Rosacea is a common skin disease that causes redness, 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.
When rosacea first develops, the redness may come and go. Some people may flush or blush and never form pustules or papules. Small dilated vessels may also be present. However, when the skin doesn't return to its normal color, and when other symptoms such as pimples and enlarged blood vessels become visible, it's best to seek advice from a board-certified dermatologist. The condition may last for years, rarely reverse itself, and can become worse without treatment.
Small red bumps, some of which may contain pus, appear on the face. These may be accompanied by persistent redness and the development of many tiny blood vessels on the surface of the skin.
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.
Anyone can get Rosacea. It is more common in fair skinned adults between the ages of 30 and 50. Since it may be associated with menopause, women are affected more often than men and may likely have an extreme sensitivity to cosmetics. In people of color, studies show that early symptoms can often be missed and may be under diagnosed because dark skin can mask facial redness. Few children get rosacea, but it is worth considering if the signs and symptoms are there.
Tips for Rosacea Patients
Many people with Rosacea are unfamiliar with it and 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.
The key to successful management of Rosacea is early diagnosis and treatment. Rosacea can be treated and controlled if medical advice is sought in the early stages. When left untreated, Rosacea will get worse and may be more difficult to treat.