Rosacea is a type of chronic skin disease that can have serious damaging effects on your skin and psychological health. It causes skin inflammation in varying degrees and primarily affects faces causing redness, acne and pus filled bumps.
Causes and triggers
Rosacea usually affects people in the age range of 30 – 50 years and women have a 3 times increased risk than men. Historically, the disease has been associated with northwest Europe and is famously known as a Celtic curse. People with a family history of rosacea and severe acne have high risks of contracting the disease. Triggers that may result in a sudden flushing and blushing and certain medications can quickly trigger rosacea.
The exact causes of rosacea are not known but rosacea is usually associated with the following causes
- Genetic and hereditary factors
- Exposure to sun
- Emotional stress
- Heavy exercises
- Cold weather
- Spicy foods
- Demodex (a skin mite) and the Bacillus oleronius bacterium it carries.
- The presence of cathelicidin
- Presence of the intestinal bacteria Helicobacter pylori
There is no definitive test for diagnosing rosacea. Doctors can easily diagnose the disease with a simple visual inspection.
Types of Facial Rosacea
The Rosacea on face has been classified into four subtypes based on the symptoms and patients may suffer from more than one type at a time.
Sub type 1. Erthematotelangiectatic rosacea
The first subtype is usually exhibited as persistent facial redness and flushing. People suffering from this type of rosacea usually feel their skin stinging and burning. Blood vessels may also become visible (telangectasia) and swelling can also be noted. Sufferers usually have a sensitive skin.
Treatment options include changes in lifestyle and environmental factors. Topical medication and laser therapy are usually used in treating the redness and telangectasia.
Subtype 2: Papulopustular rosacea
This type is characterized by papules (bumps) and pustules (pimples) that appear along with redness and stinging of skin. This type of rosacea is often mistaken for acne. While acne may affect the chest, back and shoulders, rosacea is primarily found on the face.
Treatments include oral and topical medications like Topical Metronidazole, Azelaic Acid and Sulphur. Oral antibiotics have also proven to be effective against rosacea.
Sub type 3: Phymatous rosacea
Also known as the skin thickening type of rosacea, this type of rosacea usually results in thickening of skin prominently around the nose.
Prevention is to be given more importance as this symptom of rosacea cannot be treated easily. The most commonly suggested treatments include cryosurgery, radiofrequency ablation, electrosurgery tangential excision and surgical laser treatment.
Sub type 4: Ocular rosacea
Also known to be the rosacea causing eye irritation, the symptoms of ocular rosacea revolve around the eyes. Common symptoms include watery eyes, itching, burning sensation, drying, cysts, bloodshot appearance of eyes and blurred vision.
A complete cure is yet to be discovered for ocular rosacea. Artificial tears, oral antibiotics and daily eye cleansing can relieve some of the symptoms.
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