It commonly occurs on and around the nose, cheeks, forehead, chin, eyelids, and occasionally on the neck and upper chest. The redness sometimes progresses to visible vessels; swollen bumps, called papules, or pus-filled bumps, called pustules, that are often mistaken for adult acne; and in some cases, thickened skin that results in a red, bulbous nose.
Most people with rosacea don’t even realize they have it and are not treating it. Although the red facial skin is harmless, the red-faced appearance often causes people with rosacea to be unhappy with their appearance.
The epidermis is the outer layer that acts as the body’s primary defense against the environment.
The inner layer, or dermis, is comprised primarily of connective tissue, which is made mostly of collagen and elastin fibers. These fibers form a network that provides your skin with structure, support, and elasticity.
Rosacea develops as a result of skin inflammation, changes to the skin’s connective tissue, and dilation of the blood vessels in the dermis.
How Rosacea Occurs
The white blood cells within the connective tissue cause swelling and also stimulate the growth of additional blood vessels, some of which grow near the surface of the skin and become visible. Over time, the new vessels will dilate and become more permeable, continuing the cycle.
The dilated vessels cause the telltale redness associated with rosacea. Although some people describe being able to see broken vessels with certain stages of rosacea, they are generally referring to the visible, enlarged vessels near the skin surface.
What Causes Rosacea?
There is evidence that certain environmental factors, foods, drinks, and medications may trigger rosacea. In addition, some researchers believe that specific living organisms may possibly even play a role in the flushing and blushing that precede rosacea.
How Likely am I to get Rosacea?
Rosacea tends to occur in fair-skinned people more often than people with darker skin. The onset of rosacea primarily occurs between the ages of thirty and sixty, but it can also first appear in children or the elderly.
Rosacea afflicts many more women than men, and it is sometimes occurs around menopause. However, although there are more cases in women, men generally develop far more severe rosacea symptoms.
Based on genetics, some rosacea sufferers are more susceptible to certain symptoms than others. Early diagnosis and treatment is often effective in preventing the progression of rosacea symptoms. Therefore, if blushing tends to be brought on by your diet, medications, or other environmental factors; or if you notice that periods of flushing last longer and longer, consult your dermatologist. Roll over each subtype of rosacea for more information.
Rosacea Prevention and Treatment
The best prevention is to avoid triggers. If you find that you are sensitive to sun exposure, specific skin care products, foods, drinks, alcohol, tobacco products, stressful situations, temperature extremes, or strenuous exercise, do your best to avoid them.
Your dermatologist may recommend a regimen that includes using mild cleansers or warm compresses or may even provide prescriptions for various acne products, medications that inhibit immune reactions, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, or cell-growth inhibitors, based on your needs.
Additionally, laser procedures can be effective in removing tissue growth or reducing the redness and visible vessels once rosacea triggers are under control and symptoms subside.
Rosacea Treatment Results
Be patient, as your dermatologist may need to tailor your medication dosages or suggested skin care routines to achieve the desired results for your particular needs. By following the customized treatment plan and avoiding triggers, you can often stop the progression of rosacea over time and even reduce your symptoms and improve your skin’s overall appearance.