One of the most prevalent skin conditions we see in our dermatology office is one most people don’t even know they have – Rosacea. In truth, about 20% of the American population suffers from rosacea, but the good news is that this multi-faceted disease can be treated and controlled.
The most common symptoms include redness on the cheeks, chin or forehead, small visible blood vessels, and bumps or pimples on the face.
Rosacea is a sub-form of acne, and there are at least ten different types of this disease. Rosacea can occur on the scalp, eyelids and eyelashes, and around the mouth. The disease can be acute – or short term – or chronic. Rosacea crosses all ethnic, sex and age boundaries, anyone can come down with the disorder.
The Hormonal Shift – One of the most common causes of rosacea is the hormones in our bodies. An increase in testosterone can trigger rosacea. Women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) as well as those undergoing any hormonal changes in the body can see the redness of rosacea occur even if they never had any symptoms before.
Our Environment – For those who are already predisposed for rosacea, diet can bring on the symptoms. Spicy and acidic food, as well dairy foods and caffeine can increase testosterone and therefore aggravate rosacea.
Stress – Stress can throw any system into overdrive. Our fight of flight reactions can increase testosterone production, and in the case of rosacea it can induce the symptoms as well.
There is no cure for rosacea, but it can be controlled and treated.
Lifestyle – The first line of defense in the treatment of rosacea is a lifestyle changes. Learning to deal with stress, modifying the diet, and dealing with any other health issues will go a long way in reducing the red.
Prescriptions – While many oral therapies are available to help rosacea, topical treatments seem to be more effective. Oral antibiotics are often used for their anti-inflammatory effects. A qualified dermatologist can determine what the best prescription remedies are for you.
Non-Prescription Topical Treatments – Many excellent topical treatments are readily available to control rosacea. Recently products including Green Tea Polyphenols have incited much interest for their redness reducing effects. Gentle cleansing milks, moisturizers and antioxidants are excellent for rosacea sufferers. Keeping the skin calm, hydrated and healthy will go a long way.
Lasers & Light Treatments – Lasers and light treatments can target the red in the skin and reduce the color, as well as treat the unsightly spider veins. See more information about Laser Vein Treatment.
There is no one treatment that is right for everyone, and in most cases a combination therapy will be employed.
As with any skin condition, the number one thing you can do is to see a dermatologist, an expert in the skin, hair and nails. They are equipped to properly diagnose and treat rosacea so you can get the red out!