Skin flushing and redness when you’re not embarrassed are symptoms associated with rosacea, a chronic skin disorder that affects millions of individuals, primarily women. The condition doesn’t usually appear until women reach their 30′s or even later. Rosacea is thought to result from the accumulation over time of excess acid in the body. This accumulation irritates the blood vessels and since the facial area has some of the highest concentrations of blood vessels, it’s the area most affected by rosacea.
Symptoms of Rosacea
Rosacea affects the face therefore its symptoms are difficult to miss. The main areas affected include cheeks and nose, but the forehead and areas around the mouth can also be involved. These areas have a large concentration of blood-carrying arteries which is why some people blame the cause of rosacea on excess acids.
Symptoms are characterized by patches of red, flush skin that may burn or sting or itch. In some cases, the skin will also become inflamed. There is no consistency among patients as to where on the face the patches will develop and whether they’ll appear on one or both sides simultaneously. Skin type can be characterized by dry and flaky, or normal or oily.
Bumps and pimples are other symptoms of rosacea. Similar in appearance to acne, these skin blemishes are not the result of blocked pores. In fact, rosacea is frequently referred to incorrectly as adult acne. And equally unfortunate, rosacea is often misdiagnosed as sunburn which often delays proper treatment.
Causes of Rosacea
An exact cause of rosacea has yet to be discovered and whether genetics is involved is a hotly debated topic. Many patients can state with certainty a blood relative who has or has had this chronic skin condition which is why some people think it’s a hereditary condition. Patient analysis also indicates that fair-skinned persons and persons of Irish, English, Scottish, Scandinavian and Welsh descent seem to experience more instances of rosacea.
Other possible causes include bacteria, fungus and mites. Some attribute it to psychological factors and others claim there’s some type of problem in the skin’s connective tissues.
Rosacea is definitely not infectious or contagious and the fact that antibiotics are sometimes prescribed to treat it causes confusion. This is done more for the anti-inflammatory capability of antibiotics not their bacteria fighting ability.
Sun screen is an absolute to avoid flare-ups must and so are skin care products formulated for sensitive skin.
There are several triggers known to cause rosacea to flare. People with rosacea can work at keeping it under control by avoiding the following environmental triggers: foods that are spicy, alcoholic beverages, weather that’s hot or cold, beverages that have been heated, hot baths/saunas, strenuous exercise and stress that’s caused by emotional swings.
In cases where redness is severe, laser therapy can be prescribed. The process helps remove the blood vessels that cause the redness. Dermabrasion can help smooth the bumps.