What is Rosacea?
Rosacea, a skin condition that causes the skin to appear red and inflamed, is most common around the nose and cheek. It can often be mistaken for other skin conditions, but can be treated and managed if diagnosed properly. Snyder Dermatology in Austin, TX uses a number of advanced treatments, including laser therapy, to lighten the skin and reduce the symptoms of this chronic disease. Rosacea can occur in almost anyone, but it’s mostly common among middle-aged to older women with fair skin. This is a skin condition with no real cure, however, it can be managed. If left untreated, it can worsen over time causing symptoms to return and flare-up over days and weeks. Our board-certified dermatologists will assess your rosacea and develop a custom treatment plan to help keep the symptoms at a minimum.
"I came in with what I thought was uncontrollable acne on my face, but in once glance, she knew exactly what it was! A couple of months later, my face is clearer than it has been in the last two years. I'll forever be grateful to her for restoring my confidence! Thank you Dr. Aranda!"- V.C. / ZocDoc / Apr 28, 2015
What Causes Rosacea?
While the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, doctors believe that it’s caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. People of Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry seem to have a higher incidence of rosacea. Patients usually have other family members that suffer from either rosacea or severe acne. People who are prone to have bad acne, have a higher risk of developing rosacea. Scientists also believe that immune system overreactions can cause rosacea where a patient’s immune system overreacts to a certain bacterium or a mite. These theories, however, haven't been proven to be completely valid.
There are a large number of factors that can aggravate rosacea since they increase the blood flow to the surface of the skin. These can include alcohol, spicy foods, hot foods or beverages, sunlight, extreme temperatures, hot baths or showers, stress, embarrassment or anger, strenuous exercise and certain medications.
Symptoms of Rosacea
Symptoms of rosacea can vary from mild to severe. The tell-tale sign of rosacea is facial redness. In most patients, the central portion of the face is noticeably red. The small blood vessels of the nose and cheeks can swell and become visible. Other symptoms include red and swollen bumps on the face that look similar to acne. Sometimes the bumps are pus-filled. The skin can also feel hot and tender to the touch. Approximately half of rosacea sufferers have eye problems, such as eye irritation, dryness and reddened, swollen eyelids. In rare cases, a patient’s nose will appear enlarged because rosacea can cause the skin of the nose to thicken, which results in a bulbous appearance. Some common symptoms associated with the varying types of rosacea include:
- Papulopustular rosacea: Common symptoms include redness and swollen areas on the face that look like acne-like breakouts.
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Common symptoms include visible blood vessels along with a red and flushed appearance.
- Ocular rosacea: Common symptoms include red and irritated eyes and swollen eyelids.
- Phymatous rosacea: Common symptoms include thickened skin with a bumpy texture.
How to Treat Rosacea
Though there is no cure for rosacea, there are a number of treatment options available, including antibiotics that help with inflammation. A patient could receive the medication in a pill form or as a cream, lotion or gel. Pills tend to be more effective in the short-term but can cause more side-effects. If antibiotics aren’t effective, acne drugs, such as isotretinoin, have proven to work for some patients. Surgery might be required in cases where symptoms become permanent such as enlarged blood vessels or redness that won’t go away with other treatments. Laser surgery or electrosurgery can be used to reduce the appearance of blood vessels and remove excessive tissue buildup around the nose to improve the appearance of rosacea.
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Rosacea not only has physical symptoms, but emotional ones as well where a patient is often self-conscious in public and avoids social situations. If you believe you have rosacea, please call our dermatology office to schedule a consultation so that you can put your best face forward today. Our exceptional team is on the cutting-edge of treatments and there is hope and help.