Skin & Facial Redness (Rosacea)

Skin & Facial Redness (Rosacea)

About Rosacea

Rosacea is a common condition characterized by symptoms of facial flushing and a spectrum of other signs, including redness, coarseness of skin, papules and pimples an eruption resembling acne. It affects approximately 1 in 20 people.

Occurrence

  • Patients are likely to have a background of facial flushing, often dating to childhood or the early teens. It is commonly present in fair-skinned individuals.
  • Usually it only affects the face and eyes, especially around the nose, cheeks and chin and in between the brow.

Signs and symptoms

Easy blushing and flushing of the facial skin is the most common sign. Though different types of Rasocea will show different symptoms

Type Symptoms
Pre Rosacea

Frequent episodes of blushing and flushing of the face (especially centre) and neck.

A higher tendency to flush than general people.

Vascular Rosacea

Swelling of blood vessels under the facial skin, leading to swollen, warm skin (common in women) especially on nose and cheeks.

Also accompanied by oily skin and dandruff.

Inflammatory Rosacea

Formation of pimples and small, red bumps or pustules may appear and persist, spreading across your nose, cheeks, forehead and chin (No blackheads and whiteheads).

Enlarged and broken blood vessels (telengiectasia or spider veins) also appear on the face.

Rhinophyoma

Enlarged oil glands in the nose and cheeks that cause an enlarged, bulbous red nose called as Rhinophyma.

 

Approximately 50 percent of those affected by Rosacea will also have eye issues like

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Gritty feeling in the eye
  • Inflamed eyelids
  • Sensation of a foreign object in the eye

Causes

The exact cause of Rosacea is still unknown. But a number of factors can aggravate Rosacea or make it worse by increasing blood flow to the surface of your skin. These are the triggers. Some of them include

  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol (especially red wine)
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Sunlight
  • Stress, anger or embarrassment
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Hot baths, saunas
  • Corticosteroids
  • Some blood pressure medications

Diagnosis

There's no specific test for Rosacea; it is usually diagnosed with a complete medical history and physical examination by a dermatologist.

Common Triggers

Some triggers identified in this condition are

  • Alcohol
  • Fragrances
  • Menthol
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus / clove oil
  • Salicylic acid
  • Astringents
  • Exfoliating agents

Treatment

Rosacea cannot be cured completely, but one must use regular medications prescribed and keep a skincare routine to prevent flares.

  • Avoid triggers – The first step is to avoid any triggers that may exacerbate the condition. Keeping a record of the triggers will allow you to identify and avoid them in future.
  • Use sunscreen – Regular use of non-irritating sunscreens is important. They should preferably be paraben free and non-comedogenic. Physical sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide irritate the skin less than chemical ones. Sunscreens should also protect against UVA and UVB rays and have a sun-protecting factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Frequent reapplications may prevent flares.
  • Reduce touch – Avoid irritating your facial skin by rubbing or touching it too much.
  • Avoid skin irritants – Wash problem areas with a gentle cleanser and avoid facial products that contain alcohol or other skin irritants.
  • Topical Medications – A combination of topical medication (lotion, cream or gel) and oral medication (pill, capsule or tablet) can treat Rosacea. Antibiotics such as metronidazole gel or cream may be applied. Topical tetracycline group of medications may also be used which help reduce inflammation and redness. Some topical applications can cause skin irritation, redness, dry skin, and stinging or burning of the skin and should therefore be used under supervision of a dermatologist.
  • Oral medications – Oral antibiotics have also been used in the treatment of Rosacea. Generally, they are used for inflammatory lesions i.e. papules and pustules, rather than for background redness or capillaries. Tetracycline's group of antibiotics have been used in Rosacea. All antibiotics require a prescription from a doctor.
  • Oral retinoids – These are used for severe cases of inflammatory Rosacea if other treatment options fail to improve symptoms. They inhibit the production of oil by the sebaceous glands. People who take it need close monitoring by a dermatologist because of the possibility of serious side effects, including depression and suicidal thoughts, bone or joint pain, and skin infection or rash. Also, this drug causes birth defects if taken during pregnancy.
  • Mineral make-up – Mineral make-up such as Glo-minerals, Jane -Iredale is less likely to enter and congest the skin and exacerbate rosacea. They may also contain some calming ingredients like green tea extracts.
  • No topical steroids – These are not useful in the long-term as, though they decrease inflammation initially, they tend to worsen redness and capillary formation over time.
  • Other Treatments