Does your face often look like you are blushing, and there are bumps that look a little like acne? You could have a skin condition called Rosacea. Experts believe more than 16 million people are affected by Rosacea in the US alone. Unfortunately, many cases are undiagnosed and therefore not currently receiving treatment.
We want you to know there are a variety of treatments that Dr. Gurgen can recommend to manage your symptoms, and even some things you can do to help at home.
What are the Symptoms of Rosacea?
The most obvious is redness on your face – your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. You may also experience redness on your ears, chest head or neck as well, although this is less common.
If you have had the condition for a while, you may have broken blood vessels that are visible through your skin. These broken blood vessels can thicken and swell over time.
Finally about half of the patients we see with Rosacea also experience redness, swelling and pain in their eyes.
Here are some other symptoms you may experience with Rosacea:
- Larger pores
- A bulb-shaped nose that is enlarged
- Patches of rough dry skin
- “Burning” or “Stinging” skin
- Bumps on your eyelids
- Problems seeing
- Broken blood vessels that are visible on your eyelids
These symptoms typically come and go, flaring up for a few weeks and then fading, only to return later.
What Causes Rosacea?
We aren’t really sure exactly what causes rosacea, but there are certain things that may be underlying factors including your genes. Certain cases may also be linked to trouble with blood vessels, which could be complicated by sun damage. Exterior factors may also be involved including mites or certain bacteria.
There are certain categories of people who are more likely to get Rosacea:
- People who have family members with Rosacea
- Fair skinned people with blonde hair and blue eyes
- People between 30 and 50
- And, people who have experienced severe acne
Medical Treatments for Rosacea
It is very important to seek medical treatment for Rosacea from your dermatologist. Without help, your Rocacea symptoms may get worse and could become permanent.
There isn’t a cure for rosacea, but our office has several treatments that we can recommend depending upon your specific situation. We have had very good results helping patients manage their symptoms and avoid permanent damage to their skin. We even have procedures that can reduce the appearance of broken or enlarged blood vessels.
Things You Can Do at Home to Avoid Flare-Ups
Keep a record of flare-ups and try to pinpoint what triggers Rosacea for you, and then try to avoid these things. To help, we have created a list of things that are known to cause episodes in many people:
- Exposure to hot or cold temperatures
- Exercise that is intense or more than customary
- Certain medications like blood pressure drugs
- Creams, especially those with steroids
- Hot baths or hot tubs
- Spicy foods
- Hair sprays and cosmetics with sodium lauryl sulfate
- Skin care products with alcohol, menthol or camphor
You can also take some pro-active steps to prevent or limit the redness of your skin, including wearing at least SPF 30 sunscreen every time you go outside. We recommend that our patients routinely use skin care products for sensitive skin including an appropriate face moisturizer. Facial massage can also help – Simply rub your face gently in circular motions starting in the middle and working outward toward your ears. And, green-tinted cover ups are great to hide redness and broken blood vessels.
The way you eat may also be impacting the severity and frequency of your break outs. We already mentioned avoiding spicy foods, but also consuming an anti-inflammatory diet like the Mediterranean diet can often help.
Stress and emotions can really play a large part as well. If Rosacea is starting to affect your self-esteem, you should talk to your doctor. There are support groups as well for those dealing with Rosacea.
What happens if Rosacea is not treated?
In the beginning, Rosacea symptoms are short-term lasting only a few hours. Left untreated, the redness can become permanent and small nodules may appear on the nose and other areas of the face. Eyes can become dry and red, and vision may eventually be impaired.
Dr. Gurgen knows how to treat this frustrating condition, using powerful, proven treatment techniques that can restore your skin to health and vitality once again. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.