What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a mysterious disorder that continues to receive very little
focus by the general medical community. According to the National
Rosacea Society, Rosacea is a chronic, acne-like condition of the
facial skin. It typically first appears as a flushing or subtle redness
on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that comes and goes. If left
untreated, Rosacea tends to worsen over time. As the condition progresses,
the redness becomes more persistent. Bumps and pimples called papules
and pustules appear and small, dilated blood vessels may become visible
on the face, chest and scalp.
Other components of Rosacea include vascular (flushing, burning, damaged
blood vessels and chronic facial swelling and inflammation); acneform
(papules and rhinophyma); ocular (chronic, dry, gritty feeling, watering,
loss of eyelashes, broken blood vessles and swelling or inflammation
of the eyelids).
Rosacea can look like acne or other skin disorders, making diagnosis
difficult. If these symptoms sound familiar you may want to consult
a dermatologist for a professional diagnosis.
Who gets Rosacea?
Although the cause of Rosacea is unknown, it usually appears during
or after middle age and is more common among people with fair skin.
This bewildering skin condition is on the rise and it effects people
worldwide. There are an estimated 6 million Rosacea sufferers in Canada,
8 to 10 million in the UK and millions more in all parts of Europe,
Spain, China, Africa and Russia. These numbers do not include the
14 million people who suffer from Rosacea here, in the United States.
Ask anyone who has lived with Rosacea for any length of time how frustrating
it is to limit the fun things in life in an attempt to maintain their
self-esteem, and you will under-stand the devastating impact this
mysterious condition can have on a persons life. People with
Rosacea often suffer embarrassment, frustration, depression, hopelessness
and a loss of joy due to a lack of effective treatment. What are my
Considerable confusion and disagreement about the causes of Rosacea
have naturally lead to a variety of treatment regimens. Most physicians
agree, however, that treatment should begin as soon as possible to
slow down progression of the condition.
People with Rosacea are often told the best they can do is try and
prevent outbreaks by avoiding spicy foods, alcohol, coffee or other
beverages containing caffeine, hot baths, physical exertion, stress,
cosmetics, embarrassment, warm rooms, vegetables, dairy products and
even the sun.
In some cases oral or topical antibiotics (such as metronidazole gel)
are recommended with varying results and the long-term consequences
of this type of treatment are still not fully known. Some topical
medications can actually worsen the disorder. Persons with severe
rhinophyma are unlikely to improve with antibiotic treatment.
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