Rosacea is a skin condition that is characterized by facial redness, and it is most commonly found on the nose, cheeks, chin, and in between the eyebrows. People who suffer from rosacea tend to blush very easily or are constantly red. Other symptoms of rosacea include bloodshot/watery eyes, sensitive skin, a burning/stinging sensation, broken facial capillaries, and acne-like pustules on the face.
Rosacea is a common condition that affects approximately 1 in 20 people. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown but exposure to radiation and certain climates is thought to contribute to its development. In the past, it was believed that Helicobacter pylori, the same bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, led to the development of rosacea, but recent studies show that a mite called Demodex folliculorum may be involved.
First Step in Treatment
Current treatments for rosacea do not provide a cure for the condition, but rather are aimed at keeping its symptoms at bay. The first step in treating rosacea consists of determining what triggers it and exacerbates its condition.
Common triggers of Rosacea include the following:
- Direct sunlight
- Extreme weather
- Spicy foods
- Strenuous exercise
- Menopause/hot flashes
- Hot drinks
Skin Care Products
Skin care products like toners that contain alcohol can also exacerbate rosacea. If you use sunscreen, choose one that contains titanium oxide or zinc oxide so your skin doesn’t get irritated. Avoiding certain skin care chemicals or changing your skin care routine is recommended in the treatment of rosacea.
Use skin care products that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients such as pro-vitamin B5, chamomile, green tea, feverfew, calendula, arnica, aloe vera, and red algae. Wearing mineral makeup containing these anti-inflammatory ingredients can also be beneficial.
Rosacea is best treated with a combination of medical grade skin care products and laser treatments. Powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients that require a prescription include the antibiotics metronidazole gel (Rozex) and clindamycin gel. Other substances that are used to treat rosacea include azelaid and salicylic acid, which both have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Retinaldehyde is a less irritating retinoid that is ideal for patients with sensitive skin. Retinaldehyde reduces the endolethial growth factors that can worsen the redness of the skin.
Topical steroids are not recommended for the treatment of rosacea because they worsen capillary formation and redness in the long run. To treat inflammatory lesions from rosacea, oral antibiotics may be prescribed. Tetracylcines are the primary type of antibiotic prescribed for the treatment of rosacea.
Broken facial capillaries can typically only be treated by laser. Laser treatment is also used to correct redness. It is not recommended to leave rosacea untreated because it can lead the skin to become damaged and thickened, cause enlargement of the nose, and worsen redness and facial capillaries. Although there is no cure for rosacea, treatments are helpful in reducing its signs and symptoms. In order to maintain the effects of treatment, ongoing maintenance sessions may be necessary.