Integrated Aesthetics

Learn your treatment options.

ROSACEA

Learn your treatment options.

There is no cure for rosacea, but it can be controlled. Treatments include: lifestyle management, appropriate skin care, oral medications, and light devices.

OVERVIEW

Rosacea is a common skin condition that often begins with a tendency to blush more easily.  With time, that blush becomes permanent, involving the nose, cheeks, forehead and/or chin.   

Rosacea can have other features as well, so dermatologists classify rosacea into four groups, depending on the pattern of features.  Proper classification is important because effective treatment depends on the particular subtype:

Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea – easy blushing that leads to a persistently red face; this is the most common subtype

Papulopustular rosacea – red face, episodes of swelling, pimple-like bumps that come and go

Phymatous rosacea – thickened, bumpy skin, typically involving the nose; can be progressive and disfiguring; unlike all other subtypes, this subtype more commonly affects men

Ocular (eye) rosacea – watery or burning eyes, red eyes, and irritation of eyelid margin (the part of the eyelid that bears the eyelashes).  Chalazions and sytes are also common signs.  About half of patients with ocular rosacea will have skin involvement.

WHO GETS ROSACEA?

Rosacea more commonly affects middle-aged women, but men can also be affected.  Children and teens are rarely affected.  Rosacea most frequently affects fair-skinned individuals, but it can occur in any skin color. 

CAUSES

The medical community is starting to understand rosacea better, but there is still a lot to uncover.  This is what we know right now:

1) Rosacea runs in families, so we suspect that there is a genetic component. 

2) The immune system may play a role.  People with rosacea have increased activity of their skin’s immune system.  This overactivity leads to the redness, swelling, and bumps that are characteristic of rosacea. Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus epidermidis, Helicobacter pylori, and Bacillus oleronius and mites called Demodex folliculorum, may play a role in rosacea by over-stimulating the immune system. 

3) the skin’s nervous system may also play a role.  Hot temperatures and spicy foods aggravate rosacea through sensory nerves.

4) decreased skin barrier – normal skin keeps outside things out and inside things in.  People with rosacea have decreased barrier function and this results in more sensitive skin that loses water more easily than normal skin. 

TREATMENT OPTIONS

There is no cure for rosacea, but it can be controlled.  Treatments include: 1) lifestyle management, 2) appropriate skin care, 3) oral medications, and 4) light devices.

1) Lifestyle management – If you have rosacea, try to identify triggers for flushing.  These can include hot showers, hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol.

2) Skin care – A skin care regimen that does not irritate the skin is vitally important.  A typical skin care regimen includes a gentle cleanser, moisturizers to help restore the skin’s barrier function, and effective sunscreen.  In addition, topical medications, such as sulfur, metronidazole or ivermectin, can be very helpful in reducing acne-like lesions and overall rosacea activity. 

3) Oral medications – If acne-like lesions or eye-involvement are part of rosacea, doxycycline or minocycline can be helpful, since they are anti-inflammatory.  If rosacea is very severe, your dermatologist may consider Accutane. 

4) Light treatment – Intense Pulsed Light is a helpful in reducing flushing, persistent redness, and ocular rosacea. 

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