Categorized | Rosacea

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Skin Disorders – Rosacea

Rosacea is a form of acne and is sometimes referred to as acne rosacea. What is commonly called acne is known to the medical world as acne vulgaris. Although the two skin diseases share some similarities, they are different conditions. Rosacea causes the blood vessels in the cheeks, nose and forehead to enlarge. These spidery veins are called telangiectasias. The result is a red flushed appearance of the face. Sometimes rosacea appears as pimples on the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. The pustule is a small red bump with a yellow head and a red rim. It is filled with pus. When this happens it resembles acne and may be mistaken for acne.

There are rare instances in which the sebaceous glands of the nose build up inside the nose and create a bulbous nose. The comedian, W. C. Fields, had a bulbous nose due to having rosacea. Sometimes people with rosacea will develop a type of conjunctivitis that results in sore eyes. Rosacea is not harmful. It usually affects adults and it can persist for many years. There are some things that will cause the blood vessels to enlarge so people with rosacea are advised to avoid them. For instance, exposure to sunlight and rapid temperature changes can cause flushing. Doctors recommend that people with rosacea be vigilant in the use of sunscreen. Other things that lead to flushing are consuming hot beverages, drinking alcoholic beverages, and eating spicy foods. Patients with rosacea are also advised to avoid these. There are many treatment options for rosacea depending upon the severity of the condition. If someone has excess nose tissue as a result of rosacea laser surgery can correct this problem.

The telangiectasias can also be treated with a surgery similar to that which is used for spider veins on the legs. The physician inserts a needle into the vein. Then an electrical charge goes through the needle. This charge cauterizes or seals the vein. The surgery is done on an outpatient basis and is not painful although the patient may feel some tenderness at the injection site. There may also be some slight bruising and swelling for a week or two following the procedure. Laser treatment can be used too. However, it may require several treatments to take care of all of the telangiectasias. There are several medications available to apply to pustules caused by rosacea. Tetracycline, minocycline, and doxycycline are antibiotic pills that doctors often prescribe. In mild cases, an antibiotic gel called metronidazole, rubbed on the face is also an effective treatment. However, patients with rosacea should avoid acne medications that contain resorcinol, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. These medications will irritate the flushed skin. Women can often cover very mild cases of rosacea with makeup.

Whatever treatment options are employed, people with rosacea need to be very patient. Once treatment is started, it may take weeks or even months before any improvement is visible. And when it does go away, it still may recur again. Rosacea is a skin disorder that is not serious or life threatening but causes considerable discomfort and self-consciousness.

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