Rosacea is a long-lasting skin condition in which your face, usually the nose and cheek areas, look flushed persistently and develop tiny acne-like bumps. The entire course of rosacea is filled with remissions and flare-ups. Remissions are intervals when the symptoms of your rosacea disappear whereas in flare-ups, the symptoms reappear.
Rosacea cannot be cured, but it can be kept under control. You can combat rosacea by taking treatments as advised by your dermatologist, avoiding triggering factors, and following certain skincare tips.
Treatment options for rosacea aim at reducing or controlling rosacea. These options may be given in combinations that are tailor-made for each patient.
The various medical treatments for rosacea include:
- Cleansers/face washes (Sulpha, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide)
- Topical creams (Metronidazole, clindamycin, erythromycin)
- Antibiotic pills (Tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline)
- Isotretinoin pill (Accutane), usually prescribed as the last option when other oral pills fail
- Lasers are used to remove thickened skin and blood vessels
- Pulsed-light therapies, which involves using controlled light to alleviate the redness and tiny bumps or pimples
- Photodynamic therapy in which a topical photosensitizer liquid is applied to the skin and a light to activate the sensitizer
- Some medicines used for acne (Tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene)
Seek early treatment to help your physician devise the right treatment strategy for you after a proper evaluation.
How to avoid triggers of rosacea
To substantiate the results from rosacea treatment, it is essential to avoid the triggers that cause your rosacea to flare-up. Some of the common triggers include sun exposure, emotional stress, hot and spicy foods, cold weather, and so on.
What you can do is to initially maintain a diary in which you can make daily notes of the foods you consume and activities you do, and then find out if these are the triggering factors for your rosacea. Accordingly, you can try to avoid those triggers by taking steps, such as not venturing out in midday sunlight, using sunscreens while you are outdoors, doing what you enjoy to reduce stress, and so on.
Know how to take care of your skin:
- Use a gentle cleanser to wash the face twice a day but do not over wash.
- Use a sunscreen lotion with SPF 50 at least 15 minutes before going out.
- Be gentle on your face and avoid scrubbing.
- Stay away from cosmetics and hair sprays, especially the ones that contain sodium lauryl ethyl sulfate (SLES).
- Soap, moisturizers, and sunscreens should be free of alcohol or other irritating ingredients (such as menthol, camphor).
- Gently apply facial moisturizers to avoid drying of the skin.
What is the best home remedy for rosacea?
There is no such home remedy that has proven to be the best one for rosacea. However, several reports suggest the added benefit of natural treatments in people who are extremely sensitive to multiple topical therapies. Some of the possible home remedies include:
- Apply dilute white vinegar soaks or clean the face daily or weekly using approximately 1-part regular table vinegar to 6 parts water. Diluting the vinegar is extremely important.
- Apply green tea soaks to the face.
- Apply oatmeal, niacinamide, feverfew, licorice, teas, coffeeberry, aloe vera, chamomile, turmeric, and mushroom extracts (they have been reported to have a calming effect on rosacea).
- Massage your face by gently rubbing your skin in a circular motion starting in the middle of your face outward toward your ears. Make sure your hands are cleaned and sanitized before you touch the face.
- Try to be on an anti-inflammatory diet (such as a Mediterranean diet).
Does rosacea go away?
Rosacea does not go away forever because it has no cure. However, that does not mean it worsens with time. By taking various treatments and applying prevention strategies against the triggering factors, you can control it.
Some forms of rosacea stay significantly clear for a long time under treatments that include therapy or a combination of therapies: laser, pulse-light therapies, photodynamic therapy, or isotretinoin. Although these are not considered a "cure," you can experience long-lasting results, improve your skin condition, and perhaps stop or reverse the progress of this condition.
What happens if rosacea is left untreated?
It’s estimated that more than 16 million people in the United States are affected by rosacea, although many may go undiagnosed and even delay seeking treatment.
During early rosacea, facial flushing is transient, lasting for minutes to hours. If rosacea is left untreated, it progresses, and the redness can become permanent. Small, knobby bumps (rhinophyma) appear on the nose. Eyes may become red and dry and rarely, may become severely involved. If untreated, the condition can impair vision.
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What Is Rosacea? Available at: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-rosacea-basics#1
What is the main cause of rosacea? Available at: https://www.medicinenet.com/rosacea/article.htm
Rosacea. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/rosacea-a-to-z
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