are several ways you can manage your symptoms. For daily routines, it is important to be diligent about wearing the correct sunscreen and maintaining a gentle skin care regimen. Unfortunately, there is no cure for rosacea, but there are antibiotics that can address inflammation, which can be taken orally or smoothed over the skin as a topical lotion. Many patients with rosacea also respond well to acne medications, such as isotretinoin. Surgery, such as laser surgery or electrosurgery, is an effective option in cases where the symptoms don't respond to topical or oral medication. These procedures can be used to reduce the appearance of blood vessels and remove excessive tissue buildup around the nose.
Restore Your Self-Esteem
Rosacea has both physical and emotional symptoms because facial redness often causes patients to feel embarrassed or self-conscious in social situations. If you believe you have rosacea, please call Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology San Francisco & Marin to schedule a consultation. We can develop a treatment plan that allows you to put your best face forward. Dr. Tracy Evans and her team are knowledgeable in cutting-edge treatments and can offer you hope and help.