How to Deal with Rosacea
Several million adults who range in age from 30 years old to 50 years old experience a persistent redness across the cheeks and nose that often begins as an increased tendency to flush. This skin condition is called rosacea. In addition to redness, adults who have rosacea may notice bumps, cysts, small blood vessels and swelling on the cheeks, chin forehead and nose.
Although rosacea can occur in anyone, those who are of Irish, English or Northern European descent are more likely to develop this condition. Typical rosacea patients are middle-aged females who have fair skin. However, men and some teenagers also suffer from rosacea.
People who have advanced rosacea may develop rhinophyma, which is a medical condition that causes the enlargement of the nose’s blood vessels and oil glands. As a result of this condition, patients may develop a bulbous nose. Approximately 50 percent of rosacea patients also experience eyelid inflammation or conjunctivitis.
There are numerous triggers that can contribute to a flare-up of rosacea. Patients can determine their unique triggers by keeping a log and using the process of elimination. Two of the most common triggers are heat and alcohol. Therefore, patients should limit their alcohol intake. Some patients find that white wine and sulfite-free wine does not aggravate their rosacea symptoms as much as other types of alcohol, such as beer, vodka, bourbon, gin, champagne and red wine. Individuals who struggle with rosacea should also avoid hot tubs and saunas, and they should limit their exposure to sunlight and extreme temperatures.
There are other rosacea triggers aside from heat and alcohol. Certain foods like chocolate, dairy products, citrus fruits, soy products and eggplants also contribute to flare-ups of rosacea. Caffeine, spicy cuisine, and hot beverages can also be triggers for this condition in some people. In addition, alcohol-based fragrances, topical steroid creams, facial scrubs, alpha-hydroxy products, anxiety, stress and high-intensity exercise may provoke rosacea symptoms.
Rosacea rarely improves without treatment. Dr. Hal Weitzbuch, a board-certified dermatologist, can diagnose rosacea and help prevent this condition’s progression. In some cases, the dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics or prescription creams to minimize the patient’s symptoms. Once the patient’s rosacea is under control, the dermatologist can give the patient gentle laser treatments that are designed to reduce dilated blood vessels and skin redness.