What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a common chronic skin disease that affects the quality of life of a person with this condition. Symptoms includes facial redness, papules, pustules, visible broken blood vessels (Telangiectasias), flushing and swelling in the center of the face. Flareups can spread redness from the nose to the cheeks, forehead and chin. It can also affect the eyes, ears, chest, neck, shoulders and upper back. Rosacea causes extremely sensitive skin. Over time the redness in the center of the face can become permanent.
Rosacea affects about 10% of Americans. Women are more frequently affected than men. Fair-skinned individuals with blond hair and blue eyes, from a Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry, with a family history of rosacea or acne are at risk. There is no cure. However, it can be controlled successfully with lifestyle changes, and certain treatments.
What causes rosacea?
The cause is not known but is believed to involve an autoimmune disorder with a genetic component, and overgrowth of common skin organisms.
There are four types of rosacea:
- Redness and flushing with visible blood vessels. Symptoms: Visible broken spider veins; swollen and sensitive skin; dry, rough and scaly skin, and skin that stings and burns.
- Redness, swelling and acne like lesions. Symptoms: Acne-like lesions where the skin is red; breakouts that come and go; sensitive skin, oily skin, skin that burns and stings; visible broken spider veins and raised areas of skin called plaques.
- Thickened skin that has a bumpy texture and enlarged pores. Symptoms: roughly textured skin; skin that thickens on the nose, forehead, cheeks, chin and ears; enlarged pores; visible broken blood vessels, and oily skin.
- Ocular Rosacea affects the eyes causing redness and irritation, swollen eyelids, and whiteish lesions. Symptoms: watery and bloodshot eyes; dry eyes that burn, sting and feel gritty; sensitivity to light; blurry vision; visible broken blood vessels on the eyelids, cysts on the eyelids and impaired vision.
How is Rosacea diagnosed?
Rosacea is diagnosed by your history of signs and symptoms. Prepare for your consultation by making a list of your signs and symptoms and the triggers you have noticed that worsen your condition. At your consultation, Dr. Zeena will examine your skin and eyes, review your history, ask you questions, and rule out other conditions that can look like rosacea. There are no blood tests. Based on your signs and symptoms she will make the diagnosis and recommend treatment options.
What are the treatment options?
The goal of treatment is to control symptoms, reduce or eliminate flareups which aggravate the condition, relieve discomfort and prevent worsening of the condition.
- Recognizing triggers. Everyone has different triggers. Identifying your triggers can help to control flare-ups. Common triggers include stress, heat, spicy foods, sun exposure, hairspray, alcohol, exercise, and makeup and skin care products that cause stinging, burning or itching.
- Treatments range from oral antibiotics, to topical treatments like Azelaic acid and metronidazole, laser therapy to reduce visible blood vessels, dermabrasion, and laser facials. Sun protection is essential.
Rosacea is a frustrating and embarrassing condition that causes many victims to avoid social contact. 70% of people living with rosacea said it has impacted their self-confidence and self-esteem, and because many people do not know what rosacea is, they conclude the affected has a drinking problem. Treatment can improve the quality of life for people affected by rosacea.
Dr. Zeena, a prominent board-certified dermatologist and dermatological surgeon in New Orleans, Louisiana offers compassionate professional care to all her patients. Contact Dr. Zeena to schedule a consultation and receive the correct diagnosis and treatment options.