Rosacea

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Rosacea facts

  • Rosacea is a common, chronic, incurable, adult acne-like skin condition that is easily controllable and medically manageable.
  • Rosacea commonly affects the central third of the face, especially the nose, and has periodic ups and downs (flares and remissions).
  • Rosacea symptoms and signs include
  • Rosacea may be mistaken for rosy cheeks, sunburn, or quite often, acne.
  • Rosacea triggers include alcohol, hot or spicy foods, emotional stress, and heat.
  • Rosacea can be a very bothersome and embarrassing condition.
  • Untreated rosacea tends to worsen over the time.
  • Prompt recognition and proper treatment permit people with rosacea to enjoy life.

What is rosacea? Is rosacea contagious?

Rosacea (ro-zay-sha) is a common, acne-like, benign skin condition of adults, with a worldwide distribution. Rosacea is estimated to affect at least 16 million people in the United States alone and approximately 45 million worldwide. Most people with rosacea are Caucasian and have fair skin. The main symptoms of rosacea include red or pink facial skin, small dilated blood vessels, small red bumps sometimes containing pus, cysts, and pink or irritated eyes. Many people who have rosacea may just assume they have very sensitive skin that blushes or flushes easily.

Rosacea is considered a chronic (long term), incurable skin condition with periodic ups and downs. As opposed to traditional or teenage acne, most adult patients do not "outgrow" rosacea. Rosacea characteristically involves the central region of the face, mainly the forehead, cheeks, chin, and the lower half of the nose. It is most commonly seen in people with light skin and particularly in those of English, Irish, and Scottish backgrounds. Some famous people with rosacea include the former U.S. President Bill Clinton and W.C. Fields. Rosacea is not directly caused by alcohol intake, but it is presumed to aggravated by it. Rosacea is not considered contagious or infectious.

Picture: What does rosacea look like?
What does rosacea look like?

The redness in rosacea, often aggravated by flushing, may cause small blood vessels in the face to enlarge (dilate) permanently and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (called telangiectasias). Continual or repeated episodes of flushing and blushing may promote inflammation, causing small red bumps that often resemble teenage acne. Rosacea is also referred to as acne rosacea.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2015

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Rosacea - Effective Treatments Question: What kinds of treatments have been effective for your rosacea?
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Rosacea - Triggers and Diet Question: Have you noticed any triggers for your rosacea? Which foods do you avoid, and which foods help your skin?
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Rosacea - Skin Care Question: Please provide tips and suggestions for taking care of rosacea and your sensitive skin.

Photodynamic Therapy & Rosacea

In dermatology, PDT with the photosensitizer Levulan Kerastick (20% delta-aminolevulinic acid HCl) is used for the treatment of very early, thin skin cancers called actinic keratoses (AK). The initial approval was specifically for the treatment of actinic keratosis of the face and scalp with a combination of an application of the photosensitizer followed by a timed exposure to a special blue light source. PDT is also used for acne, rosacea, skin cancer, sun damage, cosmetic skin improvement, oily skin, enlarged sebaceous glands, wrinkles, rejuvenation (anti-aging), warts, hidradenitis suppurativa, psoriasis, and many other skin conditions.

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