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Understanding Rosacea – the basics

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What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin condition that is common. Patchy redness and inflammation are generally seen in this medical problem which generally show up on the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. It is mostly seen in case of people in the range of 30 to 50 years. It is more common in case of women than men.

Sometimes it is mistaken for sunburn because the symptoms start slowly. When it progresses, redness becomes more obvious and long-lasting. Burning or stinging feeling may also associate with this problem. Solid, small, red bumps known as papules may show up on the skin. Puss filled pimples called as pustules also appear. They are very similar to acne and so Rosacea is also mistaken for acne.

Small blood vessels known as telangiectasias appear prominently. When People who suffer from this problem blush, the blood vessels present on the faces become thin red lines. Some people may also have a red and irritated eyes, which may also burn.

If the disease advances the complete face may have the signs. Small bumps appear on the nose and the skin swells and as a result the face look like red and swollen. This condition has a name. It is known as rhinophyma. It is generally seen in case of men.

This problem may become severe and can result in permanent changes of the face. Rosacea does not have a known cure. There are some things that trigger it and it is best to avoid those triggers, which include the Sun, drinking hot beverages, spicy foods and alcohol.

Causes of Rosacea

Scientists do not know what actually causes rosacea. They have some ideas such as-

  • It is caused by a disorder of the blood vessels in which they swell and become red.
  • It's a genetic problem which is enhanced by environmental factors.
  • It happens due to mites clogging skin gland openings.

Rosacea is seen mostly in case of fair skinned people. Some researchers also link rosacea with migraines, eye disorders, skin problems etc.

Is rosacea like acne?

Rosacea is different than acne. Both of them can coexist. Sometimes, it is called as “adult acne.” however, it is different from common acne. Rosacea is mostly seen in case of adults of 30 to 50 years of age. Also, like acne it does not cause blackheads. Teens generally outgrow acne at one point of time but, rosacea patients don’t generally outgrow it. People suffering from acne have less red skins, whereas, who suffer from rosacea often have a rosy or pink colored skin.

Risk factors

The risk factors of rosacea include fair skin, heredity, positive family history (other family members having rosacea), female gender, 30 to 50 years of age, menopause etc.

Signs and symptoms

The most typical signs and symptoms of rosacea are-

  • facial flushing
  • redness of the skin
  • burning
  • red bumps
  • blushing
  • small cysts

Rosacea symptoms may vary. Sometimes the skin may be clear for quite long and then suddenly it may erupt again. This medical condition generally evolves in stages. Typically inflammation of the skin of the face is seen. The most affected areas are forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.

When it initially develops, it may show up and then disappear and then reappear. The skin may lose its normal color. The pimples and enlarged blood vessels may show up with time.

Rosacea triggers

There are some common rosacea triggers and it is best for your interest to avoid them if you are suffering from rosacea. If you avoid this potential triggers, the flares and symptoms may disappear. Smoking, spicy foods, alcohol and hot drinks are some of the most common triggers.

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