What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common, chronic skin condition that usually affects only the face and eyes. It can sometimes can be difficult to differentiate from acne.
Characterized by redness, pimples, and broken blood vessels, rosacea tends to begin after middle age (between the ages of 30 and 60) and is more common in fair-skinned people and women in menopause. An estimated more than 14 million people in the United States have rosacea.
What Causes Rosacea?
The cause of rosacea is not entirely known. Dilated blood vessels contribute to the redness of the face. Known triggers of rosacea include:
- Sun exposure
- Ingestion of spicy foods
- Alcohol use
- Emotional stress
Signs and Symptoms of Rosacea
Rosacea often begins with easy blushing and flushing of the face and neck. Eventually, redness will persist around the nose area, extending to the rest of the face.
Rosacea has a variety of clinical symptoms and is classified into the following four types, based on these different symptoms:
- Prerosacea: Frequent episodes of blushing and flushing of the face and neck
- Vascular rosacea: Swelling of blood vessels under the facial skin, leading to swollen, warm skin (common in women)
- Inflammatory rosacea: Formation of pimples and enlarged blood vessels on the face
- Rhinophyma: Enlarged oil glands in the nose and cheeks that cause an enlarged, bulbous red nose (common in men)
In addition, rosacea often affects the eye and eyelid. Eye symptoms may include:
- Inflamed eyelids
- Sensation of a foreign object in the eye
Managing Rosacea Symptoms
If you have been diagnosed with rosacea, you can help manage the condition by:
- Keeping a record of triggers, such as stress, weather or certain foods or drinks
- Always using a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays and has a sun-protecting factor (SPF) of 15 or higher
- Being careful not to use any irritating products on your face
- Taking your medications as prescribed
Treatment for Rosacea
At UCLA Dermatology, our treatment goal is to control the symptoms associated with rosacea. Options may include:
- Diet modifications to avoid foods that dilate the skin's blood vessels, such as caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol
- Topical (skin-based) and oral antibiotics
- Glycolic acid peels
- Cortisone cream
- Laser therapy
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 825-6911.