Rosacea is a common skin disease that causes redness, pustules, papules and swelling on the face. Often referred to as “adult acne,” Rosacea frequently begins as a tendency to flush or blush easily. It may progress to persistent redness in the center of the face that may gradually involve the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. The eyes, ears, chest and back may also be involved.
With time, small blood vessels and tiny pimples begin to appear on and around the reddened area; however, unlike acne, there are no blackheads. In more advanced cases, a condition called rhinophyma may develop. The oil glands enlarge causing a bulbous, red nose and puffy cheeks. Thick bumps may develop on the lower half of the nose and nearby cheeks. Rhinophyma occurs more commonly in men.
Fair skinned adults between the ages of 30 and 50 may develop rosacea. It affects men and women of any age, and even children. Since it may be associated with menopause, women are affected more often than men and may notice an extreme sensitivity to cosmetics.
Exercise in a cool environment and do not overheat. Avoid rubbing, scrubbing or massaging the face. Avoid cosmetics and facial products that contain alcohol. Use hair sprays properly, avoiding contact with facial skin. Keep a diary of flushing episodes and note associated foods, products, activities, medications or other triggering factors.
Many people with Rosacea do not recognize it in its early stages. Identifying the disease is the first step to controlling it. Self–diagnosis and treatment are not recommended since some over-the-counter skin products may make the problem worse.
Dermatologists often recommend a combination of treatments tailored to the individual patient. These treatments can stop the progress of rosacea and sometimes reverse it.