Skin is the largest organ in the human body. As a result, when skin is compromised, the results can be painful and noticeable.
Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects a large number of people. The American Academy of Dermatology says rosacea begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. Rosacea may first appear on the nose and cheeks or the forehead and chin before spreading to other areas like the ears, chest and back. If simple blushing were the only symptom, people may be content to let rosacea go unaddressed. However, the AADA says rosacea has four subtypes that can cause more pronounced symptoms:
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea - This causes redness, flushing and visible blood vessels.
Papulopustular rosacea - Redness, swelling and acne-like breakouts are hallmarks of this type of rosacea.
Phymatous rosacea - When this occurs, skin thickens and has a bumpy texture.
Ocular rosacea - Ocular rosacea affects the eyes, which can become red and irritated. Eyelids may swell, and a person may have what looks like a sty.
Treatments for rosacea vary depending on the type a patient has and its severity. The Mayo Clinic says treatment often involves a combination of skin care strategies and prescription medications. For example, the drug Brimonidine may be prescribed to constrict blood vessels and reduce redness. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and reduce bumps and pustules.
Patients also are advised to take some self-care steps to reduce flare-ups. These include some easy techniques:
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, as UV rays can exacerbate flare-ups.
- Use gentle products on the skin and avoid rubbing or touching the face too much.
- Keep a log of what triggers redness and avoid those triggers. Specific foods, alcohol and certain cosmetics and other skin products may be triggers.
- Use makeup to reduce the signs of redness. Green-tinted foundations and powders can offset red undertones.
- Some people have found alternative treatments like gentle facial massage can reduce swelling and inflammation.
Dermatologists can work with patients to develop treatment plans for their specific symptoms. Although rosacea cannot be cured, symptoms can be managed effectively.