Rosacea

That flushed look: do you get asked if you’ve been in the sun? Or are you blushing? The answer could be more complicated that those possibilities. You might have rosacea.

Rosacea is described as an ongoing redness or flushing in the middle of your face, nose and cheeks that is sometimes accompanied by swollen blood vessels. Sometimes, along with the facial redness come acne-like bumps that can be sore. Another rare symptom can be an enlarged nose (think W.C. Fields, who had rosacea).

If this sounds like you and your redness is not going away, contact your dermatologist for diagnosis and help with rosacea management.

No one knows what causes rosacea, but it is likely a mix of genetics and the environment. You are most likely a rosacea candidate if you are a fair skinned female. If you are both of those and also have had sun damage, you are even more likely to develop rosacea.

Those older than the age of thirty are more likely to get rosacea. Likely candidates also include smokes and those with a family history of rosacea.

There are certain risk factors and triggers that provoke the redness: alcohol, hot drinks, hot and/or spicy food, sunshine, wind, and sometime cosmetics. Some medications cause your blood vessels to dilate and that can also aggravate your rosacea. Exercising is another trigger and so are your emotional ups and downs.

There is no cure for rosacea, only management which is often done with a combination of skin care and prescribed medications. Some medications are topical to reduce the redness. Stop using the medication and the redness will return. Oral antibiotics are sometimes used to help diminish bacteria and inflammation. Severe rosacea is sometimes treated with an acne drug, isotretinoin. Do not use this if you are pregnant and make sure you and your dermatologist thoroughly discuss this medication before you decide to try it.

Laser therapy or light therapy are also treatment options to discuss with your doctor.

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