Health Matters Spring 2022 | Page 19

Putting a face to the skin ailment rosacea

Skin conditions tend to be troublesome because they are so visible . But that same visibility compels many people to take fast action to diagnose and treat any condition that affects their skin .
Rosacea is a common chronic condition that affects about 14 million people in the United States , according to the Cleveland Clinic . The Canadian Dermatology Association says rosacea affects more than three million Canadians .


Johns Hopkins Medicine says the cause of rosacea is unknown . It tends to begin after middle age ( age 30 to 60 ) and is more common in fair-skinned people .
The first signs of rosacea are intermittent redness or blushing . However , over time the redness may become persistent and more visible .
Rosacea is most notable on the face and can be mistaken for acne , since it also produces small , pus-filled bumps in certain cases , says the Mayo Clinic . It also occasionally affects the neck , chest or other areas .
The following are the types and symptoms of rosacea and how they build with time .
• Prerosacea : Frequent episodes of blushing and flushing .
• Vascular rosacea : Swelling of the facial skin , leading to swollen , warm skin .
• Inflammatory rosacea : The formation of pimples and enlarged blood vessels on the face .
• Rhinophyma : Oil glands in the nose and cheeks become enlarged , leading to a bulbous , red nose ( more common in men ).
The Mayo Clinic says that rosacea also can cause eye
problems . These include dry , irritated , swollen eyes and eyelids , known as ocular rosacea . In certain cases , eye symptoms precede skin issues .
The National Rosacea Society reports that rosacea symptoms may differ in men and women . Nose enlargement is more common in men , with males twice as likely to suffer from rhinophyma . In contrast , women were significantly more likely to experience rosacea symptoms on the chin .


Rosacea may flare up after consuming spicy foods , hot drinks or even alcoholic beverages . Wind , temperature extremes and exercise also can trigger symptoms . Those with rosacea should also exercise caution with medications that dilate blood vessels and test cosmetic
products , such as those for the skin and hair , prior to use .

Finding relief

Individuals who are uncomfortable or embarrassed due to rosacea should visit a dermatologist . Treatment often includes a combination of skin care techniques and prescription drugs . Oral antibiotics and acne drugs can mitigate symptoms . Topical drugs that reduce flushing also can be used for mild to moderate rosacea . Laser treatments may make enlarged blood vessels less visible . A dermatologist can talk about a regimen that will work for each patient .
Rosacea can be problematic for millions of people , but with good skin care and guidance by doctors , symptom severity can be reduced .
— Metro Creative Connection