Rosacea (Pronouced "roh-Zay-sha")
Red cheeks are usually considered a sign of health and beauty, as attested by the many dollars spent on blush to give the cheeks a flushed glow. However, persistent red cheeks and easy blushing in the adult population are often the first signs of rosacea, which is an unpleasant, incurable skin disorder that is persistent. In addition to the redness of the cheeks, rosacea can appear on the nose, chin and forehead. It can cause dry, rough, and sensitive skin, as well as, papules, telangiectasia (tiny blood vessels), eye irritation , and enlargement of the nose.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic skin conditin that affects the face and appears as a flush or redness, which can make you look as though you are blushing all the time. Rosacea is a result of the enlargement of the small blood vessels (capillaries) on the face. The first sign of this skin condition is a blush of redness around the cheeks and on the nose. Some individuals develop acne-like bumps on the skin around the chin, cheeks and forehead. It can sometimes be mistaken for eczema, acne or sometimes a skin allergy. The severity of the conditions differs will be individual to the effected person. If left untreated, the redness of the face becomes constant. Sensations of burning or stinging sensations may occur as well.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
The appearance of rosacea will vary among individuals; however rosacea always includes one of the primary signs and symptoms. Secondary signs and symptoms may develop as the skin conditions progresses.
Primary signs and symptoms include:
Bumps and Pimples
Visible Blood Vessels
Other Potential Signs and Symptoms:
Eye Irritation - eyes may be irritated and appear watery or bloodshot, a condition known as ocular Rosacea. Eyelids may become red and swollen.
Burning and Stinging- sensations of burning and stinging often occur on the face.
Dry Appearance - The facial skin may be rough and appear to be very dry.
Plaques- raised red patches may develop.
Skin Thickening - skin may thicken and enlarge from excess tissue, most commonly on the nose. This condition, known as rhinophyma affects more men than women.
What Triggers Rosacea?
Rosacea flare-ups can be trigered by a variety of things and triggers for an individual may change over time. Additionally, each rosacea sufferer may have differing triggers. Some of the factors that can trigger a flare-up or worsen symptims may include: emotional stress, caffeine, sun exposure, overheating, wind, strenuous exercise, alcohol consumption, hot baths, cold weather, spicy foods, humidity, skin care products, and heated beverages.
Rosacea is an extremely complex skin disorder with many individual characteristics. This chronic condition can be managed with lifestyle changes and therapeutic practices. The key to management of rosacea is education, skin care and treatment. Avoiding triggers is the main key to management. Triggers can cause a flare-up of the skin, both exposures and situations such as sun exposure (always use sunscreen and wear hats), alcohol consumption and spicy foods. Facial cleansers, lotions and some cosmetics can aggravate the skin causing a flare-up as well. It is important to learn your triggers and keep exposure to minimal.
See a health care professional to learn about prevention, medications, information regarding trigger avoidance and appropriate skin care regimens. Our esthetician has numerous treatments and skin care products to aid in improving the signs of rosacea. We are happy to help you put your best face forward.
336-716-4000 (option #1)
Matthews, Sarah M. "10" Dermatologic Nursing Essentials. Ed. Norren H. Nicol. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2015. 135-38