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What is Rosacea?

August 25, 2019

What is Rosacea?

So many of us wear our hearts on our sleeves, but when your ruby red heart starts matching the color of your face, this can be frustrating. Rosacea is a skin condition that plagues so many individuals. People may experience easy flushing when embarrassed or even while speaking! It is a condition that stays near and dear to my heart because I too suffer from Rosacea for many years. It was something that I noticed when I was in my early 20’s and found it necessary to learn how to manage this issue whenever it peaked its ugly head.

This will be one of a three blog series highlighting what is Rosacea, how do we treat it and are there any long term issues associated with Rosacea?

What does it look like?

People often think of Rosacea as just redness of the cheeks, but there is definitely more shapes and forms than one would think.

Someone with Rosacea may develop pimples and redness typically on the cheeks, chin and forehead which may even be itchy, burn and be tender at times.

It can often accompany the development of broken capillaries on the cheeks, perioral region (around the mouth) or nose area. During periods of time when the skin is not flared, there may be some persistent background redness that may be seen to some degree.

You may notice very dry skin especially on the cheeks or very oily skin and sometimes their may be a combination. Enlarged oil gland growths called sebaceous hyperplasia can also be seen as well. These growths can look like a yellowish donut shaped raised bumps which can be scattered throughout the face.

There are four types of Rosacea: 1-Erythematotelangiectatic: One type which encompasses easy flushing or even constant redness and broken blood vessels. 2- Papular Pustular: Someone may develop red pimples and pustules. It may even look like acne! However the difference between the two is blackhead development usually accompanies acne, which may not be seen with Rosacea. 3- Phymatous: The growth of thickened bumpy skin, known especially around the nose but can happen on the cheeks, forehead and chin. The nose may even become bulbous and large and is frequently seen in men. 4- Ocular rosacea is a type that affects the eyes. It causes a sensation of grittiness, flaking and itching on the eyes. Very commonly people may develop frequent Styes on the eyelid which can of course be uncomfortable (treatment will not be addressed here).

An individual may have one type or may sometimes suffer from multiple types at the same time.

What can cause flaring?

Flares of Rosacea can be seen for various reasons. It can be seen with certain foods such as :

tomatoes

coffee

caffeine

hot beverages

alcohol

chocolate

spices and spicy foods

Other aspects of redness can be caused by stress both physical and emotional ( for example, anger, excitement and anxiety), physical exertion such as working out, being in the sun, steroids, heat and temperature changes. Dermatologic procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion can also cause a flaring of Rosacea and should be done with care. Harsh drying skin care products can sometimes trigger Rosacea as well, such as frequently used Benzoyl peroxide.

It is important to understand what makes your skin tic. Identifying your triggers by keeping a food or skin diary can help you weed out what may be causing your skin to flare.

Stay tuned for the next 2 of 3 blog series about Rosacea.




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