The Redness that is Rosacea

Some people think they often are lightly sunburned. Others think they blush easily. Others wonder if they had one too many drinks that night.

Most don’t wonder if they have rosacea, but they should. It is estimated that 14 million Americans have rosacea, but most don’teczema know.

Rosacea is a common skin disorder that usually affects the skin on the face. It shows itself in redness on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead. It starts as simple redness, as if blushing, but if left alone rosacea can develop into a more ruddy redness.

While usually on the face, rosacea can also appear on the chest, back, or neck. It can even affect the eyes, making them appear bloodshot and watery. Rosacea can lead to solid red bumps and pus-filled pimples.

What causes rosacea?

Rosacea remains somewhat of a mystery, its exact cause unknown. One line of thinking holds that rosacea is a disorder of the blood vessels. Other theories involve microscopic skin mites, fungus, psychological factors, and a malfunction of the connective tissue under the skin.

Symptoms

Although symptoms of rosacea vary greatly between people, the condition will always include at least one of these primary signs:

  • Flushing — This is often the earliest sign of the disorder, where the person frequently blushes or flushes.
  • Persistent redness — This may resemble a sunburn or blush that doesn’t pass.
  • Visible blood vessels — Small blood vessels may become visible on the skin.
  • Bumps and pimples — This can resemble acne, as small red bumps or pus-filled pimples form. There are never blackheads, though.
  • Eye irritation — Called ocular rosacea, this involves bloodshot, watery eyes. Styes can also result.
  • Dry appearance — The central facial skin may appear dry, but is actually just very rough.
  • Plaques — These are raised red patches, similar to what is found in psoriasis, but the surrounding skin is unaffected.
  • Burning or stinging — The face may constantly feel tight or burning/stinging sensations can develop.
  • Swelling — Facial swelling.
  • Skin thickening — This usually occurs on the nose and is called rhinophyma, where the skin enlarges due to the production of excess tissue.

Diagnoses and treatment of rosacea

While there is no specific test for rosacea, the team at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery is well versed in the disorder. Treatments are individual, but include medications, both oral and topical, to bring the condition under control. Procedures can be performed to remove visible blood vessels and lessen reddening.

There are also a series of triggers that should be avoided. When in our offices discussing your condition, we will walk you through things that can trigger your rosacea.

Do you think you may have rosacea? Call us at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, 503-297-3440, and let’s have a look.

Posted in: Rosacea, Skin News

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