Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterised by facial redness or erythema, that sometime associated with pimples or pustules. This condition is more pronounced in fair skinned person but may affect anyone. The peak age of onset of rosacea is between 30 to 60 and the condition is three times more common in women. Rosacea is not contagious.
Symptoms of rosacea :
- Facial redness : The most common symptoms of rosacea is facial redness due to the swelling of small blood vessels on nose and cheeks.
- Swollen red bumps or pustules : Facial redness often accompanied with pus filled bumps like acne.
- Eye problems : Various eye problems like dryness, irritation and swelling, reddened eyelids is also very common symptoms
- Enlarged nose : In rare cases rosacea can thicken the skin on the nose, that leads to rhinophyma or bulbous nose. This symptom is more common in men.
Classification : Rosacea may be classified in the following subtypes :-
- Erythema rosacea : This condition is characterised by permanent facial redness often associated with telangiectasias (small widened blood vessels visible near the surface of the skin) and sometime with intense burning, stinging, and itching sensations. People with this type of rosacea often have dry and flaky skins. These symptoms may also appear on the ears, neck, chest and scalp.
- Papulopustular rosacea : Facial redness accompanied with pus filled red bumps. This subtype often confused with acne.
- Phymatous rosacea : In this subtype the skin become thickened and enlarged. The most common symptom is rhinophyma (enlarged nose). Other symptoms include gnathophyma (enlarged chin), metophyma (enlarged forehead), blepharophyma (enlarged eyelids) and otophyma (enlarged ears).
- Ocular rosacea : The itself name implied that this subtype is the rosacea of eye due to telangiectasias and often with with dry, irritated or gritty, eyes and eyelids. Other symptoms are foreign body sensations, itching, burning, stinging, and sensitivity to light. Eyes can become more susceptible to infection and often developed cysts on eyelids.
- Rosacea conglobata : This is a severe form rosacea with hemorrhagic nodular abscesses and indurated plaques.
- Rosacea fulminans : This subtype of rosacea is characterised by sudden development of ball like nodules on the face.
Causes of Rosacea : The root cause behind rosacea is still unknown but it is seen that some factors may trigger or aggravate the condition. The factors are stated below :-
- Hot and spicy foods or beverages
- High temperature or hot weather
- Emotional Stress
- Hot baths or saunas
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
- Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications
- Exposure to sun
- Strenuous exercise
- Sometime very cold weather
- Atmospheric humidity
- Some skin-care products
- Some fruits
- Some vegetables
- Dairy products
Diagnosis : There is no specific diagnosis of rosacea, visual inspection by a specialist or dermatologist is considered sufficient for diagnosis.
Treatment or management : The treatment of rosacea is depends on the severity of the condition. Mild rosacea generally don’t need any treatments and often avoiding the conditions, that triggers rosacea leads to remission, but if the patient is suffering from more severe form rosacea then he or she need specialised treatment.
Lifestyle changes : Since most of the cases heat and sunlight triggers rosacea it is suggested to avoid heat, hot and spicy foods, wearing wide bream hats and application of sunscreen if needed. Wash and clean the face often to avoid infection on skins and eyelids. Reducing stress level may also helps to reduce the onset of rosacea.
Topical application of ointments : Topical antibiotic medication such as metronidazole, Azelaic acid, Sodium sulfacetamide, erythromycin and clindamycin help to reduce redness, inflammation and bumps. Sandalwood oil is also very effective to reduce redness and inflammation.
Oral Medications : Oral antibiotics like Tetracycline (Sumycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin), doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox) and amoxicillin are also effective to treat rosacea.
Laser and intense pulsed light : Treatment using laser or intense pulsed light (broad spectrum light, 500 nm to 1200 nm range of wavelengths) is considered one of the best treatments for rosacea. With proper number of treatments, this method may eliminate the redness altogether. Single wavelength laser is useful to remove the excess tissue caused by phymatous rosacea.