What is Rosacea?
By some recent estimates Rosacea afflicts 13 million
Americans. Rosacea is a chronic disease which usually first appears
as subtle reddening on the face. Over time this may develop into
some inflammation and may be accompanied by skin eruptions. About
half of Rosacea suffers also have some sort of symptoms with their
eyes (known as Ocular Rosacea). If left untreated, over time Rosacea
can result in the appearance of red lines which result from swollen
or damaged veins. [ More on Symptoms...]
Who Gets Rosacea?
Rosacea most commonly afflicts adults between the
ages of 30 and 60 though it has been know to afflict children.
Symptoms usually start to appear to people in their 30s or 40s. Men
and women are equally likely to to be affected and there seems to be
a genetic aspect to the disease. In one survey, forty percent of
rosacea sufferers surveyed could identify a relative with the
symptoms of rosacea. There is a reasonably common belief the people
of Irish or Northern European descent are more likely to be affected
though some studies have not necessarily supported this. There is no
evidence that Rosacea can be passed from one person to another (i.e:
it is not a contagious condition).
What Causes It?
The exact cause of Rosacea is still largely unknown,
however the symptoms are reasonably well understood as are a variety
of lifestyle factors (such as particular foods and activities) that
are known to trigger outbreaks in people that have the disease.
[ More on Lifestyle Factors...]
Can it Be Cured?
At this time there is no complete cure for Rosacea.
Several treatments have been shown to be successful in reducing or
eliminating the symptoms. These treatments, in combination with
modifying the lifestyle factors (mentioned above) can greatly reduce
the day-to-day impact of the disease for most people.
If you believe that you may have Rosacea, the first
thing to do is to see your dermatologist. Many of the symptoms of
Rosacea could be the result of other ailments. As always when
dealing with this sort of situation, professional advice should be
your first course of action.
If you have been diagnosed with Rosacea you need to
know that there is currently no cure. In fact, the cause of Rosacea
is still somewhat of a mystery. Having said this however, the good
news is that there are many things that can be done to bring the
disease under control and minimize the symptoms and also to prevent
the disease from progressing further. In general, the treatment is
aimed at the control of redness, inflammation, and skin eruptions.
Treatment is necessary to prevent permanent damage.
Forms of Treatments
In most cases, once a diagnosis of Rosacea has been
made a dermatologist will prescribed a combination of oral
antibiotics and the use of antibiotic gel as initial treatment. The
oral antibiotics will bring the condition under control (reducing
redness and the formation of papules and pustules), then the topical
treatments will be used to keep the symptoms under control. In all
cases the dermatologist should help to determine the relevant
lifestyle factors which may need modification to keep
flushing/blushing from occurring.
Long term use of Oral Antibiotics is not recommended due to a number
of side effects which may occur including sun sensitivity and upset
A couple of important notes:
It may take several weeks or more to see any
improvement in the condition
Since Rosacea cannot be cured it will often be
necessary to continue with topical treatment (and modification of
lifestyle factors) even after symptoms have been reduced or have
disappeared. Your dermatologist will make a recommendation based on
your particular situation.
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